Thanks to the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum for sponsoring our New Year’s Even with Kids Guide. The Orpheum’s Noon Day Drop has been a classic spot for kids to spend Dec. 31 in their own special way. Ring in the New Year with a big balloon drop and count down at noon! Make crazy hats, crazy noise, and bring in the New Year with a crazy party at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in downtown Champaign. Dec. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
When you become a parent, suddenly New Year’s Eve loses most of its social importance. Babysitter available? Maybe if you’re REALLY lucky, and if you haven’t started trying to find one, do so NOW!
If you’re planning on spending New Year’s Eve in Champaign-Urbana with your family, here are a few ways to celebrate:
Take the kids to a “noon” celebration:
Noon Day Drop at the Orpheum: Ring in the New Year with a big balloon drop and count down at noon! Make crazy hats, crazy noise, and bring in the New Year with a crazy party at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in downtown Champaign. Dec. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. $8 per person, members get a discount, $28 for a family of four.
Noon Year’s Eve at Urbana Free Library: Are you afraid you won’t last till midnight to celebrate the New Year? Come celebrate with the Urbana Free Library at 1:30 p.m., with count down at 2 p.m.. Ringing in the New Year with stories, food and fun! FREE.
Party Like It’s 1900 Noon Day Celebration: Head over to the Museum at the Grand Prairie in Mahomet to play games, eat snacks, listen to music and make crafts that were popular in the year 1900. There will be a countdown at noon complete with balloon drop. All ages. FREE! From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Kid’s Almost New Year’s Party at Skateland: This New Year’s Eve event is for children 10 years old and younger with parents. Admission is $10 per person (includes skate rental). Bring in the New Year with party hats, noisemakers and a prized filled balloon drop at 2:30 pm for the kids. On Dec. 31, 1-4 p.m..
Take the kids out to dinner.
Usually the New Year’s crowds don’t come out until after the younger kids are starting to wind down for bedtime. Head out to an early bird meal at your favorite local restaurant. There are some great kids eat free deals, some even on Mondays.
Have a family date night.
Typically bowling alleys and other family fun locations are open. Elevate, the new trampoline park in Champaign, has its family discount night on Monday nights – and Dec. 31 is no different. Or, go to a movie: lots of family options out there. And popcorn is perfect for NYE.
Book a hotel room. That’s right, a hotel room, right here in Champaign-Urbana.
Leave home without leaving home. Live it up staycation style — book a hotel with an indoor pool (fun for the kids) where there’s no driving involved (safer for you). We’re big fans of Home2 in Champaign- you can even walk to dinner.
Throw your own party at home.
The great thing about New Year’s Eve is that every hour, it is the New Year … somewhere. Stop at a local party store (or even big box store) and grab party hats, noisemakers — or make your own! Don’t forget to grab some kid “Champagne” (in our house, fuzzy grape juice). Use it an educational tool to teach children about other countries and cultures as the hours go by. Or, do a family game night or movie night. Use Netflix (or YouTube) for an authentic early countdown.
Do you have family New Year’s Eve traditions? Add them in the comments below!