Some New Year's celebrations keep children in mind

There's even a `Noontime New Year' for the kids

Family: events, activities

December 25, 2003|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,SUN STAFF

You want to ring in the new year with the family, but not necessarily cooped up at home all night with Dick Clark, again. No problem. You've got options. Listed below are a few family-friendly celebrations in Baltimore, Annapolis and Ocean City, all taking place Wednesday.


The annual "New Year's Eve Spectacular" kicks off at 9 p.m. and runs until 12:30 a.m. throughout Charm City.

Visitors can attend an ice skating party all evening at the Baltimore Ice Rink at Harbor Point, South Caroline, Thames and Block streets, and enjoy games, contests, a skating exhibition, unlimited skating, music and party favors. The skating party is 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Admission is $15; $10 ages 12 and under. Skate rentals are $3.

To catch some free live entertainment, families can make their way to the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre, Pratt and Light streets. From 9 p.m. to 9:40 p.m., partygoers can head down the Yellow Brick Road and enjoy tunes at "Captain Fantastic, an Elton John Tribute Show." Then from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., everyone can shake their groove thing with the band Boogie Fever, at a '70s disco show. From 11:20 p.m. to 11:55 p.m., the band Big 80's plays hits from Prince, David Bowie, a Flock of Seagulls and others.

Finally, at midnight, a fireworks show choreographed to popular music ignites the Baltimore sky. Zambelli Fireworks Internationale produces the show. If there is severe weather, the fireworks will be postponed until 6 p.m. Jan. 1.

For more information on "Baltimore's New Year's Eve Spectacular," call 877-BALTIMORE or visit

Making it until midnight is no easy feat for the littler set. So Port Discovery came up with a thoughtful solution. Their "Noontime New Year" runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. New Year's Eve at the museum's Atrium, 35 Market Place. Young visitors can make their own noisemakers and hats, decorate giant numbers, which will be displayed during the big countdown at 11:59 a.m., and toast the new year with milk and cookies. MPT host Bob the Vid Tech emcees the event, which also features a performance by the Dixieland band Charm City Revival. It's free admission to the Atrium. Museum admission is $11 adults, $10 seniors, $8.50 children 3-12, under 3 free.

For more information on the "Noontime New Year" at Port Discovery, call 410-727-8120 or visit


Love choices? Head to "First Night Annapolis" for more than 150 musical performances, dance events, magic shows, comedy acts, theatrical performances, historical interpretations, storytelling events, interactive art shows, circus acts and more, all at various Annapolis venues, including Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, St. John's College, the Banneker-Douglass Museum and the U.S. Naval Academy.

"First Night Annapolis" runs from 4 p.m. to midnight and offers events appropriate for families with children, singles, couples and groups.

Visitors can catch a huge fireworks finale at midnight at the City Dock.

For more information on "First Night Annapolis" and how to obtain an admission button ($20; $10 ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and under), call 410-268-8553 or visit www.first

Ocean City

Visitors of all ages can attend the "New Year's Eve Family Celebration" at the Ocean City Convention Center, 40th Street and Coastal Highway. Doors open at 7 p.m. There'll be live entertainment and music, 8 p.m. to midnight, from Gene Vincent and the Cadillac Cruisers, featuring the Roadhouse Horns, as well as Frankie and Patsy, a tribute duo singing Frank Sinatra and Patsy Cline songs.

There will also be dance music geared to teens and pre-teens, as well as lots of children's activities.

Partygoers can take part in the Hitman Karaoke Jukebox Road Show.

At midnight, a giant beach ball will descend, serving as an appropriate reminder of where you're ringing in the new year.

Admission to the "New Year's Eve Family Celebration" is $25; $10 ages 4-17; free for ages under 4.

For more information, call 410-289-8314 or visit www

For more family events, see Page 46.

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