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Family New Year's Eve celebrations

Kids take part in LICM's ball drop during

Kids take part in LICM's ball drop during Countdown to 12! from previous year (2009) at the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City. Credit: LICM Photo

So what if it's impossible to book a baby-sitter for New Year's Eve? Just celebrate along with your children. Family festivities are going on all day, so even if you're just as likely as your little ones to be conked out by 9 on Friday night, you can still mark the occasion of 2010 slipping into 2011. If your children are older, try one of the events that last until midnight. Here are some ways family members can party together:

NEW YEAR'S EVE LASER MARATHON

When | Where: 8, 9, 10 and 11 p.m. at Vanderbilt Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport, 631-854-5579; vanderbiltmuseum.org

Cost: $12 per show; all four shows for $30

The Vanderbilt Planetarium premieres its new, state-of-the-art SkyLase laser-projection system with new shows featuring music by legendary rock bands: Laser Beatles at 8, Laser Vinyl (classic 1970s rock) at 9, Laser Zeppelin at 10, and Laser Pink Floyd-The Wall at 11. Cider and cookies will be served at midnight.

COUNTDOWN TO 12

When | Where: Noon to 4:30 p.m., Long Island Children's Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City, 516-224-5800; licm.org

Cost: Free with museum admission of $10 for ages 1 to 64; free for younger than 1 and $9 for 65 and older. Geared to ages 5 and older

This kid-centered party culminates in a Times Square-style ball drop from the second floor of the museum at 4 p.m. Activities include a juggling workshop with the National Circus Project at 1, 1:45 and 2:30 p.m. The performers also will stilt-walk and ride unicycles.

STRIKE IN THE NEW YEAR

When | Where: 3 to 6 p.m.; 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Strike 300, 895 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, 631-271-1180; 300longisland.com

Cost: Afternoon session requires a minimum of four people and must be reserved in advance. Package starts at $20 a person. Evening session also requires four people and must be reserved in advance. Packages start at $25 per child ages 13 and younger and $40 per adult

Both afternoon and evening parties include bowling and shoe rental, unlimited fountain soda, party favors and a balloon drop. The afternoon party features a pizza buffet with salad and a sparkling-cider toast at 5 p.m.; the evening party includes a holiday buffet, live DJ and champagne toast for parents at midnight.

SKATE-A-THON

When | Where: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at United Skates of America, 1276 Hicksville Rd., Seaford, 516-795-5474; unitedskates.com/seaford

Cost: $20 a person, reservations required

Get some exercise together! The party here includes roller or in-line skates, unlimited pizza and soda, 10 game tokens, noisemakers, a glow necklace and a mock New Year's countdown.

FISHES, WISHES AND GOURMET DISHES

When | Where: 6:30 to 11 p.m. at Atlantis Marine Word, 431 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-208-9200, ext. 426; atlantismarineworld.com

Cost: $85 per adult; $49 children 3 to 12 and seniors 62 and older (tax not included), reservations necessary

The fourth annual aquarium party includes champagne and sparkling cider greeting, a cocktail hour, a buffet dinner, a dessert and ice cream bar, a DJ, a light show, fireworks, live animal encounters, face painting and more.

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