New Year's Eve Fireworks in NYC and More 2017 Family Celebrations

Usher in the New Year at These Family-Friendly Celebrations

There are plenty of ways to ring in 2017 in New York City. We've rounded up the city's best family-friendly options from Brooklyn fireworks and FREE bike rides to swanky (and admittedly expensive) Times Square parties. 

If you have little kids, check out our article on pre-midnight bashes happening all day long at children's museums and other venues around NYC. However you welcome the New Year, we hope it's a blast. You can find even more seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide.

New Year's Eve in Coney Island – Coney Island, Brooklyn
Steeplechase Pavilion, West 19th Street and the Boardwalk
Coney Island's beachfront fete returns to ring in 2017. Abe Stark Rink will offer FREE ice skating from 6 to 10pm and the New York Aquarium will remain open until 9pm. Once you've had your fill of fun there, head to the Steeplechase Pavilion to enjoy a DJ, giveaways, and sideshow performances beginning at 9pm. Luna Park's B&B Carousell and Thunderbolt will be offered for FREE, weather permitting. Fireworks explode in the sky at midnight.

New Year's Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park – Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
This annual celebration is a FREE and fun way to ring in 2017. The event kicks off at 11pm 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.

RELATED: NYC Visitor's Guide for Families


Central Park fireworks kick of 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, four-mile Central Park run for ages 5 and older is an offbeat, only-in-NYC way to welcome 2017. There's dancing and live entertainment at 10pm, and fireworks at midnight, which kick off the race. If you're not the sneakers type, come for the FREE pre-run fun and head back home. The event takes place rain or shine. While you can register the day of until 5pm, it's best to do it in advance since it's less expensive and hectic.

New Year's Eve Bike Ride – Williamsburg to Central Park
Meet at the Brooklyn entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge, 9:45pm; the Arch at Washington Square Park, 10pm; or Fifth Avenue and Washington Square North, 10:20pm
Families can join this FREE ride from Williamsburg to Belvedere Castle in Central Park, sponsored by grass-roots environmental group Time's Up. Festive outfits, noisemakers, and party favors are encouraged. After the ride, you are rewarded with an outdoor party filled with music, dancing, and fireworks. It is, in fact, the same festivities the NYRR runners enjoy. Best for children ages 10 and older on their own bikes, or all ages if in a bike seat.

New Year's Eve Family Cruise – South Street Seaport
Pier 16 at the South Street Seaport
Splurge on a boat ride for striking views of the NYC skyline and the fireworks bursting above. Many New Year's Eve cruises seem to be 21 and older. However, New York Water Taxi welcomes all ages. A kid-friendly dinner buffet (chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, brownies, cookies) is served and all enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne or sparkling cider at midnight. There's also a cash bar on board.

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.

Times Square
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 in the square, 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), live DJ performances, and party favors. We've heard 14 is the suggested minimum age.

At Madame Tussauds, you can groove to a live DJ and snap pics with your favorite (wax) celebrities.

AMC Theatre Times Square has PG-13 movies all night, plus dancing.

At Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square, you can check out wild and weird artifacts, tackle a laser race, dance to ubiquitous DJ tunes and chow down on hors d'œuvres. Adults enjoy a midnight champagne toast.

Even Mexican chain Chevy's has a party, as do a slew of other area venues. If your heart is set on Times Square, this site seems to list all the packages available. Note: 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.

Top photo: New Year's Eve in Brooklyn is thrilling family fun, especially in the haven of Park Slope-Prospect Heights. Photo by Andrew Gardner/courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance.

This story, originally posted in December 2009, is updated annually.