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Great Places to Celebrate the New Year with Kids

New Year's Eve is a different kettle of fish after kids come along, but there are still plenty of ways to make it a night to remember. Or why not make a mini-break of it, whether in a city or just somewhere fun? – our inspiring destinations range from Disney in Paris or Florida to New York. You might also spend New Year in a festive mountain resort as part of a family ski holiday in Europe. Be inspired by our recommendations then scroll down for our hand-picked selections of places to stay in some of our favourite places around the world to ring in the New Year.

Disneyland Paris

Disney may work its magic all year round, but the festive season is a particularly spellbinding time to visit one of its theme parks, including the Paris incarnation. New Year’s Eve at Disneyland Paris brings music, exclusive access to the late-night attractions thanks to extended opening hours, and a dazzling fireworks display, See more about family breaks in Paris.

Walt Disney World Resort, Florida 

Spectacular fireworks displays at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, high-energy dance parties and other special events and meals in some of the restaurants make New Year’s Eve at Disney World in Orlando one of its busiest days and nights of the year. Advance bookings on the official website are a must. Find out more about Orlando family holidays.

Reykjavik

The Icelandic capital is even more lively than the rest of year for NYE, with fireworks and other festivities, including around the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church. Stay for a few days around New Year’s Eve for a break in this wonderland at its most epically wintry – and for a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights dancing in the sky (December is the likeliest month because it has the longest and darkest nights. See more on family holidays in Iceland.

Copenhagen 

The Danish capital sees revellers head mainly to City Hall Square to watch the City Hall Tower Clock hands turn to midnight and fireworks explode across the sky. However, we recommend heading to the Tivoli Gardens, the city's charming old-school theme park, which still has its Christmas finery (a tree, illuminations, a special Northern Lights show) at this point, plus New Year fireworks. See more about family holidays in Denmark.

Vienna

A New Year’s Trail from City Hall (the Rathaus) leads revellers through the Austrian capital's Old Town, lined by stalls selling culinary treats including hot punch, and past stages hosting live rock, folk, waltzes and operettas, while fireworks light up the skies. You can also take a spin on the Riesenrad giant ferris wheel; some of the attractions of the surrounding Prater fairground are also open. New Year’s morning brings revellers back to City Hall for a bracing open-air screening of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert. See more about family holidays in Austria.

New York

Everyone knows about Times Square’s dropping ball, and that’s the problem – crowds are immense, and you’re unlikely to see much of the action if you stick to this most famous of festivities. Cross the bridge to Brooklyn to find a far more civilised affair in Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park, where locals gather to watch fireworks and there are even free hot drinks to help you keep warm.

Dubai

The glitzy emirate goes all out for New Year as it does for just about everything else, and there are lots of extravagant brunches and parties. Families send to spend the day picnicking on the beach and watching the laser and fireworks spectacular Burj Khalifa. Another good place is the Time Out Market Dubai food hall, which as well as Burj Khalifa views (for a price) offers up live music, stilt walkers, magicians, contortionists, and a 360° photo booth. Find out more about Dubai family holidays.

London

Tickets to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks on the South Bank, around the London Eye, sell out well in advance. Far more family-friendly, especialy with younger kids, is London's New Year's Day Parade, starting at Green Park at noon and ending by Big Ben.

Read more about our favourite short breaks and weekend breaks with kids in the UK and further afield.

By Rhonda Carrier

Our hand-picked selection

Disney's Newport Bay Club®

Paris
The in-room TVs at Disney's Newport Bay Club® play non-stop Disneyland films and programmes - we are pretty sure the kids will think this is the best!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Orlando
A themepark hotel with a safari theme – and zebras and giraffes just outside your bedroom window

Hotel Reykjavík Centrum

Iceland
A quirky city hotel in a very handy location in the old town area of Reykjavík, built on the remains of historical artefacts and with it's own museum.

Hollman Beletage Design & Boutique Hotel

Vienna
A quirky boutique hotel in the heart of Vienna with great family room options and little extras to make for a fun stay for the whole family.

Park Plaza County Hall London

London
A hotel on London's South Bank, where kids are treated like royalty and facilities include in-room kitchenettes.

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel New York City - Times Square

New York
Great option for larger families; suites for up to 6 + all with kitchenettes.

Lapita Hotel

Dubai
A five-star hotel within the Dubai Parks & Resorts themepark complex, with family fun including a lazy river.

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