New Year’s Eve celebrations are often focused on adults, with 21-and-over parties being the norm in many spots. Finding a babysitter can be difficult since teens and tweens want to celebrate, too. These Detroit-area locations are hosting events specifically for parents who want to ring in the new year with their kids, ensuring a fun time for all.
Downtown Mount Clemens
N. Main St.
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
www.downtownmountclemens.comPrice: Free; some events have a small admission fee
Hours: Kids’ activities 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Gala begins at 10:30 p.m.
Now in its 19th year, the Mount Clemens Gala is catered toward making New Year’s Eve a family event. Activities are scheduled in the early evening for those youngsters who might not be able to stay up until midnight. Magic shows are sure to delight and entertain the entire family, while kids will enjoy train rides or meeting and greeting their favorite cartoon characters. The main celebration kicks off with audience-participation karaoke to get everyone in the party spirit. A live band keeps the party rolling until the countdown begins. At midnight, enjoy a spectacular fireworks display to welcome the new year.
800 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
www.motorcitynye.comOther cities can keep their glittering balls and sparking big apples – Detroit residents celebrate with a seven-foot-tall lighted “D” that symbolizes the spirit and determination of the city. Although the Drop Gala itself is a 21-and-over event, residents and families are encouraged to come down to Campus Martius to watch the “D” drop at midnight. Arrive early and have some family fun ice skating in the park. The skating rink is open on New Year’s Eve until 10 p.m.. Admission is $7 for ages 13 to 49 and $6 for all others. After the skating, enjoy a late dinner at the Fountain Bistro or take a walk through the park amidst hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights before heading to the drop site to ring in 2013.
Inferno Teen Nightclub
1172 N. Pontiac Trail
Walled Lake, MI 48390
www.facebook.com/InfernoTeenNightclubPrice: $10; ladies $5 before 9 p.m.
Hours: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Sometimes a family-friendly New Year’s Eve means the kids and the adults go to separate parties – especially when the kids are teens. Inferno Teen Night Club understands this and is hosting a bash just for teens ages 15 to 18. This alcohol-free party includes a DJ spinning the hottest techno, hip-hop, rap, R&B, dubstep and electro music for a high-energy dance fest. Fog and foam machines amp up the fun and $1 energy drink shots will keep the party hopping until the big moment. A VIP room is also available. Call the club for pricing and reservations.
49153 Ford Road
Canton, MI 48187
www.zap-zone.comPrice: $45 non-members/$40 members
Hours: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
For younger kids, or teens who aren’t into the club scene, Zap Zone is holding its annual New Year’s Eve Lock-In extravaganza. Kids are not permitted to leave the facility without their parents. The admission price includes unlimited laser tag, glo golf and bumper cars. At scheduled times, kids can play a game of balladium, a foam ball blast-fest played in a black light environment. Two slices of pizza and pop are also included, along with a balloon drop with prizes. A permission slip is required for lock-ins and can be downloaded from the website.
Best Western Sterling Inn
34911 Van Dyke Ave.
Sterling Heights, MI 48312
www.sterlinginn.comPrice: $195–$235 plus taxes, depending on number of guests and beds
Hours: 3 p.m. to 11 a.m.
Often called Metro Detroit’s best-kept New Year’s Eve secret, the Sterling Inn’s Splash Bash is a family fun fest for kids of all ages – and the young at heart. The highlight is the Inn’s 32,000-square-foot indoor water park, featuring a slide, vortex, whirlpool, swimming pool, lazy river and an interactive play park for small children. Those who don’t like the water, or the water-logged, will enjoy the numerous other activities held throughout the day, including magic shows, live entertainment, a video game contest party and of course the countdown to midnight, complete with non-alcoholic champagne for toasting. Younger kids will have fun playing in the bounce house set up in the lobby and dancing with Sparkles and Sparks the clowns. The price includes overnight accommodations and free continental breakfast on New Year’s Day.
Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.