When you have kids and no babysitter, it's hard to imagine staying up until the stroke of midnight, but there's no reason you can't have fun and still be in bed by 10 p.m. Pop some sparkling cider for the youngsters while you sip on a glass of champagne, and enjoy one last hurrah in 2018 at one of these ten events on December 31, 2018.
Noon Year's Eve
Children's Museum of Denver, 2127 Children's Museum Drive
Celebrate New Year's Eve at noon rather than midnight at the Children’s Museum of Denver, without fear of falling asleep before the big bang or waking up with a hangover. The event starts at 9 a.m. December 31 and goes until 4 p.m., with the big ball drop at noon, complete with bubble-wrap fireworks and rainbow confetti outside in Joy Park. For the rest of the time, kids can whip up festive treats in the teaching kitchen, try some sparkle science experiments, listen to Mr. Kneel the beatboxer, explore the museum and enjoy visits from special pop-culture characters. Admission is $16 per person between the ages of one and sixty, under one is free, and over sixty is $14.
New Year's Eve With Steve Simeone
Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street
Older kids always want to feel more grown-up, and while they can't yet toast the new year with a glass of sparkling wine, they can attend an all-ages show with comedian Steve Simeone at Comedy Works in Larimer Square. This PG-13 rendition of the special starts at 6 p.m. and runs $30 per person; adults can order up a beer, cocktail or wine while Junior has a strawberry lemonade. Fair warning: He may laugh so hard that liquid comes out of his nose.
Downtown Denver's Annual Fireworks
16th Street Mall
Downtown Denver offers two fireworks shows: one at midnight, and one at 9 p.m. for those who might have trouble staying awake until midnight. The best place to watch is along the 16th Street Mall, a car-free stretch (even mall shuttles will be suspended during the fireworks) perfect for tots who need to move while taking in the wonder of exploding colored lights. DJs will play tunes starting at 8 p.m. and going through until 2019; stop by the Denver Pavilions for a free ride on the carousel.
New Year's Eve Bash
Downtown Aquarium, 700 Water Street
Make a splash this holiday season by booking a reservation at the Aquarium for either 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Tickets run $19.99 for kids ages three to ten and $28.99 for ten and up, which includes admission to the Aquarium, the beach ball and balloon drop, a sparkling-cider toast, games and contests. Mascot Sharkey will be on hand, dressed in his best fins. Reserve your spot by calling 303-561-4450.
Steuben's, 7355 Ralston Road, Arvada
Book a table at Steuben’s Arvada for a special, family-friendly New Year’s Eve dinner. While you wait to dine on the restaurant's classic American fare (think hamburgers, fried chicken and crave-worthy appetizers), a table-side magician will make the rounds to entertain both young and old. Then, at 6 and 8 p.m., there will be champagne (for adults) and sparkling-cider toasts. Later, order dessert for a sizzling surprise. Reserve a table by calling 303-830-0096.
Italian Food and Fun
Mici Handcrafted Italian, five metro locations
Feed your kids in the most festive way possible this New Years Eve at all the Mici Handcrafted Italian locations. Each table comes equipped with noise-makers, party favors and dough balls; the bambini menu includes such childhood favorites as small pizzas, pasta with marinara or Alfredo sauce, and buttered noodles with parmesan. Count down the new year at 6:59 p.m. and toast with a glass of sparkling cider, then call it a night. To really get your 2019 off to a good start, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree.
PoshSplat, 2035 Broadway, Boulder
Your kids might miss the fireworks, but they can paint them at PoshSplat's special three-hour kids' camp (ages four and up) on New Year's Eve. For $24 each, they'll learn to paint fireworks; for an extra $5, they can enjoy a pizza party, too. All art goes home with the budding artists, so you can see fireworks all day, every day in 2019.
Skate the Lake
Evergreen Lake House, Evergreen
Head for the hills for the annual all-ages Skate the Lake in Evergreen. From 6 to 10 p.m. you can skate around the lake while a DJ from Sound Mountain Entertainment plays a festive soundtrack, roast a marshmallow at a fire pit, play ice golf and broomball, and grab a snack from a food truck. At 8 p.m., there will be fireworks, too. Admission is $20 per person, with kids five and under admitted free (a portion of the proceeds goes to various local charities). Free shuttles run from the parking lots of The Wild Game, the US Bank Building and Christ the King Church, and even though it's a NYE celebration, no alcohol is allowed.
WOW!’s New Year’s Eve Parties
Children's Museum, 110 North Harrison, Lafayette
Just how early would you like to start celebrating New Year's? Wow! Children's Museum is hosting two-hour parties at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., with face painting, balloon animals, noisemaker crafts, refreshments and the Bunny and Birdie Comedy Magic Show. Close your eyes and make-believe it's midnight as you count down with your tots, then get everyone to bed by 7 p.m. Join the fun for $11 per child and $6 per adult.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.