From Noon-Lite Madness to First Night, events are aplenty.

Making New Year’s Eve work for the kids can be a challenge—from age-appropriate activities to the late hours, there are a lot of factors that can get in the way of a good time for all. Fortunately, Columbus has no shortage of events that will appeal to children of all ages and their parents, too.

First Night Columbus is possibly the best-known, family-friendly New Year’s Eve event in the city, and with good reason: It’s one of more than 100 such events in cities around the world that showcase visual and performing arts in a substance-free party. Head to COSI between 5:30 p.m. and midnight for movies, live music, science and magic shows, crafts, face painting, story time and more. The event culminates in a fireworks show at midnight. Tickets are $10 during the presale and $15 at the door, though some activities cost extra.

Looking for a little adventure to ring in the new year? Hocking Hills Scenic Railway has a special New Year’s Eve train, which departs from the Nelsonville depot station at 10:30 p.m. It travels to Logan and back and features a separate “Pizza & Pop” car that’s just for families. At midnight, the train pauses its return trip to treat passengers to a fireworks display that welcomes 2019. Reservations can be made online or by phone and must be in place by 11:55 p.m. on Dec. 29. Tickets are $20 for children, $25 for seniors and $30 for adults.

If your little ones can’t quite make it to midnight, several daytime celebrations are here to help. The Westerville Community Center hosts Noon-Lite Madness from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 31. Expect crafts and entertainment geared toward the preschool-age crowd, along with a countdown to noon. The event is $5 per child, and registration is required.

Similarly, Grandview Heights Public Library’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration, starting at 11 a.m. Dec. 31, celebrates with a noon countdown in the gymnasium of Edison Intermediate & Larson Middle School. There’s dancing, games, face painting and a balloon drop at noon. The event is free, but registration is required and opens on Dec. 17.

Last but not least, Sharon Woods Metro Park is hosting two days of family-friendly fun. The Family Fun New Year’s Eve Open House on Dec. 30 is at the park’s Spring Hollow Lodge from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Preschoolers Plus New Year’s Open House Party follows the next day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both events are free and feature games, activities and crafts that are geared toward kids ages 3 to 7.

To read the rest of our New Year’s Eve package, pick up a copy of Columbus Monthly’s December issue at these locations.


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