Pickle Drop, Apple Rise, and 7 Other NC New Year’s Activities for the Whole Family

From noon-time celebrations to fireworks at midnight, North Carolina has plenty of events for families to ring in the new year together.(martin-dm/Getty Images)

By Max Millington

December 30, 2021

We list New Year’s celebrations across North Carolina that the whole family can enjoy.

It’s almost 2022, North Carolina! Ring in the new year with some spectacular kid-friendly events happening throughout the state. 

However, as COVID-19 and its variants aren’t going away anytime soon, continue masking at celebrations, regardless of your vaccination status and especially indoors or around people you don’t live with. Stay safe, NC. 

Eastern North Carolina

Swansboro New Year’s Eve Festival 

Just 20 miles east of Jacksonville, Swansboro’s 2021 New Year’s Eve Festival is a family-friendly event for everyone to be excited about.  This free event will include a live DJ, inflatables for children, food trucks, vendors, and a fireworks show at 9 p.m. All are encouraged to bring a warm blanket and lawn chairs. 

Check out more details and the latest information here.

Mt. Olive New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop 

After taking a hiatus last year, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company’s NYE Pickle Drop has returned! This time the University of Mount Olive will host the festivities, which include live music, dancing, food trucks, and a canned food drive for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends right after the pickle heralds the New Year at 7 p.m. sharp. 

For more details check here.

Western North Carolina 

Hendersonville New Year’s Eve Apple Rise 

Don’t things normally drop to ring in the New Year? Not in Hendersonville, where families can head to the historic Courthouse and celebrate the upcoming year with an “Apple Rise” from 5-7 p.m. Children’s crafts and activities, warming stations, hot beverages, New Year’s gear, and a live DJ playing the biggest songs from 2021 round out the festivities. 

Get up-to-date information about the event here.

New Year’s Eve at Beech Mountain Resort 

If your kids are night owls, take advantage of Beech Mountain’s free “Family Night” from 7 p.m. to midnight. The event includes music, games, giveaways, food and beverages, and a fireworks show at midnight to ring in the new year. 

Get all the details and latest information here.

Tryon Midnight 

Take the kids to the annual Tryon Midnight. Just 20 miles southeast of Hendersonville, the town of Tryon hosts a free festival with live music, food, hot chocolate, and kid-friendly activities. And you won’t have to worry about a late bedtime, as this cozy village of about 1,600 people celebrates the new year with a ball drop at 10 p.m. – aka “Tryon midnight.” 

Check out all the latest information here

Charlotte Area

Matthews Noon Year’s Eve 

Get the kids going early and head over to Matthews Community Center for the town’s first-ever Noon Year’s Eve Party. The  kid-friendly day party runs from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and is a fun alternative if you don’t want to keep them up for the actual new year. There will be entertainment throughout the event, with a DJ and a countdown to noon ending with a balloon drop. 

For more details and ticket information, go here

Carowinds’ Winterfest 

Hosted at Carowinds Amusement Park, “Winterfest” is the place to be for family-friendly holiday fun, mid-November to January 9. But at 5:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, the park will host several early evening countdowns in addition to fireworks for the main countdown at midnight. There will be concerts, live theatre, rides, and lots of activities for the whole family to see and do. 

Grab tickets here

Triangle Area

Raleigh Noon Year’s Eve 

Enjoy a New Year’s Eve party with the kids at Little Doodle’s Play Cafe. The Raleigh-based playroom features an all-you-can paint art studio, open play space, and a free Wi-Fi cafe. Their “Noon Year’s” event will include a photo booth, arts and crafts, music, and a countdown to a balloon drop at noon. 

Seats are limited so reserve your spot and purchase tickets here.

Raleigh First Night  

First Night is back in the City of Oaks. Head downtown with the kids for early afternoon New Year’s Eve celebrations before ringing in 2022 with fireworks and an acorn drop. The daytime activities will convene from 2 – 6 p.m. at Bicentennial Plaza, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and the NC Museum of History. There will be a roller rink, a ferris wheel and carriage rides. 
An all-access ticket gets you into all indoor and outdoor activities. Grab it and get more information here.       


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