Who says family time and New Year’s Eve (NYE) fun have to be separate things? Many adults opt to make NYE a grown-ups-only event as a date night our outing to a restaurant, club, or house party. But some families prefer to ring in the new year together, singing Auld Lang Syne, letting the kids stay up late for the countdown to midnight, and enjoying some bubbly, whether it’s champagne,sparkling cider, or both! Below are fun ways to celebrate the New Year with the whole family, including daytime events on Dec. 31, evening events on New Year’s Eve, ideas for parties at home, and a even activities to start the new year 2017 on a healthy note!
Our annual list below includes (see details/links below):
- Daytime celebrations
- Races and fun runs
- Outdoor evening festivals on New Year’s Eve
- Indoor daytime and evening fun
- PLUS: ideas for at-home parties and Jan. 1 hikes and races!
NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENTS – December 31, 2017
8th Annual Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party at Jammin’ Java
Award-winning, fun-loving, local kids’ band Rocknoceros invites you to celebrate the new year at Jammin’ Java! The annual New Year’s Eve party (two shows) at the café/music club in Vienna features a countdown and apple juice toast! General-admission tickets are $10 for everyone age 1 and older for either the 11 am show or the second show at 2 pm.
Noon Year’s Eve at Monkey Joe’s Dulles
Even the youngest kids can get in on New Year’s fun! The fifth annual “Noon Year’s Eve” event at Monkey Joe’s Dulles takes place 10 am to 3 pm. In addition to fun on the giant inflatables and with arcade games, there will be a fun Bubble Wrap stomp at noon! There also will be New Year’s Favors for the kids while supplies last and prizes and giveaways throughout the day. Regular admission fees apply.
Noon Year Party Celebration at Kid Junction Chantilly
Why should grown-ups have all the fun on New Year’s Eve? The party gets started at 10 am at Kid Junction, as kids make party hats and confetti poppers, play games, dance to music, and participate in the countdown to the “noon” year. At 12 noon sharp, a balloon drop marks the beginning of 2018. Kids can throw confetti, play games and toast with sparkling cider, plus enjoy this fun indoor playground with climbing equipment, play rooms, tot areas, and arcade, and more.
Fairfax Four Miler
End the year with an invigorating twilight run! The City of Fairfax hosts an annual family-friendly running event on Dec. 31. The four-mile race through Old Town Fairfax is an all-ages event and starts at 6 pm. Registration starts at $35. Participants enjoy a post-race pizza party and get a cozy sweatshirt.
Falls Church Watch Night
Ring in 2017 with the annual family-friendly and free New Year’s Eve “Watch Night” in the City of Falls Church, an event named after the ancient African tradition of “watching” in the new year. The all-night event (7 pm to midnight) features indoor/outdoor activities and kids’ entertainment includes magicians, storytelling, face painting, and a moon bounce. Children, teenagers and adults can show their skills on the karaoke stage or at digital dance revolution. PLUS: Live bands, an orchestra, a DJ, fire pits for warmth, and free popcorn, hot chocolate, and soup (while supplies last). Also check out the 12-foot-tall dragon, Velcro wall, Victorian photo studio, caricaturist, balloon artists, and restaurants that will be open for business and stay for the lowering of the historic star that first lit the Falls Church sky in 1948. FREE admission, free parking, and free shuttle buses!
First Night Alexandria
This annual family-oriented, non-alcohol New Year’s Eve celebration throughout Old Town Alexandria is a big,all-day event (1 pm to midnight ) with 100 live performances at 18 indoor venues (alcohol-free) throughout the city, plus children’s entertainment, moon bounces, story times, face painting, interactive games, and even some pet-friendly activities. And the midnight finale includes a spectacular a fireworks show along the waterfront! Entry is by badges ($20 online through Dec. 13; prices go up after that to $30). Kids under 12 and active-duty military are free.
Ultrazone All-night Laser Tag Parties in Falls Church and Sterling
Looking for a more active New Year’s Eve? Spend it at the Ultimate New Year’s Eve Party playing laser tag! Ultrazone in Falls Church, and Panther Family Laser Tag and Laser Nation in Sterling, host safe, supervised, alcohol-free, all-night parties for the whole family. But parents are not required to stay — you can make this a drop-off event if you have a grown-up party to attend! The event is a bargain, too, at just $29.99 per person to play all night (7 pm to 7 am), watch the ball drop on big-screen TVs, and enjoy contest with prizes and a free food buffet at midnight. Buy tickets now before they sell out!
