Kids are too small to stay up until midnight? Looking for a family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration? Here's some ideas for New Year's Eve parties appropriate for children in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and places in the Twin Cities.
Como Zoo has one of the Twin Cities' most popular New Year's Eve celebrations, re-named Noon Year's Eve in reference to the countdown to 12 midday. As well as a beach ball drop at midday, there's music, art projects, and storytimes.
Noon Year's Eve is so popular, that Como Zoo is doing it twice: you can attend the Noon Year's Eve celebrations on December 31, and January 1, 2012. And the price can't be beat - admission is free, although donations are accepted.
The Children's Museum in St. Paul is open after hours to ring in the new year. Live music from Will Hale and the Tadpole Parade
, sparkly hat craft projects, snacks and playing at the museum lead up to the countdown to a 8 p.m. ball drop. The party is 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. on December 31.
The Sparkle-Rama party costs $10 per member, $14 per non-member, which includes a snack, free parking and admission.
Edinborough Park, the indoor playground in Edina, hosts their annual New Year’s Eve Party on December 31. The party starts at 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., with a Kidsdance DJ dance party, a countdown to 8 p.m., face painting, and all the climbing in the indoor playground you can stand. Kids admission is $7, which includes a $1 food voucher. Adult admission is free.
The city of Woodbury hosts a family-friendly celebration at the Bielenberg Sports Center. Games, moonwalks, slides, an obstacle course, mini-golf, bingo, open ice skating, Woodbury Skating Club exhibition, and music. There's a countdown to the new year at 8.30 p.m.
The event is on Saturday, Dec. 31 6-9 p.m., tickets are $8 per person in advance, $10 at the door, and the organizers recommend advance purchase since the event often sells out.
The Water Park of America, connected to the Mall of America
, is open until 12.30 on January 1, which may pose problems for getting small kids out of there and home to bed at a reasonable hour. Otherwise, there is entertainment for all waterpark guests all evening long.
Another opportunity for skating, this time in Roseville. Skate in the new year at Roseville's indoor or outdoor rinks, meet Spiderman and Elmo, jump on a bouncer, and enjoy a magic show. There will be a countdown at 9.30 p.m. The event starts at 2.30 p.m. until 10 p.m. on December 31.
Candlelight and Ice is Wood Lake Nature Center's annual New Year’s Eve Program. On December 31 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., follow a candlelit trail through the woods, look out for wild animals, then warm up with hot cocoa, roasted marshmallows, games and stories at the nature center. $4 per person, or free for Wood Lake members.
Dakota County celebrates New Year at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Sled on the sledding hill, go candlelit hiking or snowshoeing, and join in the countdown at 7.59 p.m. $8 in advance, $10 at the door, free for 5 and under.