New Year's Options Abound for Families

The kids might not be up long enough to watch the ball drop, but there's plenty for them (and you) to do this weekend.

If you have young children, chances are the way you ring in the New Year has adjusted over the years. These days, you are looking for a fun way to include the family, and still have a good time. It also may be that you won’t make it to midnight at all.

Instead of a major bash, you are seeking a family-friendly way to celebrate New Year’s Day and welcome 2012 with the kids along for the ride. But, in the Greater Philadelphia region, where can you head with the children?

The Garden State Discovery Museum, in Cherry Hill, N.J. will ring in the New Year at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, with a family-friendly day of fun planned. The museum plans to close at 5:30 p.m. that day, but will ring in 2012 “kid style” with singing, dancing and counting down.

Admission to the entire museum is $10.95 (plus tax) for adults and children 12 months and over or $9.95 for seniors. Programs are included in the price of admission. Annual memberships are available for purchase.

If you don’t think the tots will make it to see midnight, maybe you can head down to Franklin Square, in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic Old City. This free celebration will start at 5 p.m. with free entertainment, party-hat decorating, and a “square drop” at 6 p.m.

You can add to the day by visiting the Betsy Ross House and celebrating her 260th birthday by making your own noisemakers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be free cake and birthday crafts at 1:30 p.m., complete with singing of “Happy Birthday.” City Tavern will provide cake for all guests.

The Please Touch Museum will host its annual countdown to noon on Saturday, Dec. 31. The celebration will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the major celebration occurring from noon to 1 p.m. Countdowns happen at both noon and 1, and the cost of attending is included in admission.

There will be performances by musical guests Louie Miranda and Fandango, along with special art and storytelling activities. “King Countdown” will be the official marshal of the day’s events, along with Madeline and Wild Thing. There will also be a family dance party.

The museum is also open on New Year’s Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the full museum is $15 for both adults and children, ages 1 to 12.


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