MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are just a few hours left in 2018, and people are getting ready to ring in the New Year. But some Twin Cities celebrations have already begun. Here’s a rundown of some of the most notable early options to sample.

Como Zoo Confetti Drop

Actually, this one is a cheat, as it will likely have already happened by the time you read this. Como Zoo celebrates the holiday a half-day early, at noon instead of midnight. Festivities began at 10 a.m. and go through 1 p.m. Instead of the plastic beach ball drop, the zoo said they made a choice this year to “go green … and blue and red and yellow and purple and orange.” They planned for a colorful release of biodegradable confetti at noon Monday.

Minnesota Children’s Museum

Another family-friendly option can be found at the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul. From 6 to 9 p.m., the museum’s “Sparklerama” will feature live music, art projects, refreshments and a beach ball drop promptly at 8 p.m. Admission is $15, though it’s reduced to $7 if you are a member, and your ticket gets you access to the rest of the museum as well.

Mall of America’s Moonlight Circus

The Mall of America’s “Moonlight Circus” begins at 6 p.m. and features not just one but two ball drops — the first at 10 p.m. and the second at midnight. The event takes place in the mall’s rotunda and Nickelodeon Universe, and will also include live entertainment by Xelias Aerial Studio including contortion, juggling, unicycle and aerial fabric. The mall also promises meet and greets with Nickelodeon Universe characters, dance parties, party favors and giveaways.

Fort Snelling State Park

For a more somber, reflective way to greet 2019, why not get bundled up for a candlelit trail walk? Fort Snelling State Park is hosting a new year’s hike beginning at 4 p.m. Monday, and wrapping by 8 p.m. Hike candlelit trails, warm up at roaring bonfires, and toast marshmallows as you send 2018 on its merry way. The event is free, though a state park permit is required on each vehicle, at $7 for a day pass or $35 for an annual pass.

Katie Steiner

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