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! There will be a full cash bar as well as tasty wraps and salads and non-alcoholic beverages. 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.

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

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 7:30 p.m. (board at 4:30 p.m.)

Where: 401 N. 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 $75 for adults and $50 for children and include dinner 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 at 1:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. In addition, the Aquarium is presenting New Year’s Eve Around the World by celebrating a different county every hour. Purchase tickets here.

Franklin Square’s Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown


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When: December 31 from 3 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 2018 Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO!

Ardmore Music Hall New Year’s Eve Family Jam

When: December 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (doors open at 10 a.m.)
Where: 23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore

Countdown to noon at the Ardmore Music Hall! This New Year’s Eve celebration features a performance by Alex & The Kaleidoscope, arts & crafts, face painting, a dance party (with prizes!) and more. All child tickets include a gift bag with flow sticks, rings, a craft and more. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. Get tickets here.

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.

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