New Year's Eve Parties for Families around the Bay Area

Celebrating New Year’s Eve isn’t just for grown-ups. Many Bay Area destinations offer parties for kids to ring in 2020 along with their adults. From “Noon Year’s” celebrations to parties ringing in different time zones, there’s something for everyone.




Noon Year’s Eve at Hiller Aviation Museum – Join Bay Area Parent at the Hiller Aviation Museum for a family-friendly Noon Year’s Eve celebration featuring music, activities, face painting and three giant balloon drops at 12pm. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. Dec. 31. 10am-1pm. $18. 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos. 650-654-0200. 


East Bay 

Chabot Space & Science Center Global Celebration – Celebrate the new year without having to stay up all night at Chabot Space & Science Center. Families can celebrate strokes of midnight from around the world at 11am, 1pm and 4pm. In addition to the big balloon drops in the Rotunda, there will be smaller drops and activities for kids 5 and under in the Discovery Lab. Member registration begins in Dec. 1; general registration opens Dec. 8. Dec. 31. 11am-4pm. Members $5, non-members $5 plus general admission: $14 ages 3-12.10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. 510-336-7300. 

Lawrence Hall of Science Celebration – Enjoy a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration with exciting scientific fun at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Check website for details. Dec. 31. One Centennial Drive, Berkeley. 510-642-5132. 


San Francisco

Japanese New Year’s Bell-Ringing Ceremony – Ring in the new year by taking a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th century Japanese temple bell at the Asian Art Museum. The ceremony will include a purification ritual and chanting of the Buddhist Heart Sutra. Participants may then take turns ringing the bell to leave behind any unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds or ill luck from the previous year. Pick up tickets to ring the bell at the main entrance of Samsung Hall. Dec. 31. 9:30-11:30am (members only); non-members should arrive no later than 12pm to ensure they get a chance to ring the bell. Admission is $10-25, 12 and under and members FREE. 200 Larkin St., San Francisco. 415-581-3500. 


Marin and North Bay

Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve – Start the new year off right at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve. This kid-friendly affair includes a celebratory ball drop at noon, STEM and art programs, dancing to music by DJ Mancub, a photo booth, confetti cannons and more. Dec. 31. 9am-2pm. $15.95 general admission, $13.95 seniors and babies ages 6-11 months. 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. 415-339-3900. 

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! – Celebrate the new year at the Charles M. Schulz Museum with hands-on crafts for kids and balloon drops and root beer toasts at 12pm and 3pm. Dec. 31. 10am-4pm. $12 adults, $8 seniors, $5 ages 4-18, 3 and under FREE. 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. 707-579-4452. 


Silicon Valley and South

Children’s Discovery Museum Noon Year’s Eve – The night may belong to the adults, but the day belongs to the kids! Celebrate the arrival of 2020 with your whole family at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. Count down to noon across time zones with family hugs, a fun celebration and the museum’s version of the famous ball drop in Times Square at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. Tickets are $15. 180 Woz Way, San Jose. 408-298-5437. 

New Year’s Eve Seashore Sleepover – Welcome the start of the new year while spending the night among sea life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The event includes a sparkling cider toast, popcorn, sundae bar, festive programs and activities, pajama dance party with a DJ, a late-night movie and a chance to sleep under the stars. Beverages will be available for purchase, including beer, wine and kid-friendly drinks. Wake up with the fishes on New Year’s Day, enjoy a full breakfast and join naturalists to watch wildlife from the Great Tide Pool deck. Commemorative T-shirts will be available to purchase. For ages 5 and up. 7pm on Dec. 31-8:30am on Jan. 1. $165 per person, $135 members. 886 Cannery Row, Monterey. 831-647-6886 or 866-963-9645. 

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