3...2...1...Happy New Year! Celebrate the final day of 2015 with the family by exploring the city's best ice-skating rinks, grabbing a mouth-watering meal at one of our favorite family restaurants or visiting one of the coolest NYC museums. If that all sounds too ambitious, you might consider cuddling up with the kids for one of our 50 favorite kids movies to celebrate New Year's Eve instead. Don't forget to make your resolutions!
When is New Year's Eve?
New Year's Eve is on Wednesday, December 31, 2015—it falls on the last day of each year.
New Year's Eve events for kids
New Year's Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park
Take the clan to Prospect Park for hot refreshments and a bombastic coup de grace at midnight. The best viewing locations include anywhere in Grand Army Plaza, inside the park on the West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. All ages.
New Year's Eve Family Cruise
The new year will look a little brighter than usual when viewed from the deck of a cruise ship. Welcome 2015 with a nautical tour of New York City landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, plus a late-night fireworks celebration. And with kid-friendly Wii games, party favors and fizzy Shirley Temples (and even a special children's menu for dinner), little ones won't even feel sleepy when the clock strikes midnight. Ages 3 and up.
Dr. Phil’s Brooklyn Bridge Walk Into the New Year
Tours begin at 10:15pm. Meet in front of McDonald’s, 160 Broadway between Cortlandt and Liberty Sts. Subway: A, C to Broadway–Nassau St; J, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Fulton St. Guides trained by historian and tour leader Dr. Phil Schoenberg will accompany multiple groups to the iconic landmark to take in the New Year (tours leave through 11:15pm). After tidbits about the bridge are revealed, participants will pause to scan the skyline for midnight fireworks. All ages.
New Year's Eve Concert for Peace
Usher in the New Year in a positive manner at the Cathedral Church of St. John, a bona fide New York institution. This year, the Cathedral Choir and Orchestra will perform selected works by Beethoven, Mozart and Mendelsson; NBC's Harry Smith hosts, and singer-songwriter Judy Collins makes a guest appearance. The 90-minute program includes readings, meditations and festive music—including the traditional passing of candle flames and a performance of Tippett’s A Child of Our Time. All ages.
New Year's activities for kids
Things to do this winter
See an enchanting show at Puppetworks
This Park Slope puppet theater is presenting two Hans Christian Andersen classics for its fall season—The Emperor's New Clothes and The Snow Queen. Kids will be enchanted by the artful marionettes and lively music. Call ahead for reservations, which are suggested. Ages 3 and up.
Geek out at the Brooklyn Children's Museum
Budding scientists can indulge their curiosities at "More Than Meets The I" at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. The hands-on exhibition exposes kids to STEM (that's science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields with cool exhibits on moleculary biology, nanotechnology, robotics and 3D printing. There's also a science-themed reading area curated by the Brooklyn Public Library. All ages.
Jam out to a BAMkids Music Concert
This fall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music will introduce international musical acts across various genres for parents and their peanuts to enjoy. Follow along as clarinestist Oran Etkin brings instruments to life in his Timbalooloo music education program (Nov 15), then return in December for eclectic pop jams with Elska-Middle of Nowhere, sharing tales an imaginary volcanic island off the coast of Iceland through her upbeat music (Dec 7). Ages 3 to 6.
Pick up holiday card-making tips from the pros
Nothing spreads holiday cheer quite like a homemade gift. Crafty kids can get inspired by the pros at "Handmade: Artists' Holiday Cards from the Archives of American Art," a special seasonal exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum. Gather cardmaking inspiration from the display of nearly 60 personal, handmade greeting cards created by major modern and contemporary artists for their loved ones. The collection includes cards made by painter Helen Frankenthaler, sculptor Alexander Calder and cartoonist Saul Steinberg, among others. On Nov. 22nd from 2pm–4pm, kids can make their own festive creations just in time for the holidays in a workshop run by educator and artist Stephanie Krause. Ages 6–12.