Someone suggested that we also include a list of free New Years Eve activities. My Midwest background had me first seek out houses of worship for what we knew as "Watch Night" services. The first "church" listing I found was "Falls Church" which has it 16th annual Watch Night event that has events in the downtown area for families. Free shuttle service is provided from the East Fall Church Metro stop from 7 until midnight. The communities of Vienna and Alexandria also provide New Years eve events downtown with Alexandria also providing fireworks along the water front.
Please note to that I deviate from listing only free events by listing an event that has a recommended $20 donation for a special New Year's Eve program that might be attractive to many.
Family day program: exhibit, "Making Their Mark" – hands-on activities and games – National Archives Building – 10 AM – 4 PM :
New Year's Eve Concert: Musicians including Rosa Lamoreaux and J. Riley Lewis perform "Music from Bach to the American Songbook" – $20 donation suggested – $5 for students – St. Columba's Episcopal Church – for 201 Albemarle St. NW. – 6 PM