New Jersey is such a family-friendly state when it comes to New Year’s Eve celebrations. Say farewell to this past year and welcome in the new one with your tots in toe at one of these excellent events created especially with kids in mind. Several of the events are also alcohol-free and some have fantastic views of fireworks! Here are our favorites.
Enjoy the 26th anniversary of family-friendly New Year’s Eve events celebrated in Morris, and marvel at the whole downtown turning into a celebration. Starting at 4 p.m.—perfect for little visitors—you can enjoy live music performances, children’s programs, and fireworks! The entire event is alcohol free, making it extra safe and fun for kids. Shuttle buses are also offered, and although this is a ticketed event, prices are affordable and children under four years-old are free.
Celebrate the arts with this family-friendly New Year’s Eve event in Ocean City. Whether your child is a music lover, super active, or really hands-on, there are a ton of activities and events happening from 4 p.m. until midnight. Exciting activities include rides, inflatables, live music, magic shows, a swimming pool, and ice skating. The event’s grand finale is a firework show at midnight.
Five, four, three, two, one…enjoy an early countdown to “midnight” by counting down to a falling crystal ball at 7 p.m. in the local gymnasium. Arrive as early as 5:30 p.m. for family activities, food, and dancing. Following the ball drop, head outdoors to JFK Boulevard Beach for more fun and a firework show starting at 8 p.m. Do note that you must reserve a spot for your family as the space for the indoor fun is limited.
On Dec. 31, First Night Haddonfield will be celebrating all things arts and culture with this 20th anniversary First Night celebration. Throughout the 15 different venues, visitors will be able to enjoy live music and dance performances. From 6-8:30 p.m., kids aged nine and under can head to the town’s middle school gym and multi-purpose room for a kid zone. The evening ends with fireworks lighting up the sky.
The quaint beach-side borough of Seaside Heights is holding a family-fun First Night event from noon until 5 p.m., which is perfect if you want to celebrate the New Year with your family, but still have time to head home for dinner and bedtime. Along the Seaside Heights boardwalk, families will get to enjoy face painting, balloons, a magic show, jugglers, and crafts; this event really is all about the kids. Weather permitting, a fireworks display will be set of start at 5 p.m.
From 6 p.m. to midnight, head to Montclair’s Center to ring in the New Year. Details of the celebration are still being solidified, but this family-friendly event is sure to feature live music and plenty of activities for children.
Head to the Adventure Aquarium if you have sea life lovers for a special kid-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. Running until 6 p.m., enjoy watching the fish swim through the aquariums, dance to music played by a DJ, and watch fireworks turn the sky an array of colors over the lovely Delaware River. Regular admission fees apply.
Organized by the Lawrence Historical Society and held in the Great Meadow at the historic Brearley House, come celebrate Hogmanay—a Scottish New Year’s tradition—from 6 to 8 p.m. This tradition includes a large bonfire into which you throw a list of the things you’d like to forget from 2017, so you can start 2018 fresh.
Enjoy the usual waterpark fun at Saraha Sam’s on NYE, which is made extra special with a DJ, giveaways, limbo, food, and more. This event is best for older children as it runs from 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. and alcoholic beverages are served to those 21 and over. Your kids will definitely remember this New Year’s Eve event, especially if you decide to upgrade to a cabana New Year’s Eve party!
This cool sleep over event takes you and your family aboard the Battleship of New Jersey, where you’ll get to sleep in the bunks used by the crew. At night, you’ll have a front row seat for the New Year’s Fireworks that light up the sky above the Delaware River. Only children aged six and up are allowed to take part in this family-friendly overnight New Year’s Eve celebration.