17 Things to Do in Washington DC for New Years Eve

It’s not too early to plan for the new year’s eve party.

Whether you’re looking for an adult-only massive celebration, special treats for your kids or something to do as a family, we have some great options for you here.

Check out new year’s eve events here and plan the last night of the year for your family members.

#1 Noon Yards Eve at The Yards Park

1300 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003 | Website

Noon Yards Eve at The Yards Park is a fantastic event for the whole family.

Also, there are attractions such as trackless trains through the yard, inflatable moon bounces, glitter tattoo artists, and balloon artistry.

The main attraction is the countdown and celebratory Noon Yards Eve balloon drop.

The date of Noon Yard Eve at Yard Park is on December 31st from 10 am to 10 pm.

#2 Attend a New Year’s Party on a Yacht

Gatsby’s DC Fireworks New Year’s Eve Yacht Party

580 Water St SW Washington, DC 20024 | Website

Spend New Year’s Eve on a Super-hot luxury yacht, Spirit of Washington, for a unique experience.

This Great Gatsby-like experience is a party on the Potomac river and Washington Harbor.

The complete offer of live music and live performance of music artists, buffet-style dinner, open bar, and more all-inclusive on board.

Visitors can check in at 8 pm. VIP Boarding is at 8:15, GA boarding is at 8:30, and cruise time is from 9 pm to 1 am.

The place of boarding is Wharf Marina – Pier 4, 580 Water Street SW.

All guests can park their cars in local parking. This is a great place to see some spectacular fireworks.

#3 Jazz New Year’s Eve at the Kennedy Center

Terrace Theatre, Washington DC | Website

For all people who love jazz and live entertainment, this is a great opportunity to be at New Year’s Eve at Terrace Theater and have a jazz party with Carmen Lundy and friends.

Enjoy a live performance of live bands for a great experience. The time is from 7 pm to 9 pm.

RELATED: U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center & Tour

#4 Help Make a Winter Village

Maryland Science Center Baltimore MD 21230 | Website

This is a family event. Everybody who likes playing with cardboard and glue can help make Winter Village.

kids learning at the Maryland Science Center
Source: Maryland Science Center

This miniature creature is complete with buildings, infrastructures, inhabitants, and natural features.

#5 Merriweather Symphony of Lights

10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044 | Website

Merriweather Symphony of Lights is a holiday tradition for 25 years in Howard County. This is also a family-friendly event.

Source: Merriweather Symphony of Lights

The fun Contest, hunt for letters, and a lot more. The event will take place at Merriweather Post Pavilion. This event is available from Nov 24 to Jan 1.

#6 Gaylord National Resort

201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745 | Website

So. Much. Christmas is a Christmas extravaganza at Gaylord National Resort in the Marriot hotel in Maryland.

kids having fun at Gaylord National Resort
Source: Gaylord National Resort

Guests can enjoy many different activities and events like snow tubing, ice bumper cars, holiday dining, and live entertainment.

Events at Gaylord National are from Nov. 20. to Dec. 31.

#7 Susan Campbell Park’s

Dock St, Annapolis, MD 21401 | Website

A special event in Susan Campbell Park on the city dock in Annapolis is host to fantastic New Years celebrations.

There are all kinds of activities throughout the day, and the final attraction is New Year’s evening celebration with dance and fireworks. Celebration starts at 5:30 pm.

#8 National Harbor

165 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745 | Website

National Harbor in Maryland offers many interesting activities and events during the Holiday season.

Source: National Harbor

Visitors can attend Night Tree Light Show, Festive Fireworks, and Ice! Is Back at Gaylord National, Santa at the Capital Wheel, Cirque Dreams Holiday, Holiday Movies, Tangier Outlets Elf On The Shelf Scavenger Hunt. This is an opportunity for the whole family to have the best time.

#9 Watch the Ball Drop

The Ball Drop is a great attraction for the whole family. It is the New York City style attraction. A spectacle for all visitors.

Andrew w Mellon auditorium (The Mellon Gala NYE Party)


The New Year’s Eve Gala at Mellon Auditorium is an event on New Year’s Eve. Glamorous and luxurious celebration of New Year in DC. This is an annual event.

hall at Mellon auditorium
Source: Mellon

This is a Black-Tie gala- which features DC’s venue.

For all participants, there is a complimentary champagne toast, an open bar, multiples DJs and genres of music. A great spot to experience a lively night,

#10 Japanese Bell Dedication Ceremony

3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC | Website

On January 1st from 1-4pm, y ou can ring in the New Year at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Courtyard of the US National Arboretum.

The bell is 225 years old. Just before the ringing begins, Zen priests will give their blessings. This event is free but you are asked to register.

#11 Family New Year’s Party at MetroBar

640 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002 | Website

On Dec. 31. from 4 pm to 7:30 pm Metrobar is and Family New Year’s Party. From 4 pm family celebration on New Year is full of activities for kids, many different games to entertain kids.

At 7 pm is a New Year toast with bubbly for the adults and cider for the kids. On the 20-foot tv screen, visitors will watch the ball drop in London.

#12 National Children’s Museum Countdown to Noon

Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 PA Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004 | Website

National Children’s Museum will be offering an interesting event for kids on Dec. 31. Inside the museum, they’ll be playing lots of games at their Engineering Games + Play exhibit as they countdown to noon.

This is a whole day event. This museum is an institution for kids with education programs in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

#13 Go Ice Skating (at the Wharf’s Ice Rink)

970 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024 | Website

One of the most interesting activities for kids during the Holiday season is Ice Skating.

For all visitors of Washington DC during this season, the excellent Ice-Skating Rink is on Wharf’s Rink.

This is the only over-water ice skating ring in Washington DC.

Source: The Wharf

For all visitors who do not have their skates, it is possible to rent them on-site. Visitors should check working hours before they go to Wharf’s Ice Rink.

#14 Noon Time New Year at Port Discovery

35 Market Place, Baltimore, MD 21202 | Website

Come for lots of fun including live performances, hands-on activities, art projects and more.

A sensory friendly countdown is also being offered this year!

#15 First Night Alexandria

228 S Washington Street, Suite 330, Alexandria, VA 22314 | Website

This family-friendly event will start at 2pm and will last till midnight. This is a music festival with live performances of new artists, rising stars, and professionals.

RELATED: Best Things to Do in Alexandria: From Nature to Action

All visitors can enjoy an alternative celebration of New Year’s Eve.

The fireworks last about 10 minutes above the Potomac River. Luckily, there are several great places to view the fireworks from:

  • Jones Point Park
  • Rivergate Park
  • Windmill Hill Park
  • Fords Landing
  • Canal Center Plaza

#16 Head to an Open Bar at Howl at The Moon or The Hideout Casino Night Open Bar

900 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 | Website

The Moon or The Hideout Casino Night Open Bar offers a fantastic live music program to all visitors. Howl Moon is amazing entertainment.

This event is recommendable to all people who like to hit the dance floor.

#17 Shipgaren Kids’ New Years Eve

7581 Colshire Dr McLean, VA 22102 | Website

This free event will be a blast! And Froezen’s Elsa and Anna will be there, as will Spider Man!

Plus there will be a ball drop at 2pm and other fun activities like moon bounces, face painting and more.

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Michaela Lee

Michaela lives in Northern Virginia and is a mom of 2 young kids. She enjoys writing, reading and going new places with her family.