I don’t know about you but gone are my days of dashing out at 10 pm in a dress, heels, and sparkly party hat to begin a New Year’s Eve party – now it is more likely to include me wiping noses that are fighting off a cold and very likely to be asleep by 10 pm. But I am not complaining! I am very happy to have my family and spend my time with them, it’s just that it is probably not exciting by most people’s standards. That doesn’t mean we don’t do anything at all to ring in the New Year, we just go a different route. Here are some ideas we have done in the past or are planning to do in the future in case your New Year’s sounds a bit like mine!
1) Non Alcoholic Toasts
There is no reason your family (ie kid friendly) party can’t include a toast to celebrate the new year. Fill plastic champagne glasses from the dollar store with clear soda, sparkling grape juice, or ginger ale.
2) Make Family Resolutions
Instead of or in addition to individual resolutions create some together. Things like – Eat dinner together every night, start a family movie night once a week or month, exercise for 20 minutes together 4 times per week, etc…
3) Host a Block Party
Get the other families in your neighborhood involved. Set up tables in a central location and have everyone bring a dish. You will get a lot of adult interaction and playmates for your kids. Pool your funds to buy fireworks for a neighborhood show if it’s allowed in your area.
A fun idea that will keep the kids busy is to make your own party hats and noisemakers instead of buying them. The noisier, more sparkly, and goofier the better!
5) Celebrate Early
With really little ones you don’t have to shoot for midnight. Celebrate and be done by nine. It’s your party you can have it when you want to.
6) Make a Time Capsule
Fill a plastic container that has a tight fitting lid with predictions for the new year, letters to your futures selves, family pictures, newspaper articles, etc. Place it in a sealed plastic bag and bury in the yard (or stick it up in the closet) to be opened on the next New Year’s Eve.
7) Have a Slumber Party
Right in the living room, have the whole family get into their pj’s and watch movies or the ball drop in Times Square. Spend the whole night cuddled up on pallets or the couch.
8) Take Pictures
Take photos of your child in the same spot, shirt, etc.. every year to document their growth. Get creative, take photos of your family holding up the numbers of the year or twisting their bodies into the number shapes.
9) Bag it Up
Put a treat, a joke on a slip of paper, or a small toy in 12 (or however long you want to make it) decorated paper bags, let the kids open one each hour from noon to midnight.
10) Learn Something
Research New Year’s festivities in other countries – for example Chinese New Year is actually celebrated in late January-February.
11) Make Fun Food
Celebrate New Year’s with your kids by making a round cake and using gel frosting writers to make a clock face, bake cookies but use number cookie cutters to shape them, bake crescent rolls in the shape of the year, the ideas are endless!