Twin Cities Mom Collective

17 Outdoor New Year Celebrations for Families in the Twin Cities

New Year's Eve Family events
Candlelight at Ice | Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield

Post updated December 2023

There are endless options for ringing in the New Year here in the Twin Cities. You’ll find big parties just for the adults, kid events with confetti, and fun galore. But sometimes these events can feel overwhelming for families who have already been cooped up with holiday events. Why not take the party outside this year?

The Twin Cities has many nature centers and parks that are hosting amazing New Year celebrations, with ice skating, hiking, sledding, s’mores, and so much more. Your family is sure to find a fun and unique way to welcome the New Year in the great outdoors.


Noon Year’s Confetti Dance Party | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul, MN 

Hours: December 31, 10 AM – 1 PM

Cost: FREE

A family event to ring in the “Zoo” year that is so fun, we’re doing it twice! On December 31 and January 1 Como Park Zoo & Conservatory will be filled with dancing, games, special animal enrichment, a DJ, and a countdown to noon when we rain down from above hundreds of thousands of pieces of colorful biodegradable confetti.


Family & Friends Ice Fishing | Silverwood Park, 2500 County Road E.
St. Anthony, MN

Hours: December 31, 12 PM – 3 PM

Cost: $50/Group (2-6 people per group)

Join the Outdoor Recreation School and your luck at one of Minnesota’s favorite winter pastimes with your family or friend group. Get a sled, shelter, auger, bait, and rods, and then learn about safety, ice fishing techniques, and gear setup. Participants will use a large sled to drag their equipment onto the ice. Equipment is provided for the program.


Sledding & S’mores | Richardson Nature Center, 8737 E Bush Lake Road, Bloomington, MN 55438

Hours: December 31, 12 PM – 4 PM

Cost: Free

Welcome the New Year with family, friends, and the thrill of sledding. Warm-up and roast a s’more next to a crackling fire. Bring your favorite sled and s’more supplies from home; we have limited sleds and s’mores available. This program takes place outdoors, please dress accordingly.


Free Family Fun Day: New Year’s Eve | Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, 10360 W River Road, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444

Hours: December 31, 1 PM – 3 PM

Cost: FREE

Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024! Add to their gratitude tree with the things you were thankful for in 2023 and put your hopes for 2024 out into the universe. Play games and roast some marshmallows to bring in the new year. 


Last S’mores of the Year | Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Dr.
Victoria, MN 55386 

Hours: December 31, 1 PM – 2 PM

Cost: FREE

Join the community campfire and make s’mores to celebrate the end of the year. Explore the woods nearby and find new ways to play in nature.


New Year’s Eve Campfire | Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Rd., Osseo, MN 55369

Hours: December 31, 1 PM – 3 PM

Cost: FREE

Enjoy a campfire to end 2023! Wrap up the year by writing down things you are happy to have ended with 2023 and burning the paper in the fire. Make resolution rocks by writing a hope or resolution for the new year on a rock and take it home. Chat with a naturalist and enjoy the fire.


Winter Lights New Year’s Eve Party – Minnesota Landscape Arboretum | 3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska, MN 55318

Hours: December 31, 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Cost: $15 for Arboretum members, $30 for non-members, and $5 for children ages 15 and younger

Bring family and friends together to celebrate the end of 2023 with a magical walk through the Arboretum’s Winter Lights display, family-friendly games, and live music from Traveled Ground. Take your picture in a photo booth, add your hopes and dreams to the New Year Wish Tree, and make a craft to bring home. Enjoy countdown celebrations on the hour at 5, 6, and 7 PM and again at 8, 9 and 10 PM.


New Year’s Eve Family Skate Party | Windom Northeast Park, 2251 NE Hayes St., Minneapolis, MN 55418

Hours: December 31, 4 PM – 7 PM

Cost: FREE

New Year’s Eve Party!! Come join Upper Northeast Parks, your neighbors, and friends as we celebrate the last night of the year. Popcorn, Lemonade & Fire Pit with Smores Station. Music, Loaner skates, and sleds will be available Event will be outdoors for COVID-19 safety. Registration is not required.


New Year’s Eve Party | Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 860 Cliff Road
Eagan, MN 55123

Hours: December 31, 5 PM – 8 PM

Cost: $8, ages 5 and under are free, no ticket required. Pre-purchasing tickets are highly recommended.

Celebrate all things winter with candlelight ice skating, walking, hiking, and snowshoeing. Hang out at the A-frame, sled on the lit sledding hill, sip cocoa, and warm up with crackling bonfires. Stay for the ball drop at 7:59 PM. Bring your own sled and ice skates. Snowshoe rental is available. S’mores and hot cocoa provided.


Candlelight and Ice | Woodlake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Dr. S
Richfield, MN 55423

Hours: December 31, 5 PM – 9 PM

Cost: FREE

New Year’s Eve can be a challenge for many families because most celebrations either cater to the very young or adults. Rarely, does a party thread the needle in such a way that those of all ages can enjoy, but for the past 25 years, that has been the goal of the Wood Lake Nature Center’s Candle Light and Ice event.


New Year’s Eve! | Recreation Outdoor Center (ROC), 3700 Monterey Dr., St Louis Park, MN 55416

Hours: December 31, 12:15 PM – 2:15 PM

Cost: FREE

Before you go out for the night, go skate at the ROC with music and refreshments! The event is fun for all ages. Ice skate rentals are available for $3 per person.


New Year’s Eve Nature | Eden Prairie Outdoor Center

Hours: December 31, 6:30 PM – 8 PM

Cost: $12

Join the Eden Prairie Outdoor Center for a fun evening saying goodbye to the old year, and welcoming the new one. Activities include a campfire, craft, stories, a short hike, stargazing, and S’mores.


New Year’s Eve on Ice | The Oval, 2661 Civic Center Drive
Roseville, MN 55112

Hours: December 31, 2 PM – 9 PM

Cost: $10

Bring your family, meet your friends, or just come by yourself to the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL to celebrate the New Year! Activities include skating or open hockey on the outdoor OVAL, indoor arena skating, magician, and more!


Bonne Année! New Year’s Day Snowshoe Hike Through History | Elm Creek Park, 12400 James Deane Pkwy, Maple Grove, MN

Hours: January 1, 10 AM – 12 PM

Cost: $6, reservations are required by 24 hours prior.

Start the New Year in the outdoors and explore Elm Creek Park through the eyes of Pierre Bottineau. Take a guided snowshoe hike to learn about life on the trail as well as the holiday traditions of the French who settled in the region. The hike will be at an easy pace.


New Year’s Day Snowshoe Hike | Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, 10360 W River Road, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444

Hours: January 1, 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Cost: $6, reservations are required two days prior.

Start the new year on the right foot – put a snowshoe on it! Discover hidden trails and frozen wetlands, and search for animal tracks and signs. Equipment provided. Beginners welcome.


Wintering Animals Face Minnesota’s Cold | Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Rd., Osseo, MN 55369

Hours: January 1, 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Cost: $6, reservations are required by 24 hours prior.

Where is bear? Where is swan? Where is turtle? Learn what Minnesota’s animals do to survive our harsh winters and meet one of our animal ambassadors. Dress to be outside.


New Year’s Day Snowshoe Hike | Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Rd., Osseo, MN 55369

Hours: January 1, 1:30 PM – 3 PM

Cost: $6, reservations are required by two days prior. 18+

Pull on the snowshoes and button up your overcoat! It’s time to close out 2023 and welcome 2024. This hike is great for individuals, families, and pairs looking to celebrate a new year together. Staff led. All equipment provided. Dress appropriately for the weather.

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