The best New Year's Eve fireworks for kids

These New Year's Eve fireworks mean you don't need to wait 'til the 4th of July for a brilliant display!

Photograph: Countdown Entertainment

RECOMMENDED: New Years Eve for kids

These New Year's Eve fireworks are some of the best in the city (and...well, some of the best in the world)! You've probably visited plenty of NYC's most amazing family attractions, but these spectacles only come once a year! If you're willing to brave the crowds in places like Prospect Park and Times Square, you're good as gold (just make sure you have a bathroom scouted out).

New Year's Eve fireworks

New Year's Eve at Times Square

Since 1907, a sparkly sphere has been lowered in Times Square, and even though the rest of the country has adopted the tradition, New York can still lay claim to it. Pack plenty of snacks and arrive by 3pm (earlier if the weather is nice) to stake out a spot in the Broadway–Seventh Avenue bowtie, and be prepared to stay put: There are no public restrooms or food vendors, and leaving means giving up your spot. Your endurance will be rewarded with performances held across two stages, beginning at 6pm. A burst of pyrotechnics from One Times Square, every hour on the hour through 11pm, should whet the appetite for the ball drop at a minute to midnight. Broadway between 40th and 53rd Sts. Free. All ages.

Photograph: Butch Moran

New Year’s Eve in Coney Island

Catch eye-popping performances before midnight at this family-friendly celebration near the Coney Island Boardwalk. Gather around the Parachute Jump at Steeple Chase Plaza to see sideshow performers show off amazing feats, surrounded by 8,000 LED lights. Plenty of music and giveaways will keep your brood entertained until the pyrotechnics begin to ring in the new year! As an added bonus, the New York Aquarium has extended NYE hours (with last entry at 8:30 and tickets discounted to $5 between 4:30pm and 8:30pm 9pm–midnight. Coney Island, Steeple Chase Plaza at 19th St, under the Parachute Jump. ( Free. All ages.
[Rock Arch & Belvedere, Central Park.]
Photograph: courtesy Museum of the City of New York

NYRR Midnight Run and Central Park Fireworks

If Mom or Dad want to start off 2016 on a healthy kick, gather in Central Park with the kids to cheer them on—the four-mile New York Road Runner race begins at the stroke of midnight, with plenty of entertainment beforehand. There will be DJs, neon face painting, strobe lights, photo opportunities and giveaways beginning at 10pm. Little ones will love watching the 15-minute fireworks display as the runners go by with their flashing, light-up shoelaces. There’s even a sparkling cider toast at the halfway point! Starts at 11:59pm ( $60, children $30. All ages. 

Brooklyn Bridge 2
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Brandon M. Koger

Dr. Phil’s Brooklyn Bridge Walk Into the New Year

Guides trained by historian and tour leader Dr. Phil Schoenberg will accompany multiple groups to the iconic landmark to take in the New Year. After tidbits about the bridge are revealed, participants will pause to scan the skyline for midnight fireworks. Make a reservation by phone or email if you plan to pay in cash. Meet in front of McDonald’s, 160 Broadway between Cortlandt and Liberty Sts. Tours begin at 10:15pm and 11:15pm. Subway: A, C to Broadway–Nassau St; J, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Fulton St. All ages.

Photograph: Andrew Gardner/Prospect Park Alliance

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. Before the big show, enjoy live entertainment by DJ C. Live featuring the Brooklyn Mash It Up Band. 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.