First Night Vienna
The newest family-friendly celebration in town is First Night Vienna! This free event on New Year’s Eve for Vienna and neighboring towns features diverse musical acts, food trucks, games and activities for kids, a fire pit, and more! Kid-oriented activities include entertainment by The Great Zucchini and popular acts, and a 9 pm kids’ countdown to “midnight.” Also enjoy food from local restaurants and food trucks, dancing in the main tent, and lots of free goodies including balloons, glitter tattoos, hot cider and hot cocoa, popcorn, and more.
The Edge Sneaker Ball NYE party
This new event in Prince William county combines family fun with food and a bit fitness. The party at Competitive Edge, 8 pm to 12:30 am, is for all ages and features a dinner and snack buffet, kids’ buffet, DJ, children’s zone, video game lounge, and more. All-inclusive tickets are $45 for adults (plus $5 for a VIP champagne toast) and $20 for children age 4-18.
First Night Warrenton
The newest family-friendly celebration in town is First Night Vienna! This free event on New Year’s Eve for ViennaFirst Night Warrenton 2017 is a New Year’s community celebration of the Arts welcoming Warrenton and Fauquier families, friends, visitors, and neighbors. Sponsored by the Bluemont Concert Series, a non-profit organization, the event is alcohol-free event and family-friendly. The evening includes dozens of entertainment options at town venues, from music to children’s sows. Admission prices are $5 to $10, with free entry for kids under age three.
First Night Winchester
Further out, but a good option for a big celebration or overnight “staycation” — this is the largest, family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration in the Shenandoah Valley. It’s a non-alcoholic, budget-friendly, and safe celebration for all ages, with activities taking place at various locations al located right in downtown Winchester. The non-profit event includes music, dancing, arts and crafts, magic, comedy, and more entertainment, plus food and other vendors. The all-day celebration kicks off at 10 am on December 31 and culminates at midnight with the Apple Drop and a fireworks display. Admission, which covers all activities, is $10 for anyone ages 10 and up and free to kids younger than 10.
Whether you have a young infant, can’t stand crowds, don’t want to keep the kids out late, or just don’t want to be out in cold weather, fear not — you can have a fun, kid-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration at home! It can be as simple as staying home and watching the Times Square ball drop, but why not kick it up a notch? Check out the Fairfax Family Fun New Year’s Eve Pinterest board for kid-friendly New Year’s Eve crafts, foods, and activities. The site includes ideas for festive food and drinks, free printables, fun decor, games, crafts for kids and adults, and neat ideas to create and preserve family memories.
NEW YEAR’S DAY EVENTS – January 1, 2018
First Day Hike at Mason Neck State Park
Start 2017 off right with a First Day Hike! First Day Hikes at state parks offer families a way to start the new year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike. Mason Neck State Park in Lorton will celebrate with a series of guided hikes, 10 am-4 pm, that will take visitors to some of the more iconic views at the park, and do a little bit of bird watching along the way; you may even get to see one of their famous bald eagles! This is also a free entrance day at the park. You can bring the whole family, since Mason Neck is a dog-friendly park.
First Day Hikes everywhere!
There are actually First Day Hike events taking place in several parks in Northern Virginia, including Virginia State Park and now Fairfax County Park Authority properties. Some hikes are led by a naturalist or park ranger, while others are self-guided, many with photo contests! See our special post on all the local First Day Hike events.
Reston New Year’s Day 5K
Kick off the New Year in style at the New Year’s Day 5K at the Reston Town Center! With a race start time of 10 am, there’s still time to sleep in a bit after ringing in the New Year! The run will start and finish at Reston Town Center and will cover a picturesque route. There will be music, food, and fun celebration following the race.
Commitment Day 5K
Register today for the New Year’s Day 5K Fun Run & Walk PLUS a weekend filled with festivities, sponsored by the Life Time Fitness Foundation. This four-day event — dedicated to helping people embrace healthier, happier, more active lives — kicks off across the country on New Year’s Day with a Commitment Day 5K fun run in more than 50 locations, including one in Reston. The race begins at 10 am.