New Year's Eve with the Kids


by Marisa Cohen and Raven Snook, Time Out New York contributors, 12/14/2010

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Unlike Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Year's Eve is a tricky holiday for parents. Do you hire a sitter and head out for the night? (If so, be sure to read our tips for hiring a sitter on December 31!) Or do you change into your jammies and watch the ball drop on TV with the whole family? Fortunately, there's a third option: ring in 2010 with the brood in tow at one of these kid-friendly New Year's Eve events.

The Big Apple Circus: Dance On!
We loved this year's dance-heavy edition of the Big Apple Circus, and we know your kids will, too. Catch the show on December 31 and get an extra bang for your buck at the postshow party, during which ringmaster Kevin Venardos invites guests into the ring to count down to midnight. All ages. Friday, December 31 at 9:30pm. Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park. $25–$175.

Blue Man Group
While most Off Broadway acts are dark on New Year's Eve, the cobalt-faced dudes of Blue Man Group are doing three shows in a row. Free drinks are served at the 7pm performance; those who attend the 10pm edition also get a postshow countdown. Ages 5 and up. Friday, December 31 at 4, 7 and 10pm. Astor Place Theatre. $85–$95.

Fireworks in Prospect Park
Take the clan to Prospect Park for free hot chocolate and snacks at 11pm and a bombastic coup de grâce at midnight, thanks to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. The best viewing locations include anywhere in Grand Army Plaza, inside the park on the West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. All ages. Friday, December 31 at midnight. Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Free.

New Year's Eve Party Ride
Grassroots environmental organization Time's Up organizes this under-the-stars bike ride, which begins in Washington Square Park and ends at Central Park's Belvedere Castle. Participants are encouraged to wear festive outfits and bring treats for the outdoor after-party. Ages 10 and up for children riding on their own bikes; all ages if on a parent's bike. Friday, December 31 at 10:30pm. Meet under the arch at Washington Square Park. Free.

New Year's Eve Concert for Peace
Legendary singer-songwriter Judy Collins joins Harry Smith, Lauren Flanigan and others in a night of readings, meditations and festive music—including the traditional passing of candle flames while singing "This Little Light of Mine." Although the 90-minute program ends long before midnight, it's a positive way to ring in 2011. Ages 6 and up. Friday, December 31 at 7pm. The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Reserved tickets $60, general admission free on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more New Year's Eve 2010 activities for kids, visit Time Out New York.


related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Washington Square Park Arch
    Washington Square North
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
  2. 2
    Damrosch Park
    West 62nd Street bet. Columbus and Amsterdam Aves.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  3. 3
    Astor Place Theatre
    434 Lafayette St.
    Manhattan – East Village
    NY 10003
  1. 4
    Prospect Park
    95 Prospect Park West
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11215
  2. 5
    Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
    1047 Amsterdam Ave.
    Manhattan – Morningside Heights
    NY 10025

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