There are plenty of ways to ring in 2019 in New York City. We've rounded up the city's best family-friendly options from daytime celebrations for wee ones to Brooklyn fireworks and FREE bike rides to swanky (and admittedly expensive) Times Square parties.
However you welcome the New Year, we hope it's a blast. You can find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide, and more fun things to do with kids on school break.
New Year's (Day) Eve Party – Snug Harbor, Staten Island
Head to the fun-filled Staten Island Children's Museum for an afternoon fete. Expect arts and crafts, games, live music and a kid-pleasing balloon drop for the big finale.
New Year's Eve Extravaganza at CMOM – Upper West Side
CMOM hosts a weekend full of New Year's fun. Saturday through Monday, kids can craft hats or noisemakers for New Year's celebrations. And on the holiday proper, CMOM counts down to the New Year three times; each culminating in a celebratory parade.
New Year's Eve in Brooklyn is thrilling family fun, especially in the haven of Park Slope-Prospect Heights. Photo by Andrew Gardner for Prospect Park Alliance.
New Year's Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park – Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
This annual celebration is a FREE and fun way to ring in 2019 and celebrate the beginning of the park's 152nd year! The event kicks off at 10:30pm with live entertainment and hot refreshments, followed by a dazzling fireworks show at midnight. Best viewing spots include Grand Army Plaza, inside the green space on the West Drive in the park, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and Ninth Street. Or try to find a friend with a nearby rooftop. Organizers ask that you RSVP if you plan to attend.
RELATED: NYC Visitor's Guide for Families
Central Park fireworks kick off the annual Midnight Run. Photo courtesy of NYRR
NYRR Midnight Run and Central Park Fireworks – Upper East Side
Starts at the Central Park band shell; enter the park at Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street
Looking for a way to work off those extra holiday pounds? This noncompetitive, 4-mile Central Park run for ages 5 and older is an offbeat, only-in-NYC way to welcome 2019. Runners and their families can enjoy pre-race dancing and live entertainment at 10pm, and fireworks at midnight, which kick off the race. While you can register until 5pm the day of, it's best to do it in advance. Note: If you've gone to enjoy the pre-race festival in the past, know that it's now open only to runners and their guests. The fireworks will be visible south of 72nd Street in the park, but be prepared for security screening at park entrances.
New Year's Eve Bike Ride – Central Park to the Lower East Side
Meet at the Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street at 9:30pm; Brooklyn-side entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge at 9:30pm; or Madison Square Park on 23rd and Broadway, Flatiron side at 10pm.
Families can join this FREE ride, which is reversing course this year, starting uptown before heading south to the LES for a festive, post-race party at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space. The fun is sponsored by grass-roots environmental group Time's Up. Festive outfits, noisemakers, and party favors are encouraged. Best for children ages 10 and older on their own bikes, or all ages if in a bike seat. While the ride is free, the party has a fee.
RELATED: 21 NYC Holiday Activities Every Kid Should Try Once
Brave the crowds and confetti at Times Square...if you dare. Photo by Kohei Kanno via Flickr
Crowded doesn't begin to describe Times Square on New Year's Eve, but it's an iconic way to ring in the new year. If you're not taking time to stake out a spot, there are a number of neighborhood destinations offering celebrations that accommodate the under-21 crowd. Many of them are right on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Note: The live ball drop is not visible from most of these shindigs.
Dave & Buster's New Year's Eve Party includes a five-hour open bar (alcohol for parents, nonalcoholic beverages for kids), and live DJ performances. We've heard 14 is the suggested minimum age.
AMC Empire 25 All-Ages New Year's Eve Party is perhaps the most budget friendly fete, but doesn't include alcohol or even food; though you can purchase snacks from the on-site concessions stand, watch screenings of PG-13 movies, and dance to DJ-spun tunes all evening long.
Even Mexican chain Chevy's has a party, as do a slew of other area venues, although some celebrations don't allow revelers younger than 21. Admission prices vary significantly. Visit the respective websites for complete info.
For other seasonal activities, check out our Event Calendar and Holiday Fun Guide.
This story, originally posted in December 2009, is updated annually.