Spray Lakes Sawmills Family Sports Centre to host family-oriented New Year’s Eve event

Instead of having kids climbing the walls at home on New Year’s Eve, Cochranites can bring them down to the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) and have Spiderman show them how it’s really done.

Wall-climbing with Spidey is just one of the many indoor and outdoor family attractions planned by the Cochrane & Area Events Society (CAES), who are joining forces for this year’s celebration with SLSFSC.

The New Year’s Eve Family Celebration will offer up a ton of fun for all ages, tastes and activity levels, culminating in a fireworks show at a kid-friendly time of 7 p.m.

So there will be plenty of time for those parents with some energy left over after all that to get the kids home and into bed before they go out to ring in 2023 with some adult festivities.

That schedule was at least a small part of the original impetus behind having a family-friendly event when it started in 2019.

But organizer Kailey Mitchell of Quirk Social said by the time she gets her four- and six-year-old daughters home and in bed, she’s not far behind.

“Whether the parents then go out is up to them – I get home and go to bed,” she said with a laugh.

The boss of Quirk Social admitted to being somewhat unsocial on the last couple of New Year’s Eves.

“I just go ‘Whew!’ and come down from the event, and 10 o’clock rolls around, and I’m like, ‘All right, it’s bedtime, I’ve seen the fireworks, I’ve rung in the new year,’” she admits with a self-deprecating laugh.

The first New Year’s Eve Family Celebration was at Mitford Park in 2019, featuring hot chocolate, fires, outdoor skating, and fireworks.

It was a big hit, according to Mitchell, despite the cold and wind and not-so-perfect ice conditions. Offering indoor skating this time solves two challenges for organizers: worries about weather, and the quality of the ice surface.

This year’s event combines the best of both worlds, so if it’s too cold for some, they can stay inside and skate until it’s time for the fire dancer and fireworks.

Along with the climbing wall with Spiderman, some of the indoor activities include public skating; bouncers; face painting; archery tag; soft play for toddlers; a quiet room (movie/soft play); dance party with balloon drop at 6 p.m., craft tables; princesses from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., (Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Maribel and Isabella from Encanto); and $4 hot dog meals from Patsy’s Place.

Outdoors, there will be fire pots to warm up by, fire dancer shows at 5:15 and 6:45 p.m., and it all wraps up with the fireworks at 7 p.m.

SLSFSC will not be charging the normal fees for access to everything except swimming on that day.

To see the full detailed list and for more information, go to the CAES website: cochraneevents.ca