Five fun things to do: New Year's weekend Dec. 30-Jan. 2

Family fun to kick off a new year, a favourite Canadian pastime or a romantic night on the ice are among the fun things you could do this holiday weekend.

Family fun and a Canadian pastime among this weekend's suggestions

Don't worry - you don't have to be able to skate like Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in order to hit one of the outdoor ice rinks in the region this weekend. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

It's another long weekend as we say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017.

Here's a few suggestions – five, in fact – to help you plan your next few days.

Skate Night, Date Night

6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, December 30

Uptown rink, Waterloo

Music, warm drinks and skating on ice – what could be romantic? Or, if you're not interested in romance, grab a friend or come alone to skate and enjoy a live performance by Rufus Music, a local soul/R&B/funk/hip-hop musician.

Most outdoor skating rinks in Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph are open all weekend long. As well, you can join the CBC K-W crew Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a free family skate on the ice rink in Carl Zehr Square in downtown Kitchener. There will be giveaways for tots, and even some CBC K-W tuques for larger-headed people.

Mary-Catherine Quintet

8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Friday, December 30

The Jazz Room, 59 King St. N., Waterloo

Mary-Catherine McNinch-Pazzano is an up-and-comer in the Canadian music scene and this is a chance to see her live with her band: Don Buchanan at the piano, Jason Hunter on sax, Mike Grace with the bass and Steve James on drums. The theme of the evening is Love and Hope for 2017 and they will perform songs about the struggles of humanity and how to be more compassionate, along with a few holiday favourites.

Mary-Catherine McNinch-Pazzano will be performing at The Jazz Room in uptown Waterloo Friday night with a theme of "love and hope for 2017."

Happy NOON year

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Saturday, December 31

Guelph Public Library, East Side Branch, 1 Starwood Drive, Guelph

Children can make a party hat and get ready to celebrate the new year with a balloon drop at noon. This is a great event for children of all ages and adults who can't stay up until the countdown to midnight.

There are also a number of other family friendly New Year's Eve events in Waterloo region as well as lots of bars and restaurants holding their own events. Call your favourite place to see if they're doing something special.

Kitchener Rangers vs. Erie Otters

2 p.m. puck drop, Sunday, January 1

The Aud, 400 East Ave., Kitchener

This is no more Canadian way to kick off the new year than taking in a good ol' hockey game. The Kitchener Rangers play host to the Erie Otters in this afternoon game. Erie is ranked number three in the Ontario Hockey League western conference standings and Kitchener's right behind them in spot number four. Erie took the first game of the season 7-3 (the second game was postponed due to weather), so it could be an interesting three periods.

It's Showtime – Become an Entertainer

11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, January 2

Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener

Learn how to juggle, create storytelling puppets or play theatre games at this event, which is part of the museum's Holiday Family Fun Day series. There are a number of other events over the course of the week as well for parents looking for something to do with their children who don't go back to school until January 9. Other events include wacky science, a retro dance party, birds of prey and a mystery day.