Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Events {2016}

Break out the sparkling grape juice, noisemakers and confetti – New Year’s Eve is right around the corner! If keeping the kiddos up until midnight is a recipe for disaster, consider ringing in the New Year earlier in the day. Check out these fun, family-friendly New Year’s Eve events for kids –all in Lake County. Ring in the New Year with your littles during the day, put them to bed on time, and then enjoy the countdown with your significant other and a glass of bubbly!

new years eve events for kids

New Years Eve Events for Kids

When indicated pre-registration is required. Please follow the links to the organizer’s page to register or purchase tickets. Little Lake County is not responsible for sold-out events.

Park District of Highland Park , Noon Year’s Celebration
Thursday, December 29, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
West Ridge Center, 636 Ridge Rd, Highland Park
Come to the West Ridge Center to make party favors and play games, then push the clock forward and ring in 2017 a little early. Best of all, you’ll create memories of a fun-filled New Year’s! Please pack a sack lunch. The Park District will provide drinks and dessert.

Highland Park Public Library  – Drop- in Craft
Friday, December 30, 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Highland Park Public Library, 494 Laurel Ave., Highland Park
Stop by the Youth Services Department between 10am and 12pm to enjoy a New Years craft project! We’ll provide all the supplies you need. All ages are welcome.

Lake Zurich Park District – Dancin’ in the New Year
Friday, December 30, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m

Buffalo Creek Dance Studio, 675 Old Mill Grove Rd., Lake Zurich | (847) 438-5146
Ages 3-10. Fees: $25 resident; $30 nonresident.
Celebrate the New Year in style! Dance, craft, and enjoy a light lunch (included with fee). At noon, ring in the New Year with a balloon drop and fizzy drink toast!

Vernon Area Public Library – New Year’s Noon
Friday, December 30, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Ages 3-6 with an adult, registration required.
300 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire | (847) 634-3650
Wear your fancy party clothes and celebrate New Year’s Eve a little early. Dance the day away and end the celebration with a special bubble countdown just before noon!

Kohl Children’s Museum New Year’s Eve Bash
Saturday, December 31, 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview | (847) 832-6600
Ages 3-10. Fees: $32 per person, $22 members, $5 off for tickets purchased before December 24th.
Kohl Children’s Museum is transforming an entire wing of the museum into a giant Times Square-style party with a children’s concert with Wendy Morgan & DB, DJ and dance party, hat making and horns, family photos, free hair styling from KidSnips, and a Times Square-style confetti drop!

Chick- Fil- A Vernon Hills – Ring in the New Year with Cow
Saturday, December 31, 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Chick-fil-A Vernon Hills, 701 N Milwaukee Ave, Ste 360, Vernon Hills
Countdown to 12 noon with Cow! While you are waiting make a memory book of your year (mom & dad bring some pictures), decorate a party hat and help break the pinata. Then make some noise with our New Years horns and participate in our first ever balloon drop!!

Barrington Park District – Fifth Annual Noon Year’s Eve Ball
Saturday, December 31, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
BPD Fitness and Recreation Center, 235 Lions Pkwy., Barrington | (847) 381-0687
Registration deadline: December 23. Fee: $9 resident /$11 nonresident per child. Adults are free with paying child but must register.
Get an early start on the party at Barrington Park District’s Noon Year’s Eve Ball! Ring in the Noon Year with dancing, festive snacks, a craft and a Noon Year’s toast as we count down to the Noon Year!

The Chocolate Sanctuary – Children’s New Years Eve Celebration
Saturday, December 31 , 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The Chocolate Sanctuary , 5101 Washington St., Gurnee
$21 Adults, $12 children
The Chocolate Sanctuary will have a children’s New Years Eve Party. It features treats and food. There will also be a countdown at noon with a sparkling juice toast. Party hats and tiaras will be available for wear. For reservations call (224) 944-0808

Fremont Library – Noon Year’s Eve: Pocket Circus
Saturday, December 31, 12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.,
All ages, registration required
1170 N. Midlothian Rd., Mundelein | (847) 566-8702
Experience a fun-filled show featuring juggling, magic, acrobatics, audience participation and humor. The event will end with a countdown to celebrate the start of the new year!


