From bursts of color in the evening sky to music, dance, rock climbing and ice, the final days of 2012 offer a little bit of everything to Sacramento residents and visitors. While ushering in the new year is often an adult-centric experience, these options offer fun and entertainment for families, teens and tots.
Noon Year’s Eve Family Festival
Crocker Art Museum
216 O St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Price: Free; Crocker Museum will also be open at no cost until 5 p.m.
Hours: Monday, Dec. 31 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Adults and children of all ages will love this holiday trip around the world, and they won’t have to stay up all night to do it. Engaging live music and dance performances will highlight the ways that the new year is celebrated in other cultures. The colorful and exhilarating art of traditional Chinese lion dancing and live Scottish music from the City of Sacramento Pipe Band are just the beginning.
Guests can also take part in a number of creative activities and will particularly enjoy Agua de Beber Capoeira. The Sacramento-based group performs capoeira, an interactive Brazilian game that combines dancing, singing, martial arts and acrobatics. Viewers of recent television celebrity dance shows may have heard of bhangra. This event is an opportunity to experience the Punjabi folk music and dance in person.
Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink
701 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Price: Admission $8/Free age 4 and under; skate rental $2
Hours: Sessions start at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
There are few better ways to celebrate with the family than to enjoy cool outdoor ice skating followed by a bite to eat or a creamy hot chocolate. Located at 7th and K streets, the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink is nestled between an eclectic mix of restaurants and stores. Beginning skaters have plenty of space to practice and learn, and more experienced skaters can mesmerize the crowd with their graceful twirls and jumps.
New Year’s Eve at the rink can be a come-as-you-are party. In addition to renting skates, guests can borrow a locker and warm socks and gloves for only $2 more. If no spots for street parking are open, the rink can validate tickets for the Downtown Plaza East parking garage. Entrances to the garage are at 6th and J streets, 6th and Capitol Mall and 7th and K streets.
New Year’s Eve Sky Spectacular in Old Sacramento
1000 Front St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Hours: Monday, Dec. 31 – event begins at 6 p.m. with fireworks at 9 p.m. and 12 a.m.
Old Sacramento plays host to an evening of fun for adults and children alike. Visitors can sing their hearts out on a karaoke stage and enjoy shopping, street entertainers and live music, with special performers and excitement for kids. There are plenty of options to entice the taste buds, from fine dining to snacks and drinks from vendors.
The 9 p.m. fireworks display is perfect for a family audience, with special music and popular songs that are suited for younger ears. The midnight show features classic rock and a visually arresting display of fireworks coming from Old Sacramento and from atop the Tower Bridge, which will be blocked from traffic for the event.
Campus Connect’s Epic Eve for Teens
Begins at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church
11427 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Ends at Sky High Sports Complex
11327 Folsom Blvd.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
Price: $20-$30 dependent upon date of registration
Hours: Friday, Dec. 28 at 8 p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 29 at 6 a.m.
This fully supervised overnight event for junior-high and senior-high school students is the largest teen New Year’s Eve event in Sacramento. Sponsored by area churches, the event begins Friday evening with a party, DJ, games and rally at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church. By midnight, the teens will be transported by bus to Sky High Sports Complex for hours of swimming, rock climbing, soccer, trampoline, music, open mic and movies. Breakfast at 5:30 a.m. is included in the registration price. Other food and drink can be purchased throughout the event. Parents can pick up their teens at 6 a.m. on Saturday.
There is a zero-tolerance policy regarding disrespectful behavior, drugs or alcohol, and experienced adults will provide constant supervision and security. No participants can leave early unless the responsible parent arranges it with event staff. For a schedule and other necessary information, visit the event website.
Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.