Best NYE Events in Cincinnati for Families in 2021

It’s hard to believe, but 2021 is coming to a close quickly! Spending New Year’s Eve together is a fantastic way to flip the calendar from December to January. So as you watch the ball drop, see fireworks, or do your own countdown this year, get the whole family involved in welcoming 2022. From activities for little ones to adults, here are six of the best NYE events in Cincinnati for families this year. P.S. Some of these don’t involve staying up late!

Happy Zoo Year at the Cincinnati Zoo

Folks who can’t stay up until midnight — no matter their age — will be overjoyed by the hours for this family-centric event. Spend December 31st at the Cincinnati Zoo and enjoy the Happy Zoo Year festivities from 5:00-9:00 pm. This is one of the best NYE events in Cincinnati, as the adults can put the kids to bed afterward and then celebrate on their own at midnight. Happy Zoo Year will be ringing in its 13th new year, so you can plan to make this an annual event. 

Cincinnati Cyclones Game with Indoor Fireworks

Cincinnati Cyclones hockey game (closeup)

Wait, with what? Indoor fireworks! If you’ve never seen indoor fireworks (most haven’t!), get tickets to see the Cincinnati Cyclones battle the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on New Year’s Eve. The ice hockey game starts at 6:00 pm and should end around 10:00 pm. Standard tickets are $19.00, so take the whole family to encourage the home team and enjoy all of the festivities. 

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Roll Into the New Year at Gilmore Lanes

Bowling set

If you have kids who desperately want to stay up past midnight, schedule bowling fun at Gilmore Lanes, about 30 minutes north of Cincinnati. The Roll Into the New Year event runs from 9:00 pm – 1:00 am and features glow bowling. Reserve an entire lane for up to five people for $110, including shoes, snacks, and party favors. This is one of the Cincinnati Ohio New Year’s Eve events that offer a champagne toast, although the littles will have to bow out of that part. 

New Year’s Eve at Fountain Square

Fireworks

Are you wondering what to do in Cincinnati on New Year’s Eve? Head to Fountain Square! Although they haven’t released every detail yet, ice skating (and possibly icy bumper cars) will be involved. This ice rink is in the heart of downtown Cincy, and the New Year’s Eve celebration goes from 8:00 pm until 1:00 am. Head here for more information as it becomes available. 

Journey Borealis

Christmas tree light sculptures.

Head to Journey Borealis on New Year’s Eve for those who want the holiday season to linger well past Christmas. This drive-through light experience will have you savoring every last bit of the holidays. Journey Borealis closes on January 2nd, so you can say goodbye on December 31st with a promise to return the following year. This Cincinnati attraction is open from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm and is $25 per carload, so take the whole gang!

Lumaze (get there by the 30th!)

Train ride at Lumaze

Lumaze closes on December 30th, so make plans to come and see the lights, vendors, and displays ahead of December 31st. It’s the perfect activity for adults and kids alike. With live shows, a bustling holiday market, fabulous light displays, and Louis the Locomotive, there is fun in store for all ages. Whether you visit in early December or visit Lumaze to say goodbye to the season, be sure to include it in your holiday plans.

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