ShareThis Page
Arts & Entertainment

New Year's Eve fun starts early for families at zoo, museums

| Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010

If your young kids can't make it until midnight to welcome 2011 with you, that's OK. At four Pittsburgh-area attractions, kids can enjoy daytime New Year's Eve parties.

For starters, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is giving families the daytime "Noon Year's Eve" event -- then, parents can do their own late-night thing.

"I think that people like the fact that it's a good way for the whole family to celebrate New Year's Eve, but not have to wait until midnight to do it," says Gabriele Boldizar, special events manager for the zoo. "If parents want to ring in the new year at midnight then they can do that, but for the little ones that can't stay up, they can ring it in at noon."

• The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Highland Park hosts "Noon Year's Eve" from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the aquarium; meanwhile, visitors can see the animals around the zoo all day. Kids can dance to music from Radio Disney, as they await a giant silver ball dropping down at noon. Kids can sign a banner with their ReZoolutions, which are pledges to be better stewards of the environment: for instance, by turning off the lights when not in use, and recycling.

"We are asking kids, instead of just making regular New Year's resolutions, to do something that can help the planet and zoos," she says. "It's that 'Go green' mindset that we're trying to encourage."

The celebration is included with general admission of $10; $9 for age 60 and older and ages 2 to 13; free for children younger than 2. Details: 412-665-3640 or www.pittsburghzoo.org .

• At the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side, kids and parents can enjoy the New Year's Eve Family Celebration , when midday will be considered the new year. The Countdown to Noon event will be in the museum's Garage/Workshop, where jazz duo Lee Robinson and Joe DiFazio will entertain at 11:30 a.m. After the countdown -- where Father Time will make an appearance -- Jason Huddy, an award-winning magician, will perform two shows, at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Confetti cannons and balloons will help kids celebrate the early countdown.

The children's museum activities are like the museum's version of First Night, which begins in Downtown an hour after the museum closes at 5 p.m. Families have a great opportunity to attend both events, at the museum during the day and Downtown at night, program manager Angela Seals.

"It kind of bridges the whole thing," she says. "Families can have some supper in between, and go to First Night."

All New Year's Eve activities are included with general museum admission of $11; $10 for ages 2 to 18, and 65 and older; and free for children younger than 2. Details: 412-322-5058 or www.pittsburghkids.org .

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland celebrates an early New Year's Eve for families from 6 to 9 p.m. A countdown will be at 8:45 p.m. During the evening, visitors can walk around Phipps and see the Winter Flower Show, featuring poinsettias, snowmen characters, Christmas trees and other Yuletide decorations, and more. The show is there until Jan. 9.

Activities are included with general admission of $12; $11 for age 62 and older, and students with ID; $9 for ages 2-18; and free for children younger than 2. Details: 412-622-6914 and www.phipps.conservatory.org .

• Families can enjoy a German-style celebration in Butler County at midnight -- midnight in Germany, that is. At the Harmony Museum , that moment comes at 6 p.m. The annual Silvester Celebration features a German dinner with bratwurst, pork, sauerkraut and more, which is served at 4 p.m. in Stewart Hall. Eclipse Karaoke will offer music outside, and a ball drop will be at 6 p.m. The museum opens at 2 p.m. Admission is $1. Details: 724-452-7341 or www.harmonymuseum.org .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me