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Big events lead off New Year’s Eve family celebrations

Bounce houses, animals, dancing and movies are some of the New Year’s Eve festivities the entire family can enjoy at popular local events.

The annual First Night Buffalo, from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.), features amusement rides (merry-go-round and a train), inflatable fun, a family fitness challenge, storybook characters including the Very Hungry Caterpillar and Clifford and a toddler zone for the youngest members of the family. Dance Spectrum performs at 7:15 and 9:40 p.m.; Jeff Musial, the Animal Guy, brings out some furry friends at 5:15 and 7:30 p.m.; and Eclectic Improv entertains at 6:30 and 8:45 p.m.

The $10 admission includes all rides and activities; it’s free for ages 2 and younger. For a full schedule, see

Free outdoor activities start at 10 p.m. at Roosevelt Plaza (Main and Huron streets), leading up to the midnight ball drop.

In Niagara Falls, the Conference & Event Center (101 Old Falls St.) is hosting “Kids’ Club” fun starting at 6 p.m. with a bounce house, DJ, movies with complimentary popcorn, games and arts and crafts. The activities end at 10 p.m. with the countdown to a balloon drop including a complimentary toast with sparkling juice.

Later, the guitar drop and fireworks display takes place on Old Falls Street at midnight.

– Toni Ruberto

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