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7 ways children can celebrate 2018 without missing bedtime

New Year's Eve is more than just boozy beverages and midnight toasts - check out these kid-friendly activities and make plans your whole family can enjoy.

Happy New Year ... Somewhere 

Celebrate the new year with the customs and cultural traditions of another country. The festivities include food and music from the mystery country, along with a "practice" countdown to help you prepare for the real thing on New Year's Eve.

Dec. 30 from 4 to 5 p.m. at Park Forest Branch Library, 3421 Forest Lane, Dallas. Free.


Noon Year's Eve Party

Noon Year's Eve Party

Count down to noon, enjoy educational activities and ring in the new year a day early at the downtown Dallas library's Children's Center.

Dec. 30 from 11 a.m. to noon at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St., Dallas. Free.

Countdown to Noon

Little ones can enjoy New Year's Eve without missing their bedtimes. Celebrate the holiday early with a Star Lab Planetarium show, face painting, balloon artists, stage performances, hands-on science experiments, a photo booth and, of course, a balloon drop to celebrate the countdown to noon.

Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sci-Tech Discovery Center, 8004 Dallas Parkway, Frisco. $10 if purchased in advance; additional $2 for Star Lab Planetarium, available at the door.

Happy Noon Year Celebration

For those who want an alternative to staying up until midnight, head to the Dallas Arboretum for a kid-friendly New Year's Eve celebration in the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. Activities will focus on science, crafts and music, with a celebratory "ball drop" at noon to ring in the new year.

Happy Noon Year Celebration


Dec. 31 from noon to 12:30 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 3-12, free for children 2 and younger. Entry into the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden costs an additional $3 per person. Parking is $15 ($8 if purchased online in advance).

New Year's Eve at Pinstack

Celebrate the new year with a family-friendly gathering of fun and games. Event admission includes chef-inspired cuisine, a complimentary champagne toast for adults and unlimited access to the venue's attractions, such as rock climbing, non-prize video games, laser tag, bumper cars and a ropes course. For an additional fee, you can enjoy one game of bowling. All ages are welcome to attend, but guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The champagne toast is strictly for the over-21 crowd.

Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Pinstack, 6205 Dallas Parkway, Plano. $40.00 for general admission, $60.00 for general admission plus bowling.

Zoo Year's Eve

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Ring in the new year with the animals at the Fort Worth Zoo. During this overnight celebration, kids ages 6-11 get to go on a moonlight safari, play games, make festive crafts and even meet some of the animals up close. Dinner and snacks are provided, along with breakfast in the morning.

Zoo Year's Eve

$85 – $95

The party starts Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. and runs through Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. at 1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth. $85.

Day 1 Dallas

Celebrate the start of 2018 when thousands of families come to play at this event, hosted by Vogel Alcove. Expect kids' activities like bounce houses, face painting and magic acts. Other highlights include food trucks, live music and a fireworks show at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the event benefit the homeless children and families served by Vogel Alcove.

Jan. 1 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Fair Park, 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd., Dallas. Free.

Compiled by Kiley Faulkner and Sara Frederick Burgos 

A fireworks show ended the inaugural Day 1 Dallas festival in Fair Park.
A fireworks show ended the inaugural Day 1 Dallas festival in Fair Park.(Courtesy Day 1 Dallas)
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