Guide to New Year's Eve in Columbus: Family-Friendly Events and Parties

Kick Off the New Year With These Kid-Friendly Events

Columbus, OH
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Unfortunately for parents, you can't take the kids to the bar on New Year's Eve. However that doesn't mean families can't have fun when the clock strikes twelve. Instead, take your family to an event geared toward the under-21 crowd. For those living around the Columbus, Ohio area there are many options for ringing in the New Year with the little ones. Just make sure to plan these family-friendly events and parties in advance, as they tend to sell out fast.

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First Night Columbus

 First Night Columbus

Arguably the biggest celebration in Columbus on New Year's Eve, First Night Columbus is a great place for families. First Night began in 1995 and 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.

The event features a variety of activities spread out through downtown Columbus. Beginning at 5:00 p.m., enjoy music, film, dance, games, kids' music, and creation stations.

Activities for New Year's in Columbus have included a magic show, a puppet show, a planetarium, face painting, fireworks, animal shows, story time, and live music performances.

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Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

 Amanda Carberry

Wildlights is a spectacular daily holiday light show that is open on New Year's Eve for your family's enjoyment. However, it will not be open until midnight. At this favorite annual holiday event, you'll be awed by the millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, and more holiday festivities. Ride a carousel, take the Polar Express train, meet Rudolph and Bumble, visit Santa and his reindeer, and play seek-and-find. Special holiday treats will also be featured on zoo menus.

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Family Bowling Party at Sequoia Pro Bowl

 Sequoia Pro Bowl

Keep the kids entertained with a bowling party at Sequoia Lanes that features laser lights, music, shoe rental, party hats, noisemakers, and pizza for up to six participants. Choose from either an early party for kids or an exciting late-night Rockin’ Bowl Party to end the year. The late-night event offers music and unlimited games of laser light bowling. The party starts at 9 p.m. and there are even holiday bowling packages that make it even more affordable for groups and families.

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Magic Mountain Fun Center

Take your family to an all-day New Year's Eve event at Magic Mountain Polaris, where you and your loved ones can enjoy go-karts, miniature golf, laser tag, video arcade games, and more. There are specials offered on the park's rides and arcade. This is a pay-as-you-go park with no admission fee, plus parking is free. 

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