Awesome Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Kids

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You might not make it to the strike and huzzahs of midnight, but there are still some fun ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids this year. While masks and Covid-19 have not quite gone away, many venues and attractions are offering a variety of safe, socially distanced activities for families to enjoy on New Year’s Eve Day and the early part of the evening. From skating to marvelous light displays, say goodbye to 2021 and ring in 2022 with some quality family time (and fun!). Read on to find out more.

photo: Lloyd Center Ice Rink

Lloyd Center Ice Rink/Oaks Park Roller Rink

Skate or roll in the New Year at either the Lloyd Center Ice Rink or Oaks Park Roller Rink. The Lloyd Center ice rink is open from 10am until 7:30 p.m., but if you’re like most families, you know that’s plenty late for young kiddos. Or, if you have older kids, consider it a warm up to the rest of the evening! Every two hours starting at 1pm, seasonal snow falls on the ice next to the magnificent 70' Christmas tree. On Fridays and Saturdays, the Lloyd Center Ice Rink offers a “Rock‘n Skate” starting at 5:30pm for $18/per adult with a DJ taking song requests—so be prepared to skate into the New Year with tunes!

Oaks Park public skate sessions are from 1-5p and 7-10:30 pm on Saturdays. The Oaks Park Roller rink is open until one a.m. this New Year’s Eve and they also have a great selection of music to skate to and their Midway Arcade will be open late as well. 

All Day Admission and Skate Rental:
$24/Ages 6 to 49
$14/50 & over
$14/Kids Ages 4& 5 
$4/Ages 3 and under 
953 Lloyd Ctr.  
Portland, OR 
Phone: 503-288-6073
Online: Event Details

$10/Skater
Oaks Amusement Park
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Portland, OR 
Online: Event Details

Silverton Christmas Market at Oregon Garden Resort

Head to Silverton for a chance to see more than 1 million lights at the Silverton Christmas Market! Hear the sounds of choirs and carolers as you wander around this festive experience sipping hot chocolate or glühwein and sampling a selection of traditional European Holiday food like bratwursts, fondues, and beers from the biergarten. After you’re done with the stroll under the lights, make sure to stop at the authentic German Christmas market featuring local artisan vendors for some Christmas shopping. Stock up on candles, nutcrackers, and other comforting Christmas goods. The market has fire pits, cabanas, a candy cane tunnel and even a Whoville replica. For the more adventurous types, the Oregon Garden Resort also offers snowless tubing for an additional cost. Still not done? Stay the night at the resort itself! They will have music in the lounge and be offering guests complimentary champagne at midnight. The Silverton Christmas Market is happening now through January 9th.

$15-18/Adults; $5/Kids 6 and up; Kids 5 and under free
Oregon Garden Resort
895 W. Main St.
Silverton, OR
silvertonchristmasmarket.com

Christmas Festival of Lights at The Grotto

For those seeking a quieter holiday season of reflection, head to The Grotto for their annual Christmas Festival of Lights. Technically, this is more of a way to celebrate Christmas and the week leading up to The New Year as The Grotto’s Festival of Lights is closed on the day of 31st, but their light display is excellent and the festival also features puppet shows, outdoor carolers, and a stunning choir and music lineup at their chapel.

$12-16/Adults; $7-8/Kids 3 & Up
NE 85th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard
Portland, OR 97220
Online: Event Details

"Noon" Year’s Eve at Gilbert House Children’s Museum

Join the Gilbert House Children’s Musuem in Salem for their annual “Noon” Year’s Eve featuring a giant balloon ball drop as the clock strikes noon. The event takes place on December 31st from 10: a.m. to 1 p.m.

$5/Gilbert House Children’s Museum Members; $15/Nonmembers
116 Marion St NE
Salem, OR
(503) 371-3631
Online: acgilbert.org/noon-years-eve/

photo: courtesy of Oregon Zoo

Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo

Did you forget to check out the Zoolights in all the hubbub of the Pre-Christmas chaos? Well, there’s still time to catch this dazzling animal light display at the Oregon Zoo until January 9th, 2022. Featuring over 1.5 million lights, the Oregon Zoo is providing two options for this year’s zoo lights display—a walk-through and drive-through option. The drive through option is only open on selected dates so make sure to check the website. There are plenty of treats for adults and kids alike such as hot cocoa and elephant ears to a great selection of Oregon beer and wine.


$16-24/Person ($12-18 for Members) 

$65/Vehicle ($52 for Members) Drive-Through. Select Dates Only. 

4001 Southwest Canyon Road
Portland, OR
503-226-1561
Online: Event Details

—Levi Rogers
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