Best Destinations To Celebrate New Year’s Around The World With Kids

A family enjoys watching New Year's Eve fireworks together.

The New Year marks a very popular time of year to travel, and luckily for families, there are many kid-friendly destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids! From relaxing on the beach in Aruba to watching the ball drop in Times Square, exploring Christmas markets in Prague, or enjoying centuries-old traditions in Kyoto, there are lots of unique options for families who want to travel this New Year’s. Here, we break down many of the top places worldwide to ring in another year with your family – from the traditional fireworks to the more bespoke cultural experiences. We focus on what makes the celebrations that time of year so special and link to other articles to help families round out a longer trip. Read on for inspiration on where to start a new year in a fun and exciting locale with your family! 

Best Destinations to Celebrate New Year’s with Kids in North & South America

From the Caribbean to the United States, families can enjoy all kinds of New Year’s celebrations in North and South America. Here are some of the best options! 

Aruba 

Photo Courtesy: Visit Aruba

Aruba takes a long-term approach to celebrating the New Year, making it one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. The country celebrates days in advance when they light firecrackers in the streets of Oranjestad to ward away evil spirits. Music, fireworks, and other celebrations are had across the island, which start earlier in the evening so younger children can enjoy them as well. The main show is best viewed from Flamingo Beach, so keep that in mind when booking your stay.

After the midnight fireworks, the uniquely Aruban tradition of Dande – a celebration of traveling musicians who bestow blessings for the New Year – involves local families filling the air with song. However, there is a more family-friendly daytime festival involved as well, leading up to the New Year. Finally, don’t miss spending a few days on some of the Best Beaches In Aruba For Families!

Read Next: 12 Things To Do In Aruba With Kids

Where to Stay in Aruba with Kids

If you want to stay at the best family resorts in Aruba, try either Playa Linda Beach Resort. Or, Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club. Both are located within a short walk of the famous Hadicurari Beach and Palm Beach. We also suggest Barcelo Aruba, Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club, and The Ritz-Carlton Aruba. Since it’s one of the best places to visit in December and January with kids, there are more options perfect for the holidays on our list of 7 Best Family Resorts In Aruba (Includes All-Inclusive)!

Compare hotel rates on the Families Love Travel booking site! Membership is complimentary!

Boston, MA

Fireworks over Boston for New Years Eve, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Eric Kilby

First Night in Boston offers families a full day of New Year’s activities to enjoy, set in one of the United States’ most historic cities. Performances, from puppet shows to ballet to rock bands and more, are free and open to all. There are two times for fireworks – one at 7 pm over Boston Common and one at midnight over Copley Square. This way, families with kids of all ages get to enjoy a good pyrotechnic display. Bundle up, head out, and see why Boston is one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids! 

READ NEXT: 26 Amazing Things to Do in Boston with Kids

Where to Stay in Boston with Kids

If you’re looking for the best hotels in Boston for families, we have a few suggestions. In Back Bay, book a room at the Fairmont Hotel Copley Plaza. Or, try The Four Seasons Hotel Boston or Westin Copley Place. In downtown Boston, stay at the Omni Parker House Hotel or the Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel. Families who want to stay by the water will love the Boston Marriott Long Wharf. For more information on Boston hotels, check out our list of the Best Hotels In Boston For Families!

Hilton Head, SC

The windows glow from the main building at The Sea Pines Resort at sunset in Hilton Head, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.
Photo Courtesy: The Sea Pines Resort

While Hilton Head, South Carolina, is best known as a fantastic summer vacation spot for families, it’s also one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. The Sea Pines Resort provides an annual New Year’s Eve celebration, Golf Ball Drop, with children’s entertainers, food, live music, and more throughout the evening. The first golf ball drops for families with younger kids at 7 PM. Then, the night owls can ring in the New Year with another golf ball drop at midnight!

Where to Stay in Hilton Head with Kids

Families searching for a luxury stay may love the Montage Palmetto Bluff. There’s also Omni Hilton Head, which features three golf courses, a kayaking lagoon, and three outdoor pools. Disney fans will love a stay at Disney’s Hilton Head Resort. It is located less than a mile from Shelter Cove Harbour. Then, Marriott’s SurfWatch is ideal if you need apartment-style accommodations. Families also like the Inn & Club at Harbour Town.

Or, explore homes and condos in Palmetto Dunes and The Sea Pines Resort, among other options on our list of the Best Family Hotels in Hilton Head (All Parent-Recommended)!

