Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Happenings

While most New Year’s Eve plans mean adult-time, kids love to take part in recognizing the occasion, even if that doesn’t mean ringing in 2018 at midnight with a bottle of champagne. Fortunately, the Bay Area offers many kid-focused, daytime and evening celebrations. Here are a few to consider:

Balloon Drop at Lawrence Hall of Science
1 Centennial Drive Berkeley
(pre-registration is required, as this is a popular event) Offering three different times – 11:00 am; 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, the Balloon Drop is a pretty fun sight, even for parents. Complete with a countdown, the Balloon Drop is the closest your family will get to feeling like they’re at Times Square.

Playland-Not-at-the-Beach
10979 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
A celebration the whole family can enjoy. Play pinball, carnival games, and arcade games all night long. Playland also offers a “quiet room” for sleepy young partiers. And, in a clever twist, they do countdowns for each American time zone (Eastern through Pacific) with sparkling-cider provided as well as a few live magic shows. Learn more here >

Ring the Bell at the Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street San Francisco
How’s this for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve? Bring the whole family to ring in the New Year by taking a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th-century Japanese temple bell. That’s the longtime Buddhist tradition carried on at this San Francisco Museum each year. An admission ticket offers you a first-come/first-served chance to ring the bell. NOTE – the Museum recommends getting your chance to sign up by arriving in Samsung Hall no later than 12-noon on New Year’s Eve. More info here >

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!
The Charles M. Schulz Museum
2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa

This year might be the best time to support this local gem in Sonoma County. And it’s a classic family-friendly celebration. The Museum offers crafts for kids, balloon drops and root beer toasts at Noon and 3:00 pm. Get the details here >

Whatever your plans, we wish you a safe and happy holiday. See you at Public Market in 2018!