We’re all familiar with the Times Square ball drop in New York City. I’ve watched it on television for as long as I can remember. It’s been part of my New Year’s Eve traditions. Now, with my own children, it’s fun to make this a part of our family’s traditions. Sometimes they make it staying up till midnight. Other times they end up falling asleep on my lap before the ball drops. As we started getting ready to watch this New Year’s Eve countdown I couldn’t help but think what do other towns do to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I’ve been reaching out to tourism representatives across the country and doing the Google thing for unique New Year’s Eve drops. The research has paid off. I’ve found 20 Unique New Year’s countdown events across the United States. Take a look at these unique New Year’s Eve events for families. Perhaps they’ll even inspire a special holiday family vacation next year or a last minute road trip this year.
20 Unique New Year’s Eve Drops Around the United States
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Alabama
- Mobile, Alabama hosts a unique New Year’s Eve countdown where a giant 600-pound electric moon pie logo is dropped in the middle of downtown to bring in the new year. A moon pie is a southern treat made of a marshmallow squished between two graham crackers and then dipped in chocolate. This year Mobile, Alabama is celebrating their moon pie logo drop with a concert by Collective Soul.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Arizona
- The Flagstaff Pinecone Drop is celebrating its 20th year as Flagstaff’s official unique New Year’s Eve celebration. On-display at the Weatherford Hotel, the aluminum pinecone weighs 70 pounds and is 6 feet long, and the celebration is appropriate for all ages. The pinecone is a celebration of Flagstaff’s plentiful evergreens throughout the town. Two drops will occur: One at 10 p.m. to coincide with New York’s Times Square celebration (also a great option for younger children) and a second drop at midnight to mark Arizona’s new year. The countdown includes a lightshow by the Weatherford Hotel, (23 N. Leroux Street Flagstaff) and the City of Flagstaff will light up the sky with fireworks at midnight.
For those looking for a mild climate in which to celebrate with a new year’s eve event for families, Prescott is the place to be. Prescott’s annual Boot Drop is a nod to the city’s legendary Old West past. The six-foot boot is decked with more than 5,000 LED lights and turns historic Whiskey Row (the site of roughly 40 saloons during the height of the Gold Rush) into a family-friendly street party. Like the Pinecone Drop, the Boot Drop will occur twice, once at 10 p.m. and once at midnight. The city itself is illuminated with holiday lights, and fireworks take place at midnight.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Florida
- Panama City Beach in Florida does not mess around when it comes to unique New Year’s Eve ball drops. 10,000 beach balls drop at 8 PM along with fireworks, then more fireworks at midnight when the Celebration Tower beach ball drops. In between enjoy musical acts, and roughly 40,000 people. It’s a family friendly celebration!
- Miami responds to New York City’s “big apple” with their own “big orange.” The 35 neon icon drops 400 feet down the InterContinental Hotel at Bayfront Park. The drop happens at midnight after live music performances and more.
- Sarasota drops their own fruit – a pineapple! The party starts at 1 PM with rides, music, and food.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Hawaii
- Hawaii is pretty unique with their New Year’s Eve countdown. In Miliani, Hawaii their New Year’s Eve ball drop is a “Hala Kahiki”, or Pineapple. Watch an oversized fruit drop in celebration of the oncoming year in the beautiful Mililani. In 2019 Kimberley Locke performs!
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Idaho
- Food is the theme of many unique New Year’s Eve drops. In Idaho state capitol they host an annual Idaho® Potato Drop for New Year’s Eve. It is a free and charitable community event that supports local arts, business and charities. Among the many activities is a Big Idaho Potato Tour station where guests can snap a shot with Spuddy Buddy. There’s a family tent, loaded with fun for the whole family, and a performance by Cowboy Junkies. As the night comes to a close, a crane will drop it (the potato) like it’s hot at midnight to a work-class firework show from Grown in Idaho!
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Louisiana
- New Orleans where the parties never stop has a unique New Year’s Eve event. At midnight they have a fleur-de-lis drop with fireworks in Jackson Square.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in New Jersey
- The coolest drop in NJ is in Hammonton! In front of the Hammonton Town Hall, when the Town Clock strikes midnight a Giant Blueberry will drop! The blueberry is 10 foot in diameter and is a lighted blue metal ball, that is almost as large as the 12 foot apple in New York City’s Times Square. You can learn more about the giant blueberry drop on the Downtown Hammonton webpage.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in North Carolina
- Got a love for pickles? Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Inc. will hold its 20th annual New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop in Mount Olive North Carolina. The New Year’s Eve Pickle descends down the flagpole at the stroke of 7 p.m. midnight – that’s 7 o’clock EST, which also happens to be midnight Greenwich Mean Time. You can learn more here.
