6 Family-friendly New Year’s Events In D.C.

David Hatef


For 25 years, First Night Alexandria has celebrated the turn of the new year, and this family-friendly event is perfect for everyone. First Night Alexandria is a music festival, but it is also so much more than that. The event takes place across several venues—all within walking distance—and provides a well-rounded night of entertainment and fun as an alternative to more traditional New Year’s Eve parties. When the area’s best performers in 30 different genres all come together, the night is bound to be filled with wonder, excitement, and a whole lot of dancing. 

Plus, every event during First Night Alexandria is created to accommodate children—no venue is off limits! However, a few suggested venues during the event that are specifically designed for kids are the Kids Karnival and Hooray for Books! If someone in your family is a rising star, consider auditioning for the annual talent showcase held at 7:30 p.m. The grand finale, of course, is watching the fireworks over the waters of the Potomac in Alexandria, Virginia to commemorate the beginning of 2020. 


Grab your mittens and head outside for an afternoon of ice skating at the National Gallery of Art. This ice rink opens annually in the Sculpture Garden and, weather permitting, is loads of fun for children of all ages. The rink is open until 9 p.m. on weeknights, so swing by on New Year’s Eve before heading to the party or start your year with an early morning skate starting at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day. 

Once you’ve worked up an appetite on the ice, stop by the Pavilion Café to warm up with a mug of hot chocolate or a bowl of homemade soup. Plus, parents can grab a glass of wine and keep an eye on their skating children while enjoying an impeccable view of the National Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden.


If you want to start the year off on the right foot, make the short trek to Lothian, Maryland to participate in the First Day Hike. This free event is open to anyone 12 years or older and is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the northeast. Held this year at the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, the First Day Hike brings people together to celebrate this natural marshland along the Patuxent River. 

The sanctuary was founded in order to preserve the environment’s large variety of water birds, fish, and plant life, as well as educate the public about the importance of estuaries and preservation techniques. Researchers use the sanctuary to study the wetlands and observe changing environmental conditions and how it affects the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay. Participating in the First Day Hike is a fantastic learning experience for everyone. 


Washington, D.C. is lucky to boast world-class theatres, and getting dressed up to the nines is a fantastic way for you and your family to ring in the new year. Luckily, there are several family-friendly productions being performed throughout the city this time of year. 

Watch My Fair Lady at the Kennedy Center, which is often considered to be one of the world’s best musicals. This musical follows Eliza Doolittle as she is taught how to speak proper English by stuffy professor Henry Higgins. Lighthearted and filled with unforgettable musical numbers, this world-renowned musical will be a blast for the whole family. 

If your family is more fond of fantasy, consider attending The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. This lively adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ famous novel is told through dance. Imagination Stage is dedicated to empowering young voices, and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, which follows the Pevensie children through a wardrobe to Narnia, is the perfect example of that. The production runs through January 5th, so you won’t want to miss out! Recommended for children ages 5 and up, this powerful testimony to the magic of imagination is a phenomenal way to start the new decade. 


Coach, Williebob, and Boogie Ben invite you and your family to a rocking end of the year event! The 13th annual Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve party is designed for families with children of all ages. If your family is from the greater Washington, D.C. area, then it’s likely you’ve heard of Rocknoceros because these three friends have been making music for almost fifteen years. This year’s party is being held at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia, with doors opening at 1:30 p.m., making this event perfect for partiers with an early bedtime. Admission is $10, and tickets can be purchased online in advance. Celebratory apple juice toasts to the new year will finish off this fun afternoon. 


Each of the Smithsonian Institute museums is open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, so bring your family along for a day packed with hands-on learning. Any of the twenty museums will be a fantastic excursion for children of all ages, whether you peruse historical aircrafts at the Air and Space Museum or tackle the world’s largest collection of natural history materials at the National Museum of Natural History. Entry to each of the Smithsonian museums is always free of charge.

​​​​​​​Washington, D.C. ranks among one of the best places to raise a family according to Parenting magazine, and there are a number of incredible neighborhoods for new families. Kickstart the new decade with one of these events and let your family experience the magic of Washington, D.C. real estate today. Contact me today for more information about Washington, D.C. luxury real estate.


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