Updated for 2017
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 Sunday as well as the evening. A few of these events aren’t specific to the holiday but would still be fun!
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 $12.00/person in advance, plus a couple bucks if you buy online, and $15/December 31. You can buy them online or at various locations around town. Kids 10 and under are Free as are military families while supplies last! Your admission button gets you into all the indoor venues and activities and also gives you free access to the Museum of Glass, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, and the Tacoma Art Museum as well as discounts at some area restaurants. Want to get home early? Many kid friendly events start around 6 PM. Be sure to park at the Tacoma Dome station and take the link for free to avoid paying for parking.
$15 admission includes skating, skate rental, party favors, and more fun! Buy your tickets in advance so you don’t have to wait in line. Non-skating chaperones are free; all minors will need a ticket.
Area Lights Displays
Drive through Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Lake until 9:00 pm. Admission is $14 per vehicle or $11 with the coupon (click on the admission link and scroll down for it). You can also catch Zoolights at Pt.Defiance Zoo until 9:00 pm. 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). Try Holiday with Lights at Wild Waves, open from 5 pm – 10 pm on select days through December. Or Ivar’s Clam Lights in Renton, open nightly from 5 pm – 9 pm through January 1st. A new option the Lantern Festival at the fairgrounds, which I *think* is also going to have fireworks. I wrote about this event for Parent Map. Short version? Very pretty, but I personally thought it was too expensive, and we saw literally everything in under an hour. If you have a different take on it, let me know!
The Indigo Frozen Fountain at Point Ruston is open until 1 AM New Year’s Eve.
Family Friendly Daytime Events on New Year’s Eve
South King County
Pay $25/person for unlimited use of select indoor attractions from 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, including bumper cars, laser x-treme, frog hopper, kidopolis, and bowling. Add 5.00 to get unlimited go-karts. Advance purchase suggested.
Can’t stay up until midnight? Come celebrate the new year in a kid-friendly way! Crafts, treats and a big countdown to Noon!
Tacoma/Pierce County/Gig Harbor
In addition to their evening event perfect for your teens, Tiffany’s Skate Inn also has an earlier daytime, public skating session.
Glow bowling sessions all day at our favorite Proctor area bowling spot! Prepayment required.
Make a cone-head hat and noisemaker to celebrate the New Year! I *believe* this is free with the purchase of a First Night button (see above) or You could also try to get a library pass to go for free.
Several Noon Year’s Eve themed jump sessions today, or take your kids to the parents’ night out session!
Get your Lego on at this open build event. Lots to see, too!
Always a fun and warm place to burn off the wiggles!
December 31st from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Gig Harbor MarKee’s 3rd Annual NOON YEARS EVE party
Strolling magic, food, crafts, and other fun!
Children Under 1 years old free
Admission price: $17 per person (1 to 199 years old)
Noon Year’s Eve Party at the Hands-On Children’s Museum in Olympia Regular admission applies, pre-registration not required.
Noon Year’s Eve Party
Dec. 31, 2018, 9 am – 5 pm
Party with costumed characters from your favorite stories!
New Year’s Day
Polar Bear Plunge In Tacoma FREE. If you’re daring, take a plunge in the Puget Sound on New Year’s Day at the Pt Defiance Marina boat launch. There will be heaters and free hot drinks following the plunge.
Get outdoors and enjoy an easy guided hike at a nearby state park. Admission is free today-no Discover WA pass required. The closest organized event is at Saltwater State Park, but you can certainly do a DIY outdoor adventure! We have a great list of easy, lowland hikes here. Or how about trying the gnome trail.
Note that regular fees apply to all areas besides state parks.
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!