New York, NY

Bright fireworks over New York City for NYE, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.

Families can’t deny the allure of New York City around New Year’s Eve, especially with the famous Times Square ball drop! While this activity is for families with older kids and requires preparation to remain confined in a small area for the better part of a day, it certainly makes for a memorable bucket list experience. If New Year’s travels take your family to New York and you’re looking for less of a commitment, consider the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Here, you can celebrate with a noon ball drop, or the NOON Year’s Eve experiences at the CAMP! store in Columbus Circle or Brooklyn.

Also in Brooklyn, late-night revelers will also love the live entertainment and New Year’s Eve fireworks in Prospect Park. It’s why this city makes the list of best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids! 

Plus, don’t miss doing some of the Best New York City Christmas Activities With Kids!

Where to Stay in New York City with Kids

Need somewhere to stay in New York City with kids? In Lower Manhattan, we recommend the Millennium Downtown New York Hotel in the Financial District. Or, the trendy Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca. In Midtown Manhattan, try the Loews Regency New York or Omni Berkshire Place, which also has a Kids’ Club. Or, for a true luxury experience, visit the nearby St. Regis New York. Remember to check out other NYC hotels with pools and spacious suites.

Panama City Beach, FL

Fireworks over Pier Park in Panama City Beach for the New Year.

Beach ball enthusiasts will get their fill when they see 10,000 beach balls drop in celebration of the New Year in Panama City Beach, one of Florida’s best beaches for families! This northwest Florida town starts its party in the early evening with live music and a street festival. A highlight is surely the 8 pm ball drop. It features thousands of inflatable beach balls. And is, perhaps, reason alone it may be one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. Those with older kids can keep the party going and watch a giant LED beach ball descend for the actual New Year, along with fireworks, at midnight. 

Look for a homestay in Panama City Beach here through Vrbo!

Rio de Janeiro

Two young kids enjoy a view of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Diane Oliveira

While Rio de Janeiro in South America is famous for Carnival, its New Year’s celebration – Reveillon – is equally a travel-worthy celebration. Copacabana Beach comes alive with an all-day beach party, culminating with an amazing fireworks display. Crowds not your style? Consider taking it all in by boat! Be sure to wear all white to fit in with the locals! And, bring your bathing suit as a tradition is to jump through seven waves at midnight head-on for good luck. It’s no wonder why Rio is one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids! 

Research your stay in Rio de Janeiro with Booking.com here!

San Diego, CA

Fireworks over the skyline of San Diego, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.
Photo Courtesy: San Diego Tourism Authority

There are several kid-friendly celebrations across San Diego, making it one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. Perhaps most iconic is a LEGO replica of Times Square. There is even an early ball drop and fireworks display among the rides and activities at LEGOLAND California.

In town, the younger set will appreciate noon-focused celebrations like at the Children’s Discovery Museum. Or, early evening fun at the Living Coast Discovery Center. Hotel Del Coronado has also been known to host a New Year’s celebration. Here, adults enjoy an evening out, and kids get a party of their own with dinner, games, and a sparkling cider toast at midnight. There’s also a separate hang-out space for teens.

READ NEXT: The Best 7-Day San Diego Itinerary with Kids

Where to Stay in San Diego with Kids

San Diego has so many family-friendly hotels! Situated on 400 sprawling acres, we recommend the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. It’s centrally located, kid-friendly, and even has four pools. Families who want to stay directly on the beach will love Hotel Del Coronado, Curio Collection By Hilton. It’s housed on a Victorian property and is only five miles from downtown San Diego. Read our list of best beachfront hotels in San Diego for more information!

Best Destinations to Celebrate New Year’s with Kids in Europe

If you want to immerse yourself in Medieval architecture, experience cozy Christmas traditions, and try some seasonal food, Europe is a fantastic option for your next holiday vacation. Keep reading to find out more! 

READ NEXT: 10 Best Places to Travel with Kids in Europe

Barcelona

Fireworks over Barcelona in celebration of the new year.
Photo Courtesy: F Delventhal

Spain is undoubtedly a family-friendly destination, and Barcelona’s end-of-year celebration makes it one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. With so many activities to do in Barcelona with kids, there’s no problem keeping busy during the days. But, as the year winds down, the special celebrations begin. The (late) evening begins with a fountain show at the Montjuic fountain, followed by fireworks at Plaça Espanya. The tradition is to eat 12 grapes for good luck, one each time the clock chimes at midnight. Kids will have fun with that challenge!

