New Year’s Eve is for kids, too! If you’re looking for a fun way to ring in the New Year with your children this year, here’s a list of family-friendly events in Toronto and the surrounding area to ring in 2019!

Family-Friendly New Year’s Events

These events are either family-friendly or kid-focused. Some begin quite early in the day, and some require advanced booking, so be sure to plan ahead.

New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square

Get ready for the biggest New Year’s Eve event in the Toronto area. Entertainment includes a DJ skating party, live musical performances, and fireworks to end the night.

When: Dec. 31, 8 pm–midnight
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., Toronto
Cost: Free

Noon Year’s Celebration at the Library

Forget staying up until midnight and count down to noon instead! Several Toronto Public Library branches are hosting celebrations with crafts, activities, and a countdown to noon. All ages are welcome. Participating branches are College/Shaw, Jane/Dundas, Bloor/Gladstone, Richview, S. Walter Stewart, Northern District, and Cedarbrae. The St. James Town branch is hosting a party on December 28, and Don Mills’ party is on December 29.

When: Most celebrations are Dec. 31, 11 am–noon, but check each branch for details
Where: Find TPL branch locations
Cost: Free

Noon Year’s Mini Masquerade Ball at Glama Gal Tween Spa

Purchase tickets in advance for this popular two-hour event with confetti manicures, glitter hair and makeup, a pink balloon drop, and dance party. For ages 5 and up.

When: Dec. 31 at 10 am or 12:30 pm
Where: Two Toronto locations in East York and North York; see all locations
Cost: $44/child

Christmas in the Valley

Step back in time to experience Christmas in the 1890s and the 1940s at Todmorden Mills Heritage Site as you sample historic recipes, make take-home crafts, and explore the winter-themed outdoor experience of the Wildflower Preserve.

When: Dec. 31, 10 am–2 pm; more dates available
Where: Todmorden Mills, 67 Pottery Rd., Toronto
Cost: $8 adults, $7 youth and seniors, $5 kids

Winter at Ontario Place

Head over to the West Island of Ontario Place for a free fun-filled winter program, with a winter light exhibition, skating, and roasting marshmallows and s’mores by the bonfire.

When: Dec. 31, 3 pm–11 pm for most activities, but check for specific activity start times; more dates available
Where: Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Toronto
Cost: Free

ROM for the Holidays

Come see the ROM’s transformation into a winter wonderland and stay for a day of fun-filled activities. Activities include getting up close and personal with wildlife with Hands On Exotics, learning to bust a move like a honeybee or peacock spider, crafts, face painting, and more.

When: Dec. 31, 10 am–5:30 pm; more dates available
Where: Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, Toronto
Cost: Regular admission applies: $20 adults; $14 kids; additional fee for special exhibits

Gingerbread Make and Bake at Fort York National Historic Site

While you enjoy a tour of Fort York, your kids can learn to bake traditional 1800s gingerbread cookies using period cooking utensils and tools. Samples can be taken home—if they last that long. For ages 4 and up.

When: Dec. 31 at 11 am and 2 pm; more dates available
Where: Fort York, 250 Fort York Blvd., Toronto
Cost: Regular admission applies: $14 adults, $8 youth and seniors, $6 kids; ages 5 and under free

The Quest to Save Christmas Family Escape Room

The Grinch has kidnapped Santa’s Head Elf in charge of the reindeer. You have 60 minutes to gain access to her office and create magical reindeer dust in time to save Christmas. A not-scary escape room experience, designed with kids in mind.

