Arts & Entertainment

Family Fun New Year's Eve Activities Locally and Around the Garden State

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NEW JERSEY - Don't have plans for New Year's Eve yet? Don't despair. There's always plenty to do in the Garden State and that includes some New Year's Eve fun that includes the kids too. So, if there isn't any hope of snagging a last minute sitter, here are some family friendly activites for the last day of 2015 that everyone can enjoy.

  • Right here in SOMA, there's First Night Maplewood South Orange. Performances and activities begin at 4 p.m. at Columbia High School and end with fireworks at 10:15 p.m. Tickets required; details here.
  • The Holiday Lights Spectacular is at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free, but donations of canned goods, coats and new toys are being accepted. More information here.
  • New Year's Eve is the last night to see the Camuso Holiday Lights in Livingston from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Additional information here.
  • Head down to the Seaside Heights Boardwalk for First Night Ocean County. Fun begins at noon and lasts until 5 p.m. and includes fireworks. Cost is $5.
  • More Jersey Shore fireworks at JFK Boulevard Beach in Sea Isle City. Festivities begin at 8 p.m. and last until 11:30 p.m.
  • South Side Johnny and the Asbury Jukes are always having a party and they never want to go home. Spend New Year's Eve at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank for a rockin' concert, Jersey style. Show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are still available.
  • Spend New Year's Eve at iPlay America in Freehold. A New Year's Eve party pass for $39.95 includes unlimited rides and attractions, a $10 game card as well as party favors and giveaways. There will also be entertainment and a TV to watch the ball drop. Adults can enjoy a cocktail area too.
  • Take a trip down to Camden to the Battleship New Jersey for fireworks. There will be two shows. Tickets are $10 each. Boarding begins at 4 p.m for the 6 p.m. show and at 10 p.m. for the midnight fireworks display.
  • Splash into the New Year at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. The aquarium is open from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Holiday decorations and lights are still up. Count down the New Year early with a fabulous view of the fireworks over the Delaware River.
  • Take a ride down the Parkway to Ocean City's First Night Celebration. America's favorite seaside resort has a bunch of activities happening.
  • Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display over the Delaware River in Lambertville. Fun starts at 9:30 p.m.

If all else fails, curl up on the couch with a good movie, some snacks and when midnight nears watch a bunch of folks on television freezing in Times Square until the ball drops to signal the arrival of 2016.

Wondering what's open on New Year's Day? A list of area South Orange and Maplewood businesses that are can be found here.

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