If you've heard that Old Town Alexandria is THE place to be on December 31, you heard right! The entire town celebrates First Night with over 100 performances and activities throughout the day and evening.
How is this possible? The vendors, residents, and leadership of Old Town Alexandria are all in on it. It's as if they set out to make the biggest and best family-friendly New Year's Eve in the area, and they certainly deliver.
In a nutshell, you buy an all-access pass to be able to attend everything. There are three Kids' Karnivals set up from 6-9 p.m. in different locations. Each will feature kid-friendly activities, games, and entertainment. Aside from that, there's a full schedule of events for over 100 total performances throughout the evening. Pick and choose which ones you would like to attend -- they are all located indoors if the weather is bad! At the end of the night, head to the end of King Street and enjoy the fireworks to ring in the new year!
All-Access Admission Badge: $30 per person if purchased prior to December 31 | $35 per person the day of the event
Kids' Karnival Admission Only: $5 per person the day of the event, for children 2-12 (parents can accompany for free)
Active Duty Military All-Access Badge: FREE with active duty military I.D.
Visit the ticketing website for in-person ticket sale locations. Online tickets are no longer available.
How to get there:
You can drive and park in a garage (one on Union Street, one off King Street) or take your chances with non-residential street parking. The closest Metro stop is King Street Station, but keep in mind that the King Street trolley only runs until 10:30 p.m. Getting a ride in is probably your best bet if you're just coming for the fireworks -- the lots tend to fill up early.
Know before you go:
- Badges are non-refundable. The events are booked for indoor locations so will go on rain or shine.
- You can still come to Old Town Alexandria just for dinner or the fireworks without purchasing a badge. Parking will be tight, and foot traffic will be pretty intense!
- Only service animals are allowed at First Night official events.
- You may bring your own blankets or camp chairs to watch the fireworks.
- Restaurants and businesses in Old Town Alexandria will be open -- make sure you pop in between events!
- Portable restrooms will be available only at Waterfront Park for the fireworks display.
- Once you get there and are parked, Old Town Alexandria is a highly walkable area. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a stroller for your little ones.
- If you plan on dining in Old Town, make reservations. The town is truly filled to the brim with revelers from sunset on until the fireworks start!
For more information about the event, visit the First Night Alexandria website.
**All photos in this article are courtesy of First Night Alexandria.
Have you been to First Night Alexandria? Do you have any tips for first-timers? Let us know in the comments below!