We all know planning a memorable New Years Eve can be tough, especially with kids! If you and your significant other are without “adult” plans this year you might want to consider ringing in the New Year with some of these kid-friendly ideas listed below. I also included two other experiences you should check out this holiday break before it’s too late. Enjoy these last few remaining days of 2014!

1. Ring in the New Year at these fun, local events!
Countdown the end of the year at a Noon Year’s Eve party at either The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem or at the Greensboro Children’s Museum! Or reserve a lane (or two!) at Spare Time Greensboro and strike in the new year with a fun bowling party. Details on their packages can be found HERE.(Spare Time is also hosting a Galactic New Year’s Eve party for adults on December 31 from 10:30 pm to 1 am!)

2. Plan an overnight trip with the kids.
Travel just one hour north or one hour south, and enjoy First Night Raleigh or First Night Charlotte. Or to take it up a notch, make reservations at Great Wolf Lodge where they also have pre-planned New Years Eve activities for children and their guests, like “Snowball“!

3. Have a party of your own at home!
Decorate the house, turn the family room into a ballroom or disco, have the kids make their own New Years crafts and party supplies, play lots of games, and have tons of snacks on-hand!

4. Organize a New Years sleep-over for the kids!
You can either keep it simple with your own kids, or invite some friends over. Chances are they’ll be up late anyway, right?

5. Do dinner differently.
Have fun with it, and make something you might not normally make such as cheese fondue (goes great with champagne for the adults and ginger ale for the kids) and end it with chocolate fondue. Or even better – take the family out for fondue and visit The Melting Pot! Make your own gourmet pizza at home, or take the kids to a Japanese restaurant for a fun, hibachi-style meal.

6. Celebrate midnight and “good luck traditions” in different countries.
Turn the TV on and countdown the New Year in different countries. As midnight strikes each hour, celebrate that particular country by honoring its food and other traditions. New Years is also a great time to honor good luck traditions, and here’s a fun site that lists different ideas from all around the world!

7. Create a movie marathon night.
Warm up your VCRs, DVRs, Netflix account, or stockpile a bunch of your favorites from Redbox. Another fun idea: bring out some home movies of your children – and yourselves. Kids love watching themselves, and even their parents, from years past on TV.

Other Fun Ways to End the Year

If you’re not quite ready to let go of the holiday spirit, here are two more suggestions to consider during this vacation. Perhaps these will soon become holiday – or New Years – traditions with your family….

Ride the Polar Express
Did you know Santa is still riding the Polar Express on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (in Bryson City) now through December 29 (and again in early January)? The 1 ¼ hour round-trip departs the Bryson City depot for its North Pole destination. Guests on board enjoy warm cocoa and on-board entertainment, plus a visit and gift from Santa. Click here for tickets!

Be Dazzled at Zootastic Park’s Christmas Wonderland of Lights

If the thrill of local holiday light shows have dimmed, try experiencing lights from a new perspective. The Christmas Wonderland of Lights features over 2 million lights over a 2 mile drive-through and ends with a light show set to music in a western town. Santa Claus is often seen here too, as well as pony rides, petting zoos, concessions, roasting pits for marshmellows, and much more. This park is located in Troutman, NC (near Lake Norman) and is about an hour’s drive from the Triad. Cost is $5 per person. Click here for times, directions and more information.

How do you celebrate the New Years (and the last few days of holiday break) with the kids? If you have other fun suggestions, please add them below!