10, 9, 8, 7 … are you ready to countdown to a new year? See fireworks? I am, but not at 11:58PM with an exhausted toddler and an excited middle schooler.

Both The Village at Baytowne Wharf and Pier Park offer kid-friendly countdowns at 8PM. If your kids are able to stay up late, Seaside has a fabulous night planned with a fireworks show at the stroke of midnight.

The Village of Baytowne Wharf

The fun starts at Sandestin’s The Village of Baytowne Wharf at 6PM with face painting, crafts and music by DJ 30A. A fireworks show at 8PM celebrates the new year. A second fireworks show happens at midnight with music by Bantum Rooster. Personally, I love the early countdowns. My kids have a blast and I get to celebrate at 12:01AM with a glass of champagne in the comfort of my pajamas. It’s a win-win.

Pier Park

Located on the west end of Panama City Beach, this large outdoor mall features a HUGE 10,000 beach ball drop for kids at 8PM. There’s also a Snow Zone, music by the Barry Fish band and more. The fun continues for the grown-ups with music by 12South and a countdown with a new LED beachball “drop” that is televised.


If you’re staying on 30A I recommend the fireworks show and concert at Seaside. The fun starts at 7PM with face painting and crafts and continues with music by Future Thieves and The High Divers. Fireworks welcome the new year.

The Beach

I’m not going to lie, we’ve done the “lazy New Year’s countdown” several times. Here’s what we do: walk down to the beach, watch fireworks that other people are setting off, enjoy a few sparklers and call it a night. If the weather is clear you should be able to see firework shows in Panama City Beach and Destin.

However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have fun. Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive 2018!