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Looking for Unique Ways to Celebrate the New Year Around Ann Arbor?

There are a LOT of choices for New Year’s celebrations in Greater Ann Arbor this year! You can always check your favorite night spot for their schedules, but here are some other indoor and outdoor options throughout the day that are a little more unique. Be it scavenger hunts or video gaming, cemetery walks or improv, a balloon drop at noon or singing Auld Lang Syne at midnight (Greenland time), pizza and bowling or museums, cheese plates or chants, there’s a little something different for everyone on this list.  Some are even family friendly and/or free!

Do you know of a unique NYE celebration/activity in the Greater Ann Arbor area? Let us know in the comments!

What: One Team Mini Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Where: Puzzling Adventures | Ann Arbor
Who: Family Friendly
Cost: $14.99 per team (A team can be up to six people)
Time: 7am – 7pm
Link: Puzzling Adventures Ann Arbor Tickets

Puzzling Adventures™ are a cross between a scavenger hunt, an informative self-guided tour, and The Amazing Race®. A fun and interactive way to explore a city, each adventure sends you to a series of locations where you answer questions or solve puzzles to receive your next instruction. The goal is to have fun outdoors and learn some interesting things along the way.

What: Children’s NOON Year’s Eve Balloon Drop
Where: First Steps Washtenaw | Ann Arbor
Who: Recommended for ages 6 months – 7 years (Siblings welcome)
Cost: FREE
Time: 11:30am-12:30pm
Link: Noon Year’s Eve Balloon Drop! Facebook Event

A noon balloon drop, complete with a countdown for those too young to stay awake for the real thing at midnight. The program begins with craft activities and concludes with bubbly refreshments. Caution: balloons can be choking hazards.

What: NEW EXHIBIT at the Museum on Main Street: Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary & More! A Century of Community Service Clubs
Where: Washtenaw County Historical Society | Ann Arbor
Who: All ages / Open to the public
Cost: FREE (donations welcome)
Time: Noon-4pm
Link: A Century of Community Service

Rotary International’s slogan is Service Above Self. Kiwanis is serving the children of the world. The Lions Club’s motto is even simpler– We Serve. This exhibit revolves around the Ann Arbor Rotary Club’s celebration of 100 years of their history, dedicated volunteers and great work. The spotlight also shines on the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor (celebrating 96 years), the Ann Arbor Host Lions Club (celebrating 88 years), the Salvation Army (Ann Arbor branch celebrating 121 years), and other fraternal and community service organizations. They have many common causes and onecore connection – they are run by volunteers. They serve the community and those in need by raising money and donating their resources, skills, talent and time, not only during the holidays but all year round.

What: Hands-On Holidays!
Where: Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum | Ann Arbor
Who: All Ages
Cost: $12.50 per person
Time: Noon-5pm
Link: AAHOM Hands-On Holidays

Experience the museum’s favorite science experiments, create their most requested make-and-take projects, and see some of the finest performers. All activities and performances for Hands-On Holidays are included with admission.

What: New Year’s Eve 2017 Bowling and Pizza Fun Packs
Where: Belmark Lanes | Ann Arbor
Who: All Ages
Cost: Pizza and bowling packages starting at $85.95
Time: Events are scheduled throughout the day, beginning at noon
Link: Belmark Lanes Event Tickets

Packages include bowling, pizza, soda, shoe rentals for up to six guests, party favors, and live DJ/Karaoke on the lanes.

What: Build-It-Yourself Cheese Plate
Where: Zingerman’s Creamery | Ann Arbor
Who: All Ages
Cost: $125 per person
Time: noon-2pm
Link: Create Your Own Cheeseplate with Zingerman’s Creamery

This hands-on event will give you Zingerman’s tips and tricks for creating an eye-catching cheese centerpiece. Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or grape juice while you build your creation, and take home a cheese platter for up to 10 people to enjoy.

What: Winter Evening Lantern Tour
Where: Highland Cemetery | Ypsilanti
Who: All Ages
Cost: $10 per person
Time: 7pm-9pm
Link: Highland Cemetery Lantern Walk

See the stark winter beauty of Highland Cemetery during our annual winter lantern tours. Discover the beauty and tranquility of our cemetery while learning of its past. This is an educational walking tour by lantern light, please dress for the weather.

Where: Zal Gaz Grotto Club | Ann Arbor
Cost: $25 per person / $45 per couple
Time: 7pm-10pm
Link: Zal Gaz Grotto NYE

The traditional not-to-be-missed countdown and singing of AULD LANG SYNE will be at midnight — not in Ann Arbor, but in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland! The Quintet, with Mike Karoub-cello, Dawn Giblin-vocal, Gwen MacPhee-bass, Rod McDonald-guitar, and James Dapogny-piano will present its classic swing, American jazz and pop music for listening and dancing. And too, it will enthusiastically fall into the evening’s theme by playing a few of your Greenlandic favorites. This will create the right exotic atmosphere and nostalgic mood you need to easily buy into thinking of 9:30 as midnight. The Grotto’s heavy hors-d’oeuvres and complementary champagne toast will help too!

What: New Year’s Eve Kirtan
Where: Kashi Nivas | Ann Arbor
Who: All Ages
Cost: Donations Accepted
Time: 8pm-1am
Link: NYE Kirtan

Bring in the New Year immersed in sacred chant and community celebration! Kashi Nivas invites you to enjoy a potluck buffet and three hours of chanting, followed by social time, to celebrate the New Year together. It’s not required but they’d love for you to offer a healthy entree, snack, dessert, or refreshment for the potluck. There will be free door prize drawings at midnight; you must be present to win. This event is open to the public. Adult-supervised children are welcome.

What: All Night Video Games
Where: PLAYlive Nation | Ann Arbor
Who: All Ages Welcome
Cost: Tickets Start at $35
Time: 9pm -7am
Link: NYE PLAYlive Nation

PLAYlive Nation will be having their own special countdown, and playing video games all night long. There will be food, drinks, multiple tournaments, and giveaways.
Call to reserve your spot:  734-713-7529

What: Last Night at the Museum Gala!
Where: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History | Ann Arbor
Who: 21+
Cost: $125 per person
Time: 9:30pm – 1:00am
Link: NYE UM Museum of Nat History

Celebrate and honor the last night at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History in the Ruthven Museums Building before they move next door to the new Biological Science Building. There will be ticket strolling hors-d’oeuvres, two drink tickets (cash wine and beer bar also available), dancing, valet parking, special “Goodbye Ruthven Building” activities, a memento, and a champagne toast at midnight.

What: New Year’s Eve Improv Show 
Where: Pointless Brewery & Theatre | Ann Arbor
Who: 21+
Cost: $15 per person
Time: 10:30pm
Link: Pointless Brewery & Theatre NYE

Pointless Brewery & Theatre has a full line up for you, with live music, stories from special guests, and lots of improv from their League of Pointless Improvisers. The 10:30 show will incorporate the New Years Eve countdown into the show!

However you decide to celebrate, we wish everyone a Happy New Year!


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