We all have those New Year’s Eve memories of sitting with our family in front of the television, noisemakers in hand as the sparkling ball dropped in Times Square.
For a different spin on the holiday, bring the family out to one of Wisconsin’s many kid-friendly New Year's Eve events. From unique “ball drops” to fireworks bursting in the sky, enjoy a New Year’s Eve your family won’t soon forget at these festive celebrations.
It’s always a tradition to watch New York City’s glittering ball drop, but around here, we love a New Year’s Eve with a Wisconsin twist.
In Sister Bay, your children will be mesmerized as they watch the Cherry Drop, which—you guessed it—is a twinkling red cherry that celebrates Door County’s famous fruit. Complete with pre-midnight ice-skating and a bonfire, kids will marvel at the 7-foot wide, 300-pound cherry as it counts down to the new year.
Head to Plymouth to see another Wisconsin food take center stage at the Big Cheese Drop. Take part in festive activities like sipping hot cocoa, listening to live music and sitting by a bonfire. If you’re mindful of tucking your kids in early on New Year’s Eve, you’ll be pleased to know that the lit-up, 80-pound wedge of cheese will drop at 10 p.m. instead of midnight.
If your children can’t get enough of Fourth of July fireworks, treat them to Wisconsin’s winter version of a fireworks display, perfect for a dazzling New Year’s Eve celebration.
Put on by the LaCrosse Skyrockers, their annual Skyrockers New Year's Eve Fireworks at the Bluff is a memorable event. Grandad Bluff comes alive with color for the midnight fireworks show, and if you want to make it an early night, they also hold a special show at 6 p.m. just for kids.
Travel north for another fireworks show that will make your family “oooh” and “ahhh.” At Woodruff’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, start with wintry activities like horse-drawn wagon rides, ice-skating and sledding, then snuggle in for a 7 p.m. fireworks show that will capture your kiddos’ imaginations.
Madison Family Eve is a party that’s filled with non-stop NYE excitement. Held in the early evening, your children will love activities like magic and juggling shows, a balloon drop and inflatables, all staged at the Monona Terrace.
Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Domes also throw a New Year’s Eve spectacular. Among beautiful plants and flowers, you and your children will listen to folk music, gaze in wonder at a magician and even go to a dance party with luminous lights in the Show Dome glimmering in the background.