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

Awesome ways to ring in 2024 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, 2023

mom with toddler on her hip with a blower celebrating new years eve events in Seattle

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 2023 and welcome 2024, 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: Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023

KiDiMu Noon Year’s Eve Celebration: Sunday, Dec. 31, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Join the daytime fun at this Bainbridge kids’ museum with a countdown to noon and some new-year-themed crafts. Included with admission or membership.

New Year’s Eve Countdown at KidsQuest: Sunday, 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. 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. $20 per child; $10 per adult.

New Year’s Party at the Burke Museum: Sunday, Dec. 31, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Party like it’s 66 million years ago and celebrate the new year with dino-mazing crafts and activities. Create a 3D Dimetrodon to take home, make discoveries in the dig pit and join the Noon Year’s Eve countdown and dino dance party. Included with museum admission or membership.

Hands On Children’s Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve Party: Sunday, Dec. 31, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Welcome the new year with an enchanting Winter Wonder Faire at this Noon Year’s Eve countdown party! Enjoy a ball drop and a bubble dance party every hour. Then, meet a magical fairy, skate in your socks, watch wacky science experiments and get crafty. Activities included with regular museum admission or membership.

Seattle Children’s Museum New Year’s Eve Pajama Party: Sunday, Dec. 31, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
It’s a daytime pajama party! Celebrate the end of the year with shakers, bells and poppers at 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m. The celebration continues with fizz-fueled rockets, glitter slime and a glow-in-the-dark dance party. Included with regular museum admission or membership.

Noon Year's Eve Balloon Drop at My Gym: Sunday, Dec. 31, 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Make some noise! This party for kids ages 6 month to 10 years at the Bellevue location promises to be epic with dancing, games, gymnastics and, of course, a festive balloon-drop countdown to noon. $25–$35; Pre-register.

Noon Year’s Eve Celebrations at local libraries: Sunday, Dec. 31, times vary
Looking for budget-friendly festive fun? Bring the fam for a grand time making crafts, listening to stories, dancing and counting down to noon at a free New Year’s celebration hosted by local libraries in Renton and South Hill. Free.

Rockin’ Rockfish Noon Year’s Eve at Seattle Aquarium: Sunday, 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 or join to watch on the Aquarium’s YouTube channel. Free.

Early Night New Year's Eve Celebration at Dave & Buster's: Sunday, Dec. 31, 4–7 p.m.
Grab tickets for the whole family then head to the Outlet Collection location in Auburn. There will be plenty of yummy snacks, unlimited video game play and a ginger ale toast countdown. $53.34 per person.

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

Tacoma Light Trail Kick-Off: Sunday, Dec. 31, 5:30–10 p.m.
The Tacoma Light Trail’s festivities on New Year’s Eve open with a light parade led by a fire-breathing dragon. The celebration continues with live outdoor entertainment at Tollefson Plaza and a countdown with Sister City, Cienfuegos, Cuba. The light displays stay up 5–9 p.m. nightly, through Jan. 14. 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: Sunday–Monday, Dec. 31–Jan. 1 (times vary)
Close out 2023 or ring in 2024 with a family ice-skating outing. Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink, Oly on Ice, Tulalip Lights and Ice and Pacific Ice in Everett are all open for skating on Sunday, Dec. 31, and Monday, Jan. 1. Hours and prices vary, check locations for specific times.

New Year’s at the Needle: Sunday, Dec. 31, 10 p.m.
The New Year’s show at the Space Needle is back taking things up a notch with an expanded drone, light and fireworks extravaganza to brighten up Seattle’s skies. Watch in person from the grounds of the Seattle Center, with a series of light shows beginning at 10 p.m., or cozy up with the family at home and watch on King 5. Free.

Family activities for New Year’s Day: Monday, Jan. 1, 2024

Polar bear plunges: Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 (times vary)
For a truly invigorating start to 2024, 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. Costs vary, some plunges are free.

First Day Hikes: Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 (times vary)
Kick off 2024 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.)

Washington State Parks free-entry day: Monday, Jan. 1, 2024
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 2024 when the Discover Pass parking permit requirement is waived.

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