Where to Stay in Barcelona with Kids

Looking for the best places to stay in Barcelona with kids? Once you’ve learned all about Barcelona with kids, it’s time to decide on a place to stay. Families love the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel, located in the heart of Eixample. If you want to stay near the beach, try Hotel Arts Barcelona, which has a pool for kids. Then, Leonardo Hotel Barcelona Las Ramblas has family rooms for 5 and 6 guests and an outdoor pool. Catalonia Ramblas also has a pool and rooms with a full bed plus bunk beds, ideal for a family of 4.

Other great hotels in Barcelona with kids are H10 Metropolitan, the Mercer Hotel Barcelona, Kimpton Vividora Barcelona, and El Palace HotelFind more places to stay in Barcelona on this list of the Best Family Hotels In Barcelona By Neighborhood!

Edinburgh

Fireworks over Edinburgh, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Robbie Shade via Wikimedia Commons

Scotland was recently named one of our top countries to travel to with kids, and now there’s a reason to go and ring in the New Year. Edinburgh’s multi-day New Year’s celebration, Hogmanay, is one of the largest and most famous celebrations in the world. But it’s more than a music festival; there are several family-friendly activities to enjoy. In particular, kids will appreciate the carnival rides, torchlight processions (purchase tickets in advance), and fun runs at Edinburgh Castle. To ring in the new year, there are fireworks and family entertainment well before bedtime, another reason Edinburgh is one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. 

Book an exceptional homestay in Edinburgh through Plum Guide here!

Munich

A young child wearing red, looks at treats through a window, while exploring Munich, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.

In Germany, New Year’s celebrations are known as Silvester, and Munich in Bavaria makes for a magical setting for the fun. The whole city is alive for the holiday, from the central Marienplatz to Theresienwiese, the location of Oktoberfest, and many New Year’s Eve parties for adults later in the evening, and well beyond. Those families looking to get in a workout before the festivities can partake in one of the road races (5 or 10 km) during the day.

Then, the city’s fireworks provide the perfect way to end one year and start the next, and there are so many places to watch them. Some of the more family-friendly spots include Monopteros in the Englisher Garten and the Nymphemburg Canal. Add in many restaurants offering decadent end-of-year meals; you’ll see why Munich is one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. 

Reserve your stay in Munich with Booking.com here!

Paris

Fireworks over Paris near the Eiffel Tower, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.

You’ve heard the saying, “Paris is always a good idea.” It may be an especially good idea during the holidays as it’s one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids! The City of Lights shows off some of its top features during the New Year’s revelry, through a special midnight light show at the Arc de Triomphe and all the lights leading to it along the Champs-Élysées.

Then, the nearby Tuileries Garden Christmas Market, growing ever bigger year after year, offers French goods and treats, skating, a huge Ferris Wheel, other carnival rides, and more and adds to the festive atmosphere. No celebration in Paris would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. While there are no New Year’s fireworks at the landmark, the tower dazzles each evening, and December 31st is no exception! Finally, be sure to add these Fantastic Things To Do In Paris With Young Kids to your itinerary.

Don’t miss eating at one of these 9 Amazing Places for Pastries and Desserts in Paris For Families!

Where to Stay in Paris with Kids

Families staying in Paris who want to stay near the Cathédrale Notre-Dame should check out Hôtel d’Aubusson. If you’d prefer to stay near attractions like the Champs-Élysees, Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower, book a room at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. There’s also The Shangri-La Paris is a ritzy hotel just a 10-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.

To find more options for your next stay in Paris with kids, check out these best Paris hotels For families or our article on Where To Stay In Paris By Neighborhood.

Prague

Fireworks to ring in the New Year over Prague.
Photo Courtesy: Jan Fidler

Prague comes alive during the holiday season, and New Year’s is no different, making it one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. Prague’s famous Christmas markets extend through the New Year in Old Town Square, making shopping a popular way to end one year and begin the next. Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square provide the closest views of a midnight fireworks display, though the river shores deliver both city and sky views. The fun continues on New Year’s Day with a projection mapping show that lights up buildings in Wenceslas Square at a family-friendly time in the evening. 

Reserve your room in Prague through Booking.com now!

