Epic New Year's Celebrations for Bay Area Families

Celebrate the arrival of 2019 with the annual San Francisco New Year's Eve Fireworks. But if your little ones can’t cannot stay up until midnight, there are other New Year's Eve celebrations the whole family will enjoy in the Bay Area. Here’s my round-up of ten great family friendly options for ringing in 2019.

And wishing you a very year Happy New Year to all of you out there!

Noon Year's Eve, 9am-2pm, Want to ring in the new year with the entire family, without keeping the kids up past bedtime? The Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration is the place for you!

This beloved annual event and kid-friendly affair includes a celebratory ball drop at noon, so you can enjoy the countdown without the midnight meltdown! Festive themed programming and activities throughout the museum are a perfect way to say goodbye to 2018, and look forward to all that 2019 has to bring! Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito.

Everyone is invited to Downtown Novato, December 31 at 12pm, to celebrate the New Year by watching 18,000 small bouncy balls get dropped onto the street from a ladder truck 40 ft 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.

Family New Years Party, 5:30-8pm, unlimited cosmic bowling, prizes, food and more, Country Club Bowling, San Rafael.

Japanese New Year's Bell-Ringing Ceremony, 9:30am-2:00pm, Ring in the New Year by taking a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th-century Japanese temple bell. Led by Rev. Gengo Akiba, this inspiring ceremony will include a purification ritual and chanting of the Buddhist Heart Sutra. Rev. Akiba will begin the bell-ringing, and participants may then take turns ringing the bell to leave behind any unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds or ill luck from the previous year. The bell will be struck 108 times on New Year’s Eve to usher in the New Year and curb the 108 mortal desires (bonno) that, according to Buddhist belief, torment humankind. While you wait your turn, paint a Year of the Dog charm (netsuke) and make a wish for the New Year, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.

Alice's Rockin' New Year's Eve Benefit! You’re invited to celebrate New Year’s Eve with Bay Area Children’s Theatre at the most rockin’ party of the year! Join Alice and her Wonderland friends for family-friendly festivities including fun food and treats – a special performance of “Wonderland: Alice’s Rock-N-Roll Adventure” – games and prizes – dancing – and a 9:00pm New Year’s Eve toast!

Best of all, proceeds from this benefit support free tickets for underserved children to attend weekday student matinees at BACT!

Happy New Years, Eve Charlie Brown!, 10am-4pm, Ring in the New Year with Snoopy, hands-on crafts for kids, and Up-Down and Baby Balloon Drops at noon, and root beer toasts, Schultz Museum, Santa Rosa.

New Year's Eve Day Party, Balloon drops will be held at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, & 4:00 p.m. Start your year off right with science. Bring the whole family to the Hall on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve for exciting scientific exploration and our annual balloon drop.

Count down to 2019 at one of our six New Year’s Eve Balloon Drops because, hard as we might try, not all of us can stay up until midnight. As you get showered with hundreds of balloons, celebrate a year of fun and exploration, and look ahead to a new year full of science and ingenuity, Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley.

New Year's Eve Balloon Drop Celebration, Families can ring in the New Year without staying up all night with one of Chabot’s most popular annual events, now in its 19th year. Celebrate strokes of midnight around the world at 11am, 1pm, and 4pm. Kids will count down and celebrate with hundreds of colorful balloons dropping from above and stay for the day to participate in fun activities throughout the Center, Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland.

Join us for a spectacular evening of dazzling lights, colors, shapes, and themes. The Lantern Light Festival is a six week celebration of Chinese culture featuring massive lanterns, inspiring performances, and incredible cuisine. A tradition that started over 2,000 years ago, the lantern festival is China’s most important celebration, marking the return of spring, with the lighting of Chinese lanterns being symbolic of illuminating the future and the reunion of family.

This night may belong to the adults, but the day belongs to the kids! Celebrate the arrival of 2019 with your whole family at the San Jose Children’s Museum. Participate in our “countdown to noon across time zones” with family hugs, a noisy celebration, and the Museum’s version of the famous Ball Drop in Times Square at noon, 1pm, and 2pm!

Noon Years Eve Celebration at the Hiller Aviation Museum! 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, Kids and parents, come celebrate the New Year with music, activities, face painting and a countdown balloon drop at noon!

New Year's Eve Sleepover at the Monterey Aquarium with a sparkling cider toast—plus, small bites and beverages will be available for purchase, including beer, wine and kid-friendly drinks. Throughout the evening, you can take a silly snapshot in our photo booth, satisfy your sweet tooth at our sundae bar, and enjoy more fun activities and programs! In the morning, wake up with the fishes as our first guests on New Year's Day. Enjoy a full breakfast in our Cafe, and then join our naturalists in watching wildlife from the Great Tide Pool deck to welcome 2018.