Family Friendly New Year's Eve Events in Marin and the Bay Area
Celebrate the New Year in Novato by watching 18,000 small bouncy balls get dropped onto the street from a ladder truck 40 feet high in the air.
Say goodbye to 2018 and welcome in the New Year at one of these family friendly events taking place in Marin and elsewhere in the Bay Area. Many of these celebrations take place earlier in the day or evening on December 31 so little ones can get a taste of New Year's Eve fun without staying up past their bedtimes. Unless otherwise noted, all these events take place on New Year's Eve, Monday, December 31, 2018.
- Annual Japanese New Year's Bell Ringing Ceremony
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Sunday, December 30, 9:30–2 pm
Ring in the New Year by taking a swing at a giant 2,100-pound, 16th-century, Japanese temple bell at the Asian Art Museum. Participants may take turns ringing the museum’s bronze bell to leave behind any unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds, and ill luck of the previous year. Museum members get to ring from 9:30 am–11:30 am; everyone else can join in a 11:30. First come, first served. Pick up tickets to ring the bell at the admission desk. Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco. Event details
- Noon Year's Eve
Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
Monday, December 31, 9 am–2 pm
Ring in the New Year with your little ones at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve! This kid-friendly affair includes music by DJ Mancub, a celebratory ball drop at noon, dancing, and various art activities like glitter crown and chandelier making. In addition, enjoy access to the museum’s indoor and outdoor exhibits like Lookout Cove and Bay Hall. Event details
- Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!
Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa
Monday, December 31, 10 am–4 pm
Ring in the New Year with Snoopy, a balloon drop, and root beer toasts at noon and 3 pm. Enjoy hands-on activities for kids! Featuring Santa Rosa's only up-down and baby balloon drops. The Charles M. Schulz Museum is located at 2301 Hardies Lane in Santa Rosa. Event details
- New Year's Eve Balloon Drops
Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland
Monday, December 31, 11 am–4:30 pm
Ring in the New Year without staying up all night! Come to Chabot and celebrate strokes of midnight from around the world at 11 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm! Kids count down and catch hundreds of colorful balloons as they drop from the ceiling and participate in fun activities to receive a special prize. Now the kids can ring in the New Year without staying up past their bedtime! Balloon drops divided by age group. Cost: $5 after museum admission. Space is limited; reservations required. Event details
- Annual New Year's Eve Balloon Drop
Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley
Monday, Decembr 31, 11 am–4 pm
Bring the whole family to the Hall on New Year’s Eve day! Ring in another year of scientific discovery and fun at the Hall's annual New Year’s Eve balloon drop celebration. There will be timed and ticketed balloon drops at 11 am, noon, 1, 2, 3 and 4 pm. Pre-registration is required. Free with admission. Event details
- Bouncy Ball New Year
Monday, December 31, Noon
Everyone is invited to Downtown Novato to celebrate the New Year by watching 18,000 small bouncy balls get dropped onto the street from a ladder truck 40 feet high in the air. This event is free to attend and will take place rain or shine. All kids will get a souvenir “hard hat” and can keep as many bouncy balls as they can get their hands on. If you’re worrying you won’t be able to stay awake until midnight to celebrate 2019, this event is perfect for you. Location: Machin Avenue at Sweetser, Downtown Novato. Event details
- Alice's Rockin' New Year's Eve
BACT Berkeley Center
Monday, December 31, 6–9:30 pm
Bring the entire family for a family friendly New Year’s celebration! Kick off the evening with scrumptious skewers and hearty hors d'oeuvres. Enjoy wine and kid-friendly beverages along with face painting and festive frivolity in the lobby. Then join the fun in the theatre for a special performance of Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure. After the show, check out the yummy dessert bar and rock out with Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Red Queen as we dance away the old year, culminating in a bubbly champagne and cider “East Coast Toast” at 9 pm. Proceeds support free tickets for underserved children to attend weekday student matinees at BACT. Tickets: $120 adults, $60 children. Location: 2055 Center Street, Berkeley. Event details
- New Year's Eve Seashore Sleepover
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monday, December 31–Tuesday, January 1, 6 pm–8:30 am
Ring in the New Year with the entire family (ages 5 and up) at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! This special New Year's Eve event features a sundae bar and a sparkling cider toast at 9 pm to celebrate the New Year on East Coast time, and there will be fun family activities and programs for a night of celebration! Wake up with the fishes on New Year's Day, enjoy a full breakfast in the cafe, then join aquarium naturalists in watching wildlife from the Great Tide Pool deck. $155 per person, reservations required. Event details
- New Year's Eve Fireworks Celebration on the Bay
Ferry Building near Pier 14, San Francisco
Monday, December 31, 11:30 pm
Celebratory fireworks will launch from barges located 1,000 feet out in the Bay near Pier 14 (at Mission Street and the Embarcadero). Prime viewing spots will be south of the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero between Mission and Folsom Street or up high on one of the hills or upper Market Street.
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