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Family-friendly New Year's Eve events In London: A complete guide

Published

20 November, 2023

Edited

6 March, 2024

The countdown begins, and we’re all ready to wave goodbye to the old year and celebrate the endless possibilities that the New Year brings. All around the world, people are gathering to watch amazing fireworks displays and be with their family and friends to welcome in the New Year. If you’re looking for family New Year events in London, there are plenty of opportunities to start the New Year in real style.

From outdoor events suitable for all ages to shows and attractions that'll bring a sprinkling of magic to the season, we've put together a list of London New Year’s Eve events for families to chase the winter blues away. In this article, we’ll look at the top attractions for families, some kid-friendly activities, and give you some hints on the best places to watch London’s incredible fireworks displays. We’ll also look at some top tips on dining and travelling through the capital. And why not turn New Year’s Eve in London into a longer family break at one of our fabulous London homes? You can find out more about the best places to stay in London in our informative guide, Where To Stay In London With Kids.

Why choose London for a New Year's Eve trip with your family?

London is a very special place to celebrate New Year's Eve. It boasts one of the greatest fireworks displays in the world and a wonderfully warm and friendly atmosphere. You don’t need to stay up until midnight, though, and throughout the capital there are events, shows and celebrations at a more child-friendly time so that the little ones don’t get too tired.

Booking a onefinestay London home also turns your celebration into a family holiday, giving you more time to explore the capital's attractions, cultural riches and world cuisine. Staying in London for New Year's Eve means you don't have to worry about travelling around, either – many things to do in London for New Year with kids are right on your doorstep or just a couple of tube stops away.

Here are a few more reasons why London's family-friendly New Year's Eve events are the best way to ring in the new year.

Top attractions for families

You could spend a lifetime in London and still not see every family attraction. From Madam Tussaud’s to the Tower of London, The London Eye and the Sealife Centre, there’s everything for nature lovers, history buffs, and fun seekers. Historic monuments are on display everywhere, and London’s museums in Kensington are a fabulous opportunity to travel the world and through time and still get back to your onefinestay home in time for tea. If you’d like to find out more about the museums and the leafy borough of Kensington, check out our Kensington Destinations page.

Let's look at some of the best things to do in London for New Year with the family:

London’s parks and outdoor spaces offering family events on New Year's Eve

London is one of the greenest capitals on the planet, with parks and open spaces galore. Open spaces that offer amazing views of the London New Year’s Eve fireworks display include Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath in North London.

Primrose Hill is the highest point in Regent’s Park and offers an incredible view of the capital. Parliament Hill is the highest point on Hampstead Heath and another excellent spot for a New Year’s Eve picnic and a free view of the fireworks.

Fun at Trafalgar Square: entertainment for all ages

Trafalgar Square is the heart of London's West End, and is always busy on New Year's Eve. You'll get a fabulous view of the fireworks, as well as plenty of street entertainment to enjoy.

You're just a few steps away from some of the capital's best theatres, too, so why not add a family matinee to your New Year's Eve plans before the evening's celebrations start?

Magical Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

One of the most popular New Year's Eve family attractions in London is the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

With ice skating, a funfair, circus shows, live entertainment, and, of course, plenty of delicious food to keep everyone happy, it's also a great place to watch the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve. It’s close to several underground stations, so it’s super-easy to get to as well.

Family-friendly activities

London is packed with kid-friendly activities for children of all ages. If you’re stuck on what to do with the kids on New Year’s Eve in Lonon, here are a few suggestions that are particularly good for younger explorers. You can find out more in our fun guide, Things To Do In London With Kids.

New Year's Day Parade

The New Year celebrations spill over into January 1st, with the city's fabulous New Year’s Day Parade and Festival. Starting at 12 noon on Piccadilly, the LNYDP attracts over 10,000 performers from all around the world for a bright, colourful, and very noisy street party.

The parade makes its way down Piccadilly to Regent’s Street, St James’s, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and on to Whitehall, so there are plenty of spots where you can get a great view of the floats and performers as they go past. It’s free to watch, too.

Face painting and craft workshops

After all that excitement of staying up late to watch the fireworks, there’s nothing like a bit of crafty fun on New Year’s Day to chill out and relax with the kids. Try some face painting at London Zoo, or look out for theatre workshops and circus skills for budding performers.

Funfair rides and amusements

London’s parks are home to traditional fun fairs open to all ages. If you want a real birds-eye view of the city, the London Eye is the place to go and is probably one of the most popular rides in the city.

While it's not open on New Year's Eve because of its role as the focus of the fireworks display, you can book tickets during the festive season and into the New Year to take the kids on the ultimate Ferris wheel adventure.

The best spots for fireworks viewing

The London New Year’s Eve fireworks display can be seen for miles. While it's focused around the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster, you'll also get an amazing view of spectacular displays as far away as Greenwich Park in the southeast, Victoria Park in the East End, and Primrose Hill to the north.

If you want to get up close to the display and be a part of the crowd that throngs the embankment, you’ll need to book tickets well in advance. Numbers are limited to 100,000 and cost around £20 per ticket. You can only buy four tickets per transaction, and the first batch of 50,000 usually goes on sale in October. If you’re booking a New Year break in London with onefinestay, your dedicated concierge can arrange tickets on your behalf.

If you want to watch the fireworks but prefer a less crowded vantage point, our top tip is to spend the evening at one of London's parks or recreation areas, such as Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath or Greenwich Park. You'll find plenty of entertainment on offer to keep everyone happy until the big display at midnight.

Cultural experiences on New Year's Eve

Family New Year events in London can include all kinds of wonderfully rich cultural experiences. The capital is home to some of the finest museums in the world. And while not all of them are open on New Year’s Day, there is enough variety to fascinate and entertain everyone of all ages. You can find out more about London’s amazing museums in our informative guide, The Best Museums In London For Kids.

If you want to know what’s happening in and around London during your stay, chat with your dedicated concierge who will be able to tell you about special events at London’s cultural hotspots, as well as arrange tickets or transport.

Plan your London getaway with onefinestay

Looking for the perfect family-friendly New Year's Eve vacation rental in London? onefinestay has got you covered! Discover our curated selection of homes and browse our London travel guide for more information. Book now and start planning your unforgettable family vacation in London!