The Ultimate Guide to Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Events in Jacksonville

Kid Friendly NYE Jax New Year’s Eve for mamas isn’t quite what it used to be. Despite the fact that you probably won’t be staying up all night (unless you’re dealing with a sick kiddo or a non-sleeper) and your champagne has been replaced with a juice box there is still a ton of fun ways to celebrate this December 31.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite family-friendly New Year’s Eve activities and parties around town that everybody in the family will love. The best part is most of these end early so if you are heading out for an adult-only NYE you’ll still be able to celebrate with your littles.

Community First Jacksonville Light Boat Parade (December 30, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. – Midnight) –New Night, Same Great Tradition! The Community First Jacksonville Light Boat Parade is moving to Friday, December 30th. Jacksonville’s boating community takes center stage at this iconic event. The parade will be capped by a spectacular fireworks display and will highlight our beautiful St Johns River!

Parade Begins at 7:00 p.m.
Fireworks show at 9:00 p.m.
Admission is FREE to this family-friendly community event!

Vystar 5K Run (December 30, 2016 | 2:00 p.m.) – Kick off 2017 with a family run during the Vystar New Year’s Eve Run. Kids and adults can run for a child by making a $10 donation to Wolfson Children’s Hospital. What better way to start the New Year?

Noon Year’s Eve at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens (December 31, 2016 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) – Ring in the New Year with live entertainment, party favors, giveaways, prizes, special kid-friendly activities, face painting, caricatures, strolling magic, and more.  There will be an apple juice toast at the strike of noon! Held on the Great Lawn, the event is free with zoo admission.

Family New Year’s Eve at Enchanted Christmas (December 31, 2016 | 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) –  Celebrate this family-friendly New Year’s Eve party and get home safely before the midnight crowds.  Family friendly, with the ball dropping at 9:00 p.m.

Celebrate this family-friendly New Year’s Eve party and get home safely before the midnight crowds.

  • Family Friendly
  • >Sidewalk 65 Band
  • Last Tree Performance at 10: 00 p.m. to Close Out the Year!  Happy New Years!!
  • Non-profit Sponsor – Children’s Home Society

Beach Blast Off – St Augustine Pier (December 31, 2016 | 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) – Head down to St Augustine for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve. This year’s event features a rock wall, and a mechanical bull, and other rides. The Kids’ Zone area includes several inflatables and activities such as face painting and balloon twisting. The fireworks display to music takes place at 8:30 p.m., with the after-party continuing until 10:00 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Celebration and Annual Balloon Drop at Adventure Landing (December 31, 2016 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) – For an adventurous New Year’s Eve bring the family out to Adventure Landing for the New Year’s Eve Celebration and Balloon Drop. Ring in 2017 with all-you-can-play mini golf, laser tag, go-karts, and wacky worm.

Pump It Up New Year’s Eve Jumps (December 31, 2016 | 1:00 p.m.  2:30 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) – Bounce, Jump & Celebrate with a balloon drop in Jacksonville. Every balloon will hold a prize. Admission includes hats, blowers, and other goodies.  $14 per child.

Skate Station Funworks New Year’s All Night (December 31, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)Skate Station Mandarin and Skate Station Orange Park hosts an All Night Skate on New Year’s Eve. The all night ticket includes unlimited play, breakfast, dinner, hats, leis, and horns. There will be a balloon drop at midnight for cash and prizes. Event runs from December 31 at 7:30 pm to 7am on January 1st.  Cost is $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Or, only stay from 7:30pm to 11pm for admission starting at $9.
*After 12midnight, no one over age 15 will be allowed.

New Year’s Eve Celebration Downtown (December 31) Say goodbye to 2016 and ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display over the St. Johns River. Make your way down to the waterfront with friends or family before midnight to snag a great seat for the festivities. This year fireworks will be launched from a barge on the St. Johns River between the Hyatt and Double Tree hotels and high above the St. Johns River from the Acosta Bridge. These locations are able to be viewed from both the North and South banks in Downtown Jacksonville in addition to viewing from Brooklyn and under the Fuller Warren Bridge where the Riverside Arts Market is held.


Jena Pugh is a stay-at-home working mom, a wife to her adoring husband Paul, and mama to two spunky girls. She currently writes daily blogs for Entertainment Benefits Group, a travel company that sells discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks (, and Las Vegas ( shows and attractions. Her blogs include happenings in both Vegas and Orlando as well as celebrity sightings in Sin City. Jena also teaches group fitness classes with Jacksonville Stroller Strength and is certified as a nutrition coach.


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