New Year's Eve, Family Style | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

New Year's Eve, Family Style


No wild plans for ringing in the new year? Have no fear. First Night events in Burlington and St. Johnsbury provide hours of fun for the whole family. These celebrations — featuring everything from dancing dragons and clever clowning in the Queen City to sky lanterns and belly dancers in St. J — are sure to toot the noisemakers of young and old alike. And for the grown-ups, there’s an added perk: no nasty champagne hangover the morning after. 
  • Courtesy of First Night Burlington

FIRST NIGHT BURLINGTON: Monday, December 31, noon to midnight, in downtown Burlington. All ages. $5-30 First Night Button; free for kids 2 and under; additional $4 tickets required at select venues. Info, 863-6005,

A2VT: This African hip-hop trio, who gained attention for their video “Winooski, My Town” celebrate diversity through song, dance and rap. Contois Auditorium, City Hall, 7-7:40 p.m.

Burlington Taiko: Kids and parents tap their toes in time to thundering Japanese-style percussion. Flynn Center MainStage, 7:30-8:30 p.m. $4 ticket required.

Cartoon Fest: Families sit back and relax with popcorn and classic Looney Tunes. Merrill’s Roxy Cinemas, noon-11:45 p.m.

Circus Smirkus
: The big top comes to Burlington! Award-winning youth performers awe and amaze with wire walking, aerial arts, clowning, juggling and acrobatics. Memorial Auditorium, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. $4 ticket required.

Dancing Dragons Parade: Massive paper-mâché creations highlight a colorful procession down the marketplace. Church Street, 5-6 p.m.

Electric Youth Dance Company: Straight from St. Albans, this troupe presents fresh jazz, tap, contemporary and hip-hop choreography. Edmunds School Gym, 5-5:40 p.m.

Family-Friendly Comedy: Improv and standup artist Dustin Bruley hosts a laugh-inducing show. First United Methodist Church, 8-8:40 p.m.
Spectators watching Circus Smirkus in Burlington. - COURTESY OF FIRST NIGHT BURLINGTON
  • Courtesy of First Night Burlington
  • Spectators watching Circus Smirkus in Burlington.

Fireworks: Dazzling bursts of light bloom over the lake at 6 p.m. and midnight.

Flynn Arts Dance, Drama & Musical Activities: Performers at heart drop in on free music, drama and dance sessions of their choice. Flynn Arts classrooms, 11 a.m.-2 p.m..

Make and Take Crafts: Crafty kids indulge in New Year’s-themed projects with Burlington City Arts staff. BCA Clay & Print Studio and BCA Center, 2-5 p.m.

McFadden Academy of Irish Dance: Highland-style dancers kick up their heels in an exciting performance. Edmunds School Gym, 4-4:40 p.m. and 7-7:40 p.m.

Mister Chris and Friends: Chris Dorman, the singer-songwriter who leads Bread and Butter Farms’ popular Music for Sprouts children’s program, hosts this tuneful gathering. First Congregational Church Sanctuary, 3-3:40 p.m and Fletcher Free Library, 5-5:40 p.m.

Perpetual Motion Dance: Imaginative dancers take spectators on a whimsical journey to Neverland and beyond. Edmunds School Gym, 8-8:40 p.m.

Sing Along With Megan, Emer & Robert: Megan Butterfield, Emer Feeney and Robert Resnick lead a kazoo-accompanied performance of kids songs and show tunes. First Congregational Church Theater, 2-2:40 p.m.

Spotlight on Dance: Kids, teens and adults steal the stage with tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop pieces. Burlington City Hall Auditorium, 2-2:40 p.m.

Stay and Play!: Parents and kids enjoy an open gym, crafts, snacks and swimming. YMCA, 2-5 p.m.

Vermont Youth Orchestra & Chorus: Works by Falla, Brahms and Tchaikovsky are interpreted by talented young musicians. Flynn Center Mainstage, 1-2 p.m. $4 ticket required.

Very Merry Theatre: Young thespians present a musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic, Treasure Island. Edmunds School Gym, 3-3:40 p.m. and 6-6:40 p.m.

Walinja: This Somali wedding band performs traditional African music. Unitarian Universalist Church, 4-4:40 p.m.

Young Tradition Vermont Contradance Band: Fresh-faced performers showcase the traditional music and dance they’ve learned from master teacher Pete Sutherland. Memorial Auditorium, 6:30-7:10 p.m.

Monday, December 31, 4 p.m. to midnight, on or near Main Street in St. Johnsbury. All ages. $13-20 First Night button; free for preschoolers. Info, 748-2600.

Children’s Story Hour: Athenaeum staff and guest readers captivate little listeners with age-appropriate lit. St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Country Corners Square Dance: Down-home revelers do-si-do and promenade to their hearts’ delight. St, Johnsbury School All-Purpose Room, 5-6:30 p.m.

Dancing Djinn: Skilled fire spinners light up the night in sparkling outdoor routines. Main Street, 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

Dina Danielson Contemporary Dance Company: Local teens and young adults offer a diverse, family-oriented repertoire. Morse Center for the Arts, St. Johnsbury Academy, 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Family Contra Dance: Family members join hands and master the art of early-American folk dance to calling by Ben Bergstein and tunes by David Carpenter, Jason Bergman and April Werner. St. Johnsbury School All-Purpose Room, 7-9:30 p.m.

Family Fun Fair: Little ones delight in face painting, balloon animals, a clown show and more. St. Johnsbury Academy Field House, 4-8 p.m.

Fireworks: Revelers look to the sky for the raising of a lighted ball and a spectacular lights show. St. Johnsbury Academy Field House Parking Lot, midnight.

The Hypzotique Bellydance Circus: Dancers, jugglers and other talented performers offer a show of “vaudevillian mischief” suited for the whole family. Fuller Hall, St. Johnsbury Academy, 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Kids Rock! All-Star Musical Revue: Young Northeast Kingdom performers offer a cabaret of music, song and maybe karate. Fuller Hall, St. Johnsbury Academy, 5 p.m.

The King of Silly: A juggling unicyclist unveils new material in this side-splitting production. Fuller Hall, St. Johnsbury Academy, 4 p.m.

Marko the Magician and Hypnotist: The mystifying entertainer amazes an all-age audience with his sleights of hand. Fuller Hall, St. Johnsbury Academy, 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Pancake Supper: Hungry families satisfy their cravings with a late-night carbo-load served up by the Boy Scouts. Streeter Hall, St. Johnsbury Academy, 10-11:30 p.m.

Planetarium Shows: Astronomy experts illuminate the constellations, mythology and different world views of the night sky in “It’s About Time.” Twenty-minute presentations run continuously at Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, 6-9 p.m.

Sky Lanterns: Festive folks release eco-friendly, glowing lanterns into the deep night sky. St. Johnsbury Academy Gym parking lot, 8:30 p.m.

Teen Dance: High schoolers let loose to a mix of live music and mixed dance favorites, presented by Catamount Art’s Open Mic. Morse Center for the Arts, St. Johnsbury Academy, 10 p.m.-midnight.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.