New Year’s Eve isn’t just for the merrymakers, bar hoppers and holiday drinkers. We’ve put together a list for anyone looking for new years plans that also have children to entertain. There are plenty of exciting events for you and your family to enjoy together. No matter what your child’s age, there are events for you to get out on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day that’ll still engage the little ones, letting them in on the celebration and into bed before midnight.
- A full day of fun awaits at the Pacific Science Center with events for children happening all day long, starting at 10:00 a.m. with a playdate and a preschool planetarium show. Several shows are happening all day, the planetarium, live science shows, laser shows and tinkering workshops. Events and shows are for all ages on December 31, and January 1, so come back both days, when many other businesses are closed you can make the most of your days off together at the Science Center.
- Lewis Creek Visitor Center, join a free, one-mile Hike with a park ranger through the forest while learning all about the wildlife and botany of the region from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on December 31st.
- Kids Quest Children’s Museum in Bellevue, open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with entertaining events happening all day for your littles including bubble wrap stomps, streamer drops, story times and New Year’s hats.
- Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett is throwing a New Year’s Eve nighttime pajama party from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Special entertainment will be provided including balloon twisters, comedians, hat makers and snacks all covered in the regular admission Kids and their parents are invited to wear their coziest pajamas, a lighted ball will drop outdoors at 9:00 p.m.
- Winterfest Train and Village, come out for the last day of this event, from 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. at the Seattle Center Armory, where a miniature train village comes to life with beautiful model homes, a miniature iced over lake and everything that you’d find in a real town. Kids can sometimes run the train themselves and attendance is free.
- While you’re at the Seattle Center for the Winterfest Train take the kids ice skating at the Winterfest Ice Rink, open from 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
If your kids want to go ice skating, but you’d rather not venture downtown on a workday there are several neighborhood skating rinks to choose from.
- The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink open from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. on December 31, and January 1.
- Sno-King Ice Arena in Kirkland or Renton, both locations have holiday, public skating from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
- The Winter Wonderland at Redmond Town Center has a variety of activities, you can go ice skating on a covered rink, ride a train around the mall or take a spin on a carousel open from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- If you’re up to take your kids on a real adventure, finish the season off strong. Head to Elbe, Washington to the Polar Express, on this date, they’ll be taking out a diesel train. The whole family is recommended to wear pajamas, sit back and be entertained as the crew sings, dances, reads and treats your little ones to hot chocolate and cookies in a colorful, holiday train. They’ll have a night to remember and will probably want to come back next year.
New Year’s Day in Seattle comes with plenty to do outside rain or shine, suit up and enjoy some year-round nature.
- January 1st is Free State Park Day, start the new year off right outside, be ready for chilly, wet weather just in case. The woods are always refreshing, even in the winter and your kids will love blowing off some steam before returning back to school for the new year.
If you have any little athletic daredevils that are willing to take the plunge into a freezing Lake there are some fun runs and Polar Plunges to look forward to for an exhilarating event. Don’t forget the camera, a Polar Plunge will have your kids talking about it all year. The way they’re timed, you could even make more than one.
- Polar Bear Dive and/or 5k Resolution Run at Magnuson Park on Lake Washington at 10:30 a.m. $40 preregistration is needed for adults, but kids can swim for free.
- Polar Bear Plunge and Run at Golden Gardens, starting with a free 5k run at 10:00 a.m. and followed by an optional plunge.
- Polar Bear Plunge in Renton at the Gene Coulon Park at 11:00 a.m.
- Polar Bear Plunge in Kirkland at Marina Park, downtown at 1:00 p.m. for free.
For many, the best thing to do on New Year’s is to bundle up in front of a fire and stay warm and dry. It’s always nice to cozy up together, set some goals, and enjoy the end of a very busy year.