5 Family Friendly Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cincinnati

A few of my girlfriends and I were just talking about how much New Year’s Eve has changed since having kids. Our days of crowded bars and $50+ cover charges are a distant memory (thankfully!). That ship has sailed and we’ve traded in sequined dresses and toe-splintering heels for PJ’s, fuzzy socks and early bedtimes.

Finding activities for New Year’s Eve when you have a hard time making it to midnight can be tricky, but you definitely have options that will ensure everyone has fun and will still have you in bed before that ball drops. Here are 5 family friendly ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cincinnati:

Happy ZOO Year at the Cincinnati Zoo

I’m always looking for an excuse to get to the zoo and this looks like the perfect NYE opportunity for kids of all ages. Happy ZOO Year runs from 5 – 10 p.m. and includes Madcap Puppet Shows, kid friendly activities and ends with an early countdown complete with a Rozzi Fireworks show! This is also one of your last chances to enjoy the PNC Festival of Lights.

New Years Eve with the Cincinnati Cyclones

Complete with an on-the-ice fireworks show and a kid friendly start time (6:05 p.m.), the Cyclones make sure the whole family can enjoy New Years Eve without breaking bedtime. They are also running a NYE Fireworks 4-pack special – 4 tickets + 4 light up toys for $76.

Noon Year’s Eve Party at the Cincinnati Library

You’ll stay up ’til 12 — p.m. that is. Ring in the New Year at noon with face painting, games and activities for the whole family. Activities are geared toward ages 12 and under with caregiver. Program runs 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Harrison Branch Library. Free; register here.

New Years Eve Kids’ Countdown at the Newport Aquarium

If you need something a bit earlier in the day, the Newport Aquarium hosts a New Years Eve Kids’ Countdown from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. with the whole NYE shebang. Music, noisemakers and a visit from Scuba Santa to countdown to the new year a few hours early. This will also be your last chance to see Scuba Santa for the season. The New Years Eve Kids Countdown is included with regular admission.

New Year’s Eve Kids Cruise on BB Riverboats

Odds are your little one won’t be able to make it to 12 a.m., so BB Riverboats holds their countdown at 12 p.m.! Music and party favors are included as well as kid friendly activities, a lunch buffet and visits from pirates, princesses and super heroes.

emilydaffinAbout Emily:

Emily grew up just north of Cincinnati in Hamilton, OH and now lives in Western Hills with her husband Jim, their son James and their lunatic yellow lab, Rosey. Emily graduated from Xavier University (Go Muskies!), and is now a stay at home mom after working in marketing and promotions for local radio and TV stations.

Emily spends most of her free time visiting the manatees (James’ favorite) at the Cincinnati Zoo, shopping at local antique shops, or singing Beatles songs with James who typically just stares at her like she’s crazy. Emily hopes one day he’ll join in but for now she enjoys his giggles. She also enjoys photography and has quickly turned into a Pure Barre addict while trying to melt away the daily milkshakes she consumed while pregnant. So far it’s going well, but Skyline frequently gets in the way.

Emily loves to write and is looking forward to connecting with other Moms in Cincinnati while writing for Cincinnati Parent.

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