Traditionally, New Year’s Eve, with its swanky cocktail parties and late night extravaganzas, isn’t the most family-friendly holiday. Fortunately, tradition is being challenged and New York City now boasts a plethora of New Year’s Eve parties and activities that all ages will enjoy. There’s no reason to stay at home in your pajamas on NYE anymore, watching the revelers on TV. In fact, you may have more fun than ever before experiencing the best of these festive and fun New York attractions.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
At Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the most peculiar and spectacular artifacts, treasures, performances, and games fill the 18,000-square foot “Odditorium.” On New Year’s Eve, your family will have the opportunity to experience this delightfully bizarre attraction with the addition of first-rate New Year’s Eve activities. An open bar and free food all night, provided by the acclaimed Crema Restaurant, is just the beginning! You’ll also enjoy a DJ and dancing, Ripley’s sideshow acts, over 500 exhibits, magic shows and face painting for kids, and of course a champagne (or cider) toast at midnight. Plus, you’ll be located just ½ a block from the Ball Drop! Please note that the Ripley’s Believe It or Not NYE Party is a separately ticketed event, not included in daily general admission.
Water Taxi New Year’s Eve Family Cruise
A New York Water Taxi not only lets you avoid traffic and crowd congestion, it also offers a unique way to see the skyline and all of the city’s most impressive landmarks. This New Year’s Eve, you can see the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building and many more New York attractions from the water while ringing in the new year. Adults are dazzled by the spectacular views, fireworks display, and cash bar, while kids less interested in the sights can delight in Wii games, noise makers, party favors, and snacks like mac ‘n cheese and chicken tenders. The adult menu is slightly more classy, with favorites like stuffed mushrooms and chicken Milanese. New York Water Taxi NYE promises a magical night for all.
Dave & Buster’s NYC
With a location right in the heart of Times Square, Dave & Buster’s high-tech gaming haven is the premier party spot for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve. Comfort-food appetizers, like pretzel dogs and pizza bites, are served all night long; a huge buffet features build-your-own nachos and four cheese pizza; and a 5-hour open bar is the cherry on top! Arcade machines, amusement park games, and virtual stimulators will have everyone playing and laughing for hours. Add music, dancing, and a live count down to the Ball Drop on huge-screen TVs, and you’ve got just about everything you could ask for at Dave & Buster’s NYE.
Want to party with the stars this NYE? Only at Madame Tussauds New York will you find Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey, and Derek Jeter at the same party. You’ll feel like a celebrity yourself amidst the 250+ life-like wax figurines at one of the most beloved New York attractions. In 85,000-square feet of event space just ½ a block from the Time’s Square Ball drop, DJs spin dance hits, the 4D cinema awes guests of all ages, and food and drink are served all night long. Kids can spend time in Super Hero’s room or the Sports Zone or take the stage with their favorite stars in the Pop Star Celebrity Room. Please note that the NYE party is a separately ticketed event, not included in daily general admission.
Fireworks in Prospect Park
If classic and simple (and free!) is more your style, head over to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The festivities start at 11 PM with live holiday entertainment and hot cocoa for everyone. At midnight, an extravagant fireworks display kicks off the New Year in style. It’s a memorable night for kids and adults, and a wonderful tradition to start with your family. The best locations for viewing the fireworks are Grand Army Plaza, inside the Park on West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.