Whether you attend an authentic First Night Celebration, or simply enjoy a celebratory means of ringing in 2018, there are several options within the Granite State for all ages to have fun. The following 10 family-friendly events guarantee an unforgettable welcoming of the new year.
Featuring both indoor and outdoor entertainment and a fabulous array of ice sculptures, First Night Portsmouth has long been a favorite event in this seacoast region. Culminating at midnight with an elaborate firework display, the crowd drawn to celebrate New Year’s Eve gets bigger nearly every year.
Ring in the year with Recycled Percussion at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. The legendary New Hampshire drumming group plans to rock out New Year’s Eve with several shows running throughout the afternoon and well into the evening. This is a great way for all ages to celebrate the beginning of 2018.
Bring the whole family to New Year’s Eve at the Omni Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods for a fun-filled celebration. Beginning that morning, the kids can enjoy snacks, arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, a movie matinee and a gourmet popcorn bar. Fireworks for the younger set kick off at 5:30 p.m. from the resort’s large veranda. Events for the over-21 crowd kick in later in the evening, or the adults can just cuddle up with the kids and toast the New Year in their hotel rooms instead.
If you can splurge for three nights at Purity Spring Resort, you can enjoy a classic New Hampshire New Year’s Eve celebration with your family. Replete with outdoor activities—including skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snow shoeing and cross country skiing at King Pine—guests will stay warm near the bonfire and with the help of the outdoor music. There are family fun races from 6-8 p.m. and a torchlight parade that starts at 9. The fireworks kick off following the parade, after which the whole family can adjourn indoors at the restaurant or pub, pool and hot tub.
Santa’s Village in Jefferson is hosting their ninth annual New Year’s Eve Partybration, which is guaranteed to be a blast for all members of the family. A DJ will take requests, and guests can ride the rides and enjoy food, soft drinks and festivities. The event takes place from 4-9 p.m., and tickets are available online only.
Even those who don’t want to be up late or outside in the cold can celebrate the end of 2017 in New Hampshire, with one of the last holiday rides on the Conway Scenic Railroad. The hour-long trip is replete with stunning views of mountains, valleys and more—all capped in white, because—after all, this is New Hampshire!
Countless New Hampshire families leave this yearly tradition until New Year’s Eve, and celebrate the end of the year with the whole family at the famous NASCAR track. A two-mile drive through the speedway finds more than 60 lighted holiday displays lit with more than two million LED bulbs. A fan favorite is the Tunnel of Lights. Families who bring three non-perishable food items will receive a discount at the gate.
The New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display sponsored by the Hampton Beach Village District is more than just fireworks. It’s a community coming together—welcoming outsiders, too—to celebrate the end of another year. People bundle up in many layers and sit on blankets on Hampton Beach, between B and C Streets. They bring hot chocolate, snacks and more.
For a fun, free, family community New Year’s Eve event, plan to attend Claremont’s Community New Year’s Eve Celebration. Beginning at 6 p.m., there are indoor activities planned for all ages at Myer Maple Lanes, the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center and Arrowhead Lodge. A fireworks display begins at 10 p.m.
Joins locals and visitors alike in North Conway’s Schouler Park at 9 p.m. to kick of that community’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Pack your thermoses full of coffee and hot chocolate and prepare to bring in 2018 with a bang.