New Year’s Eve with the Kids? In New Jersey, You Bet!
New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays that changes drastically once you become a parent. Any kind of grown-up fun usually involves weeks of planning. Who can babysit? How much do we pay on New Year’s Eve? Do we let the kids stay up until we get home? Do I even have a dressy outfit that fits? So unless you truly need a night out amongst adults (in which case, GO for it!), how about a happy compromise? Events in NJ for families who want to ring in the New Year together!
The Funplex (East Hanover & Mount Laurel, NJ)
The Funplex is a mega entertainment center for older kids and adults that want to let loose as a family. With bumper cars & go carts, laser tag, a “Jersey Shore” arcade and the popular MagiQuest, an interactive fantasy game, there’s definitely no shortage of high energy options at this gaming complex. Funplex Events Coordinator Kim Kramm promises an awesome NYE party this year: "We're really excited about our celebration this year - we offer activities for each age group and we've added a few surprises this year to add some extra excitement!" The New Year’s Eve package is $29.95/Adults & Kids if purchased in advance online and $34.95 at the door. Admission on December 31st from 6:30pm-1am includes unlimited use of their indoor attractions such as Foam Frenzy and Lazer Runner, buffet dinner and 20 tokens to start you off in the game room. Think the kids will have trouble making it to midnight? The Funplex will be offering an apple cider toast and early “ball drop” ceremony at 9:30pm complete with a countdown. Although The Funplex is family-friendly, most of the attractions are geared towards older kids (7 & up) and even the pre-teen set would enjoy a night here. Please call 973-428-8772 for more information or purchase tickets online now.
iPlay America (Freehold, NJ)
iPlay America Indoor Theme Park in NJ is hosting their 2nd annual New Year's Eve mega-bash for all ages and you're invited! Definitely a little pricier than the other options, but for that you get hours and hours of fun with unlimited rides like the IPA Speedway, Spin Zone, Kite Flyer, Skyscraper and more, plus unlimited attractions like the 4D Theater and Just iKidz, plus plus a gourmet buffet, a trip to Mixx for frozen yogurt and a $5 IPA gamecard. Whew. We're exhausted just writing about it. $74.95/Ages 13 & up, $59.95/Ages 12 & under. Please call 732-577-8200 for more information and to book your tickets in advance.
Sahara Sams (West Berlin, NJ)
Bathing suits & goggles might not be the first thing you think of when making New Year's Eve plans but you can get your swim on at Sahara Sam's Midnight at the Oasis. Kids (and fun-loving parents too) can splash the night away at all of the indoor water attractions, including the new Nile Mile body slide. Take a break from the water and grab a plate of dinner and dessert from the massive buffet. When midnight draws near, the whole family will have a blast dancing and singing in the foam party as a live DJ spins tunes. Round out the celebration with champagne for mom & dad and sparkling cider for the kids, noisemakers, party hats and even head home with a complimentary one day pass to Sahara Sams. $56.95/Person, Children under 2 are free. Please visit their website to book tickets in advance or call 856-767-7580.
Adventure Aquarium (Camden, NJ)
Catch the second to last day of the Christmas celebration on December 31st at New Jersey’s Adventure Aquarium followed by their family-style New Year's Eve Splash from 5-8:30pm. This one’s great for even the wee ones and a perfect excuse to get everyone out of the house for the day if you’ve still got guests lingering from the holidays. Aquarium Manager Kimberly Walker says they're super busy gearing up for this first time event: "We're excited to kick off New Year's Eve Splash, where families can ring in the New Year together and enjoy the beautiful fireworks celebration over the Delaware River - and still make it home in time to get the little ones to bed!" Kids will love to see aquarium mascots Gill the Shark and the absentminded Professor Reef decked out in tuxedos as the evening's hosts. Marvel at the beloved hippos in the African exhibit or check out sharks in their 760,000 gallon tank before counting down to midnight at the dance party complete with noisemakers, confetti canons and a complimentary stuffed animal for each child. Tickets are $30/Adult, $25/Kids ages 2-12. Kids under 2 are free. Please call 856-365-3300 for more information or purchase tickets online now.
Sesame Place (Langhorne, PA)
What better way to make sure the little ones are wiped out by the time 8pm rolls around than a full afternoon at an amusement park? Everyone’s favorite theme park for the toddler and preschool set, Sesame Place, is open on December 31st and you have 3 chances to ring in the New Year before dark with the Count himself, at 12, 2 & 5:30pm. Sesame Street fans will have a ball singing & dancing with all of the monsters - food & party favors included! In between the festivities, enjoy the mainstay attractions such as Elmo’s Cloud Chaser, Grover’s World Twirl or take a stroll through Sesame Neighborhood, a “life-size recreation” of the famous television set that might even remind Mom & Dad of their childhood days. Before heading home, guests will be treated to a huge fireworks display set to Sesame Street music. $27/Adult $17/Kids ages 2-11, Kids under 2 are free. Please call 1-866-GO-4-ELMO for more information or purchase tickets online now.
BR Guest Restaurants New Year’s Parties (New York, NY various locations)
For those of you up for making a trek into the city, BR Guest Restaurants have it all figured out for you! Take the train into the city after naptime on December 31st from 2pm-6pm and enjoy an afternoon pre-New Year’s Eve celebration for the whole family at one of their 5 delicious restaurants: Atlantic Grill, Bills Bar & Burger (Rockefeller Center & Meatpacking District locations), Isabella’s or Wildwood Barbeque. It’s a win, win: adults can savor delicious food that’s worlds away from chicken tenders or mac & cheese and younger ones will feel like part of a special celebration in the midst of face painting, music, noise-makers, confetti machines and even an apple cider toast. Since the kids need to eat and be entertained (preferably indoors, where it’s warm!), this is a great option for all ages. Reservations are recommended, at least a few days in advance. Reserve your spot online now or for more information, call your restaurant of choice.
Happy New Year!