New Year's Eve 2017 is a helluva time to get sloshed while looking back at what was, for many, a very terrible 365 days. But for those with kids, it might not be such a hot idea to send off the year that murdered Bowie and Ali while giving us President Trump by getting angry-drunk as the ball drops. No, it’s probably better to hit up some family-friendly spots to ring in the new year and not go all Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places on your kids. It’s safer, more fun, and won’t traumatize them for life.
Here’s a list of some of the shindigs going down December 31 that you can celebrate with the little ones:
Noon Year’s Eve at Miami Children's Museum
Because kids generally knock off way before midnight, the folks at Miami Children's Museum have put together Noon Year's Eve especially for them. This year's celebration will feature dancers from Miami City Ballet, who will not only put on a performance but also show kids how to dance themselves. There will then be a countdown and balloon drop at noon to ring in 2017, which sounds a lot more fun than what parents will be watching come midnight.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Miami Children's Museum, 980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami. Admission costs $18 for adults and children; and children under 1 and MCM members get in free. Visit miamichildrensmuseum.org.
Fourth-Annual Rock'n Noon Year's Eve Party at Young at Art
Much like MCM, YAA will host its own early-afternoon new year's countdown for the young ones. The event will also feature a balloon drop at noon, as well as entertainment and special art activities to celebrate the incoming year.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Young at Art Museum, 751 SW 121st Ave., Davie. Admission costs $14 for adults and children and $12 for seniors and Broward County residents; YAA members get in free. Visit youngatartmuseum.org.
Holiday Gifts for the Animals
People love gifts. Know who else loves gifts? Monkeys and giraffes and elephants and pretty much all the animals. They're just like us! Every week during the holiday season, Zoo Miami has been hosting its annual Holiday Gifts for the Animals, where zookeepers hand over wrapped presents to the animals so we silly humans can watch them rip them open. It's a real delight, and the kids will love seeing how their favorite animals react to the presents they receive and the treats they find inside. New Year's Eve will be the last day of the event, when the zoo will hand out gifts to the orangutans, white-cheeked gibbons, and birds in the Flooded Forest Aviary. The zoo's African elephant will receive a giant Australian pine tree with elephantine ornaments (i.e., coconuts) inside.
11 a.m. at Zoo Miami, 1 Zoo Blvd., 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami. Admission costs $21.95 for adults, $17.95 for kids under 12; zoo members get in free. Visit zoomiami.org.
Fireworks on South Beach
It's become an annual tradition (along with the traffic, whee!), and South Beach will once again ring in the new year with some awesome fireworks.
9 p.m. to midnight in Miami Beach on Ocean Drive at Ninth Street. Admission is free.
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Fort Lauderdale Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown
Every year, the City of Fort Lauderdale hosts an all-day New Year's Eve hoedown for the entire family. While Miami watches the Big Orange rise, Fort Lauderdale will drop a festive 25-foot anchor. This year's party will feature live music, booze for purchase (for parents of course), bounce houses and inflatables, face painting, and games for the kids until 7:30 p.m. There will also be dancing, a DJ, and fireworks at 7 p.m. for the kids.
3:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Esplanade Park, 400 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale (across the street from the Museum of Discovery & Science). Visit fortlauderdale.gov.
Pitbull's New Year Revolution
OK, making your kids listen to Pitbull's music might be bad parenting. But screw it. It's New Year's Eve, and it's what we do in Miami. You can also spend the evening explaining to your kids why the event is called a revolution. Plus it's free, which can't be beat. So grab the little ones and head to Bayfront Park to watch the Big Orange rise at midnight while Pitbull screams "worldwide!" for some inexplicable reason. It's 2017, which probably won't be any different from 2016. Might was well go out in a blaze of glory.
8 p.m. at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Admission is free. Visit bayfrontparkmiami.com.