Before you grab the bubbly and share a grown-up kiss at midnight, celebrate the end of 2018 and welcome a fresh new year with your littlest revelers. Long Island has plenty of options, including museum events, makeup parties, skating, bowling and more. It’s a terrific way to have some fun with the kids while (hopefully) tiring them out just enough so that they’ll sleep through the night while you frolic at your own fete.
Make it up
Take your darling diva to the annual New Year’s Eve-Eve Bash at Darlings & Divas. Held the day before New Year’s Eve, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 30, the event includes mini-manicures, hair styling and makeup applications suitable for children, plus party food. They even have a balloon drop at the end, complete with confetti. $29.99 per child; reservations are required. 65 Merrick Rd., Amityville, 631-608-4710, darlingsanddivas.com; for more information, click here.
Countdown to 12! – Neon ‘19
The Long Island Childrens Museum brings Times Square to the Island with its New Years party, a "Countdown to 12! – Neon ‘19" celebration held on December 31st from noon to 4:00 p.m. The all-ages event features a DJ-led dance party, fun activities and two Times Square-style ball drops at noon and 4 p.m. 11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, licm.org; for more information, click here.
Head to the Long Island Aquarium for its annual Fishes & Wishes New Year’s Eve event, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Dec. 31. The all-inclusive kid-friendly evening will include a cocktail hour with sparkling cider (and beer and wine for the grown-ups), followed by a penguin meet-and-greet, DJs and dancing, a craft station for the kids and a buffet-style dinner. After dinner, there’s an ice cream bar and a “midnight” toast at 10:30 p.m. Guests can head home at 11 p.m. or take advantage of one of the hotel packages at the Hyatt Place Long Island East End next door. $60 to $99, and children younger than 2 stay free. 431 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-208-9200, longislandaquarium.com; for more information, click here.
The Children’s Museum of the East End is pulling out all the stops on New Year’s Eve. In two sessions Dec. 31 (10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m.), kids will create noisemakers, share resolutions and enjoy a confetti-filled ball drop (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.). The event costs $14 per person, including adults and any children older than 12 months. Call 631-537-8250 to register. 376 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton, cmee.org; for more information, click here.
Whale of a time
From 11 a.m. to noon Dec. 30, the Whaling Museum and Education Center is hosting its New Year’s Family Bash. The event features a countdown to noon, plus lots of crafts and hot chocolate for everyone. All ages are welcome. $12 per participant; $6 per adult. 279 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor; 631-367-3418, cshwhalingmuseum.org; for more information, click here.
On New Year’s Eve, Bowl Long Island hosts its family-friendly Extremely Deluxe Extreme Bowling Bash. The all-inclusive afternoon event, from 4 to 8 p.m., features black light bowling and music, plus New Year’s Eve party favors, a celebratory toast and a buffet. Shoe rental is included. $50 per person for adults and $32 per child (12 and under). 138 West Ave., Patchogue, 631-475-5164, bowllongisland.com; for more information, click here.
Dancing, roller skating and all the pizza, soda and snacks you can consume are there for the asking at the Family New Year’s Eve Party at United Skates of America. Held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, the event also includes glow-in-the-dark necklaces, game tokens and a New Year’s Eve countdown. Tables are first come, first served, and tickets are $22 per person before Dec. 18 and $25 per person thereafter. 1276 Hicksville Rd., Seaford, 516-795-5474, unitedskates.com; for more information, click here.