Updated for 2016
No babysitter for New Year’s Eve? Or, just want to do something that the whole family can enjoy? Here’s a list of kid friendly options for New Year’s Eve around the South Puget Sound-during the day on Saturday as well as the evening. A few of these events aren’t specific to the holiday but would still be fun! Because New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday, this post is taking the place of the weekend guide this week. Yes, there are ideas for New Year’s Day at the botttom, and yes, we’ve added lots more!
Family Friendly Night Time Events on New Year’s Eve/Saturday Night
First Night in Downtown Tacoma, is a family-friendly, arts-centered, alcohol free celebration of New Year’s Eve that takes place throughout the Downtown Tacoma theater district. See the complete list of artists and activities on the First Night site. Admission is $10/person in advance and $14/December 31. Kids 10 and under are Free! Your admission button also gains you free access to the Museum of Glass, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, and the Tacoma Art Museum as well as free skate rental at Franciscan Polar Plaza. Some of those, “Before Festival,” events are among the best choices for kids (and you can be home earlier). Be sure to park at the Tacoma Dome station and take the link for free to avoid paying for parking. More FAQs are here.
$15 admission includes skating, skate rental, party favors at midnight and entry into giveaways! But your tickets in advance so you don’t have to wait in line. This party goes from 7:30pm-1:30am, and non skating adult chaperones are free. Note-This site opens with Loud music; don’t click on it with a sleeping baby in your arms!
Catch a Lights Display
Drive through Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Lake until 9:00pm. Admission is $14/vehicle or go here to print off your $3 coupon(You can also show a digital version this year). You can also catch Zoolights at Pt.Defiance Zoo until 9:00pm. Zoo admission gets pricey. SFM recommends investing in an annual pass (Christmas gift from grandma?) unless you can take advantage of monthly free days for city of Tacoma residents. Members get discounted Zoolights admission (sadly, not free). Or, try Holiday with Lights at Wild Waves, open until 10:00pm.
Family Friendly Daytime Events on New Year’s Eve/Saturday daytime
South King County
Pay $20/person for unlimited use of select indoor attractions from 12:00pm-9:00pm, including bumper cars, laser x-treme, frog hopper, kidopolis, and bowling. Add 5.00 to get unlimited go-karts. Reservations are suggested.
Noon Year’s Eve singing celebration with Nancy Stewart at the Kent Library Join the popular children’s entertainer for a free event that will be preschool perfect.
Get your Lego on at this open build event. Lots to see, too!
WiggleWorks will be open til 6:00pm if you want the kids to burn off some energy so they can go to bed early while you party in your jammies.
Library Event in Sumner
Sumner Library New Year’s Eve Party New Year’s Eve Party Join us for crafts, games and a countdown to noon. Saturday, Dec. 31 at 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Sumner Pierce County Library 1116 Fryar Ave. 98390 • 253-548-3306
Of course, the other option is to do your own New Year’s Eve. Pick another time zone and do your celebration early enough to get off the roads and get everyone in bed (Full Disclosure: It’s the grown-ups at the SFM house who most need early bedtimes!)
First Night in Tacoma “Before Event,”
There are several daytime options associated with First Night fun. See the complete listing above for more on those, or use the link to look for info. on the kids’ tent and other fun happenings during the day.
Welcome 2017 with a unique cone head hat and noisemaker that you make your self under the direction of artist Jennifer Adams. Free with a, First Night button (see above), or included with regular admission. You could even try to get a library pass to go for free. 10AM-5PM Other activities during the day include the Lincoln High School drum line and a fire dance performance!
Two Noon Year’s Eve themed jump sessions today, or take your kids to the parents’ night out session!
11AM-1:30PM Join us for a fun family New Year’s Eve celebration at 12pm NOON! Perfect for the whole family, we will have activities, food, family dance party, photo booth and of course noise makers! *Adult drinks & beverages are not included in ticket price. Tickets are 25.00 per family
Join us for the Ball Drop Every Hour! Saturday, December 31, 10am-5pm Get the best of both hemispheres at our Blizzard Beach Bash. Don your Hawaiian shirts, make your own leis, but don’t leave your mittens and hats at home!
- Meet warm & cold blooded animals
- Set ice on fire
- Freeze tropical fruits and smash them with Dr. Science
New Benefit for Members: Free Admission!
Non-members: Regular Admission Fee
free crafts, family photo, and other fun
Mud Bay presents a Free double feature of The Secret Life of Pets and Marmaduke 11AM-3PM
Family Fun on New Year’s Day!
If you want to do something really crazy on the first day of 2017, join in on the Polar Bear Plunge in Tacoma at Point Defiance Marina, at 11:30am and 12:00pm, on January 1. Kids and adults are welcome to jump into the Puget Sound and then warm up in nearby heated tents with free hot drinks.
Get outdoors and enjoy an easy guided hike at a nearby state park. Choices this year include Nolte, Saltwater, and Tolmie, all great spots for junior hikers.
If none of those ideas float your boat, check out our post on the 14 Best Ideas for Winter Break Fun in the South Sound!
If you know of another great option for ringing in 2017, leave a comment, or drop me a line!
If you’re new here, I hope you’ll consider subscribing to my emails, joining us on Facebook, or following me on Twitter or Instagram. I write just for South Sound families, and I have new ideas every day! You’re also always welcome to drop me a line if you know something great I missed, or just want to give me a tip!