First Night CelebrationsJust like that 2016 is nearly over and it's time to ring in 2017. If you are looking for an alternative to those overpriced black tie galas, we have a fun alternative for you - First Night celebrations! First Night is a free or low-cost event that takes place in many communities and cities across the US on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the local community’s arts and culture. If you are in the Washington, DC area, you are within easy driving or Metro distance of several First Night celebrations!
First Night Vienna
This is the perfect celebration to bring the kids to. From 6pm until midnight, the Vienna Business Association has planned entertainment ranging from live music performances to kids’ activities to food trucks on historic Church Street. If you want to start the evening early, run the Countdown to None 5K at 4:30pm to support Type 1 Diabetes, beginning and ending at the Vienna W&OD Caboose.
Watch Night Falls Church
Spanning four blocks of historic Falls Church, Watch Night is bound to be a memorable evening for the whole family. There will be live music, interactive activities and amusements and plenty of entertainment for the littles ones - a puppet show, a balloon artist and a caricaturist. Restaurants and shops along the streets are participating with Watch Night specials. You can even enjoy a free walking tour of historic Falls Church, or pose in front of the LOVE sculpture,on display through January 2.
First Night Alexandria
Entry: Adults- $30, Kids- Free
From 10am until midnight, the city of Alexandria has a festival of epic proportions planned, culminating with fireworks on the Potomac River. There will be dozens of live music performances, comedy and magic shows, storytelling, tours of the Masonic Temple, model ship building, a carnival, balloon artists… truly something for everyone. Many of the retailers in Alexandria are also participating with First Night specials.
New Year’s Annapolis
A bit farther from the DC area, the New Year’s celebration in Annapolis is well worth the slightly longer trip. Beautiful, historic downtown Annapolis hosts a family-oriented day with early activities geared towards kids, such as a moon bounce, face painting and obstacle courses at a local school, ending with fireworks at 5:30pm. If you’re celebrating New Year’s at midnight, don’t worry, they have a host of events and activities in downtown, including live music and dancing, with a fireworks show over the water at midnight.