New Year’s Eve in NJ is almost here, so let’s all raise a glass (or a juice box) and celebrate the beginning of a brighter 2022. Scoring a sitter is tough, so why not ring in the new year with the fam? From First Nights to concerts to skating under the stars, there’s plenty to do for all ages. So grab those party poppers, horns, and hats, and let’s get ready to celebrate at one of these festive events on New Year’s Eve in NJ. And before we say goodbye to December, check out some free things you can do in the state before the month is over.
Featured Photo Credit: iStock/tatyana_tomsickova
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Ring in 2022 with one of these kid-friendly events for New Year’s Eve in NJ:
(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)
First Night Morris County 2022
This event is a reimagined version of Morris County’s popular First Night event, a kid-friendly celebration of arts and culture. There are over 50 performances (in-person, live-streamed, and on-demand) and it all kicks off at 4 PM on New Year’s Eve. There will be a flurry of performances until midnight, including music performances, art exhibits, film festivals, and comedy shows. And don’t miss the new midnight countdown. Also, each ticket includes on-demand and streaming access to performances happening until January 3.
Cost: $25 for early bird tickets (through December 21); $30 for standard tickets
Six Flags Holiday in the Park
New Year’s Eve in NJ is a great excuse to experience your favorite theme park in a new light. Head to Main Street, the heart of the park, and admire the five-story brightly-lit tree. Make sure your kiddos get photos with the Evergreen Queen, Jack Frost, Peppermint Princess, Poinsettia Princess, Snow Queen, and of course, Santa Claus. And don’t forget to visit Mrs. Claus, too—she’ll be reading holiday stories for your littles. And for a bird—or reindeer—eye’s view of the park, ride on the Skyway over Wild Lights National Park. And make sure you’re in a good spot at 9 PM for the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Cost: Ticket prices vary based on membership level
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527
New Year’s Family Camp
Celebrate this New Year’s Eve in NJ at Fairview Lake YMCA Camp’s campgrounds. You’ll go hiking during the day, kids can make crafts, and the whole fam can test their skills at an archery class. You’ll stay in cabins—with heat and bathrooms—and eat in the dining hall. And at night, you can warm up by the campfire, go for a night hike, and welcome in the New Year with a camp celebration.
Cost: $139 for adults 18 and over, $118 for kids 12-17, $95 for kids 5-11. Children 4 and under are free
1035 Fairview Lake Rd., Newton, NJ 07860
New Year’s Eve Celebration at Iplay America
For a truly kid-friendly party—with fun rides, a DJ, party favors, and confetti cannons—this is the place to be for New Year’s Eve in NJ. Take a food break and refuel at Miracle at Game Time Bar & Grill, or grab a snack at one of the in-park concession stands. After that, it’s back to the games, rides, and other attractions. You can also book a Topgolf swing suite, and there are private VIP suites where you can watch the NYE celebration and ball drop in Times Square on a big screen TV.
Cost: $42.99 for the advance New Year’s Eve Party Pass ($52.99 at the door). VIP and suite rentals are additional
110 Schanck Rd., Freehold, NJ 07728
Bye 2021 New Year’s Eve Virtual Run
End the year strong and healthy with the entire family by running (or walking) a virtual run. They have plenty of options, like a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon. Choose your route and time—then lace up and get going. Each participant will get a postcard, a certificate of completion, a digital running journal, training plans, access to contests, and more.
Cost: $5 for the virtual packet, $14 for the medal packet, $30 for the full packet, $39 for the premium packet
New Jersey New Year’s Eve Signature Dinner Cruise
Ring in the New Year—on the water! Aboard this dinner cruise, you’ll sail on both the East and Hudson Rivers. Make sure to grab a camera—not only are there plenty of photo opportunities with the NYC skyline as the backdrop, but the cruise also provides holiday accessories (like hats and noisemakers) for your kiddos to wear and use in these ‘gram-worthy photos. And after your fam enjoys a buffet dinner and dances to DJ-mixed music, make sure to grab a spot to watch the fireworks show. Keep in mind that you’ll have to leave your littles at home—guests must be four years old or older.
Cost: Depends on ticket package. Call for details
Departs from Lincoln Harbor Marina, 1500 Harbor Blvd., Weehawken, NJ 07086
NYE 2022 Bollywood Disco
Grab a plate of food—they have an international food station—and then listen to the music, watch the belly dancers, and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Don’t miss the broadcasted ball drop at midnight. And don’t worry about your kiddos and littles; this party has a special space for them, complete with kids’ meals, a clown, a magician, face painting, music, games, party favors, and more.
Cost: $285 for couples; $150 for singles; $95 for guests 10-20; $65 for kids under 10
560 Stelton Rd., Piscataway, NJ 08854
New Year’s Eve Bash and Giant Blueberry Drop
Come celebrate the new year in the “Blueberry Capital of the World.” Downtown Hammonton hosts a number of family-friendly holiday events in December, including a tree lighting, Christmas parade, and (of course) a New Year’s Eve celebration. Wrap up 2021 in a festive environment, complete with live music and fireworks, and welcome in 2022 with a midnight countdown in front of Town Hall.
100 Central Ave., Hammonton, NJ 08037
New Year’s Eve Midnight Fireworks
Bring a little history into your fam’s New Year’s Eve celebration this year. Climb aboard the historic Battleship New Jersey, which is now a museum and memorial. They’ll have live music and food, and your squad might even be able to fire a gun salute. Then grab a viewing spot to watch dazzling fireworks show over the Delaware River. Proceeds from the event go toward the restoration of the Battleship.
Cost: $10 per person; members are free. $10 parking
100 Clinton St., Camden, NJ 08103
NYE Firework Spectacular at Pier Village
Head to Pier Village for a celebration full of food, music, and dancing. There will be horse and carriage rides, and skating on the Ice At Pier Village rink will be open. Stay for the celebration and the end of the year fireworks show at 9 PM.
110 North Ocean Ave., Long Branch, NJ 07740
2022 First Night Ocean City NJ
This New Year’s Eve in NJ celebration is packed—they have 30 different activities happening at 21 different venues from 4 PM to just before midnight. Join the party a little early at 3:45 PM at the Music Pier for the kickoff and ribbon cutting and then stay at the Music Pier for musical and juggling performances, or head to the Civic Center for inflatables and ice skating. The primary school and high school both have magic shows (with different magicians), although the high school also has karaoke and musical shows. Swing by the skate park for a skate party, and then stop by the library for trivia and storytime. Check out the full schedule here. And make sure to hang around for the fireworks show at midnight to welcome in the new year.
Cost: $20 for an all-inclusive button (good for all events)
Venues all around Ocean City, NJ
Noon Year’s Eve Kids Countdown
If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate the new year early, why not check out Renault Winery’s Noon Year’s Eve? The kids will receive noisemakers and their choice of hot chocolate or Martinelli’s sparkling cider, have a chance to snap photos with characters, and they can watch Livestream live countdowns from around the world. Make sure you take a spin on the ice rink and hang by one of the firepits after (reservations suggested).
Cost: Prices vary per event
72 North Bremen Avenue, Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215