Got kids but want a night out on New Year’s Eve?
The city of Lawrence can help you out.
For the 18th year, the Parks and Recreation department is hosting its New Year’s Eve Overnighter.
For $30 per child, parents can drop off kids ages 5 to 12 for a chaperoned lock-in at Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St. There, they can play games, eat pizza, watch movies and, if they’re really daring, stay up all night, all under the watchful eye of department employees.
Duane Peterson created the program soon after coming to Lawrence from Dallas, where he launched a similar program. He says the idea is to give the parents peace of mind while letting the kids have a memorable night, too.
“It’s an opportunity for the parents to go out and celebrate the New Year,” says Peterson, who has hosted more than 100 kids at a time in past years. “And to bring their children to a place that is safe and that they don’t have to worry about while they’re out.”
The children are fed a late-night snack and breakfast the next day, and there are many opportunities for different types of activities, including games, movies or just plain sleeping.
Of course, the only downside of the program is that Peterson hasn’t had a New Year’s Eve out with his wife in nearly 30 years, he notes, laughing.
“Twenty-seven years since my wife and I have had a New Year’s Eve,” he says. “It’s funny, she used to come and help me, but now as we get older, she says, ‘Nope, I’m done helping, you can do this on your own.’ But usually we try to go eat somewhere early in the evening. So we do get to spend a little bit of time together.”
For more information on the overnighter, call 832-7940.