Wondering where you can ring in 2019 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 2018 out with a bang!

Lakeland & Polk County New Year’s Events for Families

There are no upcoming events at this time.

The RP Funding Center in Lakeland is not hosting Holiday Ice Skating this year – check out our list of ice skating rinks in Tampa & Orlando.

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Tampa New Year’s Events for Kids

Noon Year’s Eve at Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park

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 festivities like interactive entertainment, a rockin’ DJ, a 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 https://zootampa.org.

Downtown Countdown at Glazer Children’s Museum

December 31 from 12pm-5pm
Ring in the New Year at the Glazer Children’s Museum with countdowns and celebrations every hour. Balloon drops, bubble wrap fireworks, explosive experiments, and more! You can celebrate as a family by day and still have time for evening festivities. Included with admission. Visit glazermuseum.org.

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

December 31 from 10am – 2pm
Join us for the 2nd Annual Noon Years Eve Balloon Drop! We will have a count down at noon for the balloon drop, arts and crafts, open gym, snacks and event day specials. This is a ticketed event and no passes will be excepted. Tickets are $12.00 each and can be purchased at www.werockthespectrumtampa.com or call the gym to reserve your ticket (813) 571-1600. Space is limited.

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 www.outbackbowl.com.

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.

New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop at Armature Works Tampa

December 31 at 10am – 1pm
Since midnight is way past bed times, join us December 31st for a special, early NYE celebration for kids. The event kicks off at 10:00am in the  Courtyard and will feature the Spheres Bubble and Magic Show as well as a countdown to noon, sparkling cider toast and a balloon drop. This family-friendly event is free to attend and open to the public. Register – http://armatureworks.com

Lakeland New Year's Eve

Fireworks in the Tampa Bay Area

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 lightitupclearwater.com.

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 circleswaterfront.com.

First Night St. Petersburg

December 31 starting at 4pm (Fireworks at 8pm and midnight)
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. 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 firstnightstpete.com. 

Downtown Tampa New Year’s Eve Fireworks have not been annouced as of 12/17/18.

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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, dinner buffet, unlimited soda/water and champagne toast at midnight for guests 21+. Tickets start at $125 for adults and $65 for kids. More details at hardrock.com.

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 seaworld.com.

New Year’s Eve Party at Crayola Experience Orlando

December 31 from 12pm – 4pm
Families can ring in the New Year with Colorful fun at Crayola Experience. Special crafts, dance party with DJ Tyler, special mid-day countdowns and character appearances by Orchid and Itty Bitty Blue throughout the event. Mid-day countdowns at 1pm and 3pm. See a schedule at crayolaexperience.com.

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR and CHEERS to a great 2019!!

Lakeland Christmas Events Activities for Kids

Looking for Christmas Light Displays, Special Events, Concerts & Live Performances, Parades, Santa Sightings, Holiday Movies & more?  For the ultimate list of Christmas activities in Lakeland check out Lakeland’s BEST Holiday & Christmas Event Guide.