New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be champagne and midnight kisses. The whole family can celebrate the coming year! Adopt the policy of “it’s midnight somewhere,” and check out these early-to-bed adventures for the younger crowd, with all the ball-drops you can possibly fit in! Read on for more!

photo: Ellie Wonder via flickr

New Year’s at Noon at the Children’s Museum

Ring in 2019 just a little early– noon! Grab your noisemakers and get ready for a super fun at the Children’s Museum annual event. Your kids can explore the whole museum, make crafts, have a dance party and more.

Best of all? Multiple New Year’s countdowns. Because everyone knows that’s the where the fun is at.

Dec. 31, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
$11/adults and kids, free for babies 1 and under
4015 SW Canyon Rd.
Portland, OR

Noon Years Eve Preschool Party

If you’ve got the littlest kids with you this year, a quiet New Year’s might be right up your alley. Visit the Northwest Library for their annual Noon Year’s Party the Saturday before the big day. Anyone under the age of 5 is welcome for snacks, fun activities, music and dancing, and balloons! It’s a free celebration, and leaves moms or dads open on the Big Night for their own fun!

Sat., Dec. 29, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Northwest Library, 2300 N.W. Thurman St.
Portland, OR

photo: sam via flickr

Zoo Lights

Skip the Christmas crowds and visit Zoolights a little later in the season–they’re still going strong at New Year’s! Bundle up and come enjoy an evening of twinkling lights, warm drinks, elephant ears (“elf ears”), and a magical train ride at the zoo. Don’t forget your glow necklaces and light-up thingamagigs! The lights stay on all the way to 9 p.m., late enough to celebrate then still get home for bed.  Ride the Max for $5 off admission!

$17.95/adults, $12.95/children 3-11, free for children under 3
4-9 p.m.
Oregon Zoo
4001 Southwest Canyon Road
Portland, OR

photo: mt hood via flickr

Mt Hood SkiBowl Party

Go wild. Make it a memorable New Year by welcoming 2019 on the slopes of Mt Hood! The Skibowl is celebrating its 31st year of legendary activities. Starting at 9 a.m. you’ll find tubing and skiing fun on the slopes, with hot drinks and burgers slinging all day. When the sun goes down, the party really starts. You’ll party the night away with Cosmic Tubing, a live DJ show, multiple beer gardens, Frosty’s Playland with winter games, and a midnight torchlight parade. The whole family will have a great time, culminating in a huge fireworks display.

Dec. 31, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Night lift tickets and tubing start at $35 peak pricing, lodgings available through several nearby resorts
87000 U.S. 26
Government Camp, OR
503-272-3206 x 1107

Whale Watching Week at the Coast

Escape the city and find an alternate adventure at the coast, during Oregon State Park’s annual Whale Watching Week. All up and down the Oregon Coast you’ll find stations and volunteers out to help spot some of the 20,000 gray whales that migrate south each winter. While it might be chilly, winter at the coast is actually a great a time, with minimal crowds, excellent agate-hunting, lower prices, and all the excuses to drink hot chocolate.


photo: john jones via flickr

Mr Ben at Mississippi Pizza

Enjoy some pizza and a show at this early New Year’s Eve event! Mr Ben will strum his ukulele to some wacky, funny, or even educational tunes, great for toddlers and older! They’ll rock your kids’ faces off and then drop the lighted ball promptly at 6 p.m. Hey, it’s New Year’s in Brazil, and that totally counts.

Dec. 31, 5- 6:00 p.m.
Mississippi Pizza
3552 N. Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR

—Katrina Emery


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