When: December 31, various times—other dates available
Where: Mysterious Minds, 322 Bloor St. W., Toronto
Cost: $22 adults, $17 kids

Family Shows

These family-friendly shows are a special way to spend New Year’s Eve. These productions are ongoing and have tickets available for December 31.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl’s amazing tale comes to life with all your favourite songs from the original movie, as well as the Oompa-Loompas, crazy inventions, and the great glass elevator. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

When: December 30 at 1:30 pm; more dates available
Where: Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., Toronto
Cost: Tickets from $49

Ross Petty’s The Wizard of Oz

This “Toto-ly twistered” family musical pantomime is loads of fun, with audience interaction, alongside dancing, pop songs, and jokes. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

When: Dec. 31, at 2 pm; more dates available
Where: Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., Toronto
Cost: Tickets from $27

Mary Poppins at YPT

The beloved musical about the practically perfect nanny with the ability to turn everything upside down and just right. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

When: Dec. 31 at 2:30 pm; more dates available
Where: Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front St. E., Toronto
Cost: Tickets from $33

School of Rock

Based on the hit movie about a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns his students into a rock band. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

When: Dec. 30 at 1:30 pm; more dates available
Where: Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St., Toronto
Cost: Tickets from $25

The Naughty Listers

A hilarious holiday musical from The Second City about Santa’s elves gone rogue. To save Christmas, Santa needs the help of some of the children on his naughty list. For all ages.

When: December 31 at 2 pm; more dates available
Where: The Second City, 51 Mercer St., Toronto
Cost: Tickets $18 adults; $14 kids

Excali-Purr! The Once and Future Cat

A wacky retelling of the Sword in the Stone with singing, dancing, and fun for the whole family.

When: Dec. 31 at 3 pm—more dates available
Where: Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen St. E., Toronto
Cost: Adult $25, Child $15

Beyond Toronto: New Year’s Eve for Kids in the GTA

There’s plenty of family celebrations for those who don’t live in Toronto proper. Here are some kid-friendly activities for you to ring in the New Year.

New Year’s Eve at Celebration Square (Mississauga)

Ring in the New Year’s at this family-friendly celebration with a DJ skate, live musical performances, and a fireworks finale.

When: Dec. 31, 8 pm–midnight
Where: Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Dr., Mississauga
Cost: Free

First Night Newmarket

Celebrate the end of 2018 with indoor family entertainment, including a glow in the dark dance party, free public skating and swimming, inflatables, face painting, and more. Join the countdown and fireworks outside at 9 pm.

When: Dec. 31, 5–9 pm
Where: Magna Centre, 800 Mulock Dr., Newmarket
Cost: Free

First Night Richmond Hill

Skip the late night and head to this family-friendly First Night celebration. Tons of activities, including arts and crafts; Festival Land with inflatables, slides, and more; video games; live musical performances; and, of course, fireworks.

When: Dec. 31, 6–9 pm
Where: Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park, 1300 Elgin Mills Rd. E., Richmond Hill
Cost: Free

New Year’s Eve Skate and Swim (Pickering)

Enjoy a free family skate and swim with games, prizes and a countdown to the new year.

When: Dec. 31, 7—9 pm
Where: Pickering Recreation Complex, 1867 Valley Farm Road, Pickering
Cost: Free with a food donation

Coyote Howl Hike (Oakville)

Hike into the woods with park rangers to howl like coyotes and hopefully hear them answer your call on this educational nature hike. Followed by a bonfire and a New Year’s Eve (early) countdown for kids. No reservations required.

When: Dec. 31, 7–9 pm
Where: Bronte Creek Provincial Park, 1219 Burloak Dr., Oakville
Cost: $17/vehicle

Noon Year’s Mini Masquerade Ball (Ajax, Newmarket, Oakville, Vaughan)

A popular two-hour party at Glama Gal Tween Spa locations for ages 5 and up with confetti manicures, glitter hair and makeup, a pink balloon drop, and dance party. Reserations are required.

When: Dec. 31 at 10 am or 12:30 pm
Where: Glama Gal Tween Spa locations in Ajax, East York, Newmarket, Oakville, Toronto, Vaughan; see all locations
Cost: $44/child

New Year’s Nature Hoopla (Milton)

Take your new year’s celebration outdoors for this nature party with a play barn, wagon rides, night hike, and puppet show—plus hibernation stations and a bonfire to keep warm. Kids’ countown at 9 pm.

When: Dec. 31, 5:30–9 pm
Where: Mountsberg Conservation Area, 2259 Millburough Line, Campbellville
Cost: $25 adults, $16 seniors and kids ages 5 and up, $6 kids ages 1–4; infants free

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