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Best New Year’s Events and Activities for Seattle-Area Families

Awesome ways to ring in 2023 with your kids

Headshot of author Julie Dodobara, she is pictured from the torso up, standing on a boat with a waterfuall in the distance

Published on: December 20, 2022

Mom and son holding 2023 balloons wearing holiday hats happily celebrating new year 2023 best family events around Seattle Tacoma Bellevue Puget Sound

Can’t stay up ’til midnight? No babysitter? No problem. Make ringing in the new year a family affair with special ways to mark this milestone. We’ve rounded up great ideas to help you and your crew say goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2023, with celebratory events for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Happy new year to all!

Family activities for New Year’s Eve: Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022

KiDiMu Noon Year’s Eve Celebration: Saturday, Dec. 31, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Join the daytime fun at this Bainbridge kids’ museum with a countdown to noon, fireworks science and some new-year-themed crafts. $30 per family of up to 6.

Hands On Children’s Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve Party: Saturday, Dec. 31, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Welcome the new year with all things that shimmer and shine at this Noon Year’s Eve countdown party! Enjoy a ball drop, a dance party and a parade every hour. Then, meet a magical princess, launch a shooting star, get crafty with glitzy glue and more. Activities included with regular museum admission or membership.

New Year’s Eve Countdown at KidsQuest: Saturday, Dec. 31, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
The fun starts early and continues all day at this New Year’s celebration featuring activities such as face painting and story time happening every hour. You have four chances to ring in the new year with the famous bubble wrap stomp: Join in at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. $15 per child; $8 per adult.

Seattle Children's Museum New Year's Eve Pajama Party: Saturday, Dec. 31, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
It's a daytime pajama party! Celebrate the end of the year by making a time capsule, dancing, counting down to noon, and more. Included with regular museum admission or membership.

Rockin’ Rockfish Noon Year’s Eve at Seattle Aquarium: Saturday, Dec. 31, 11:30 a.m.
Join this virtual celebration for a rockin’ good time right in your living room. Dance to music by Mikey the Rad Scientist, learn about the aquarium’s resident animals and more. Preregister to receive the link to this virtual event. Free.

Noon Year's Eve at Imagine: Saturday, Dec. 31, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
This Noon Year's Eve party will have a Rad Science show, crafts, plenty of play, and of course, a countdown to noon so everyone can cheer in the New Year. Included with regular museum admission or membership.

Candyland Family NYE at The Forum Social House: Saturday, Dec. 31, 5–8 p.m.
This whole-family New Year’s Eve celebration includes dancing, mini golf, party favors and a countdown to a balloon drop at the bedtime-friendly hour of 7 p.m. $25 per person; ages 5 and younger are free.

Tacoma Light Trail Kick-Off: Dec. 31, 2022, 5–9 p.m.
The Tacoma Light Trail’s festivities on New Year’s Eve open with a special light dragon parade and live outdoor entertainment at the University of Washington Tacoma steps. The light displays stay up 5–9 p.m. nightly, through Jan. 19. Special events take place Jan. 1, 6 and 7, 6–8 p.m., in Tollefson Plaza. Check the events schedule or follow on social media for all of the happenings. Free.

Tip: In addition to the Tacoma Light Trail, several other fabulous holiday light displays are open for viewing on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Skate your way into the new year: Saturday–Sunday, Dec. 31–Jan. 1 (times vary)
Close out 2022 or ring in 2023 with a family ice-skating outing. Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink, Oly on Ice and Pacific Ice in Everett are all open for skating on Saturday, Dec. 31, and Sunday, Jan. 1. Bainbridge’s seasonal rink at The Village is open Saturday, Dec. 31. Hours and prices vary, check links for times.

New Year’s at the Needle: Saturday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m.
The New Year’s show at the Space Needle is back for in-person viewing, taking things up a notch with coordinated drone light formations in the Seattle skies to add a splash of color to the fireworks display. Watch in person from the grounds of the Seattle Center, with festivities beginning at 8 p.m., or cozy up with the fam at home and watch on King 5. Free.

Family activities for New Year’s Day: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023

Polar bear plunges: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023 (times vary)
For a truly invigorating start to 2023, might we suggest one of the region’s several polar bear plunges? Pick your poison — a brisk dip in Puget Sound or a lake. Even if you can’t stomach a plunge yourself, it’s fun to watch others show their courage. But bring your towel just in case you get caught up in the moment. Most plunges are free.

First Day Hikes: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023 (times vary)
Kick off 2023 with a healthy dose of nature! Several Washington State Parks offer staff-led group hikes and snowshoe hikes on New Year’s Day. (Bonus: Jan. 1 is a state parks free-entry day, too!)

A New Year’s Hike: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, 10:30 a.m.–noon
Register for free spots in this tot-friendly family nature hike and learn tips to help the environment that you can employ at home. Meet the ranger at the Lewis Creek Park visitor center. Free; preregistration required.

Washington State Parks free-entry day: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023
Bundle up and start the new year strolling through an old favorite or new-to-you state park. Jan. 1 is the first of 12 days in 2023 when the Discover Pass parking permit requirement is waived.

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