With little ones, it is nearly impossible to stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year (nor would I want to! Have I mentioned how much I value my sleep these days?!). One of the best things you can do is host a family friendly New Years Eve party in your home, or even at a restaurant or park. There are most likely MANY families in your position who would love the opportunity to join in and celebrate without staying up until midnight! Last year we got the kids together for a potluck dinner and had a 6pm countdown, complete with a champagne toast! You can still celebrate by dressing up and wearing fun hats! Who says parents of young kids can’t party?!
But a night out is also great. If you don’t have a babysitter, here are some ideas for Family New Year’s Eve in San Diego…
NYE at The Living Coast Discovery Center: Looking for an affordable AND educational way to celebrate the new year with the family? The Living Coast Discovery Center’s event sounds wonderful with a hot chocolate bar (mint, marshmallows, sea salted caramel!), fresh baked cookies & treats, champagne (or sparkling cider) toast at “midnight” (9:00pm PST/ 12:00am EST) and, of course, wildlife animal encounters. There will be a kid’s movie room with arts & crafts, a teen room with games and snacks and a 21+ San Diego Bay overlook with champagne cocktails. The owls and sharks are more active after dark, so bundle up and be a part of the night life too!
Corvette Diner’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve: The music AND wait staff are always loud and fun at Corvette Diner, and on New Year’s Even they are celebrating the East Coast ball drop from 7-9 p.m. Be there for the Big Apple Balloon Drop and New Year’s Toast at 9 p.m. Kids will also love the fabulous balloon artists, comfort foods and the game room. Parents can enjoy great cocktails.
Kids’ New Year’s Eve at Legoland: We always have a great time at Legoland, and I can only imagine how fun it is to see a giant 2016 Lego brick drop 22 feet to ring in the new year. Join in the festivities with party hats and special glasses for viewing fireworks. The party concludes just in time for the countdown at 6 p.m. with a fireworks display illuminating the sky and providing a great ending to an amazing year. This party features live music & fireworks. Park hours are 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Legoland currently has a free ticket offer, so if you need to purchase a ticket for New Year’s Eve, don’t forget to redeem it at the “Our Gift to You” kiosk before you leave so that you can return for free between January 4th and February 29th.
Temecula Grape Drop: Temecula is my favorite day trip with kids, and the adorable downtown area will host a family event complete with ice skating, live music and a kids’ zone with jumpers and face painting. If we were going to Temecula, I’d start with a visit to their fabulous Pennypickle’s Workshop children’s museum for the “New Year’s Eve at Noon.”
New Year’s Dancin’ Eve at John’s Incredible Pizza: San Diego families love John’s Incredible Pizza, and on Thursday they can enjoy the rides, games, buffet AND watch the Times Square ball drop on the giant screen. Celebration packages start at $16 per person (includes buffet, beverage, rides, games, and NYE party accessories) and are required in order to attend this family-friendly party.
Family Skating at The Del: Glide into the New Year on the beautiful seaside ice rink at Coronado’s Hotel Del. Holiday hours are 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and skating is $25 per person with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Make-a-Wish Foundation. (ice skate rentals are free) While you’re there, be sure to enjoy a cocktail, visit the sweet shop or indulge in a giant sundae at the hotel’s ice cream shop.
Head on over to KidVentures in 4S Ranch for a 12pm New Years Eve countdown with the kids. Keep in mind the venue closes at 3pm in celebration of the holiday.
This event doesn’t take place until January 2nd, but it might be worth checking out the New Children’s Museum New Years Family Night Out Pajama Jam! Jump into your jammies and join in for a delicious dinner, New Year’s themed art activities, games, music, entertainment and even a countdown balloon drop!
Wishing you and your family the best possible 2016!