When you have young children in tow, it's not always easy to take them to all-night New Year's Eve parties. Luckily, there are a number of family-oriented celebrations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties that include the youngest members. Most of them are during the day, but these parties have the look and feel of the ones that grown-ups will be attending later. Here's a sampling of some great places to take the kids on December 31, 2013 (and some that are earlier.)
Note: this article is updated every year, usually a few weeks before the actual dates.
If you know of any events that you think should be listed here, please let me know by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance.
You might also be interested in December Calendar of Events on Long Island.
1. Maritime Explorium - Saturday, 12/21/13 through 12/24/13
Note: this is on Saturday, December 21, 2013, and every day through Tuesday, December 24, 2013 and not on New Year's Eve.
Kids can celebrate the New Year early by exploring the principles of geometry and by designing their own Times Square Ball from 1 to 5 p.m.
More info and prices: Maritime Explorium, at Port Jeff Harbor, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, New York, (631) 331-3277.
2. Children's Museum of the East End (CMEE) -12/31/13
The Sixth Annual Children' Museum of the East End New Year's Eve "Ball Drop" on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, young party-goers can join in the New Year's Eve fun… but we're talking about 12 NOON instead of midnight. Kids can mark the start of 2014 with a fun countdown to NOON, watching a ball drop from CMEE Square in the museum's permanent exhibit, complete with sparkling juice and confetti.
Museum staff will present a workshop on making special holiday noisemakers at 11 a.m. The event is $10 for non-members and FREE for members, and includes admission to the museum.
Note: CMEE will close for the holiday at 1 p.m., following the festivities.
Children's Museum of the East End (CMEE), 378 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, New York
More info and reservations: please call (631) 537-8250.
3. Bowl Long Island at Patchogue - 12/31/13
Family Bowling Bash at the Bowl Long Island at Patchogue on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 from 4 to 8 p.m. Adults: $40, juniors: $25. (And for the adults and older kids, there's new Year's Pizza Bowl from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. $90 per lane.)
Bowl Long Island at Patchogue, 138 West Avenue, Patchogue, New York. More info: www.bowllongisland.com or call (631) 475-5164.
4. Fishes & Butterfly Wishes - LI Aquarium - 12/31/13
Fishes & Butterfly Wishes Family New Year's Event on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Long Island Aquarium.
Bring the kids for the annual celebration… now two celebrations in either the aquarium or in the Sea Star Ballroom. There will be food and fun plus entertainment. The Winter Wonderland includes animal encounters, crafts and more.
Choose from two events:
The aquarium's Splash Bash or the Butterfly Ball Drop to ring in the New Year at the Sea Star Ballroom with entry into the Butterflies & Birds! exhibit only. You'll ring in the New Year with a evening that includes a champagne and sparkling cider greeting, live DJ and more mock-midnight champagne and cider toast at 10:30 p.m., cocktail hour, dinner buffet (beer and wine included) and a dessert and ice cream bar.
Children 3-12 and seniors 62+: $55, members $50
Adults: $90, and $80 for members
Children 2 and under: FREE.
Butterfly Ball Drop
Children 3-12 and seniors 62+: $45, members$40
Adults: $75, members $70
Children 2 and under: FREE
Reservations are required. These events fill up fast. Please call (631) 208-9200, extension H2) (426.) All prices plus tax.
Want to make a night of it? THen ask about the Rockin' & Ringin' in Riverhead hotel packages at the adjacent Hyatt Place East End & Resort Marina, so you don't have to drive home that night.
The Long Island Aquarium (formerly Atlantis Marine World) is located at 431 East Main Street in Riverhead, New York, (631) 208-9200.
5. United Skates of America - Seaford - 12/31/13
Family New Year's Eve Party on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at United Skates of America, 1276 Hicksville Road, Seaford, New York, (516) 795-5474.
If you purchase your tickets prior to Friday, December 20, 2013, they're $17 per person, but $20 if you buy after December 20th. The cost includes admission, skate rental, unlimited pizza and soda, 10 game tokens, light rope necklace, chips, pretzels and a countdown to the New Year.
6. Long Island Children's Museum - 12/31/13
Countdown to 12! - Out of This World - at 12 NOON on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 until 4 p.m.
This outer space-themed "Noon" Year's Eve celebration will allow visitors to take part in all the traditional elements of the holiday including confetti and a countdown, all on a schedule designed for children. There will be themed crafts, face painting and a DJ to keep the party going all afternoon long. There will also be a Times Square-style ball drop at 4 p.m. to welcome in 2014.
Also at the party, there will be Rocket Into The New Year hats, noisemakers, necklaces, face painting, a snack and more.
The party takes place at the Long Island Children's Museum, 11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, New York. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Museum admission: $12 for adults and children over 1 year old, $11 seniors, FREE to museum members and children under one year old.
More info: (516) 224-5800.