Bringing in The New Year - Sunday 31 December 2017
Sydney has a veritable feast of options for bringing in the new year but deciphering which events are family-friendly, is considerably harder. With space on the harbour foreshore hotly contested, more locations are charging for entry but you can still view the fireworks for free in many locations.
Sydney Mums Group has searched for recommendations on 'the best places' for New Years Eve, all over the city, from a parents' perspective. If it's in this list, it has family appeal but we can't promise you total ease of accessibility, so consider the ages of your children when you choose a place to celebrate, and plan your travel wisely.
We also need your help. While many are still focussed on Christmas events, we are yet to see all the local NYE events advertised. If you plan to avoid the harbour and stay in your suburb on 31st December, comment here or in our Facebook group, which other events we should be listing. Sutherland Shire, in particular, is keeping its plans quiet - what's happening for families on NYE in The Shire?
The 8-minute harbour foreshore display, at 9pm, is designed for families, though the crowds and the long waits, aren't. Still, NYE on Sydney Harbour is one of the best displays in the world. Rockets are fired from 4 barges and from the Harbour Bridge, choreographed to a soundtrack of 2017's favourite pop songs, from KIIS FM. So, if you are determined to snag a harbour vantage point for your kids, consider these hotspots.
Cockatoo Island has some of the best views in the harbour and it is only accessible by ferry. Tickets for NYE celebrations on the island are being advertised now, with glamping, camping and campsite accommodation options sure to book out fast. Current prices start at a campsite for 1 night (BYO tent) for 4 people from AU$464. Rates rise steeply from there. If this is something you really want to do and have some budget to put behind it, book now at Moshtix.
In case you're wondering about Taronga Zoo, tickets are sold out already.
If you'd prefer not to venture into the city but still want to be by the water and treat your kids to a light show at 9pm, these spots offer some of the best views of the harbour and local displays:
It's also worth noting that The Greens at North Sydney is hosting a ticketed and catered NYE event and kids are welcome with activities and entertainment to keep them amused while you have a few bevvies, and enjoy the views of the fireworks, without the harbourside crush.
If you don't own a mansion with water views but the east is your locale, you'll want to plan for visiting one of these popular spots for families:
Coogee Sparkles 9pm (FREE) fireworks display at Dunningham Reserve and surrounding vantage points along Coogee Beach.
Strickland House, Vaucluse and McKell Park, Darling Point also offer great views.
Birchgrove Park offers a clear view of the 9pm harbour fireworks. It's FREE and alcohol is prohibited, which is great for families.
Drummoyne, Pyrmont and Glebe foreshores, also offer excellent views.
Western Suburbs and North West
Parramatta is THE place to celebrate in Sydney's west. Apart from the harbour, it's one of the city's largest NYE celebrations and it is decidedly family-friendly. From 4pm, Parramatta Park is offering a FREE event with a main stage (DJs and entertainment), food stalls and amusement rides. Fireworks kick off from three locations at 9pm. Talk about a party!
Given the Hills District has such a strong showing in the Christmas Lights stakes, it's great to hear that the Hills Shire residents will be able to celebrate NYE at Bella Vista Farm this year. It's a FREE ticketed event with music legend Ian Moss, a Splash Dance and Jelly Bean Jam, especially for the kids!
Liverpool City Council is again treating residents to the fabulous Light Up The Lake from 5pm - 10pm on Chipping Norton Lake. It's FREE and there will be entertainment, rides, food stalls and fireworks at 9pm.
Fairfield City is offering the same event model as Liverpool and it's called Illuminate NYE at Calmsley Hill City Farm. At 9pm, fireworks will launch from 9 different sites and its alcohol free, so families are the uppermost in mind.
All ages are covered with heaps of FREE and affordable activities that span from action-packed to quiet, indoor and outdoor activities lasting a couple of hours to a whole day and longer running camps.