Itty Bitty New Year
Saturday, December 31, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Recommended for children aged 2-6, advanced registration required.
Takiff Center, 999 Green Bay Rd, Glencoe
$7 per child resident/ $12 per child non-resident.
Ring in the New Year with dancing, crafts, and a countdown to noon, complete with a balloon drop! Advance registration required by December 26; recommended for children ages 2-6.

Noon Years Eve
Saturday, December 31, 2:00 – 4:30 p.m
Space is limited please register in advance.
Goldfish Swim School, 1531 S Lake St, Mundelein
$5 members, $7 non-members
Join us for our 2nd Annual Noon Year’s Eve event. There will be swimming,  a balloon drop, music, cupcakes & juice, games, and a craft. Please register early as space is limited.

Vernon Hills Park District – New Year’s Eve Family Party
Saturday, December 31, 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Sullivan Community Center, 635 Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills | (847) 996-6800
Purchase tickets online or in person at the Sullivan or Lakeview Fitness Centers. Fee: $9 each, children 2 years and younger are free.
Come to Times Square in Vernon Hills (also known as the Sullivan Community Center) and celebrate New Year’s Eve, family-style! Dance to your favorite tunes, enjoy a pizza dinner and treat yourself to an ice cream sundae bar. The gym will be open for play. The party closes with a countdown at 6 p.m.

Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand  – New Years Eve Party & New Years Eve Lock-In
NYE Party – Saturday, December 31, 3:00 -6:00 p.m.
Late NYE Lock in-  Saturday, December 31, 8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
All Night Lock-In-  Saturday, December 31, 8:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.
Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand, 720 E. Grand Ave., Fox Lake
Roll In The New Year With Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand. All options will include Rollerskating, a huge balloon drop (noon, 4 pm and midnight), admission, regular skates, pizza, soda, bounce houses, games, prizes, noisemakers, & hats. Over night will also include bubble soccer, and donuts and milk/juice in the AM.

Lakeside Lanes – New Years Eve Family Party
Saturday, December 31, 4:00 -6:00 p.m.
Lakeside Lanes, 900 S Lake Street , Mundelein
$60 per lane.
Bring the whole family for an early New Years celebration.  For $60 you and up to 6 people receive 2 hours of cosmic bowling in a lane, party favors, pizza and soda, a mock countdown, and shoe rental.  Reservations are suggested.

Michael’s  – Red Hot Balloon Drop
Saturday, December 31, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Michael’s, 1879 2nd Street, Highland Park
$25, $15 for kids under 12
Enjoy light appetizers and kiddie cocktails, a dj, a balloon drop, and sparkling champagne. There will be the full menu available as well as a cash bar for adults.

Wilmot Mountain – New Years Eve Celebration
Saturday, December 31, 3:30  p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
11931 Fox River Rd, Wilmot, Wisconsin
Ring in the New Year with Wilmot Mountain! Play all day with skiing & snowboarding and with festivities in the evening. Don’t like the cold? Grab a hot chocolate (or hot Toddy) in the Lodge. There will be live music performed by Matt Meyer and the Smooth Riders from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am.  Followed by fireworks at 10:00 p.m. and a champagne toast at midnight.

How will your family celebrate New Year’s Eve? Tell us in a comment below!


About Laura Otto 26 Articles
Laura Otto is an associate professor at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, where she teaches courses in journalism, writing for new media and creative writing. She lives in Vernon Hills with her husband, Matt, and three kids: Cole (19), Maya (7) and Shane (4). When she isn’t grading papers or scrubbing crayon off the walls, she can be found playing Downton Abbey trivia games on Facebook or doodling all over her kids’ homework.

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