New Year’s Eve parties may be geared toward adults, but there’s no reason the whole family can’t 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

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

Celebrate 2018 the best way possible—fun, exploration, crafts, a dance party, and even some crazy dry ice science experiments! The Portland Children’s Museum is throwing their annual Noon party and it’s sure to be a blast. Not only can your kids explore the whole museum, but they can participate in special activities. Best of all? Multiple New Year’s countdowns. Because everyone knows that’s the best part.

Dec. 31, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
$10.75/adults and kids, free for babies 1 and under
4015 SW Canyon Rd.
Portland, OR

2. AC Gilbert Discovery Museum

The discovery museum is a super fun place any time of the year– it’s an old Victorian house with a fun new theme in every room like Fortopia, the Blue Block room, or the Engineering Studio. Ring in the new year early by celebrating at noon with them! They’ll have fun hands-on activities, crafts, a photo booth, and face painting. And be sure to watch at noon sharp for the Big Balloon Drop!

Best for ages 2-10.

Dec. 31, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
$8/Kids age 3-59, $4/Kids ages 1-2, free for children under 1
116 Marion St NE
Salem, OR

photo: masha via flickr

3. Zoo Lights

The lights are still going strong! 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 and still get home for bed (and maybe a night out for grown-ups?).

Hint: Ride the Max for $5 off admission!


$14.95/adults, $9.95/children 3-11, free for children under 3
4-9 p.m.
Oregon Zoo
4001 Southwest Canyon Road
Portland, OR

4. Preschool Party at the Library

Looking for a quiet, budget friendly, and really fun event for your toddler? The Northwest Library will be throwing their annual New Year’s Party on Saturday this year, around noon. Stop by for snacks, fun activities, music and dancing, and balloons! It’s free and fun for anyone under the age of 4!

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

photo: mt hood via flickr

5. Mt Hood SkiBowl Party

Ring in the new year with the biggest, snowiest party around! Mt. Hood Skibowl is celebrating its 30th year of legendary festivities. Starting at 10 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. 2018 here we come!

Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to past midnight
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

6. The Alphabeticians at Mississippi Pizza

Come enjoy a special new years show with one of Portland’ favorite kids bands! Known for their clever and funny songs about monsters, dads, the Alphabet and more, they are the perfect accompaniment to a big slice o’ pizza pie.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- 6:30 p.m.
Mississippi Pizza
3552 N. Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR

What’s your family’s favorite way to ring in the New Year? Tell us in the comments below!

—Katrina Emery