- I remember my sister telling me about this unique New Year’s Eve drop in Raleigh, North Carolina. Raleigh’s nickname is “The City of the Oaks.” Raleigh’s New Year’s Eve drops a giant 10-foot, 1,250-pound copper acorn. The acorn is visible year-round but only drops on New Year’s Eve. The First Night Raleigh event starts at 2 pm and goes throughout the afternoon and evening with lots of family activities before the night ends with performances and the Acorn Drop.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Ohio
- Port Clinton, Ohio is home to the annual “Walleye Drop!” Each year, thousands have braved the cold and gathered for hours, in waiting for the “Madness at Midnight” Walleye Drop. Port Clinton is known as the “Walleye Capital of the World,” so it only makes sense to drop an LED lit, 20-foot, 600-pound fiberglass walleye from the sky at the stroke of Midnight on New Year’s Eve. This annual event includes vendors, kids’ activities including the ever-popular touch-a-truck, live entertainment, and more.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Oregon
Lincoln City is best known for a promotion called Finders Keepers. Every day, from mid-October through Memorial Day, we have anonymous volunteers called “Float Fairies” that hide hand-made glass floats on the beach. If you find one…you keep it! For New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day we are doing a “Special Glass Drop” of 100 extra floats on the beach. Bring the family to our beach and ring in the New Year with a treasure hunt! More details on Finders Keepers can be found on our website here http://www.oregoncoast.org/glass-floats.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Pennsylvania
- A celebration of all things sweet, PEEPSFEST® in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania rings in the New Year by dropping a 400-pound PEEPS® chick. Calling Bethlehem home, Just Born is a third generation, family-owned candy manufacturer that has been in business since 1923 and is known for iconic brands including PEEPS® Brand Marshmallow Candies, star of the annual New Year’s celebration PEEPSFEST® at SteelStacks. This unique New Year’s Eve event is part of a two-day fun-filled family festival that features the popular PEEPFEST® One Mile Fun Run, Cooking with PEEPS® demos, plus crafts and music for kids all before the world-famous PEEPS® Chick Drop and fireworks show at the base of Bethlehem Steel’s iconic blast furnaces. Making the event even better for families, fireworks are set off at the kid-friendly time of 5:15 p.m.
- In Kennet Square, mushroom capital of the world, they drop what else? A mushroom. Weather permitting (no wind) the lighted Mushroom will be raised 100′ above the center of State & Union Streets with a Laser Light Show beginning at 7:30 PM with a raising at 8:45 PM.
Midnight in the Square – Mushroom Capital of the World on Dec 31, 2017 to ring in 2018!
- Pennsylvania seems to have all the New Year’s Eve ball drop fun. Not to be outdone by other unique New Year’s Eve countdowns in PA, Duncannon drops a sled on New Year’s Eve. The sled will have a 50-foot drop from a 75-ton wrecker. CONFIRMING FOR 2019/2020
- How’s this for one more New Year’s Eve countdown. In Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania they drop a wrench at midnight. It’s the result of an Eagle Scout project by Mechanicsburg Area School District graduate Sheldon Rodgers. The small town west of Harrisburg dropped its first wrench on New Year’s Eve in 2003. The galvanized steel wrench honors the borough’s founders — mechanics who settled in the area to make and repair wagons that were traveling west after crossing the Susquehanna River in the early 19th century.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Tennessee
- Nashville has a very unique New Year’s Eve Drop. As they count down to midnight, a 15-foot-tall red music note will descend a 145-foot-tall tower. The midnight “Music Note Drop®” will trigger a fireworks display and major confetti cannons, welcoming the new year. GRAMMY-winner Keith Urban will headline Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville. The event at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is free and open to the public.
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Virginia
- Chincoteague Island, Virginia is famous for its wild ponies and is the setting for the famous children’s book “Misty of Chincoteague” to celebrate that history they ring in the new year with a horseshoe drop. The Pony Island Horseshoe Drop is an end of year celebration that culminates in a promenade of crazy costumes just before the countdown to the stroke of midnight. That’s when the lighted horseshoe drops just in time to ring in the New Year!….It’s not Swarovski Crystal…but it does sparkle! You can learn more here www.chincoteaguechristmas.com/events.html#e13
Unique New Year’s Eve drops in Wisconsin
- In Plymouth, Wisconsin, we’ve got another state where the focus of their New Year’s Eve ball drop is cheese! The cheese-inspired New Year’s Eve countdown features live music, food, a bonfire, and the dropping of the massive chunk of (nonedible) cheese at 10 PM. The first 250 attendees get cheese gift bags!
Does your area do a unique New Year’s Eve countdown? Tell us about it or what you think your town should drop as their New Year’s Eve ball.
If you’re local to New Jersey, check out these Local New Year’s Eve Events for Families in New Jersey.
If you prefer to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home with your kids or go out the next day, no worries. We can help. Click over to our 16 Fun New Years Eve Ideas for Kids or our listing of New Year’s Day Events for Families in New Jersey.