[R2R, Afton Alps] and [R500R, Wild Mountain], both located about an hour east of the Twin Cities, have big plans for family New Year's Eve celebrations and, of course, plenty of skiing and riding.

Afton, one of the area's largest ski hills with 48 trails and 18 chairlifts, will be open for regular skiing and riding New Year's Eve Day, and than will keep the front lifts and snowtubing open until midnight.  Your regular lift ticket will be good for the extra hours of skiing and riding.  There will be live music to see the New Year in, a torchlight parade at midnight, food, and party favors.  Bring the family out for the day and celebrate New Year's Eve together at the Alps. 

Wild Mountain, the first ski area to open in the Midwest this winter in mid-November, is throwing a family ski and snowboard party Saturday, Dec. 31, from 3-9 p.m.  The cost is $34.50 for ages 13 and up, $25 ages 6-12, and $7 for 5 and under, which includes your lift ticket, spaghetti and meatball dinner, ski movies, party hats and noisemakers, and a balloon drop to welcome in an early New Year.  Snowtubing will also be offered from 5-8 p.m. for $19.95 for all ages.  You'll be home early enough to watch Dick Clark welcome in New Year's Eve.

"We've been doing this for a few years.  The families like the early celebration, and they get home before midnight.  It's become kind of a tradition at Wild Mountain," says Wild VP Amy Frischmon.