Alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebrations happening in NoVA

It doesn’t always have to be about the bubbly! Here, find activities that are just as fun without the booze.

people holding sparklers on new year's eve
© Aleksandr / stock.adobe.com

New Year’s Eve in Northern Virginia can range from a day full of partying until 1 a.m. to Noon Year’s Eve celebrations with your littlest family members.

No matter what you’re looking for, there’s most likely something that will interest you and help you pass the last few hours of 2019 away. But if you’re looking for sober events to ring in 2020, those can be harder to find. Don’t fret: Here, find three New Year’s Eve events that are alcohol-free, family-friendly and filled with fun.

First Night Alexandria
In its 25th year, First Night Alexandria is a citywide celebration in Alexandria that helps Northern Virginia residents ring in the New Year in a variety of ways. Through a night of activities, the event does not serve alcohol (although local bars do) and has a schedule filled with live performances, kid-friendly fun and more. 2019 musical performances include Anderson Cupid + Steel Fusion, Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun, Broad Street Brass, Cletus Kennelly, Curtis Blues, Janine Wilson Band, Ruthie and the Wranglers and the Earth, Wind and Fire Tribute Band (and more!). Catch the comedy pop-up show, walk around the city to the multiple kids’ zones and catch the late-night fireworks show in honor of 2020. // Multiple locations; Tuesday, Dec. 31, 6-9 p.m.; Rockin’ on the River party, $30 before Dec. 31 and $35 on Dec. 31; Kids Karnvial tickets $5 for children ages 2 to 12, and free for parents and infants

Watch Night New Year’s Eve
Free, fun and family-friendly (with no alcohol!) is Watch Night New Year’s Eve, celebrating its 22nd year of ringing in the new year in downtown Falls Church. The event was named after the African tradition of “watching” the New Year, and celebrates the history of the city in meaningful ways while making the festivities accessible to everyone. The event includes the “drop” of the historic star (which has been lowered from a crane at midnight since 2007), the city’s first holiday decoration from 1948. It also features kid-friendly activities with magicians, storytellers, face painting and bounce houses, and older activities with karaoke and Dance Dance Revolution. Live bands and DJs will also perform throughout the night. Guests can enjoy fire pits, free popcorn, hot chocolate and soup, or enjoy a meal at a local restaurant and join in on the activities when they’re ready. There’s so much to enjoy, adding alcohol into the mix isn’t even thought of. // 100 Block of West Broad Street; Tuesday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m. to midnight; free

Multiple Kid-Friendly Events Across the Region
Aside from the two large events in the region that are exclusively alcohol-free, there are a variety of Noon Year’s Eve events and family-friendly events across the region that are serving up all-day fun without the booze. If you have kids, reference our cohesive list of 25 family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations and find the best one in the region that suits you and your and your family, from Arlington to Prince William County.

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