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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.

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

Winter Break Hrs: Mon, Wed-Sat 9:30am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm (closed Tuesdays)

NYE Hrs: 9:30am-4pm

NYD Hrs: closed

KID VENTURES at Liberty Station

(check directly with other locations for hours)

Winter Break Hrs: Mon 9:30a-4p, Tue-Fri 9:30a-5p, Sat 9a-12p (usually closed Sundays)

NYE Hrs: 9:30a-3p 9 (New Year's countdown & dance party!)

NYD Hrs: closed

Winter Break Hrs: Daily 9a-4p

NYE Hrs: closed

NYD Hrs: closed

Looking for more ideas, check out this post: 45+ INSIDE Places For Kids To Play In San Diego 


(click the titles for direct links)


DATE:  SATURDAY, DEC. 29th, 2018

HOURS:                            5:30-8:30pm

COST (members):          $15/child; $25/adult

COST (non-members):  $25/child; $35/adult

Comfy and cozy is the theme for this family-friendly jammies party presented by our friends at The San Diego Honda Dealers. Our annual pajama fest includes New Year’s-themed art activities, games, a dance jam, photo booth, catered dinner and our popular countdown balloon drop. Plus we’ll have drinks for Mom and Dad to celebrate with as well (one ticket provided with each adult ticket) and special event parking for $10.


DATE:       Dec. 31, 2018

HOURS:   7-9pm; 9pm Countdown to the New York Ball Drop

COST:      $25/members; $30/non-members; FREE/ages 2 and under

Hot Chocolate Bar for kids and Champagne for adults, Cookie Decorating, Treats, Wildlife animal encounters, Photo Booth, Kids room with arts & crafts, Teen room with band karaoke, NYE Party room with games, trivia and live coverage of the Times Square Rockin’ New Year’s Eve in New York, 9pm Celebration

DATE:      Dec. 31, 2018

HOURS:  7pm-1am; 9pm Countdown to the New York Ball Drop

COST:      $20/celebration package; $30/premium package. Both include buffet, beverage, unlimited rides, fun world credits and NYE Party Accessories!

The CORVETTE DINER, Liberty Station


DATE:      Dec. 31, 2018

HOURS:  9pm Countdown to the New York Ball Drop

Celebrates the Rockin’ New Year’s Eve party with a 9pm countdown to the ball drop in New York. Don’t miss our Big Apple New Year’s Toast at 9pm. Our Diner DJ will be spinning tunes and our Balloon Artist will be there for the party.

The CORVETTE DINER, Liberty Station

DATE:      Jan. 1, 2019

HOURS:  11:30am-2:30pm

Roll out of bed and into the Corvette Diner for the Annual New Year’s Day Pajama Party from 11:30am – 2:30pm.  All Guests who dine in pajamas will receive a $5 Gamers Garage Arcade card and have a chance to enter the Pajama Contest!  In addition to the famous Corvette menu, Chef Daniel will be featuring breakfast specials such as his Breakfast Burrito and Chicken and Waffles.  For the parents, enjoy Mimosas and Bloody Marys for just $2.19. There is plenty of FREE parking!

GRAPE DROP, Temecula

DATE:      Dec. 31, 2018

HOURS:  6pm-1am; Grape Drops at 9pm and 12am

WHERE:  Civic Center Quad

COST:      $5/wristband = unlimited kid’s games and activities 

Friends & family of all ages are invited to welcome 2019 in Temecula-style at the annual New Year’s Eve Grape Drop. The celebration will include live music, vendors, and kid’s activities. You can ring in the New Year twice with an East Coast (9pm) and West Coast (midnight) countdown!

LEGOLAND, Carlsbad


DATE:      Dec. 31, 2018

HOURS:  6pm countdown

"Midnight" comes early for families celebrating the New Year together without missing their bedtimes. Join in the festivities with party hats and special glasses for viewing fireworks. The party concludes just in time for our countdown at 6 p.m. with a fireworks display illuminating the sky and providing a great ending to an amazing year.

SHERATON HOTEL, Carlsbad (next door to Legoland ;)

DATE:      Dec. 31, 2018

HOURS:  Family Friendly Balloon drop at 9pm (and 12am) 

(Don’t wait! This event ALWAYS sells out!)

2018 New Year's Eve Speakeasy Roaring 20's Family Friendly Bash Great Gatsby! No need to speak softly, just "Speakeasy" and enjoy The Westin and Sheraton Carlsbad Resorts & Spa's 2018 Family Friendly "Speakeasy" New Years Eve Bash! Come dressed to impress in your favorite flapper dress or pinstriped suit and hat...prizes will be given to the Best Dressed Family and Best Dressed Couple! Doors open at 6:30pm. Enjoy a night filled with superb food selections with an adult and child buffet style dinner and amazing dessert bar, drinks, entertainment, children's activities and unforgettable memories while dancing the night away with our live DJ that's sure to keep everyone dancing on the dance floor.

The Kids Party Zone is bigger and better than ever, consisting of our GAMER ROOM with Xbox, Kinect, Dance Central, racing games and Wii. Other activities include face painting, ping pong, foosball, billiards, and the Kids Club Party Zone. The clock strikes midnight twice at this shindig. The Kids Club Party Zone will be counting down with a balloon drop for the East Coast at 9pm, then our main drop at midnight as we ring in the New Year with a live countdown and complimentary champagne toast. Don't miss out on the family fun festivities taking place at this year's 2018 Westin Carlsbad Resort and Spa "Speakeasy" New Year's Eve Bash! Advance ticket purchase required. This is a highly popular sellout event. Please note though tickets for Children 3 and under are free, pre-purchased tickets are still required.


I can't be everywhere all the time so your input is greatly appreciated. If you have any updates to this place or post please send me a message or a DM here.

If you like a place that I've suggested please share it and tag me on Instagram @famdiego 🤗 I always LOVE to see everyone getting out to enjoy all the fun in our wonderful city and making special memories together with your kids. 💕 I put a lot of time and work into all that I share and it truly helps me if you can spread the word to others. That will keep partnerships coming in so I can share new updates, host fun giveaways and help you discover fun new places. Thank you so much. 💛


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