Families celebrate New Year's Eve in the Chippewa Valley

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With Champagne, the Ball Drop, and staying up past midnight- New Year's Eve celebrations are often just for mom and dad.

But many in the Chippewa Valley are celebrating as a family, in a kid-friendly way.

“We thought we would try providing a fun opportunity for kids and parents to celebrate together on New Year’s Eve,” said Colleen Crowley, with the Chippewa Falls Public Library.

At the Heyde Center for the Arts, with the help of the Chippewa Falls Public Library, the New Year's Eve celebration began at 11 am.

“We danced, we did the hokey pokey, we got out our drums, we did a hurray march,” said Crowley.

Families sang together, made crafts and painted-all free of charge.

It was a Rock and Roll themed New Year's Bash at the Hobs Ice Center.

“The earlier time is so the younger kids can come with their parents, and that also allows the parents to have some time to go celebrate themselves; after the kids are done having their fun for the evening,” said Hobs Ice Center Facilities Manager, Patrick Newkirk.

From 4pm-6pm, the families got to skate, receive some prizes, and enjoy pizza and pop, for just $3 bucks a person.

“We try to make it as reasonable as possibly for families to come out and enjoy our facilities; enjoy some time being active, maybe get out of the cold a little bit,” said Newkirk.

With bouncy houses, face paint and limo rides, several hundred families chose the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center to welcome in 2014.

“It is kind of how we ring in the New Year,” said Indoor Sports Center Director Amy Peterson-Foss, “at 8:30 we do a huge balloon drop, the kids can all gather below it and we do a big countdown.”

In collaboration with Royal Credit Union the Indoor Sports Center has been hosting the celebration now for nearly a decade; to make sure the kids have an exciting evening and mom and dad can still have a fun New Year's night.

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