Family-friendly places to ring in the new year

This weekend’s picks include several ways to ring in the New Year with the little ones. Whether inside or out, by sunlight, drizzle, or moonlight, there are celebratory options in both the Northwest and downtown. Here’s our kid-friendly list for moving your littles into 2012:


New Year’s Eve @ The Little Treehouse

Count down to midnight twelve hours early at the Little Treehouse Cafe in Chestnut Hill. Let your little ones get all the hoopla out of their systems before naptime with special treats, noisemakers (in addition to the human ones you brought with you), and even a ball drop! Registration not required. Free with regular admission or membership.

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Countdown to Noon @ The Please Touch Museum

If you want to start heading towards the city for your countdown, try chanting, “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!” at the Please Touch Museum’s BIG bash. They do a countdown to noon, or if you’re running a bit behind… at 1 p.m. as well. The shindig will have music from Louie Miranda and Fandango, a family dance party, art, music & storytelling. While you’re there, you just might run into Madeline and The Wild Thing. Be sure to tell the smallest one hello, and then stare into the yellow eyes of the beast and tell him to “BE STILL!” Free with regular admission or membership.


Franklin Square, all decked out!

If the weather holds out and you’re wanting to venture outdoors to party, take the kids downtown to Franklin Square. While it’s always a great place to enjoy with kids, on New Year’s Eve, it will be all decked out with activities, hat decorating, a 6 p.m. countdown and then a view of the Fireworks. Enjoy the carousel, mini golf, or a candy cane shake and hot cocoa at Square Burger.


Baby you’re a firework! (on skates)

Speaking of fireworks, Philly is hosting a kid-friendly fireworks celebration at 6 p.m.! So rather than torture them (and you) by trying to stay up until midnight, enjoy the early show. The fireworks should last about 15 minutes long, and you can catch some great views along the river/Penn’s Landing (or up on that trendy friend’s rooftop deck). Don’t forget to tune your radio into 1060 AM for the accompanying soundtrack. Or if you’re really committed to keeping them up until midnight, you can catch the same show when the clock strikes twelve. And if the weather REALLY holds out, try coordinating timing and getting into either the 5-7 p.m. or 11 p.m.-1 a.m. sessions at the Blue Cross River Rink. Really, how often do you get to ice skate under fireworks?

Whatever you do, have a safe and happy end to 2011 and a wonderful start to 2012!


Jen Bradley is the editor of Germantown Avenue Parents

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