1. New Year’s Eve Extreme Rodeo Challenge
Budweiser Events Center (Loveland)
Starts at 7:30 p.m.
Grab your buckaroos and ring in the new year Colorado-style at the eleventh annual First National Bank’s New Year’s Eve Extreme Rodeo Challenge. The night’s filled with all of your rodeo favorites, including saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding and bull fighting — along with crowd-pleasing mutton bustin’. Tickets range from $12 to $27 and can be purchased at the Budweiser Events Center box office, online, or by calling 877-544-TIXX. VIP tickets are available for $112 and include floor seating in the VIP pit, an unlimited buffet, and a host bar for select beverages. For more information, visit the Budweiser Events Center website.
2. First Night Fort Collins
Downtown Fort Collins
5:30 to 10 p.m.
This Saturday, there’s a little something for everyone at the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association’s artsy, annual and free family-oriented New Year’s Eve celebration. This year’s Winter Wonderland theme offers opportunities to enjoy international dance, live theater and magic shows, along with comedy, music, singing, face painting and more. There’s also a bounceland filled with giant inflatables for the youngsters. A special kids’ ball-drop countdown begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Square, and fireworks round out the evening at 10 p.m. More information is available online.
3. New Year’s Eve Family Dance
YMCA of the Rockies – Estes Park Center
Starts at 8:30 p.m.
In Estes Park, YMCA of the Rockies says au revoir to 2016 with a family-friendly dance party featuring a DJ, games, snacks and refreshments. Come to the Longhouse Building dressed for a good time. For wee party animals, the ball drops early, at 10 p.m. The event is free for lodging guests, and lodging rates start at $64 for members and $79 for non-members. For more information, visit YMCA of the Rockies’ website.
4. New Year's Eve Concert
Pikes Peak Center (Colorado Springs)
Ring in the New Year in style and party like a diva with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, at the Springs' longest-running New Year's Eve Bash. This song-filled evening will delight parents and their older kiddos with some of the Philharmonic’s most popular vocalists, who aim to light up the night with Broadway hits and classic American songs from Wicked, The Wizard of Oz and Frozen. Tickets are $21 to $64; purchase yours online or call 719-520-SHOW.
5. New Year’s Eve at Avanti F&B
7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Denver’s beloved collective eatery invites foodies to nosh in the New Year. At Avanti, entry is free, and the food is pay-as-you-go. Six restaurants will be open, serving up their finest fare. Head to the rooftop deck at 9 p.m. and midnight to watch the fireworks downtown, and enjoy a complimentary champagne toast when the clock strikes twelve. VIP unlimited drink packages featuring house wells, wine and beer are available for $80 per person, and tickets can be purchased online. For more information, visit Avanti’s website.
6. New Year’s Eve Fireworks
9 p.m. and midnight
The sky will sparkle over the 16th Street Mall at the close of 2016, thanks to two spectacular fireworks shows. For the best viewpoints, stand along the 16th Street Mall, where costumed entertainers – musicians, mascots, balloon artists, stilt-walkers, comedians and more – will interact with crowds between shows. More information is available on Visit Denver's website. Make a night of it by making early reservations at Ace Eat Serve for a no-fuss, casual, kid-friendly meal. After you’ve grubbed on the joint’s Asian-inspired fare and played a few rounds of ping-pong, head outside for the pyrotechnics. Call 303-800-7705 for dining reservations.
Keep reading for more family-friendly events on New Year's Eve — and January 1.