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Where to celebrate New Year's Eve with kids

You don't have to celebrate New Year's Eve on your sofa just because you can't get a sitter. Ring in 2014 with kids in tow (in some cases, a little early) at one of these fam-friendly celebrations.

"Build it Big" Bubble Bash
The DuPage Children's Museum's NYE celebration is back this year with a red carpet made of bubble wrap, live music and three floors of bubble-themed games and crafts, leading up to a countdown to noon. DuPage Children's Museum, 301 North Washington St., Naperville (630-637-8000, Dec. 31, 9 a.m.-noon. $30, members $25.

Countdown to Fun
The countdown at the Discovery Center Museum features music, games and crafts, plus noise makers, confetti and party hats to ring in the New Year right.  Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford (815-963-6769, Dec. 31; 12:30–4:30 p.m. $8, members free.

Family New Year's Eve at Brunswick's
Toast 2014 with sparkling cider and unlimited bowling. Each person also receives a $5 game card and one laser tag pass. Brunswick's, 350 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove (847-821-9000, Dec. 31, 4-7 p.m. $80/lane for up to four people, two additional guests $15 each.

Happy "Noon Year" Party
Kids ages 3-9 can party with their parents at a midday celebration that begins with crafts, games and bounce houses, and culminates with a balloon drop in the main lobby at noon. Park Center, 2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview (847-724-5670, Dec. 31, 2013, 10 a.m.-noon. $7.50, residents $6. Advance online registration required.

New Year's Eve at Legoland
Brick builders can create their masterpieces during build challenges at the Legoland Discovery Center. After a glass of sparkling grape juice, search for hidden balloons on a scavenger hunt and help construct a first-ever Lego Wish Board mosaic that will displayed throughout 2014. Legoland Discovery Center, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg (847-592-9700, Dec. 31, Jan. 1. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (last admission 5 p.m.) $20.

New Year's Eve Bash
An entire wing of the Kohl Children's Museum transforms into a Times Square-style celebration, complete with a confetti drop. Enjoy a concert in the morning and a DJ in the afternoon, as well as round-the-clock party hat and horning making, parachute and playground block play and free party hairstyling and coloring from KidSnips. All ages are welcome at either session, but the morning session is geared to pre-schoolers ages and the afternoon session is for early elementary kids. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview (847-832-6600, Dec. 31, 8:30-11 a.m.; 12:30-3 p.m. $24, members $14.

New Year's Eve Ski
Ski in the New Year at Wilmot Mountain, where you can enjoy live music and a fireworks show at 9 p.m. When the fireworks start, kids can participate in a light parade outside the main lodge or watch a torch parade over the slopes led by the ski school and snow patrol. Wilmot Mountain, 11931 Fox River Road,‎ Wilmot, Wisc. (262-862-2301, Dec. 31, 8 p.m. Lifts open 9:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Admission included in cost of lift tickets.

Zoo Year's Eve
Head to the Holly Jolly Theater at Brookfield Zoo for games, party favors and prizes before an early New Year's countdown at 8 p.m.Make your own noise makers at the Hamill Family Play Zoo, dance to a live DJ music and catch a performance by Those Funny Little People at 5 p.m. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield (708-688-8000, Dec. 31, 5-8 p.m. Free with paid zoo admission, $10.50-$15.

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