Edit ModuleShow Tags

Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebrations


Published:

Noon Year's Party at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Photo courtesy of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Has your New Year’s Eve become more about popping milk bottles than champagne? If so, you might desire a celebration that’ll not only entertain the whole family, but also one that takes place before midnight so you don’t have keep your kids awake and suffer the consequences later. We have plenty of places around here offering a good, family friendly time on December 31 (or some before and after). Here’s where you can ring in the New Year:   

Minnesota Children’s Museum (St. Paul: 5-9 p.m.; Rochester: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.): Both the St. Paul and Rochester locations will host celebrations. In St. Paul, the Sparkle-Rama party will include dancing, live music from Will Hale and the Tadpole Parade, and the chance to take the stage with inflatable guitars before counting down to the ball drop at 8 p.m. In Rochester they’ll celebrate Noon Year’s Eve, with food, music from a DJ to dance and sing along to, a guest appearance from Clifford the Big Red Dog, and a mid-day ball drop. Sparkle-Rama, $10 members, $14 non-members; Noon Year’s Eve, $7 members, $10 non-members, pre-registration required.

Lebanon Hills Visitor Center (5-8 p.m.): This ninth annual celebration includes hiking, snowshoeing, ice skating, or sledding, with more than 1,200 luminaries lighting your way, plus a bonfire to warm up at, live animals, storytelling, magic, and a ball drop. $8 if pre-registered by Dec. 30, $10 day of, ages 5 and younger free.

Mall of America (6 p.m.-midnight): Inside the Rotunda there will be live entertainment from Xelias Aerial Studio who will contort, juggle, ride unicycles, and more, then you can head over to Nickelodeon Universe and ride rides or enjoy lights, music, party favors, live entertainment, games, and more until the family countdown taking place at both 10 p.m. and midnight.

Edinborough Park (6-9 p.m.): In case you’ve never been to or heard of Edinborough Park, it’s one of the country’s largest indoor play structures with a toddler play area, bounce house, junior size Olympic pool, and performance amphitheater. Let the kids play while also enjoying special activities and a live DJ. $9 per child.

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory (Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, starting at 10 a.m.): Ring in the “zoo” year with a mid-day celebration. Twin Cities Road Crew (formerly Disney Party Patrol) will host dancing, trivia, and games while a DJ provides music, and there will also be crafts, special animal enrichment, giveaways, and a countdown to noon when hundreds of beach balls drop from the ceiling.

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (Dec. 30, 5-8 p.m.): Taking place in Lake Nokomis Park, this Night Before New Year’s Eve event features carnival games and prizes, a DJ, marshmallow roasting, and more.

Wood Lake Nature Center (6-9 p.m.): Follow hundreds of candlelit luminaries on a walking trail while on the watch for animals like deer, foxes, and owls as a part of the Candlelight and Ice event. You can also roast marshmallows by a fire, make crafts, and play other games. $4, free for friends of Wood Lake members.

Bielenberg Sports Center (6-9 p.m.): Check out the brand new facility, enjoy music, and take part in games, a moonwalk, obstacle course, and ice skating before the countdown at 8:45 p.m. $8 if pre-registered before Dec. 30, $10 day of.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went

Destination: Pipestone

Civil War Days and Pipestone National Monument make Pipestone a rich historical destination

Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin' bliss
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags