The Best Ways to Celebrate NYE This Year

Ringing in the New Year is always a good occasion to get together with family and friends. As we celebrate the coming year and the fresh start that it represents, we also reminisce on the year that has passed, with its lessons, laughs, and triumphs. Whether you prefer the cozy ambiance of a night at home or the dazzling lights and action of a fireworks festival, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year.

Fireworks & Kids’ Events
There are a few fireworks shows around southern Ontario, as well as many earlier events (and early countdowns) for kids. Check out the following list based on your location:

Durham Region – Oshawa, Whitby & Pickering
Check out Oshawa Celebrates 2017, a fun kid-friendly event with entertainment, bouncy castles, face painting and more from 6-9pm at Legends Centre; New Year’s Eve Fun for Families in Whitby, another kid-friendly event with a magic show, skating and balloon artist from 6-9pm at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre; or the New Year’s Eve Family Countdown in Pickering, from 7-9pm at the Pickering Recreation Complex.

Those in Aurora can take their little ones to Family First Night, from 6-9pm on NYE at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex – the night has a full entertainment line-up and free chocolate with a food bank donation.

First Night Newmarket, from 6-9pm at the Newmarket Riverwalk Commons, has a night of live entertainment planned as well as horse-drawn wagon rides, a dazzling LED show and more. Following this, the Newcastle New Year’s Eve Fireworks show will take place at 9pm at the Magna Centre.

Alliston & Bradford (near Barrie)
If you’re not far from Barrie, the city of Barrie has a Downtown Countdown starting at 6pm that includes two fireworks shows, one at 7:45pm and one at midnight, as well as a long list of other entertainment – learn more here.

Niagara-on-the-Lake & Niagara Falls
Enjoy the annual fireworks at Niagara Falls’ New Year’s Eve Extravaganza.

Wherever you are, there’s bound to be some fun family activities near you this New Year’s Eve if you want to get out and celebrate with your community.

Many New Year’s traditions revolve around food. Do you have any family favourites or traditions? Cook or bake them to share and enjoy with family and friends. Looking for some ideas? Try some of these delicious NYE party picks, or make one of these traditional good luck foods.

Cocktails & Mocktails
Make the night special by crafting and serving unique, custom drinks. Kids and non-drinkers can enjoy this too, with fun mocktail creations. Get inspired by these swanky NYE cocktail suggestions or this list of champagne-based cocktails, and check out these tasty – and pretty – mocktail combos.

A Night In
Staying in and gathering with family and friends is a simple and cozy way to spend New Year’s Eve. You can avoid the bustling fireworks crowds, and enjoy that second glass of champagne. Keep it low-key with a fire in the fireplace and mugs of hot cider, or rev it up a notch with some great music, sparklers in the backyard, and noise-makers.

There’s nothing like dancing the night away to ring in the new year. Whether you create a disco ball in your living room or head downtown to a club to boogie with a crowd, dancing brings a joyful and freeing feeling that’s perfect for New Year’s Eve. Cue up a playlist of your favourite songs (don’t forget some 2016 classics!) or try out this 2017 NYE playlist.

How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve? What are your family traditions? Come on over to Facebook and let us know!

It’s still a couple weeks away, but we wish you and your family a fun and happy New Year’s Eve, and a joyous and prosperous 2017. Cheers!