Brian’s picks – December 29

At a celebratory time of year in which the Times Square ball drop symbolizes a new year rising, youngsters need not miss their chance for robust revelry. That’s why the local KidsCommons Museum hosts its own New Year’s Eve gathering from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at the facility, 309 Washington St. in Columbus. The event includes activities on the hour, counting down to an explosive Wacky Science finale beginning at 3:30 p.m. Throughout the day, children can create party decorations in the kids-at-art studio and make resolutions for the New Year. Admission is $7 for those 18 months old and older. Information: 812-378-3046 or

The Columbus Area Arts Council’s presentations of Old National Bank’s First Fridays For Families sometimes can unfold as if they exist only for sheer silliness and good times for children from prekindergarten to third grade. And that is indeed part of the free gatherings at The Commons on the first Friday of every month, November through May. But there will be more to the madness when the Madcap Puppets present “Monkey See, Monkey Do” at 6 p.m. Jan. 6. Life lessons will abound with laughs. Information: 812-376-2539 or

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.