New Year's Fun for Kids in San Diego!

How will you ring in the New Year with your kiddos? Don’t think you have to sit at home all night. There are LOTS of Kid-Friendly NYE events happening around town!

OR, you can head out to your favorite kid’s spot during the day and party at home later. Last year we bought a balloon drop bag at Party City to hang from our ceiling, (similar to this one for $5). Invited some neighbors over. Cued up the Netflix Kid’s Countdown! And had our own 7pm Balloon Drop. It was SO much fun!


Below are some of our kids’ favorite places that are open on New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day. I've also listed some of our favorite places to play during the winter school break, in case you're looking for a place to get out all. of. their. energy... These also make great places to take any lingering out of town holiday guests. 

*FREE! [NOTE: New Year's Day 2019 falls on a Tuesday; which means FREE Resident's Day at select Balboa Park Museums. Even more exciting is that it's the first Tuesday of the month; which means our favorite museums listed below are FREE that day!]

Disclaimer: Please check directly with each venue to ensure information is correct before you go. ;)

(click the titles for direct links)


We love the hands on exhibits and the Kid City upstairs.

Winter Break Hrs: 10a-7p

NYE Hrs: 10a-7p

*NYD Hrs: 10a-7p


Everything there is hands-on and set up with kids in mind.

Winter Break Hrs: 10a-5p

NYE Hrs: 10a-3pm

*NYD Hrs: 10a-5p

*Note: The exclusive Rooftop Cafe will be open from Dec. 26-30, 2018 from 11:30am-5pm! 

Treat yourself to a bird’s-eye view of Balboa Park this holiday season. From Wednesday, December 26 through Saturday, December 30, we’ll be welcome guests to join us atop the Museum at our rooftop café. We’ll have beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks, and grab-and-go food options available. The café is located on the 5th floor of the Museum and will be open each day from 11:30 AM to 5 PM. All ages are welcome.

*San Diego MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM at Balboa Park

My kids love watching the model trains zoom around the elaborate city and mountain scenes. I love how they play all by themselves in the train playroom upstairs!

Winter Break Hrs: Tue-Fri 10a-4p, Sat/Sun 11a-5p

NYE Hrs: closed

*NYD Hrs: 10a-4p

SEAWORLD SAN DIEGO (Christmas Celebration runs through Jan. 6th)

Winter Break Hrs: Now-Dec. 30: 9am-9pm; Jan 1-6: 11am-7:30pm

NYE Hrs: 11am-7:30pm

NYD Hrs: 11am-7:30pm

SAN DIEGO ZOO (Jungle Bells runs through Jan. 6th)

Winter Break Hrs: 9am-8pm

NYE Hrs: 9am-8pm

NYD Hrs: 9am-8pm