There are lots of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Atlanta with kids. I love the idea of making New Year’s Eve a family friendly holiday vs. a forced party for adults that’s impossible or expensive to find a sitter to attend. If you’d like to do something with the kids this New Year’s Eve, here are some things to do on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta with kids.
What: Medieval Times New Year’s Extravaganza (click for discount tickets)
Where: Medieval Times, 5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Lawrenceville, Ga.
When: Sat. Dec. 31, 2016 9:30 pm show
This evening sounds like a great way to ring in the New Year with kids. In 2015/16, the extravaganza included: pre-show hors d’oeuvres, admission to the museum of torture, two-hour live tournament, four-course medieval feast, party favors, DJ and dancing, champagne toast at Midnight (non-alcoholic drink will be served to guests under 21), Midnight countdown with balloon drop, continental breakfast. No word on exactly what the package includes for 2016/17.To make it extra special, book the Medieval Times package at the Hampton Inn Gwinnett.
What: Noon Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: Legoland Discovery Center (click here for discount tickets)
When: Dec. 31, 2016, Balloon drop at 12, other activities throughout the day
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center invites families to ring in the New Year before the clock strikes midnight at its annual Noon Year’s Eve on December 31! The balloon drop tradition will take place at noon, with a countdown displayed on screens around the center.
Because kids are just as excited to ring in the New Year as their parents—but need to be in bed before midnight—Stone Mountain Park is set to host an early New Year’s Eve Celebration. During Stone Mountain Christmas on Dec. 31., Stone Mountain Park will operate the Christmas event as usual (2 – 9 p.m.) and ring in the New Year with additional fireworks, snowfall and early countdown. Immediately after the Snow Angel Snowfall and Fireworks Finale, the New Year’s Eve activities will begin with costumed characters, music and dance-a-longs. At 8:59 p.m. the early countdown will begin and when the clock strikes 9 p.m. snow and fireworks will usher in the New Year.
What: New Year’s Bubble Bash
Where: The Children’s Museum of Atlanta
When: Dec. 31, 2016 10 – 12:30 pm or 2 – 4:30 pm
Where: Fernbank Museum of Natural History
When: Dec. 31, 2016 9 am – 12:30 pm
Where: Marietta Square, Marietta, Ga.
When: Dec. 31, 2016 2 pm – 12:30 pm
Marietta Square will host its second annual New Year’s Eve Celebration as a part of the Winter Wonderland series of events. Festivities are scheduled beginning at 2pm and continue until after the mystery “ball drop” at midnight. Family activities begin at 2 pm and go until 7 pm when the grown up events start. Activities include an expanded 18 hole Glow in the Dark Putt Putt course, or write your hopes for 2017 on the expanded Resolution Wall. There will be carnival games, escape the room competition, and music. The children’s day is capped off with the Children’s Cow Drop where you could win Chick-fil-A for a year.
What: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade
Where: Downtown Atlanta
When: Dec. 31, 2016, 9 – 10 am or 1-2 pm
Long regarded as the official kickoff for game day, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade presented by Lions Clubs International spreads football festivity throughout downtown Atlanta. This free event begins at the corner of Baker St and Peachtree St, and will travel through Centennial Olympic Park and conclude at FanFest in the Georgia World Congress Center. The parade will either be from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM, or 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM depending on the time of kickoff decided on December 4th. Come watch the pageantry of floats, classic cars, cheerleaders, mascots, award-winning marching bands and much, much more!
What: Chick-fil-A Bowl FanFest by Coca-Cola Zero
When: Dec. 31, 2016, 8 am – 12 pm
Where: Georgia World Congress Center (Halls C1-C4)
For kids and kids at heart, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl FanFest presented by Tyson serves as the ultimate pre-game destination for every fan. Serving up food, interactive games, entertainment, official limited edition merchandise, giveaways and more, FanFest is the ideal opening act before you head to the Georgia Dome for kickoff. This event will run from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM or 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM depending on the kickoff time to be announced on December 4th. FanFest presented by Tyson tickets are $15 without a game ticket, and $10 with a game ticket. Don’t miss our Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl EXCLUSIVE, PEP RALLY & TEAM WALKS, as a massive pep rally breaks out, and both official pre-game team walks wind through FanFest and 30,000 screaming fans.
What: College Football Hall of Fame
When: Dec. 31, 2016 9 – 6 pm
Where: 250 Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30303
If you are Downtown for the Peach Bowl festivities, there is no better football tailgate than the College Football Hall of Fame. Kick a field goal, relive the glory days, make your own mascot or learn the psychology of the game, you’ll find all that an more at the College Football Hall of Fame.
What: Zip lining at Historic Banning Mills
When: December 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Historic Banning Mills – 205 Horseshoe Dam Road, Banning, GA 30185
Visitors can accomplish a fear-facing resolution at Historic Banning Mills. Holding two Guinness Book of World Records for the Tallest Freestanding Climbing Wall, and for the Longest Continuous Zip-Wire (line) course, Banning Mills is the perfect location to spend an exhilarating weekend away testing limits and overcoming fears. The Quick Trekker Belay system, which is the new and improved safety equipment used at Historic Banning Mills, creates an extremely safe experience. This system allows the hooks to slide around the cable so guests never have to worry about unhooking and can maximize time on the course.
What: Polar Bear Plunge
When: December 31 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Unicoi State Park & Lodge | (800) 573-9659
Bring your whole family and gather on the beach for Unicoi State Park’s annual Polar Bear Plunge. Celebrate the new year alongside a bonfire with a hot chocolate before you take the plunge. Register early for $10 per person or $25 per family and send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to submit yourself or family today. In addition, you may register the day of the event at 9:30am for $10 per person or $30 per family. Registration closes at 10:45am, so be sure to get there early! A $5 fee will be charged for parking.
What: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
When: December 31, 2016 10 pm – 12:30 am
Where: Mountain Street, Blue Ridge, Ga.
This one isn’t family friendly, but it was so cool, I had to add it. Why go to the same old party in a hotel ballroom. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway rings in the New Year with a train ride! The special New Year’s Eve Celebration train departs Blue Ridge at 10:00pm on New Year’s Eve and returns at approximately 12:30am. While on board, listen to live entertainment, receive party favors, adult beverages and appetizers. At midnight, a special sparkling wine to toast in the New Year. Tickets are going fast, so make your reservations early! This is and 18 and over event.
Know other events we forgot? Let me know.
Other Events Worth Mentioning
What: First Day Guided Nature Hikes
Where: Georgia State Parks
When: Jan. 1, 2017
This isn’t a New Year’s Eve idea, but a great way to begin the New Year. All across the country, State Parks are inviting families to start the New Year with a “First Day Hike” and a commitment to healthy living. In Georgia, a several state parks have planned guided hikes where families can connect with nature and even re-connect with each other. The nationwide event is sponsored by America’s State Parks, with New Year’s Day hikes being led in all 50 states. For an entire list of New Year’s Day hikes, visit the Georgia State Park’s website under events. Families may want to call ahead to make sure hikes are suitable for the youngest family members.
Some New Year’s Eve Fun Facts
- 360+ Million – Number of glasses of sparkling wine consumed on New Year’s Eve.
- 11,875 Pounds – Weight of the Times Square Ball, which is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles.
- 20 Percent – Share of all charitable donations made in the final 48 hours of the year.
- 48 Percent – Share of parents who plan to count down the last 10 seconds of 2016 with their kids by 9 p.m.
- $10,000 – Average cost of a DUI.
Want to get your kids involved in celebrating the past year. Check out this fun printable!