New Year ’s Eve celebrations tend to look different after starting a family. The traditional NYE celebration that includes staying up all night, drinking, and partying is replaced with family friendly ways to bring in the New Year. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find local fun and exciting ways to celebrate though. Plan a day trip at any of these destinations and introduce your children to the excitement that comes with a new year. These are some of the best family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations around the country.

Zoo Year’s Eve in Chicago, Illinois

Day 365: Zoo lights on New Years Eve

Chicago is a popular New Year’s Eve destination. With people traveling from all over the country, partygoers flock to the many downtown celebrations. A particularly family-friendly New Year’s Eve option is the Zoo Year’s Eve. Taking place at Brookfield Zoo, families can enjoy a live DJ with dancing, New Year’s Eve crafts, party favors and prizes, and of course a day exploring the zoo. The NYE countdown takes place at 8 PM, giving you plenty of time to celebrate the New Year and then get the little ones down to bed early.

The Courtyard Chicago Midway airport is just a short drive and makes for the perfect pre-planning event. Spend a couple of hours in a day use hotel room and enjoy the complimentary room service perks. Your kids will also enjoy swimming in the indoor pool before heading to the Zoo Year’s Eve celebration.

Rockin’ New Year’s Noon Bash in Houston, Texas

This is the longest running family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration in Houston. It is perfect for families with young children who cannot make it to midnight or for those parents that have their own NYE celebrations to attend. This event takes place in the middle of the afternoon on NYE and includes musical talents, local band performances, and dance team shows. The ball drop happens at noon and is followed by a parade and a dance party. Kids can also participate in other activities including Bingo, paint splatter parties, and noisemaker crafts.

End your daytime celebrations the right way with a day use hotel room. The Club Quarters Hotel in Houston is perfect for booking a room for just a couple of hours. Take advantage of the 24-hour fitness room, order room service, or take in a movie on the large screen TV. You can finish off your family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration in style and still have the kids home and in bed by the time you leave for your own celebration.

First Night Celebration in Boston, Massachusetts


First Night is a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration that has been around since 1975. This free event is filled with artistic performances, ice sculptures, cultural performances, and one of the biggest fireworks shows in the Boston area. This celebration is a favorite of local families and has become a Boston NYE tradition. If you’re worried about your younger children making it until midnight, don’t worry, as the celebrations begin at noon and there are plenty of exciting activities all day long.

If you and your family need a break in between the day-long family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations, consider a day stay at the Club Quarters Hotel in Boston. This hotel by day location is directly downtown and makes travel between the NYE celebration and relaxation easier than ever. You can watch TV, exercise, or simply relax and only pay for a couple of hours.

LA Zoo Lights Los Angeles, California


The LA Zoo Lights gives families the same five-star celebration they would get anywhere else, but in a family-friendly New Year’s Eve setting. Tickets include a full dinner buffet with soft drinks and desserts, carousel rides, entertaining games, live music, and a live streaming broadcast of the Times Square ball drop. Adults can join in the celebrations with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Children can also toast with their complementary sparking cider. Each family will get a free photo at the on-site photo booth and entrance to the L.A. Zoo lights.

Located just a mile from the L.A. Zoo is the Hotel Amarano which has great same-day hotel rates. This family-friendly spot is perfect for a pre-celebration before heading to the zoo. The hotel is allergy-free and provides guests with the highest quality of linens, plush bathrobes, and a free transport shuttle service. You and your family will feel like you are getting the full VIP experience, all before heading to your VIP family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.

New Year’s Eve Skate Party in Las Vegas, Nevada

Roller Kingdom, Tyngsboro, MA, USA

Ring in the NYE with family, while also taking a trip down memory lane. Roller skating might not be as popular today as it once was, but there are still places you can share this memory with your children. The New Year’s Eve Skate Party takes place at the Boulder Crystal Palace Skating Center. Open sessions run all day on New Year’s Eve until 6 PM and a special NYE celebration starts at 7 PM and runs until the New Year. Skaters will get free noise horns and party hats.

If you want to start your NYE celebrations early, book a day use hotel room at the Best Western McCarran Inn in Las Vegas. The transit hotel is known for its great location, friendly staff, and convenient hourly room rates. Spend the day relaxing in the heated pool before heading out to your roller skating party.

Kid’s New Year’s Eve Party at Legoland



Bring in the New Year Lego style. The Legoland New Year’s Eve celebrations in Orlando, Florida are included with normal ticket admissions to the park. Families have the opportunity to contribute to a New Year’s inspired Lego mosaic. The giant Lego will drop at 8 PM and will be followed by an impressive fireworks show. Guests will get special Lego themed glasses that allow them to see unique Lego images in each of the fireworks. Families can also take photographs with Lego Santa and Lego toy soldiers. Opt for a VIP upgrade and you and your family will get a hot chocolate open bar, premium fireworks seating, and priority access to rides and on-site attractions.

Spend the day in a local day rate room at the Hampton Inn Orlando/Lake Buena Vista. This book by the hour hotel is perfect for pre-party celebrations. The indoor heated pool will provide entertainment for everyone before their Legoland New Year’s Eve party.

Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration with HotelsByDay

You don’t have to attend a celebration to provide family-friendly New Year’s Eve entertainment to your family. Booking a day stay hotel in your area with HotelsByDay for even a couple of hours can make the perfect New Year’s Eve Celebration.

Order room service, spend the day splashing in the pool or throw a day party. Hourly room rates are affordable and your family is sure to enjoy the change of scenery.

Image Credits: 

Featured Photo: “Peace in 2018” by frankieleon via (CC BY 2.0)

“Fireworks” by Jeff Egnaczyk via (CC BY 2.0)

“Day 365: Zoo lights on New Years Eve” by Loren Kerns via (CC BY 2.0)

“LA Zoo Lights” by Channone Arif via (CC BY 2.0)

“Vegas Skate Party” by Lisa @ Sierra Tierra (CC BY 2.0)

“Legoland” by Fido via (CC BY 2.0)

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Heather Hardy

Heather is an avid writer and reader. When she is not reading all the latest novels on the best sellers lists, she is writing her own content and creative forms. She is also a yoga enthusiast and loves to learn about anything and everything. She looks forward to new writing projects and a good cup of coffee in the morning.