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Family New Year's Eve

The Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center hosts a balloon drop during the New Year's Eve Bash. Submitted Photo

New Year's Eve often conjures up images of an intimate dinner for two, followed by champagne, dancing, and a possible kiss at the stroke of midnight.

But if you're looking for a more family-oriented way to spend the holiday, the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center has a solution for you.

From 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, the DLCCC will open the doors of its Fitness & Aquatics Center, including the Backyard play area, for an evening of gym and pool games, unlimited use of a 22-foot giant slide, and even a snack of hot dogs, chips, beverages and an ice cream treat.

"We've been doing this in one way or another since our first year, Dec. 31, 2001," said Kim Bettcher, DLCCC aquatics director. "We did have to cancel one year due to weather -- this is our 11th annual one."

The "New Year's Eve Family Bash," as it's come to be known, offers everything from belly flop contests to bingo games for prizes.

"I love to pull out the scorecards and run a belly flop contest off the board in the swimming pool," said Bettcher. "We have a great family game of bingo where we give away prizes like board games or basketballs and soccer balls, and we put up the giant (22-foot) slide in the gym.

"It's a family New Year's Eve party," she added, but also noted that the event is open to anyone who wants to enjoy a safe, fun holiday gathering "in a healthy environment."

The three-story kids' playland, "The Backyard," will be open throughout the event, and "usually a parent will start up a kick ball or whiffle ball game."

The evening ends with a "balloon drop" to mimic the annual NYE ball drop in Times Square -- but this one takes place much earlier, at 8:45 p.m.

"It's a nice way for kids to be part of a (New Year's Eve) countdown without having to stay up until midnight," Bettcher said.

The cost to attend the NYE Family Bash is $5 per person or $20 per family. For more information, please call the DLCCC at 218-844-4221.

"We'd love to see you down here -- it's a lot of fun," Bettcher added.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454