Noisemakers, confetti, food, music, dancing—New Year’s is a celebration that appeals to the kid in all of us. And there are plenty of Portland events that are filled with fun for the whole family. You can catch some of your favorite family-friendly musicians in popular venues (Mr. Ben at Mississippi Pizza, SnailPeople at The Warehouse, Greasy Kids Stuff at Portland Children’s Museum). You can take the whole clan to experience the magic of The Wizard of Oz on stage. Or you can create a new tradition and head out for a New Year’s family hike to revel in the beauty that is Portland.

West side

The Wizard of Oz (pictured)
Journey down the Yellow Brick Road with your family for this magical production, based on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s celebration of the 1939 MGM movie. You’ll be spellbound from the moment the tornado twists its way into Kansas. Saturday at 2:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Newmark Theatre, Center for Performing Arts. Tickets begin at $15. Best for ages 3+ (or parent’s discretion). Event details.

Guided Nature Walk: Audubon Bird Count
New Year’s means more than parties: it’s also time for the annual Audubon bird count at Tryon Creek. Join a park naturalist for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Sat. 8:30 am. Free. All. Event details.

New Year’s at Noon: Portland Children’s Museum
Ring in the New Year with Museum musical favorites, Greasy Kids Stuff, as they spin groovy tunes. Join us for multiple New Year countdowns, noisemaker creations, and a dance party. Sat. 9:30 am. Countdowns at 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm. $9. Ages 0-10. Event details.

East side

Mr. Ben at Mississippi Pizza
Ring in 2012 with pizza, beer, and the kids. Mr. Ben and his band play a special New Year’s show for families at Mississippi Pizza! Sat. 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Mississippi Pizza. $10/family, with complimentary drinks. All ages. Event details.

SnailPeople at The Warehouse
Slide into the New Year with magical musical duo the Snail People. Sat. 10:30 am. Donation encourages. All ages. Event details.

Music with Mr. Hoo at Milagros
Mr. Hoo from The Alphabeticians will be singing songs with and for kids. He’ll play his guitar and sing some original songs, some Alphabeticians songs, some classic kid songs and “Hoo” knows what else? Friday. 11:00 am. $3. All. Event details.

— Cheyenne Terbrueggen