From sledding to bowling, spend an EVEning with family

By Lindy Lange

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

3 ... 2 ... 1... Happy New Year! Four family-friendly options for ringing in the New Year, family-style.

  • Start the new year off right — going downhill and picking up speed — at one of Rochester’s two sledding hills maintained by Park & Recreation. Sledding is available 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.; no lights or warming houses.

"We’ve taken the girls to both sledding hills," says Heather Klees, mom of three. "It’s always fun, just remember to dress really warm and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate. Remember the mini marshmallows and they’ll think you’re the best mom ever."
What: Sledding at Judd Park (Third Street & 36th Avenue Northwest.) or Schmidt Park (6300 Block of 24th Avenue Northwest)

  • Get back to nature at Quarry Hill’s 14th annual New Year’s Eve party. Families will enjoy cave tours, animal encounters, games, crafts, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

"The great thing about our party is that it’s not too late for the little ones," says Pam Meyer, Quarry Hill naturalist. "You can even get home in time to see the ball drop."
Registration required. $5 per person.


What: Quarry Hill’s New Year’s Eve party, 701 Silver Creek Road N.E.

When: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday

Phone: 281-6114

  • "The Ice Hawks always play a New year’s Eve game," says Nick Fatis, Ice Hawks coach and assistant general manager, "and it’s always a really great game. We see lots of families, lots of kids. Plus there’s always skating and autographs after the game."

Adults $7, students $5; kids (12 and under) $2 and preschoolers free.
What: Minnesota Ice Hawks vs. Wisconsin Mustangs at Recreation Center, 21 Elton Hills Dr N.W.

When: 7:05 p.m., Monday

  • "Our philosophy is family-friendly," says Nancy Glorvigen, co-owner Recreation Lanes. "We have bumpers available on every lane, children’s shoes (as small as size 12) and 6-pound balls specially drilled for little hands."

Open bowling New Year’s Eve and Day. Reservations suggested. Phone 288-2601.
What: Open bowling at Recreation Lanes, 2810 North Broadway

When: Mondays and Tuesdays

To learn more about these activities, go to



Rochester Rec Lanes

Rochester Parks sledding

Minnesota Ice Hawks

Quarry Hill Nature Center

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