Best Family Friendly New Year’s Parties In Washington DC

December 28, 2012 8:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

As the year comes to a close, the D.C. area offers no shortage of celebrations. Enjoy First Night activities, New Year’s Eve celebrations and a safe, family friendly environment perfect for celebrating 2013 together. Just because the family can’t miss bedtime doesn’t mean this year must start with a drab, in-bed-early new year’s party.

First Night Alexandria 

Alexandria, VA
(703) 746-3299

Price: $15/$20 Dec. 17 to 31/free active duty military/free children 12 and younger
Hours: 2 p.m. to midnight

First Night Alexandria is a family themed event for all ages. All of the fun is within walking distance and includes live music, a fun hunt for kids (at 2 p.m.), carnival games and model boat sailing. The night concludes with a fireworks display at midnight at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial on Callahan Drive. Due to the noise level, no pets are allowed at this event. This year’s event will include food trucks as well as local restaurant fare.

New Year’s Eve Annapolis
Annapolis Harbor
1 City Dock
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 263-7996

Price: free
Hours: 3 p.m. to midnight

This fun-filled celebration for all ages includes lots of family friendly entertainment and live musical performances. There will be two fireworks displays, an early show for those who may not want to stay out late and the traditional fireworks spectacular at midnight to ring in the new year in style. View the fireworks from City Dock at Susan Campbell Park for the best views and seating for your whole family.

Related: Best New Years Eve Parties in the D.C. Area

Watch Night 
300 Park Ave.
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 248-5001

Price: free
Hours: 7 p.m. to midnight

Enjoy entertainment for the whole family, including a karaoke stage and live music at this year’s Watch Night celebration. Families may take advantage of storytelling, face painting, magicians and a moon bounce. Now in its 16th year, Watch Night promises local talent and one of the best nights of free family entertainment of the year. Free parking is available in the 200 block of East Broad Street at the Presbyterian Church.

Related: D.C. Holiday Concert Review

New Year’s Eve DC
Howard Theater
620 T St., NW
Washington, DC 22401
(202) 246-3362

Price: $35
Hours: 6 midnight

This theatrical masquerade ball will offer lots family oriented fun hroughout the night. All attendees will get a complementary mask to join in the fun. Acts include fire breathers, violinists, dramatic characters and aerialists. A balloon will drop at midnight to celebrate the new year. For those who want to see the big ball drop in Times Square, there will also be a live feed to the ABC New Year’s Eve show.

New Year’s Eve Swing Dance
Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, MD 21230
(301) 634-2222

Price: $25 adults/$10 children 5 to 13
Hours: 8 p.m to 12:30 a.m

Enjoy a family friendly, smoke-free night in a non-alcoholic setting. Celebrate the big band era with the Tom Cunningham Orchestra. For those new to swing dance, there will be a dance lesson at 8 p.m before dancing kicks off at 9 p.m. The night includes desserts, party hats and noise makers. Party-goers may really celebrate by joining the conga line. Auld Lang Syne will be sung at midnight, and there will be lots of balloons on hand.

Related: Holiday Lights Displays

Sarah Hearn is a freelance writer covering all things DC. Her work can be found on