Our repeat visit to the Beach Ball Drop to celebrate the New Year Eve holiday, family style, was another success! The kids had fun, hubby and I had fun, and the cold didn’t stop our party!
On New Years Eve, we headed down to the streets of Pier Park where the streets are closed off for the annual Beach Ball Drop. It is a family friendly event where they celebrate the start of the new year at 8:00 p.m. so the kiddo’s can enjoy the festivities! At Midnight, the actual beach ball drops for all to celebrate the new year!
The streets in between the shops are closed off to vehicles so people can freely walk up and down the street and enjoy the variety of activities. There are radio stations, news broadcasters, stores, live music, giveaways, huge beach balls being tossed among the crowd, games, etc. This year our take away (free for all who attend) was a funny big blue hat! (I unfortunately did not get a pic)
We made reservations at the German restaurant right on this street because we ate there (outside) last year and it was perfect! The kids were able to run out in the street and collect their beach ball, while we sat back and enjoyed our German beers. We liked Hofbrau Beer Garden because not only is this restaurant fun and has yummy food, but we could always see the kids. This year was a bit different because the weather was awfully cold for Florida!
Luckily, all the stores stay open late, so we were able to check out some fun neat stores and stay warm while waiting for the crowds to leave after the beach balls were dropped. We were able to get our souvenir shirts and had fun looking in the “as seen on tv” store.
Meterwurst with German Potato Salad and Sauerkraut
Live Entertainment at Hofbrau makes any night fun! We really enjoyed this pair who sang and told stories. What a fun place to get excited about the festivities later in the evening. It was kinda like a pep rally!
We choose to sit inside and went outside right before 8:00 to secure our spots for the beach ball drop. At 8:00, the thousands of beach balls drop from the skies (well kinda) and it’s a free for all to collect your souvenir. There are several places you can stand under the nets, they are placed along the entire length of the street. This year, I choose to sit on the sidelines, but hubby and kids got enough beach balls for all. We had a spare, so we gave it to a young child who was unable to get one!
Last year, there were also amusement park rides, but they were absent this year. A sign said they were going to be building a ferris wheel in place of the amusement park rides. A SkyWheel is coming in 2018 so perhaps it will be available to enjoy for the next trip to St. Andrews.