Whether you couldn't find a sitter for New Year's Eve or you just don't feel like fighting holiday traffic, you can still have a fun, kid-friendly celebration. The key is to keep the kids occupied as the clock counts down and celebrate a little earlier in the day.
Whatever you choose to do with your family on the eve of the New Year, you can make sure it's memorable with sure-fire party pleasers.
We've gathered a few family friendly ideas to help you ring in the new year:
1. Have a fun countdown
There are so many fun ways to help kids mark time until the new year arrives. Pick the time you want to start (and end!) and count down the hours by opening a bag, package or even popping a balloon. Mark each bag with the time and include a fun activity for each hour. Here are some ideas of what to stuff in the bags:
- Party hats and noisemakers
- Party poppers
- A deck of cards and game instructions
- Pens and paper to write New Year's Resolutions
- Craft projects
- Glow sticks
2. Create DIY noisemakers
3. Entertain with sparkling science
4. Make milk + cookie cocktails
5. Bake a clock
6. Have fun with balloons
It's not a party without balloons, right? These confetti-filled balloons will brighten up your space, then you can pop them at midnight for a confetti shower! You can fill these with helium or not—either way, the kids will love them. If you really want to wow the kids, stage your own balloon drop! You can make one by taping a plastic party tablecloth filled with balloons to your ceiling, or buy this kit.
7. Offer Christmas crackers
Christmas crackers may be traditional for Christmas dinner but they're equally as fun for New Year's Eve. These brightly wrapped cylinders are pulled apart, breaking the cracker open with a popping sound. Be sure to check the prizes inside before purchase to get kid-friendly items (most boxes of crackers have a description on the back of the box). Try this brand, which includes a party hat, jokes and stickers.
8. Have a photo booth
9. Create family time capsules
Putting a time capsule together as a part of your New Year's Eve activities can be a nice way to reflect on the past year. This can be as simple or elaborate as you wish! Grab a shoebox or big manila envelope and gather your time capsule items. Need ideas for what to include? Try your child's handprint, a family picture and an interview.
Questioning your kids about their current likes and dislikes, life goals, and more is fun in the moment and to look back on next year. Once finished, tuck away your time capsule and open next year. You can also buy a time capsule kit to save time.
10. Read New Year's Eve picture books
The night can get long and a quiet break for story time is good for everyone. Try one of these holiday-themed books to balance out the activities.
1. The Night Before New Year's by Natasha Wing
The kids want to stay up until midnight, but can they make it?
2. Squirrel's New Year's Resolution by Pat Miller
A fun way to explain New Year's Resolutions to children.
3. Shante Keys and the New Year's Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport
This book introduces kids to the way New Year's is celebrated in different cultures.