Some parents keep their wee ones corralled upstairs during their New Year's Eve festivities and then toss 'em bleary-eyed into the melee, right at the climax. How lousy. Why not let them have a party of their own? That's the idea behind Main Street Theater's Kids On Stage New Year's Eve Costume Sleep Over, where first- through fifth-graders can party at their own shindig. Dressed as their favorite characters from plays or books, kids will play games and enjoy face painting, skits, festive choreography and crafts. The excitement culminates with a costume contest right before a noisemaker-laden countdown at midnight. Dinner is included, as is breakfast the next day.
Your kids will each take home a souvenir photo and a free ticket to Kids on Stage's Princess and the Pea. You'll take home memories of an adult-oriented night along with your happy and cared-for little darlings. Drop-off: 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 31. Pickup: 10 a.m. Thursday, January 1. 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713-524-9196. $75. -- Eric A.T. Dieckman
Happy Noon Year
Kids too young to stay awake through the New Year's Eve finale? Take them to the Children's Museum of Houston during the day instead. "They get to participate in a countdown to noon rather than midnight," says the museum's Cheyenna Smith. "It's a family event. Parents can join in with their kids and still have an adult celebration in the evening." 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, December 31. 1500 Binz. For information, call 713-522-1138 or visit www.cmhouston.org. $5. -- Lisa Simon
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Sing It Loud, I'm Jewish and Proud
This is one of those rare lunar calendar years in which Hanukkah coincides with Christmas. You and your kinder can spend the day off at a Hanukkah sing-along with Isabelle Ganz and Judy Caplan Ginsburgh. They promise more than just "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel." 3 p.m. Thursday, December 25. Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood. For information, call 713-729-3200 or visit www.jcchouston.org. $8; $6 for JCC members. -- Lisa Simon