While glittering parties and champagne toasts mark the end of anotheryear all over New Hampshire, families seeking a festive celebration forNew Year’s Eve have plenty of options.New Hampshire’s grand hotels – The Balsams, Mount Washington Resort, Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa and Wentworth By the Sea Hotel & Spa – will be offering gourmet cuisine and live music and New Hampshire’s ski resorts (www.skiNH.com) have special family celebrations planned. In Portsmouth and Wolfeboro First Night™ events make the celebration bright for all ages.
One of just a handful of places nationwide to ring in "midnight" early on the day of New Year’s Eve, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire presents a Family New Year’s Eve Celebration from 10 am to 3 pm at 6 Washington Street. Now in its 25th year but in a greatly expanded and improved location, the Museum includes children in the traditional New Year’s fun concluding well before bedtime. Visitors receive noisemakers and can create their own festive party hats to wear. At 11 am, 12:30 pm and 2 pm, there are spirited "countdowns to midnight" with music, confetti and balloons as a glittering ball drops from the museum’s top floor. Visitors also receive a plastic "champagne flute" of gingerale to toast the New Year. The party is included in the regular price of admission $7; seniors $6. Free to children under 1 and museum members. Contact: 603-742-2002 or www.Childrens-Museum.org.
On December 31, in the final dazzling display of the 2008 holiday season, there are fireworks and First Night celebrations in a number of New Hampshire locations:
Portsmouth and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire celebrate First Nighttm with a variety of music, dance and theatre performances, ice sculptures glittering in holiday light and a fireworks display. In Portsmouth, ice sculptures in Market Square, a street dance from 5 pm to midnight and fireworks over South Mill Pond at 7:30 pm are among the highlights, in addition to a variety of art performances, face painting and other activities inside for the price of a First Night button ($20 for adults; $1 for kids 10 and under.) Details at www.ProPortsmouth.org
First Night in Wolfeboro, "America’s oldest summer resort" (and 2007 vacation choice of French President Sarkozy) celebrates New Year’s Eve against the backdrop of Lake Winnipesaukee. The theme for this year’s 14th annual event, is "Ever Green" and family events starting at 2pm include a magic show, ice sculptures and wildlife programs. The First Night parade kicks off at 5:15 pm, followed by fireworks. www.firstnight.wolfeboro.net
Mount Washington Valley’s New Year Festival means fireworks over the ski slopes at Bretton Woods. At Waterville Valley (www.waterville.com), fireworks at 7:30pm add to the atmosphere; and in Laconia, Gunstock Mountain presents "Mountain Magic Eve" with food, fireworks and live entertainment. www.Gunstock.com Pat’s Peak presents a Family New Year’s Eve party starting at 6pm. The slopes are open until 10 pm and families enjoy a variety of suitable entertainment. www.patspeak.com
For more suggestions on ways New Hampshire can help light up the holidays for visitors, go to VisitNH.gov
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