Hello 2021! 7 Family-Friendly Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

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New Year’s Eve will definitely look different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ring in 2021 (and say goodbye to 2020) in a fun way with your quaran-team. We’ve rounded up memorable, family-friendly ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your kids. Read on for how to have a ball!

photo: California Center for the Arts

Northern Lights

Cap off the holiday season by visiting Northern Lights at California Center for the Arts. Their 12-acre campus transforms into a spectacle of light, hope, and joy after sunset each evening. Guests are invited to wander along the walkways, taking in the holiday sights and sounds. The young and young-at-heart will enjoy tunnels of twinkling lights, giant LED Christmas trees, and blow-up figurines of favorite holiday characters. 

Then go home, make hot cocoa and watch the ball drop eastern standard time so the kiddos can head to bed before midnight!

Event details.

Cal Performances NYE Musical Celebration Live Stream

This year, more than ever, we realize how much joy live entertainment brings to our lives. Thankfully, the artists that usually perform live in front of thousands have continued to entertain us by live streaming into our homes. The talented group of soloists, recitalists and jazz musicians behind Cal Performances at Home are ringing in 2021 with a carefully chosen program aimed to convey the joy, hope, warmth and spirit of the holidays. All you and your family need to do is dance and sing along, preferably in those holiday pajamas everyone just unwrapped! 

Online: calperformances.org

New Year's Eve Brunch Cruise

Making it through 2020 was no easy feat, so why not treat yourself and your family to a New Year's Eve Cruise? Hornblower Cruise lines is offering a lavish champagne brunch on the San Diego Bay. We can't think of a better way to spend the last day of the year than outside on the water. Kids ages three and under are free. Find out all the details and how to book your tickets here.

Online: hornblower.com

Virtual Fireworks for Your At Home Celebration

We have to stick a pin in the in-person fireworks extravaganza of New Year's Eve pasts, but that doesn't mean your little ones have to miss out on a good show. Check out this full show from Disneyland that will keep your favorite tots enthralled or choose to watch this show from London's 2018 New Year's Eve celebration. The quality of both videos is top-notch! And if that's not enough entertainment, be sure to check out the New Year's Eve Countdown collection on Netflix for hours more festive entertainment. 

Live Stream Times Square Ball Drop

The first New Year’s Eve Ball lowering celebration atop One Times Square was in 1907. This proud tradition is now a universal symbol of the New Year and is watched by millions around the world. You and your family can enjoy a commercial-free, webcast coverage of the festivities leading up to the Ball Drop starting at 6 p.m. (EST). Feel free to wow your kiddos with fun facts about the ball drop like, normally more than one ton of confetti is dropped in Times Square during the ball drop. Find out everything you need to know about the virtual event here.

Online: timesquarenyc.org

photo: San Diego Symphony

A Virtual Trip To The San Diego Symphony

Why not pretend you're going to the symphony and change out of your beloved 2020 pjs for the night? Don your festive, party clothes and live stream the San Diego Symphony's "at home" New Year's Eve concert. Let's face it, your sweet pea may not be ready to make it through an entire night at symphony hall any time soon, so introducing her to a live-streaming concert in the comfort of her own home is a win-win situation for everyone. 

Online: sandiegosymphony.org

Rockin' Rockfish Noon Year's Eve

Celebrate the beginning of a new year with the Seattle Aquarium's Rockin' Rockfish Noon Year's Eve! Gather the family to enjoy the full New Year's Eve experience without staying up past bedtime. Join this free virtual event featuring music from Mikey the Rad Scientist, a dance party, fun facts about how the animals in the Aquarium's care are spending the holiday, a count down at noon and more. Reserve your spot today!

Event details.

––Aimee Della Bitta

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