New Year's Eve activities are usually adult fare, but there are some local places that cater to families. Here are my 5 picks to ring in 2012 with your children:
The Countdown Party includes "glow" bowling, laser tag, rock climbing, billiards, unlimited video game play, pizza buffet, soft drinks and favors. There will also be a drawing for and iPad and iPod Touch.
Good to know: There are a limited number of packages available. Call 817-784-2695 for ticket information.
Recommended for: 12 and younger
When: 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Dec. 31
Where: Alley Cats, 2008 W. Pleasant Ridge Road, Arlington, Texas 76015
Cost: $47.50, adults; $32.50, 12 and younger
Info: 817-784-2695, http://www.alleycatsbowl.com
Here's a way to tire your little ones out BEFORE the ball drops. Take 'em to Going Bonkers where they can run around in the indoor playground and play arcade games. For parents, there is a time-out room with a complete view of the playground and arcade. Best of all, there's free Wi-Fi! When the kids conk out in the car from all of the activity, mom and dad can cuddle on the couch at home and have a sip of champagne to ring in the New Year.
Good to know: No outside food or drinks allowed; Must have socks to play.
Recommended for: 8 and younger
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 31
Where: Going Bonkers (near Vista Ridge Mall), 2565 MacArthur Blvd., Lewisville, TX 75067
Cost: ages 1-2(must be accompanied by an adult), $2.50; ages 3-18(must be accompanied by an adult), $5; adults 19 and older, $1; infants younger than 1(must be accompanied by an adult) are FREE!
Info: 972-315-9000, http://www.goingbonkers.com/bonkers_tx/
For the sophisticated set, here's a cool option. The NYE Matinee package includes bowling with shoe rental, a pizza buffet, balloon drop and a sparkling cider toast to 2012.
Good to know: No person under 21 years of age will be admitted after 10 p.m. unless bowling in a family or group that includes a parent. Reservations are recommended. For reservations, call 972-620-0017.
Recommended for: 10 and older
When: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 31
Where: 300, 3805 Belt Line Rd. Addison, TX 75001
Cost: NYE Matinee pricing starts at $22 per person.
Info: 972-620-0021, http://www.threehundred.com/dallas.html
This is definitely a place for your older kids. New Year's Eve packages include bowling, billiards, laser tag, party favors. There's also a Kids Zone from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Good to know: These events may sell out and there are a limited number of packages available. Call ahead to find out about tickets.
Recommended for: All
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to close, Saturday, Dec. 31
Where: Main Event, 4801 Citylake Blvd E., Fort Worth, TX 76132; 9375 Dallas Parkway, Frisco, TX 75033; 407 W. State Hwy 114, Grapevine, TX 76051; 2070 S. Stemmons Fwy., Lewisville, TX 75067; 3941 Central Expressway, Plano, TX 75023
Cost: Family Fun Celebration (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), $16.95; Ultimate Celebration Package (5 p.m. to close), $21.95 per person
Winstar World Casino's Big D NYE
The closest thing in DFW to experiencing Times Square. The band Good Shive Low, which won an online competition for the honors to play this event, is the headlining act. There'll be fireworks and a chance to win a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic.
Good to know: You can bring blankets, umbrellas (small hand-held style), baby strollers, collapsible chairs, but no alcohol; it'll be sold at the event. The Dallas Stars are hosting the Boston Bruins that night, so expect an additional 20,000 or so people to join the party around 9:30 p.m. Your best bet is to take the DART Rail to Victory Station.
Recommended for: All
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 31
Where: American Airlines Center and Victory Park, Dallas.