Reykjavik

Fireworks for the New Year over Reykjavik, Iceland.
Photo Courtesy: Visit Reykjavik

It’s no surprise that Iceland is cold around the New Year, which is why the New Year’s Eve bonfires or Áramótabrennur – an old Icelandic tradition that dates back hundreds of years – is the perfect way for local and visiting families alike to celebrate. There are at least 10 locations to join the fun across Reykjavik, one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids.

If you brush up on some Icelandic, you can also catch the most anticipated television event of the year right before midnight, Áramótaskaup, which is a satiric look at the past year. And to make a full night of it, the fireworks throughout the city (for the people and by the people, if you will) extend the festivities through midnight and beyond! There are so many fun Things To Do In Iceland With Kids, so don’t miss adding more to your itinerary to celebrate.

RELATED: Best Tours + Experiences In Iceland For Families (Using Tripadvisor)

Tallinn

An aerial view of Tallinn dusted with snow, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Ilya Orehov

While Tallinn is the birthplace of the Christmas tree, it is also one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids! Wandering the quaint, historic Old Town area may be magic enough for the season, but many hotels and restaurants put on special New Year’s gala celebrations, the local tradition offering an extended meal celebrated with family and friends.

Then, the Christmas Market will still be in full swing, so families can find little stalls to shop for local crafts and foods. The night can culminate with a concert and the city’s light performance, best seen from Freedom Square (Vabaduse Väljak). After exploring the area, it’s a short boat ride to Finland, where you can take in all the magic of winter in Lapland, the home of Santa Claus, and a great viewing of the Northern Lights. 

Find great deals on lodging in Tallinn through Booking.com here!

Vienna

People mill about the stands, lit up at night, at the Vienna Christmas Market.
Photo Courtesy: Ivan Radic

Silvesterpfad, the official New Year’s celebration in Vienna, starts at the family-friendly time of 2 pm in the historic center, with six locations offering bands and DJs to sing and dance your way into the New Year. The ballroom dancing school even leads a public Viennese waltz! Booths dotted throughout sell warm beverages and food. Not to mention, lead pouring kits – an Austrian tradition that kids will surely enjoy. Melt a lead lucky charm like a pig or clover. And, after it solidifies in a bowl of cold water, the resulting figure predicts the implication for the year ahead. The largest fireworks display of the night is near Heldenplatz, adjacent to a family-favorite attraction, the giant Ferris Wheel.

And don’t forget about the New Year’s markets, which take the charm of Vienna’s Christmas markets and update the gifts with a New Year’s theme. With all the choices, it’s easy to see why Vienna is one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. 

Receive great rates on lodging in Vienna through the Families Love Travel booking site! Compare rates today! Sign up is complimentary.

Best Destinations to Celebrate New Year’s with Kids in Austral-Asia

Whether a sunny holiday in Australia appeals to you most, or you’d rather spend New Year’s exploring Dubai, the Austral-Asia area encompasses a variety of incredible destinations for your next family vacation. Here are the best options! 

READ NEXT: Exploring Asia With Kids: Discover The Best Family-Friendly Destinations

Bangkok

Fireworks over Bangkok for New Years Eve, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.

Bangkok is known for being a top family-friendly destination in Asia, and it’s also one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. Asiatique, an open-air mall on the Chao Phraya River, offers a festive atmosphere. Kids can enjoy rides on the Ferris Wheel, karting, and other rides and fun activities. Meanwhile, adults will appreciate the special New Year’s menus offered by the restaurants and sweeping city views.

Then, Central World Square is home to the city’s main celebration, a 1,400-meter-wide eco-friendly multimedia fireworks display! It’s considered the “Times Square of Asia” so will be a crowded spot to take in all the fun, but surely an unforgettable street party. While Buddhists have their own New Year, a lot of temples have a ceremony for the Gregorian New Year, known as Suad Mont Kham Pi. These often go on throughout the evening and at midnight. 

Reserve your accommodations in Bangkok with Booking.com here!

Dubai

Fireworks over the Burj Khalifa for the new year in Dubai.
Photo Courtesy: Baluc Photography

Dubai is known for going all out, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. There’s not one, not two, but three major fireworks shows to watch – one each at the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, and Palm Jumeirah. Don’t worry, if you can’t make up your mind, you can catch all three via boat in the Arabian Gulf! And if midnight is a bit too far past bedtime, consider the Dubai Fountain shows at the base of the Burj Khalifa. They will certainly give kids a sense of wonder with light and water as the year winds down. Global Village also gets into the celebrations throughout the evening with the “night of seven midnights” fireworks displays from 8 pm to 1 am in honor of countries from China to Turkey ringing in the New Year.

