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Best Family-Friendly New Year's Parties In Minnesota

Ringing in the new year with family calls for big smiles and wonderful memories. But what if your brood can't quite keep their eyes open until midnight or aren't exactly old enough for the grown-up party scene? Celebrate at one of these manageable and family-friendly New Year's Eve hot spots in and around the Twin Cities.

New Year's Eve Sparkle-rama
Minnesota Children's Museum
10 W. 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 225-6000

Date: December 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Price: $10-$14

Rock out with kiddie-band Will Hale and the Tadpole Parade at the Minnesota Children's Museum to bring in 2013. The annual Sparkle-rama event includes crafts, dancing and a rousing ball drop at 8 p.m. The kids will love it and the parents can still get home in time for their late-night NYE celebrations.

Family Fun Guide To The Best Indoor Activities

Rock the Universe at Nickelodeon Universe
5000 Center Court at the Mall of America
Bloomington, MN 55425
(952) 883-8800

Date: December 31 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Price: Unlimited wristbands available for $29.95

The thrilling rides and action of Nickelodeon Universe provides a good option for teenagers or older children who want to party until midnight this New Year's Eve. All ages can enjoy the live music, dancing and party favors, but the real excitement comes from the amusement park rides which can be enjoyed with an unlimited-ride wristband until the ball drop at midnight.

New Years Eve Generic
(credit: Jupiter Images)

Family New Year's Celebration
Bielenberg Sports Center
4125 Radio Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125
(651) 714-3583

Date: December 31 from 6 p.m to 9 p.m.
Price: $8-$10

This is a great event for families with kids under the age of 12. The countdown to 2013 happens at 8:45 p.m., so little ones can manage the festivities without growing too weary. Family-friendly activities include moonwalks, open ice skating, music, slides, obstacle courses, mini-golf and bingo. Drawings will be held for door prizes as well.

New Year's Eve Party
Lebanon Hills Regional Park
860 Cliff Road
Eagan, MN 55123
(651) 437-3191

Date: December 31 from 5 p.m to 8 p.m.
Price: $8-$10; kids 5 and under are free

Lebanon Hills hosts outdoor festivities for all ages on the close of 2012. The New Year's Eve Party features candlelit ice skating, hiking and snowshoeing, plus a lit sledding hill. Snowshoes are available to rent, but bring your own skates and sleds. Wrap up the evening with a ball drop at 8 p.m. sharp.

New Year's Eve
(credit: Jupiter Images)

Candlelight and Ice
Wood Lake Nature Center
6710 Lake Shore Drive
Richfield, MN 55423
(612) 861-9365

Date: December 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Price: $4; free for Friends of Wood Lake members

Bring family and friends to a New Year's event complete with a candlelit nature walk, yummy roasted marshmallows and hot cocoa and a craft or game by a cozy fire indoors. Wood Lake Nature Center is the perfect setting in which to enjoy the end of 2012 with your loved ones.

Related: Best Twin Cities Indoor Family Spots

Noon Year's Party
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN 55103
(651) 487-8201

Dates: December 31, 2012 and January 1, 2013 at 10 a.m.
Price: Free, but a donation upon entering the zoo and conservatory is appreciated

For those who can't quite make it into the late hours of the night, the ball drops at noon at the aptly named Noon Year's Party at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. The mid-day festivities include New Year's hat and horn crafts, a scavenger hunt and party entertainment from Radio Disney. And in case you want to celebrate twice, this event takes place on both December 31 and January 1.

Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. Her work can be found on

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