Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Indy

New Year’s Eve is a totally different holiday, once you have kids—but Indianapolis has plenty of celebrations for families. I have fond memories of NYE balls, parties and glamorous celebrations of long ago, but for the last 14 years, we have celebrated the new year as a family.

We’ve developed a few traditions of our own to say goodbye to the current year and ring in a new one. Our favorite tradition is homemade pizza — it’s a fun project for the evening, and an easier dinner than fighting crowds on a busy holiday.

The girls enjoy sparkling cider while the grownups toast with our favorite champagne. And, while our days enjoying When Harry Met Sally are behind us, we often enjoy a late night movie marathon with the kids. Sometimes they fall asleep as the long night wears on—and that’s okay.

During the day, we take advantage of the amazing family fun in Indy. Last year, it was ice skating at the Pepsi Colosseum. This year, we’re squeezing in a visit to Gingerbread Village with our new Conner Prairie membership (thanks, Mom!). There are just so many amazing things to do in Indy—especially for kids! We have all the details for Indy’s best family-centered New Year’s Eve fun below.

Awesome Advice: Celebrate as a family during the day, then tuck the kiddos into bed at their usual time. If you really want to ring in the new year with the kids, don’t be afraid to let them get some sleep first. You can wake them up in the last hour to enjoy the countdown together.

Gingerbread Village at Conner Prairie

New Year’s Eve is the final day for Conner Prairie’s annual Gingerbread Village. You will not believe the amazing display of gingerbread houses on display. Check them out before it’s too late!

Admission: Free with general admission ($6)
Hours: through December 31, 2011 10am–5pm
Gingerbread Village @ConnerPrairie
134000 Allisonville Rd, Fishers, IN 46038

See our Conner Prairie info page for more details & events at this location.

Family New Year’s Eve at Indiana State Museum

Celebrate the new year at the Indiana Museum with face painting, stilt walkers and music. The highlight of the evening is the balloon drop at 8pm.

Admission: $6 per member | $11 per non-member
Hours: December 31, 2011 6-9pm
Family New Year’s Eve @IndianaMuseum
650 W. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46204

See our Indiana State Museum info page for more details & events at this location.

Countdown to Noon at Children’s Museum

Visit the Children’s Museum for Jolly Days, and be sure to hang out in the atrium for the countdown to noon at the water clock. It allows young children to experience the excitement of a countdown—and still be in bed at a reasonable hour.

Admission: Free with general admission (Youth (2–17) $11.50 | Adult (18-59) $16.50 | Senior (60+) $15.50)
Hours: 10am-5pm (Countdown at noon)
Countdown to Noon @TCMindy
3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN, 46208

See our Children’s Museum info page for more details & events at this location.