Hello 2022! 9 Family-Friendly Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

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Whether your celebration is big or small, New Year’s Eve is a time to bid farewell to 2021 and hit the refresh button for a bright new year. We’ve searched the city to find ways to ring in the big ’22 in a family-friendly fashion. Read on for ideas on how to have a ball and make some memories with your kids!

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.

NOON Year Celebration!

Why wait till midnight to celebrate the new year? San Diego Moms has partnered with Plunge San Diego (the largest indoor pool in the area) to host their midday celebration! Expect games, crafts, music, and dancing with a balloon drop and bubble blast at noon!

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Snow N Glow Holiday Festival!

The Del Mar Fairgrounds has transformed into a winter wonderland! Enjoy the last day of 2021 by huddling with your loved ones in a private igloo, snow tubing, or sipping hot chocolate while strolling through a million festive lights. A fantastic way to ring your new year in style and be home before bedtime! 

Event Details

New Year's Eve Early Buffet Dinner Cruise

Navigating 2021 was no small feat, so why not treat yourself and your family to a New Year's Eve Cruise? Hornblower Cruise lines is offering a lavish early buffet dinner cruise 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

Glow up in 2022!

Make your new year a glowing success by ringing it in at the Living Coast Discovery Center's New Year's Eve Family Party Celebration! Bundle up for some stargazing, night hiking, and animal encounters, then get ready to bust some moves on the glow-in-the-dark silent disco dance floor! 

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NYE at Legoland!

If you can't make it to the real Times Square, how about a trip to the Legoland version? Complete with an early countdown, live music, and a firework grand finale, this is is sure to make your celebration awesome!

Event Details

Virtual Fireworks for Your At-Home Celebration

We have to stick a pin in the in-person fireworks extravaganza of New Year's Eve past, 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 2021 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. 

Emily Munro

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

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!

––––Kimberly Stahl


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