Children's Museum of New Hampshire
We know it can be tough for little ones to stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve (and sometimes it's a challenge for busy parents, too), so here are a few ways you can celebrate the coming of 2014 -- and still have everyone in bed at a reasonable hour.
"Ring In the New Year!" Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Tues., Dec. 31, 10 a.m. $11. At 10 a.m., do some party prep by making hats and noisemakers for the countdown (to noon) dance party that begins at 11:30 a.m. From noon - 3, drop in to make more New Year's crafts for your own evening celebration at home. www.discoverymuseums.org
"Family New Year's Eve Celebration," Children's Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington St., Dover. Tues., Dec. 31, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. $9; under one, free. Noisemakers, confetti, New Year's Eve crafts, and three special “countdowns to midnight” held at 11 am, 12:30 pm and 2 pm. At each countdown, a glittering ball drops 30 feet from the ceiling as everyone counts down the last ten seconds of the year. www.childrens-museum.org
"Family New Year's Eve Celebration," Wenham Museum, 132 Main St., Wenham. Tues., Dec. 31, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Pre-registration by Fri., Dec. 27, is required. Members, $6; non-members, $10; family max, $40 for up to 5 people. Museum-wide celebration includes puppet show, noisemakers, hats, face painting, ginger ale toast, countdown to "midnight," and more. www.wenhammuseum.org
"Happy New Year!" Providence Children's Museum, 100 South St., Providence, RI. Tues., Dec. 31, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. $9; under one, free. Create shakers, popsicle stick harmonicas, and other noisemakers from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. At noon. and 2 p.m., join a procession through the museum culminating in a ball drop to ring in 2014. www.childrenmuseum.org
"New Year's at Kings Boston," 50 Dalton St., Boston. Tues., Dec. 31, noon - 8 p.m. Package prices vary. Bowling, simulated ball drops every hour, food, drinks, party favors, champagne toast (sparkling cider for kids). Note that packages require minimum number of guests and price does not include tax and gratuity. www.KingsBostonRSVP.com
"New Year's Eve at Fenway Park," Yawkey Way, Boston. Tues., Dec. 31, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. $40. 30 minute skating session, unlimited use of new Monster Sled, access to warning track and dugout for photos, entry into EMC Club and State Street Pavilion Club, free hot cocoa for kids. Traditional ballpark fare available for purchase. www.boston.redsox.mlb.com
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.