4 last-minute, family-friendly New Year’s Eve activities

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

New Year’s Eve is a time for the whole family to celebrate — that includes moms, dads and the kids.

Making plans that include the whole crew can sometimes be tricky. That’s why we put together four family-friendly activities for New Year’s Eve that take little to no planning.

Here are four ideas to kick-off your family’s new year with some low-maintenance fun:

1. Head to Scene 75

There’s no better time to reintroduce the family to one of the region’s largest entertainment centers. Scene 75, located at 6196 Poe Ave. in Dayton, reopened in Nov. 2020 after it had been temporarily closed since tornadoes tore through the Miami Valley in 2019.

While closed, Scene 75 underwent major renovations that included the addition of an indoor roller coaster, double-decker Grand Carousel, black light mini-golf and much more.

While the kids try their luck at arcade games and let loose in the bouncy houses, parents can enjoy a full-service bar, bowling and more.

Scene 75 will be open New Year’s Eve from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. For more details and admission information, visit scene75.com.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

2. Skate into 2022 at RiverScape

The region’s largest outdoor ice rink located in the heart of downtown Dayton on the scenic Miami River riverfront, the RiverScape MetroPark Ice Rink is a New Year’s Eve activity that will get the whole family energized and moving.

No reservations are necessary, and with special reduced admission opportunities, ice skating can also be a more affordable option.

The Riverscape Ice Rink has special hours on New Year’s Eve, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit metroparks.org/ice-rink/.

3. Ring in 2022 at Kings Island

For an excitement filled day into the evening, head to the New Year’s Eve celebration at Kings Island’s WinterFest. There are a number of kid-friendly events taking place throughout the day, and Dec. 31 is the last day to catch the WinterFest action.

Kings Island’s holiday celebration features a series of enchanting winter wonderlands, ice skating on the Royal Fountain, the Eiffel Tower turned into a magical Christmas tree and more than five million lights. Carriage rides, holiday games, cookie decorating and more will bring even more magic to the popular amusement park.

A few popular rides, like Mystic Timbers, Flight of Cheer, Kings Mills Antique Autos, Grand Carousel and Zephyr, will also be open to the public during WinterFest.

For more information and pricing details, visit visitkingsisland.com/events/winterfest.

Credit: Kings Island

Credit: Kings Island

4. Spend NYE catching the last of holiday lights

New Years Eve is the last day for many dazzling holiday lights displays across the Miami Valley. Some displays happening Friday are even drive-through, so the whole family can pile in the car and take-in the lights before midnight strikes.

Here are 4 displays running through New Year’s Eve:

Whispering Christmas in Eaton:

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hours: 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Location: Fort St. Clair State Park, 135 Camden Road, Eaton

Cost: $5 per car

More info: Facebook

Light Up Middletown

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hours: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Location: Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave. in Middletown

Cost: Cash donations accepted.

More info: www.lightupmiddletown.org

Holiday Lights on the Hill in Hamilton

Credit: Staff photo by Nick Graham

Credit: Staff photo by Nick Graham

Hours: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Location: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton

Cost: Monday through Thursday, $20 per carload; Friday through Sunday $25 per carload. Admission for Pyramid Hill members presenting a current membership card is $15 every day.

More info: (513) 863-8336 | journeyborealis.com

PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo

Credit: Staff photo by Kareem Elgazzar

Credit: Staff photo by Kareem Elgazzar

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati

Cost: Included in zoo admission, which varies for dates and times.

More info: cincinnatizoo.org/events/festival-of-lights

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