Columbus New Year's Eve Events for Families

Family-Friendly Options for Every Budget

You can't take the kiddies to the bar for New Year's Eve. It's really frowned upon in polite society. Instead, take your spouse and children to one of the several Central Ohio events geared toward the under-21 crowd.

First Night Columbus

Arguably the biggest celebration in Columbus on New Year's Eve, First Night Columbus is a great place for families. Substance-free, the event features a variety of activities spread out through downtown Columbus.

"First Night was brought to Columbus in 1995," according to the event's website. "It is part of an international alliance of more than 100 cities that showcase the visual and performing arts through New Year’s Eve celebrations that are safe, affordable and fun." Sounds like a perfect opportunity for a safe and clean family event.

Family Bowling Party

Keep the kids entertained with a bowling party that features laser lights, music, shoe rental, party hats, noise makers and pizza for up to six participants at Sequoia Lanes. "Choose between an early party for kids or an exciting late night Rockin’ Bowl Party to end this year in style," Sequoia's website notes. "It is a festive party atmosphere with music and unlimited games of​ laser light bowling."

New Year's Eve at Magic Mountain

Take you family to an all-day New Year's Eve event at Magic Mountain -- Polaris, where you and your loved ones can enjoy an all-day event, including specials on the park's rides and arcade.

"Stay to the end for our annual balloon drop at 7:30 p.m.," the park's website notes. 

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo

This spectacular daily holiday light show is open on New Year's Eve for your family's enjoyment. "Central Ohio's favorite family holiday tradition went from a few strands of lights and a few trays of cookies to millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa, reindeer and other holiday festivities, " the zoo's website notes.

 ​“Wildlights is a fantastic time to visit the zoo because you get the best of two worlds  -- you can visit amazing animals during the day, and stay for the dazzling light shows after dusk,” says Tom Stalf, president and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Animals and lights -- a great family combination to ring in the new year.