Parents can handle New Year's Eve in three ways: Get a baby sitter and escape, stay home and try to keep the kids awake long enough to see the ball drop on Times Square, or get everybody out of the house and do something together. For those who choose the last option, here are some ideas for Monday night.
Parents can handle New Year’s Eve in three ways: Get a baby sitter and escape, stay home and try to keep the kids awake long enough to see the ball drop on Times Square, or get everybody out of the house and do something together.
For those who choose the last option, here are some ideas for Monday night:FIRST NIGHT COLUMBUS
DOWNTOWN (614-299-9221, WWW.FIRSTNIGHTCOLUMBUS.COM)
Time 5 p.m. to midnight
Admission $9 at COSI Columbus, Giant Eagle stores or Telhio Credit Union outlets ($8 with Giant Eagle loyalty card); $10 at the door
In year 18 of the annual alcohol-free event, organizers continue to search for ways to tweak and improve it.
This year, the event benefits from the completion of the Scioto Mile project. Much like the 2012 Columbus Arts Festival, the venues for First Night are more tightly clustered around Veterans Memorial Auditorium, COSI and several buildings on the east side of the river.
“We’re trying to take advantage of the Scioto Mile and the fact we have a natural square around the river now,” said director Mike Collins. “We’re not going up Broad Street anymore, so there are no big walks — period.”
As in the past, Veterans Memorial is the center for entertainment for younger children, with a laser-tag maze, a video-game area and a “bubble stomp” where kids can pop away to their heart’s content by jumping on giant bubble wrap.
Tweens and teens may prefer COSI, where entertainment includes ice sculptures and live entertainment.
But the biggest draw at COSI might be the First Night’s Got Talent show, which will run from 7 to 10 p.m. The show is being put on by Ohio Idol, a statewide talent program.
Twenty acts chosen from audition videos will perform, with live judging. The winner will receive $500 and qualify for the 2013 Ohio Idol competition.
In addition, a traveling show featuring the top 10 finalists from the 2012 Ohio Idol competition season will perform starting at 11 p.m. Fireworks will close the event at midnight.Other buildings that will house offerings include Columbia Gas, the Department of Education and the Supreme Court.SKATING PARTY
UNITED SKATES OF AMERICA SKATE ZONE 71, 4900 EVANSWOOD DR. (614-846-5627, WWW.SKATEZONE71.COM)
Time 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Pulsing music, flashing lights and “all-you-can-cram” pizza highlight the party. And, yes, it truly is all-you-can-eat, so you might need to skate a few extra laps to work it all off (although the pizza supply ends at 11:30).
The admission price includes skate rental.GAMES GALORE
MAGIC MOUNTAIN FUN CENTERS, 8350 LYRA DR. AND 5890 SCARBOROUGH DR. (614-840-9600, WWW.MAGICMOUNTAINFUNCENTER.COM)
Time 4 to 8 p.m.
Admission $16, or $22 at the door
Get ready for another all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. The price also includes 20 game tokens and two attraction tickets good for laser tag (Polaris location only), bumper cars (East Side location only), miniature golf or the Kids Gym playland.
In addition, face painting, balloon drops and a disc jockey will keep things humming. Party bags will be provided.BOWLED OVER
SEQUOIA PRO BOWL, 5501 SANDALWOOD BLVD. (614-885-7043, WWW.SEQUOIAPROBOWL.COM)
Times 5 to 8 p.m. for the family party, 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. for the Rockin’ Bowl Party
Admission family party: $75 a lane for up to six people; Rockin’ Bowl Party: $90 a lane for six people
Once again, Sequoia is offering two options. Both parties feature all-you-can-bowl periods with flashing laser lights and party favors. Shoe rental is included.
The Rockin’ Bowl Party offers a champagne toast. In place of bubbly, the family party features $10 in arcade tokens.
And the family party ends at 8 p.m., giving Mom and Dad time to tuck away the little ones and have a party of their own at midnight.