Combined with all Dubai has to offer during the rest of the year, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids!

Where to Stay in Dubai with Kids

If you need somewhere to stay in Dubai with kids, we have some suggestions for your upcoming vacation to one of the best hot places to visit in December or January with kids! Try the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Residences Dubai, which has a Kids’ Club and spacious suites. For a secluded stay on the incredible Palm Jumeirah, book a room at Rixos The Palm Hotel and Suites Dubai.

Other options for families include The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. For more options, read our list of the 12 Best Family Hotels in Dubai or 21 Best Beachfront Hotels In Dubai.

Kyoto

Fireworks over Kyoto for the new year, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Discover Kyoto

New Year’s, or Shougatsu, is an important time for a fresh start in Japan, with many traditions and beautiful celebrations for the family to enjoy. In Kyoto, the bells of the shrines and temples come alive. In fact, they ring all at once to bring in a New Year. Called the Joya no Kane ceremony, the bells chime 107 times and then a final 108th time at midnight as, according to Buddhism, the number 108 is thought to be the number of desires people have.

While many residents head to their local temple, the Chion-in Temple and Yasaka Shrine are popular spots on New Year’s Eve for many. Don’t forget to fill up before heading out with a traditional New Year’s Eve meal of buckwheat noodles, as thin long noodles symbolize longevity. Consider a spot like Honke Owariya or Misoka-an Kawamichi-ya for toshikoshi soba (passing the year noodles). 

Combine it with other activities, such as skiing, and it’s sure to be an unforgettable trip! With such rich traditions and cultural experiences, it’s no surprise Kyoto is one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. 

RELATED: Best Ski Resorts In Japan For Families

Singapore

Fireworks over Singapore for NYE.

A Singapore trip with kids is going to be a great adventure with its family-friendly activities, but there are many reasons why it’s a particularly good time to visit around the New Year. Marina Bay Sands is home to one of the city’s primary celebrations, an 80-minute light projection and fireworks extravaganza. Star Island at The Float at Marina Bay Sands hosts live performances, including a pre-fireworks and light show set by DJ Hello Kitty and a Sanrio-themed family area for extra fun. Tickets are required for the festivities. 

The Civic District holds free movie screenings, a flea market, a food bazaar, and more fun throughout the day to enjoy. Meanwhile, Universal Studios hosts its own New Year’s Eve celebration at the park, for families who love theme park experiences. And for a unique vantage point of the area for littles who can sit for a little while, the Singapore Flyer, one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the world, offers a 90-minute dining experience to end the year in style. 

Where to Stay in Singapore With Kids

Looking for the best places to stay in Singapore with kids? Families who want somewhere to cool down will love The Ritz-Carlton Singapore, which is set in Marina Bay and close to popular attractions. Or, check out the pools with water slides at Paradox Singapore Merchant Court at Clarke Quay. Then, families who want to escape to Sentosa Island can’t miss Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa!

Other hotels in Singapore for families include Orchard Rendezvous Hotel, Singapore, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road, and Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Read our list of the best hotels in Singapore for families to find out more!

Sydney

Fireworks over Sydney during the New Year's celebrations, one of the best destinations for New Year's with kids.

Sydney really knows how to throw a party as one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. Its official New Year’s party is extensive, with three fireworks celebrations throughout the night centered on Sydney Harbour Bridge, light projections, and cultural observances across the evening. The event boasts 44 vantage points. This gives families options throughout the city! Plus, that doesn’t even consider all the companies offering options by boat! Can’t travel this year? They also livestream!

Given the festivities don’t get going until the evening, consider a day at the beach with a picnic, surfing, and games. Or start the celebration early with events and music early at Darling Harbour

Check and compare room rates on the Families Love Travel Booking site! Sign up today, it’s complimentary!

Cheers to the New Year!

A mom and her young kids build a snowman, while on a Christmas vacation.

We hope you enjoyed this round-up of the best destinations to celebrate New Year’s with kids. With so many unique traditions and exciting locales to explore around the world, your family will be spoiled for choice on where to set foot as one year turns into the next. Happy trails!

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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Megan Tucker

Megan Tucker is a public relations professional, wife, mom and lover of all things travel and travel planning, based in Arlington, Virginia. While she grew up in New England, she's lived in the Washington, DC area, London and Abu Dhabi, and has traveled across the United States, the Caribbean, Western Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania with and without her husband and two sons.