Planning a New Year’s celebration can be difficult, especially when you’ve got kids involved. What used to be a classic, simple New Year’s Eve party is now a thing of the past. Now, with your family in tow, you want a celebration that everyone can enjoy and appreciate. Our Superior Cruise & Travel team pride ourselves in being family-oriented, and we always aim to help travelers curate the best experiences for their young ones! One of the best ways to do this is by spreading the gift of travel. We’ve compiled a list of all the amazing New Year’s Eve experiences around the country.
Panama City Beach, Florida
You know a celebration is kid-friendly when the ball-drop happens at 8pm — just enough time to let your children revel in the New Year and still get them in bed at a decent time. The Panama Beach Ball New Year’s Eve drop is an event to remember. While most celebrations culminate with the iconic ball drop, at this event, 10,000 inflatable balls are released.
For the families (or parents) who do want to make it until midnight — no worries. There’s a celebration for you, too. An 800-pound glowing beach ball drops at midnight. Local hotels and guesthouses typically host their own kid-friendly events in anticipation of the turn of the calendar, giving your family plenty of options for your itinerary.
Disney Cruise Lines
One of the best family getaways is getting on a Disney cruise. These Disney vacation packages offer ample opportunities for family fun, especially during the New Year’s holiday. Every year, Disney Cruise lines celebrate a myriad of holidays, and Disney New Year’s Eve is no exception. The New Year’s Eve deck party has all the Disney Cruise staples, plus some added themed activities and a full fireworks display. There’s a balloon drop in the atrium lobby, as well as live music and complimentary champagne glasses (or cider) for a midnight toast.
Be sure to check out our New Year’s Eve Disney World Guide
Yosemite National Park
On New Year’s Eve, Yosemite National Park is much more than one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. That’s because many of Yosemite’s hotels host New Year’s events that are perfect for the whole family. A popular option is Tenaya Lodge’s New Year’s celebration. Various areas of the hotel cater to different age brackets. For example, the youngest kids might attend a superhero-themed event, while tweens partake in an outer-spaced themed event. Additionally, Yosemite Lodge, being the closest to Yosemite Falls, feels nothing short of a winter wonderland and offers adult and children celebratory events.
Cragun’s Resort & Hotel, Minnesota
All over the world, there are hotels offering special New Year’s Eve celebrations. But there are only a handful that let you celebrate with a splash. Cragun’s Resort is one such place. With a full indoor waterpark, your children will be entertained throughout the holiday. Their New Year’s F.U.N Package has everything you’ll need. Expect prizes, music, games, and dancing for the entire family. There’s also a vast itinerary for daytime activities, which include ice fishing, trolley rides, dog sledding, bonfires, karaoke, and much more. Adults also have their own late-night party options.
Seattle Children’s Museum
If you want to teach your children about culture (while they’re having fun, of course), the Seattle Children’s Museum certainly fits the bill. The museum’s New Year’s Around The World event features themed activities inspired by countries around the world, and has countdowns throughout the day according to time zones across the globe. Each hour, the museum will toast with apple juice as a different country reaches midnight. During that time, they’ll participate in making crafts and learning about the cultures of that particular country. This year’s countries include Russia, India, Ethiopia, Greece, France, Morocco, and Brazil.
Busch Gardens, Williamsburg VA
In colonial Williamsburg, families can celebrate a Scottish New Year’s holiday called Hogmanay, as well as head over to Busch Garden for one of the biggest holiday displays in the country and some classic theme park fun. New Year’s marks the last day of Busch Garden’s Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration. Here, you’ll see a 50-foot tall animated Christmas tree, and more than five million twinkling lights throughout the park.