Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Events in Lakeland, Tampa & Orlando

2017-12-28T12:56:00+00:00December 28, 2017|Christmas & Holiday, Family Friendly Events|

Wondering where you can ring in 2018 with the kids? We’ve rounded up a list of family-friendly New Year’s Eve events in Lakeland and across Central Florida. If you’re not ready to let the kids stay up until midnight {because we all know we’ll regret it the next day!} there are still opportunities to celebrate the New Year earlier in the day at kid-friendly New Year’s Eve events.  And if you’re staying home, we’ve got you covered with times and channels to catch New Year’s Eve specials on TV.

Whether you celebrate at 12pm or 12am, we’re here to help you send 2017 out with a bang!

Lakeland & Polk County New Year’s Events for Families

Ice Skating at the RP Funding Center

December 31: 2 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-8 pm, 9 pm-11 pm
January 1: 10 am-12 am, 2 pm-4 pm, 6 pm-8 pm, 9 pm-11 pm
The RP Funding Center is transformed into a winter wonderland with a huge ice skating rink and holiday music from December 26 – January 1. Multiple skate sessions daily, including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! Adults: $10 / Children (12 & under): $9 / Bring your own skates: $8. FREE PARKING!

Balloon Drops at SkateWorld Lakeland

Saturday, December 30 from 12-4pm and 7-10:30pm
Sunday, December 31 from 2-5pm
Join SkateWorld Lakeland for skate sessions on Saturday and Sunday with special balloon drops at each session! Details at

New Years Blow Out at Explorations V Children’s Museum

December 27 – January 3 from 9am – 5:30pm (closed Dec. 31)
Come out to Lakeland’s kid-powered new year’s party happening daily from December 27 – January 3 at Exploration’s V Children’s Museum. From foot-powered rockets to kid-tested party treats, Explorations V Children’s Museum is ringing in 2018 until the kids go back to school.

  • Make and create your own rocket then test it on our foot-powered launch pad
  • Practice making party treats on National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day
  • Write your new year’s resolution
  • And more!

Program times change daily so visit the calendar at to plan your trip. Activities included with museum admission.

Noon Year’s Eve at Eagle Ridge Mall

Sunday, December 31 from 10am – 1pm
Join us as we ring in the new year with free family fun and prizes. We’ll be hosting a special kid-friendly countdown at noon! More info at

Rock & Bowl at First Frame Bowl Eagle Ridge Mall

Sunday, December 31 from 8pm – 1am
Strike in 2018 in Style with First Frame Bowl for only $20.18 per person, includes bowling, unlimited pizza buffet, soda, and champagne toast at midnight. More details at

Kids New Year’s Eve Party at LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Sunday, December 31
Join LEGOLAND Florida as we drop a giant LEGO brick while we count down to 2018 at the kid-friendly time of 8 p.m., followed by our biggest fireworks show of the year! Pick up a free pair of viewing glasses to see a special LEGO surprise in every burst. Included with park admission. Tickets and details at

Tampa New Year’s Events for Kids

Noon Year’s Eve at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

December 31 from 10am-2pm
Ring in the New Year with the whole family as the Event Yard transforms into a giant New Year’s party! Enjoy interactive entertainment, a rockin’ DJ, countdown to the NOON year with a kid-friendly toast and more! Noon Year’s Eve activities included with paid zoo admission or zoo membership. Details at

Downtown Countdown at Glazer Children’s Museum

December 31 from 1pm-6pm
Ring in the New Year every hour at the museum. Included with admission. Prices at

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration at We Rock the Spectrum Tampa

December 31 from 10am – 2pm
Come celebrate the New Years at our indoor sensory friendly playground! Trampoline, swings, zip line, arts and crafts and more. We will have light snacks and drinks and of course NOISE makers, hats and a countdown to Noon! Come see our balloon drop and have some fun. Regular open play admission $12 first child, $10 siblings! Stay and play all day. More info at

Outback Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade in Ybor City

December 31 at 5:30pm
Head to Ybor City for a parade and pep rally! Parade features floats and over 20 marching bands. The Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs along 7th Avenue. FREE! More details at

New Year’s Eve Celebration at Busch Gardens

December 31
Ring in the new year with music, fireworks and thrill rides. Join Busch Gardens for an awesome New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31! Enjoy thrill rides in the dark, jam out to music throughout the park and ring in the new year with a park-wide countdown and spectacular fireworks show in Gwazi Park. Open until 1am, all activities included with park admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

First Night St. Petersburg

December 31 starting at 4pm (Fireworks at 8pm and midnight)
A family-oriented celebration that includes music, art and entertainment at more than 20 venues. Fireworks at 8 p.m. and midnight. Free to enter the party area and watch fireworks, but paid buttons are required for activities, venues, and the trolley. Advance Sales: $12 for Adults; $5 for children 6-12; 5 and under free. Button prices after December 29th: $15 for Adults; $10 for children 6-12; 5 and under free. See a map and schedule at 

Family Friendly New Years Eve Kids Lakeland

Fireworks in the Tampa Bay Area

Downtown Tampa New Year’s Eve Fireworks

December 31 at midnight (seating opens at 10pm)
With Channelside under construction, the viewing of Tampa’s annual fireworks show has been moved to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. The viewing area will open for seating at 10pm. There will be no food, beverages or entertainment to help make room for as many families as possible. Bring your own blankets and chairs! No alcoholic beverages are allowed. More info and directions at

Light it Up Clearwater Beach

December 31 at midnight
Fireworks are shot off Sand Key at midnight and will be visible along all of Clearwater Beach. FREE. Find out more about parking and paid events at

Apollo Beach New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show

December 31 – Fireworks at midnight
Head to Circles Waterfront Restaurant (or nearby) to view one of Florida’s largest fireworks displays at midnight. Call for dinner reservations – (813) 641-3275. Learn more at

Orlando New Year’s Events for Kids

Rock ‘Til The Drop New Year’s Eve Party at Hard Rock Cafe

December 31 from 8pm – 1am
This family-friendly event includes live music, an assortment of menu offerings and a champagne toast at midnight. Plus, each ticket includes unlimited soda, juice and water for the little ones. More details at

New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld Orlando

December 31
On December 31, celebrate New Years Eve at SeaWorld Orlando. Vibrant fireworks will fill the night sky and festive entertainment will take place throughout the park, including interactive DJ stations, craft beers and delectable bites. Tickets and more info at

New Year’s Eve Party at Crayola Experience Orlando

December 31 from 11am – 3pm
We are celebrating the New Year with family-friendly fun on December 31, including a DJ Dance Party with DJ Izzy, Meet Anna and Kristoff, and Special Afternoon Countdowns so children of all ages can experience the thrill of midnight! Countdowns will be held at Cafe Crayola. See a schedule at

Staying In for New Year’s Eve

I’ll be the first to admit that our New Year’s Eve celebrations changed a bit once we had kids! And I’ll also admit that I’m now perfectly content to stay home on New Year’s with my family, champagne, and TV entertainment. Here are the TV Specials for December 31:

  • Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest – 8pm – 2am on ABC
  • New Year’s Eve Live, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen – 8pm – 12:30am on CNN
  • Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square – 8pm – 1:30am on FOX
  • New Year’s Eve (Movie featuring Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl and Sarah Jessica Parker) – 8pm & 10:30pm on TBS
  • Live From Lincoln Center – NY Philharmonic New Year’s Eve: Bernstein on Broadway – 9pm on PBS
  • ACL Hall of Fame New Year’s Eve – 11pm on PBS

HAPPY NEW YEAR and CHEERS to a great 2018!!

Family Friendly New Years Eve Kids Lakeland

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