By Michelle Reese
New Year’s Eve is the party night of the year, but what about when bedtime is hours before the Big Ball Drop? Here’s a list of family-friendly events on December 31, so you can celebrate with your little ones and get them in bed on time.
Independence Seaport Museum New Year’s Eve Party
When: December 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia
The Independence Seaport Museum is staying open late for the Annual Family Fireworks Viewing Party from 5 to 7 p.m. on the museum’s second-floor balcony. Families can enjoy party hats, noise makers, and a ginger ale toast for the 6 p.m. fireworks show! Arrive before 5 p.m. to visit the Museum galleries and Historic Ships, Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna, which opens at 10 a.m. Everything is included with regular Museum admission. Purchase tickets here.
Blue Cross RiverRink
When: December 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
Where: 101 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
Ring in the New Year from the best location to see the New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest! There are two different party times focused around the two firework shows, so the earlier party is perfect for little ones. All tickets includes entertainment, snacks, soft drinks and a cash bar, as well as access to all of the amenities around the site. Choose skating tickets ($45) or spectator tickets ($35) if you don’t wish to get on the ice. Purchase tickets here.
Spirit of Philadelphia Fireworks Viewing Party
When: December 31 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Where: 401 S. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
Watch the fireworks aboard the festive Spirit of Philadelphia. The ship will cruise for a dinner and fireworks viewing party for both sets of fireworks displays. For more information and to purchase tickets click here.
Countdown 2 Noon at the Please Touch Museum
When: December 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia
New Year’s Eve is one of the Please Touch Museum’s most popular annual events! With live music, a countdown performance, and a traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop, get into the party spirit and ring in the new year together! Activities include confetti bag decorating, make-your-own Mummer’s inspired outfit and parasol, storytime, songs, a performance by Avalon String Band, and more.
Countdowns will take place at Noon and again at 1 p.m. to accommodate all of the little party animals and their families. Countdown 2 Noon®, is a holiday tradition and the perfect party for children to ring in the New Year. The Countdown 2 Noon celebration will include music, activities, crafts and more. Purchase tickets here.
Kid-Friendly Fireworks Cruise on the Ben Franklin Yacht
When: December 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (board at 4 p.m.)
Where: 101 S. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia
Cruise on the Ben Franklin Yacht and enjoy a family-friendly party with dinner, dancing and an incredible view of the 6 p.m. fireworks over the water. Tickets are $69 for adults and $49 for children (!2 and under) and include dinner, hot chocolate & treats, and party favors. Click here to purchase tickets.
New Year’s Eve Splash at Adventure Aquarium
When: December 31, open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden
The Aquarium will stay open late for New Year’s Eve! Spend the day, and then head outside to the waterfront to watch the 6 p.m. fireworks over the Delaware River. Come enjoy your favorite animals and show off your moves during the special DJ Shell-ebration Dance Parties. Purchase tickets here.
Franklin Square’s Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown
When: December 31 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 200 6th Street, Philadelphia
Close out the season at Franklin Square with a family-friendly New Year’s celebration! Enjoy music and crafts beginning before the Square Drop from atop SquareBurger at 6 p.m. and Sugar House New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, viewable from the Square. The indoor Franklin Square Pavilion will host a Kids’ Dance Party until 8 p.m. And then it’s the final 2019 Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show! This event is free.
Ardmore Music Hall New Year’s Eve Family Jam
When: Doors open at 10 a.m., show starts at 10:30 a.m.
Where: 23 East Lancaster Ave, Ardmore
Bring in the new year family style at The Ardmore Music Hall!
Ardmore Music Hall’s New Year’s Eve (Day) Family Jam features Alex & The Kaleidoscope and DJ Mighty Flipside spinning your favorite family jams. There will be a dance party, face painting, balloons, photo booth and more! $20 tickets in advance and $25 at the door.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Sesame Place
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When: December 31 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. with fireworks at approximately 6:25 p.m.
Where: 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne
Spend the day at Sesame Place enjoying A Very Furry Christmas, and then stick around for the New Year’s Eve Fireworks! The park is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with millions of twinkling lights, decorations, holiday-themed musical shows, special character meets and more. Fireworks will begin immediately following the 6 p.m. performance of the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade. Click here for tickets.