Contact: John Golden
610.834.7985; 610.420.6337 (m)
Montgomery County Hosts Family-Friendly New Year's Eve
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board Says
Little Ones Can Ring in 2016, Too
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - Families looking to celebrate New Year's Eve together may find midnight countdowns a little too late for sleepy-eyed youngsters. Fortunately, Montgomery County offers a number of family-friendly parties, activities and events that are specifically designed to include the little ones.
- Ardmore Music Hall has an all-day, December 31 celebration comprising music, face-painting, crafts, brunch and a noontime balloon-drop. On the mainstage is "Alex & The Kaleidoscope," a performance group that combines music and storytelling. Other entertainment includes "Baby Loves Disco," a preschool dance party, and "Studio 1200 DJs," whose set list is specifically designed for preteens.
- New Year's Eve at the Water Tower, Oaks, offers access to go karts, laser tag, unlimited bowling and the arcade, thanks to its proximity to Arnold's Family Fun Center.
- While adults dip into 2016 at The Melting Pot, King of Prussia, their younger revelers can enjoy a New Year's Eve $25 special menu of teriyaki sirloin, Pacific white shrimp, chicken and spinach artichoke ravioli and simmering pot of chocolate fondue.
- Celebrate New Year's Eve with the kids at the third annual Lulu's Casita White Party, a countdown to noon fiesta. Enjoy pizza, refreshments, arts and crafts and live music at from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The official toasting will be with apple juice for kids and champagne for parents.
- Valley Forge National Historical Park is open its normal operating hours on December 31 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and invites younger visitors to complete the program for a Junior Ranger Badge. This self-guided learning experience sends kids ages four and up through a series of explorations of Valley Forge's history, artifacts, natural beauty and wildlife. It's a great introduction to the park, especially moving into 2016, when the National Park Service celebrates its centennial under a nationwide "Find Your Park" invitation.
- Weather forecasters are calling for a strong el niño for winter 2016, meaning this year's ice skating season might be more indoor than outdoor. Step off on the right foot. An old-fashioned, family-friendly skating party fills Hatfield Ice Arena on December 31 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
- The Run for Jack New Year's 5k in Bryn Mawr on January 1 includes a kids' 50-yard dash. Young runners can get a jump on being fit for 2016 while also learning the value of helping others. The event, which also has a 5k run and a one-mile walk, benefits young Jack Cavanaugh, a two-year old with a rare condition affecting the growth of his joints and limbs.
- Beyond Montgomery County's borders, numerous ways to ring in the New Year await. The Adventure Aquarium, Camden, has a whole day of celebration on December 31 for the younger set (10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), including a great view of the late-afternoon fireworks over the waterfront. Sesame Place offers the chance to count down to 2016 with (who else?) The Count. Enjoy a December 31 celebratory meal, ring in the New Year and snap the last of those holiday photographs with favorite Sesame Street friends. At 6:30 p.m. - right after the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade - the skies above the park light up with fireworks.
- Dave and Busters, Plymouth Meeting, allows partiers to customize their farewell to 2015. A New Year's Even package for kids under four years old covers video games on the Million Dollar Midway and entertainment like a magician and DJ (with a balloon drop). Older kids and adults can enjoy the game play and performances - and also dig in at a buffet that includes an ice cream station.
- Close 2015 by flexing those artistic muscles at the December 31 class (10:30 a.m.) at Painting with a Twist in Skippack. The subject - perfect for adults and kids older than six - is a festive snowman whose swirly body and dapper hat is set against a background of a starlit winter night. Beverages and snacks are, as usual, bring-your-own, so youngsters can enjoy a sip of ginger ale while adults sample something else that's appropriately bubbly.
- Colebrookdale Railroad, Boyertown, takes a multi-day approach to its 2015 send-off. The train's Snowflake Special (10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.) and Starlight Express (6 p.m.) run December 26-30 and are a great way for friends and family to link arms and hum a few bars of Auld Lang Syne.
The VFTCB reminds visitors looking to make the most of a four-day New Year's weekend that most of the county's holiday displays - such as those in the Bryn Athyn Historic District, Morris Arboretum, Peter Wentz Farmstead, Pottsgrove Manor and Pennypacker Mills - generally remain open until the end of the first week of January.
In addition, the VFTCB website lists all accommodation options for the New Year's weekend - as well as the rest of the year.
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The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board's website serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosting The Pursuit, a twice-weekly blog.