12 Things to Do with Kids on New Year’s Eve: 2022 DC Area and At Home

Washington DC Winter Activities

Whether you want to bundle up and head outside for New Year's Eve or spend a cozy evening with your family, below are 10 Things to Do with Kids on New Year's Eve. (Updated for 2022) And most of these Top 10 Holiday Spots in DC will be open New Years Eve and Day.

Table of Contents:

  1. DC New Years Eve (2)
  2. Northern Virginia NYE (Alexandria, Vienna, McLean)
  3. Maryland (1)
  4. At Home (6)

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Things to Do with Kids on New Year’s Eve in DC:

#1 Noon Yards Eve is in Person This Year!


The popular Noon Yards Eve is back in person for 2022. From 10 AM to 1 PM on December 31st. From their website: More details will be on up on their website soon I hope!

#2 Family New Years Party at Metrobar

Metrobar DC is hosting another year of their Family New Years Party on Friday, December 31 from 4 - 7:30 PM. They will have "festive cocktails from our new winter menu and kids activities and games.

Don't worry about the cold: we have fire pits, patio heaters, and plenty of deck heat lamps to go around. That, along with our selection of hot cocktails, will keep you warm as we celebrate 2023!"

All the details on their Eventbrite here.


Things to Do with Kids on New Year’s Eve in Virginia:

#3 First Night Alexandria, Virginia

First Night Alexandria is celebrating 27 years with tons of activities from Noon until Midnight.


  • Ages 0-2 FREE!
  • Ages 3-10 $10
  • Ages 11-19 $20
  • Ages 20-64 $50
  • Ages 65+ $30
  • VIP Fast Pass (Priority Access) $75
  • DAYTIME ONLY PASS (Ages 3+) $10

Saturday, December 31, 2022 

  • FNA Matinee (Activities from 12 noon - 5:00PM)
  • FNA Primetime (Activities from 6:00PM-10:00PM)
  • FNA After Hours (Activities from 10:00PM - Midnight)

More info on performances and more here: https://firstnightalexandria.org/

#4 Rocknoceros at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia - Noon Ball Drop with Apple Juice Toast (included!)

"Raise a glass of apple juice and count down to 12pm with Rocknoceros. Yes, that is 12PM, kids!  The ball will drop on the stage at noon for all of us who plan to turn in before midnight."

Date: Saturday, December 31 at 11 AM.

Cost: $10, please reserve online.

#5 Shipgarten McLean, Virginia

★ Noon Balloon Drop

★ Two Moon Bounces

★ Complimentary Party Favors

★ Facepainting

★ Kids Party

★ Sparkling Apple Cider Toast

Date: Saturday, December 31 at 11 AM.

Cost: Free, Eventbrite here.

Things to Do with Kids on New Year’s Eve in Maryland:

#6 Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore Noontime New Year!

Tons of family fun on Friday, December 31, and a Countdown to Noontime Show from 10 AM to the Countdown at 12 PM - 12:15. All the details and ticket info here.

Winter Fun Station | 10 -11:15 a.m.

Visit tables around the museum to take part in winter themed sensory activities, ranging from Snow Fun to a Polar Bear Party!

Gregory May’s Silly Circus Fun | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Step right up! Now’s your chance to run away and join the circus without leaving home! Try your hand at a host of circus tricks with former Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus performer Gregory May. Throughout the museum, he’ll be juggling, walking on globes and stilts, spinning plates and lassos, and much more!

Welcome Aboard Photo Area | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Stop by our photo area and take family pictures to remember your time celebrating New Year’s Eve at the museum. A variety of nautical photo props will be available for kids and their adults.

Ancient Roman Inspired Janus Coins | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

New Year is a time to look forward into the future as well as look back on the past. Come make your own double-sided Janus coin just like the ancient Romans who also believed in embracing the past and future.

Countdown to Noontime New Year | 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Join the members of the Time Traveler Club as they gather to celebrate the new year. Learn fun facts about their time period and witness as they make the jump through the Port Discovery time machine. All leading up to 12 noon, where we lower Port Discovery’s first ever New Year’s ball!

Visit Time Travelers | 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Come visit the members of the Time Travelers Club as they share some of the knowledge that they have learned through traveling in time and space.

dc kids New Years eve

New Year’s Eve Kids Activities At Home

#1 Balloon “Ball Drop” from Chandelier

This is a great idea from @500parks that’s so simple. We tried it last year and it was really fun! We did a countdown to the London New Year (7 PM EST) which makes it easier for young kiddos. I found a detailed tutorial to make one here or I will probably just use a bedsheet! And if you want to add a little pizazz to your party, here are a couple of items specifically for New Year's Eve (all in stock as of mid-December and under $15:

#2 Play a Board Game Together

Below are our family's favorites that have stood the test of time (and I don't hate playing...looking at you Chutes and Ladders!)

Ages 3-5

  1. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel
  2. Zingo (4+)
  3. Let's Go Fishin' (have seen a lot at thrift stores, although this a good price I think)

Ages 6-9

  1. Outfoxed (current fav in the house)
  2. Connect 4
  3. Slamwich (or cheaper version without the lunchbox here)
  4. Mouse Trap (got at a thirft store and still fun/my childhood!)

#3 Take a “Last Day of the Year” or “First Day of the Year” Hike as a family!

Lots of ideas in previous posts including Fall and Winter Social Distancing Spots and 20 Northern Virginia Kid-Friendly Hikes.

hiking on New Years day

#4 Family Time Capsule Video

This is inspired by one of my favorite YouTubers, Amon and Christina from Our Rich Journey’s most recent video here. I’m not going to be fancy and fill in with videos throughout the year. We did this last year and will do it again this year. I am sure we will treasure it in the years to come!

  1. What is an amazing thing you expect to do by 2031?
  2. Favorite recent memory?
  3. What made you laugh the hardest recently?
  4. Favorite Movie?
  5. Favorite Song?
  6. Favorite Book?
  7. What are you best at?
  8. What made you really proud this year?
  9. What is something new that you think will be invented by 2031?
  10. 2021 in one word?
  11. What advice would you give your future self?

#5 Simple Thing to Do with Kids on New Years Day...“What We are Proud of in 2021” Poster

Put a sheet of paper on your fridge or wall and ask family members to record what they are proud of in 2021. It can be simple or profound. It’s so fun to read everyone’s contributions on New Year’s Eve. We did this last year and it was wonderful to have all our moments on one sheet of paper. Last year, my 4-year-old son said “I’m proud I had a dream about doing an experiment with Dino Dana” his favorite tv show! One that my 7-year-old wrote was, “I’m proud of learning more math.”

#6 Sesame Street Countdown on YouTube (pre-recorded)

Great suggestion from @Chelsey_dc to watch the pre-recorded ball drop (from a seal?) and drink some bubbly juice with your little one!

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a wonderful new year with the people you love!

dc kids New Years eve dmv