Will all the booze and late-night parties, New Year's Eve is an adult's holiday – but that doesn't mean you can't make it a family affair. This year, party with your kids and be home before the ball drops in Times Square. If you want to ring in 2020 without dark rings around your eyes as you celebrate with the littles, consider the following family-friendly things to do:
GameWorks Denver Countdown and Balloon Drop
Noon to 3 p.m.
7950 Northfield Boulevard
Starting at noon, play games and cheer in the new year with a 2:20 p.m. countdown and balloon drop at this 160-game arcade and laser-tag arena. Special packages, between $15 or $20, include a lunch buffet and hot chocolate bar, party favors and either an hour-long game card or $15 game card. Hang out and have fun until the very end — at the ripe hour of 3 p.m.
Glenwood Hot Springs Resort New Year's Eve Celebration
7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
415 East 6th Street, Glenwood Springs
This New Year's Eve, take a dip into the steaming, mineral-filled waters of Glenwood Springs. The pool is open until 1 a.m., but the fun starts at 7 p.m. with pool games such as Marco Polo, sharks and minnows, cannon balls, diving contests and more. It's best for older kids who know how to swim, but all ages are welcome to join the booze-free party. If you make it to 10 p.m., you can also enjoy the city's fireworks display while floating in the pool. Prices vary, and admission gets you free party hats, noisemakers, beads and the chance to win an annual pool pass. The fireworks are part of the town's Grand New Year's Celebration, which starts at 6 p.m. right over the pedestrian bridge from the pool. You'll enjoy food, drinks, live music and entertainment, so double up on the fun by heading here before luxuriating at the resort.
Mici's Handcrafted Italian Annual Kids' New Year's Eve
5 to 7:30 p.m.
A child-friendly dinner with a side of excitement is on the menu at all Mici's Handcrafted Italian locations this December 31. Just make sure to get there early; the countdown happens at 6:59 p.m., complete with sparkling apple cider to cap off the night. Before or after the big toast, let your kids finish 2019 with some of their favorite foods, including pizza, pasta with marinara or Alfredo, or basic cheese and olive-oil noodles. It's a celebration perfect for those who need to be in bed well before midnight, no matter the age. Plus, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree.
New Year's Eve Family Celebration at the Downtown Aquarium
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
700 Water Street
There's something fishy about New Year's Eve at the Denver Aquarium this year. We're talking trout, rays, sharks and the other sea creatures swimming about as you enjoy the last of 2019. The fun starts at $22.99 for kids ages three to ten, and $30.99 for those eleven years old and up. It includes a buffet meal, beach ball and balloon drop, bubbly cider toast, games and giveaways, admission to the aquarium and special animal appearances, plus a visit from Sharkey, the venue's mascot. Reservations are required. Make yours by calling 303-561-4450.
New Year’s Eve Family Tour at the Clyfford Still Museum
10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
End the year with some art during this special family tour aimed at children from ages five to ten. Expect to make music, dance, search for fireworks and create your own artwork to bring in 2020. The first tour at 10:30 a.m. is currently sold out, but there's another at 1 p.m. (though you can always check and see if any spots for the earlier event open up). It's free to attend with a $10 adult museum admission, and children seventeen and under get in free; just make sure to register soon to save your place.
Noon Year's Eve at the Children's Museum
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2121 Children's Museum Drive
Get outside and play all day on December 31 as the Children's Museum hosts a family-friendly New Year's Eve party starting at 9 a.m. Expect a ball drop every hour on the hour, bubble-wrap "fireworks," crafts, rainbow confetti, music and, of course, the whole museum to explore. Admission is $16 for those ages two to 59; $14 for ages one and over sixty; and free for little one under one.
Noon Year’s Eve Celebration at Southlands Shopping Center
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
6155 South Main Street, Aurora
Head to the ice rink, also called "the pond," at this Aurora shopping mall for a festive party celebrating the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Visit the kissing booth for a free Hershey's Kiss, take a selfie, and enjoy an apple cider toast, music to dance to and party favors. At noon, the balloon balls drop, after which you can pop balloons with the hopes of finding a golden ticket inside with gift cards to local shops and passes to the ice rink.
Rapunzel’s Wish Lantern at Oblio's Pizzeria
6115 East 22nd Avenue
4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Join a New Year’s Eve celebration with a real princess, or at least a real Disney princess. Dress to the nines in any costume you want and celebrate the end of 2019 with Rapunzel's songs, dashing tales of adventure, a magical flower, a wish lantern, face painting and a noise maker. After Rapunzel has finished her show, you can light the lantern and make a wish for 2020. Reserve your spot (email firstname.lastname@example.org) for either the 4:30 or 6:30 p.m. seating, which costs $10 per child. Expect to order some pizza, maybe a glass of wine for the adults, and enjoy a mellow and fun night.
6 and 8 p.m.
Sparkling cider for the kids and bubbly wine for the adults will be passed around during two countdowns this year, one at 6 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m. Order the last feast of 2019 in the form of Nashville hot fried chicken, pot roast, iceberg wedge and a pile of crispy Brussels sprouts, plus all the proper kid-friendly fare. Then get home with more than enough time to digest, put the kids to bed, and toast again before midnight strikes.
Wow! Children's Museum New Year's Eve Party
110 North Harrison Avenue, Lafayette
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.
Don't worry about sleepy eyes during this daytime party in Lafayette. All the excitement will be wrapped by noon or 3 p.m. Both parties offer the same extravaganza of noisemaker crafts, balloon animals, a comedy magic show, snacks and face painting. It's $11 per child and $6 for adults; just make sure to book a ticket online as soon as you know you want to go.
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