24 Family Friendly New Year's Eve Celebrations in Connecticut
I have crossed over. Dreams of elegant parties and midnight champagne toasts have been replaced with longing for easy bedtimes and a good night's sleep. But it feels wrong not to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another without some sort of revelry. Happily, there's no shortage of ways to celebrate New Year's Eve together as a family: no baby sitter required! Whether you're interested in skating, swimming, or roller skating; there's something for everyone.
For more great ideas to finish up 2018 and make plans for 2019, be sure to check our frequently updated events calendar.
1. New Year's Eve Craft, Darien
Younger kids especially will enjoy saying farewell to 2018 with a special craft activity at Darien Library. Free.
2. Noon Year's Eve at the Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk
Countdown to the New Year with a DJ, “bubble-ologist” Kim Winslow, face-painting, and more. It's the last day to enjoy the "Flurry Zone," when snow falls from the ceiling of Newman’s Own Hall every hour on the hour.
3. New Year's Eve Jump, Norwalk
Make sure the kids are worn out well before midnight with one of three jump sessions at Pump It Up. Kids will enjoy a live DJ, a balloon drop, and more.
Photo courtesy of Ally Noel
4. Celebrations Around the World, Bristol
Ring in the New Year celebrating cultures and traditions from around the globe at Imagine Nation's New Year's Celebration. Kids can create confetti, masks, noisemakers, and a colorful flower float, as well as dance to a DJ, march in a New Year's parade, and count down to the ball drop at noon.
5. Noon Year's Eve Party, Canton
Younger kids will love this special mommy and me celebration at the Little Green Tambourine that will include a New Year's craft, play, dance, and sparkling cider toast.
6. First Night Hartford, Hartford
The city's official New Year's Eve celebration features performances, fun activities for the entire family, firework displays, and more. The events will be held at more than 20 venues and sites in downtown Hartford.
7. Family Skate at Simsbury Farms, Simsbury
Enjoy a free gift as well as hot chocolate (while supplies last) while counting down to an early New Year celebration.
8. DJ Celebration at Veteran's Memorial Skating Rink, West Hartford
DJ Flo and MC Lovin' will entertain families for a countdown to an early midnight on the ice.
9. Nomads, South Windsor
From 11am-2pm, Nomads is celebrating the New Year! Come with your kids to enjoy a bounce house, kids d.j., and food.
10. Noontime New Year's Eve, Middlebury
My kind of New Year's Eve celebration - at noon! The Middlebury Library is offering a fun time for kids starting at 11am...and it's free!
11. Kids and Teens Countdown to Noon, Simsbury
Bring out the kids of all ages to ring in the noon year. Fun photos, bubbly (non-alcoholic), and lots of noise.
12. New Year's Eve at Noon, West Hartford
Noah Webster Library is hosting a party to ring in the New Year. Enjoy dancing with D.J. Red Supreme. Free for all ages.
13. New Year's Eve Party, Enfield
Enfield Plays On will be at the Public Library for an hour long celebration starting at 11am.
New Haven County
14. Fantasy of Lights, New Haven
If you haven't seen this incredible light display at Lighthouse Point Park, tonight is your last night! Special bonus: you get to stay toasty warm in your car and no one will know if you're already in your PJs!
15. New Year's at Noon, Wallingford
Your kids will be bouncing off the walls at Sky Zone where you can enjoy an early celebration beginning at noon.
16. Public Skate at Roller Magic, Waterbury
Obviously my kids weren't around for the roller skating craze of the 70s, but they love this retro roller rink, which is hosting a public skate on New Year's Eve day. Rental skates are available.
17. New Year's Eve Beach Party, Woodbridge
Join the JCC of New Haven for swimming, crafts, snacks, and some time in the playscape (JCC membership not required).
18. Hands On Model Train Exhibit, New Milford
New Year's Eve is the last day your little engineers will be able to take a turn running the electric trains through the exhibit at New Milford Gallery. Free.
19. New Year's Eve at Ski Sundown, New Hartford
Families can hit the slopes as early as 8:00 am and ski all day. In the evening there will be a special torchlight parade.
20. Camp Jewell, Colebrook
Bring your children to enjoy this 24- hour event. Drop off your children and go have an "adult" good time. Breakfast and lunch are included.
21. New Year's Eve Story Hour, Kent
Fun for ages 6 and up. Make a New Year's Eve craft and eat some snacks at the library. Free.
22. Family New Year's Eve Party at Sparetime, Groton
Sparetime bowling alley is the place to be for daytime and early evening family fun that includes bowling, pizza, and prizes, as well as a laser light show.
23. Countdown to Noon, Niantic
Join the Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut at the East Lyme Community Center for arts and crafts, animal encounters, and more. (Note: the museum itself is closed for the day; all the fun is at the community center).
24. New Year's Eve Square Dance, Lebanon
Swing your partner at this family-friendly event that includes dancing and a potluck supper.
Originally published in 2014.