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

New Years Eve with Family Lakeland Tampa Orlando

Wondering where you can ring in 2022 with the kids? Looking for places to go for New Year’s Eve in Florida with your family?

Whether you celebrate at 12pm or 12am, we’re here to help you send 2021 out with a bang!

We’ve rounded up a list of family-friendly New Year’s Eve events in Lakeland, Winter Haven, 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.

We are asked every year – there are no fireworks in Lakeland, Florida on New Year’s Eve. {If you know of any let us know – we’d love the scoop!}

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for mask requirements, safety protocols, advance registration, and any last-minute changes. All information on our website is for informational purposes only – we are not qualified to provide health or safety recommendations.

2021 Lakeland New Year’s Eve Family Events

2020 New Year’s Eve Events – Check back for upadtes

Although everything listed here is specific to New Year’s Eve, you can also use our list of things to do over the Winter Break to find a fun family activity to enjoy on December 31 or January 1!

The RP Funding Center in Lakeland is not hosting Holiday Ice Skating this year, which for many years was our go-to activity on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Check out our list of ice skating rinks in Tampa & Orlando, including Lakeland Ice Arena right here in Lakeland!

Tampa New Year’s Events for Kids

Downtown Countdown at Glazer Children’s Museum

December 31, 2020 from 10am-3pm
Ring in the New Year at the Glazer Children’s Museum with countdowns, family play projects, and socially-distant celebrations throughout the day. You can celebrate as a family by day and still have time for evening festivities. Downtown Countdown is included with museum admission. Please note that the museum will be closing at 3pm on December 31. Visit glazermuseum.org.

New Year’s Eve Celebration at Busch Gardens

December 31, 2020
Join Busch Gardens on Dec. 31 for unforgettable fun during the day OR an awesome New Year’s Eve Celebration at night!
In order to manage capacity and maintain physical distancing, New Year’s Eve will have two reservation sessions – 9am-5pm OR 6pm-1am. Choose the one that works best for you and get ready to ring in the New Year with thrilling rides, Christmas Town surprises, amazing animals, fireworks, and much more! {All activities included with park admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration for Kids at Armature Works Tampa

December 31, 2020 at 10am – 1pm
This family friendly event kicks off at 10:00am on the Armature Works South Lawn + Pier and will feature a countdown to noon and daytime fireworks display on the Hillsborough River, live music and entertainment, inflatable slides and obstacle courses, the Spheres Bubble and Magic Show, a YMCA sponsored craft corner, sweet treat vendors plus more. Prices start at $22 for General Admission (1 adult + 1 child).

Your ticket will gain you entry into the event, unlimited rides on the bounce slides and obstacle courses, access to the craft corner, and prime fireworks viewing area with plenty of room for all attendees to social distance. Attendees must have a ticket to enter the event and masks are required. The Armature Works Lawns and Pier will be fenced off to prevent crowds that do not comply with Covid-19 guidelines.

Noon Year’s Eve at Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park

CANCELED for 2020 (Zoo will be open regular hours)
Ring in the New Year with the whole family as the Event Yard transforms into a giant New Year’s party! Enjoy festivities like interactive entertainment, a rockin’ DJ, biodegradable confetti, beer & wine available for purchase for Mom & Dad, a countdown to the NOON year with a kid-friendly lemonade toast! Details at https://zootampa.org.

Outback Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade in Ybor City

All events surrounding the Outback Bowl have been canceled for 2020. December 31, 2019 at 5:30pm
Eclectic Ybor City is the site of this festive celebration featuring the Outback Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade and a pep rally. The parade will feature floats and about fifteen marching bands including the two college bands! The Pep Rally features a battle of the bands and cheerleaders from both universities. The Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs along 7th Avenue. FREE! More details at www.outbackbowl.com.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in the Tampa Bay Area

**THERE IS NOT A FIREWORKS SHOW IN LAKELAND FOR NEW YEARS EVE**
We are working to get this list of fireworks shows updated for NYE 2020.

NYE Fireworks at Armature Works

December 31, 2020 from 8pm-midnight
Armature Works is hosting its third annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display and live concert with protocols in place to safely ring in 2021! This outdoor event will feature a riverfront concert and fireworks display over the Hillsborough River. This year the event will be ticketed and held at less than 50% capacity to adhere to Covid 19 guidelines and social distancing. 
Attendees must have a ticket to enter the event and masks are required. The Armature Works Lawns and Pier will be fenced off to prevent crowds that do not comply with Covid-19 guidelines. General Admission is $20.

First Night St. Petersburg

VIRTUAL EVENT in 2020
First Night St Petersburg is a family friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration of the Arts in Florida with over 10 performance venues that are cheerfully filled with music, interactive art exhibits, dance, literary works, crafting and more.   Fireworks at 8 p.m. and midnight.  Details at firstnightstpete.com. 

Light it Up Clearwater Beach

No Clearwater Beach fireworks for 2020
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 lightitupclearwater.com.

Apollo Beach New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show

No Fireworks for 2020
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 circleswaterfront.com.

Sparkman Wharf Laser Light Show

No Laser Light Show for 2020
We are kicking off 2020 with our first ever New Year’s Eve Laser Light Show! A special Laser Light Show every hour beginning at 9PM with the finale at 12AM! The event is open to the public and free to attend.

Orlando New Year’s Events for Kids

Spending New Year’s Eve in Orlando with family? These local favorites are all kid-friendly New Year’s Eve events..

New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld Orlando

December 31, 2020
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. Fireworks at 6:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and midnight. Tickets, required advance reservations, and more info at seaworld.com.

December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021 from 10am – 6pm
Families can ring in the New Year with Colorful fun at Crayola Experience. Special crafts, DJ dance party, special mid-day countdowns and more. Join Crayola for a Family Friendly New Year’s Eve in Orlando.

Staying Home 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. If there was ever a year to stay home on New Year’s Eve, 2020 is the year to pop the champagne and party poppers in your own living room.

While the annual ball drop and New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square aren’t open to the public, there will still be live performances you can enjoy on tv. Plus the ball drop will still happen at the stroke of midnight!

Here are the TV Specials for December 31, 2020:

  • 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 Toast & Roast 2021 With Ken Jeong and Joel McHale – 8pm – 1:30am on FOX
  • NBC New Year’s Eve Special – 10 p.m.-12:30 a.m. on NBC

HAPPY NEW YEAR and CHEERS to 2021!!

Don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Events + Holiday Activities for a full list of things to do this holiday season in Lakeland and Polk County including Christmas Light Displays, Santa Photos, Christmas Tree Lots, Christmas Parades, Holidays Concerts, Live Performances, Holiday Markets, Ice Skating, Toy Donation Needs, and more.