How do you create a festive, fun New Year’s Eve celebration the entire family can enjoy together? (After all, trying to get a babysitter on the big day is hard and expensive!
Our team put on our creative hats to brainstorm these fabulous family-friendly New Year’s Eve suggestions. Who knows, if you like one of these activities they may turn into annual family traditions.
1. Get Festive
Pick up some noisemakers, put up streamers and buy some party hats. Make your children part of the shopping (if you have time) and have them help decorate the house.
2. Create your own Countdown
Whether you are celebrating at midnight or a couple hours earlier for bedtime sake, figure out a fun way to mark the New Year together such as: 1) Make a homemade balloon drop and at midnight pull the string and let the balloons fall. Kids love this! 2) Another idea from FamilyFun.com is to make a bubble wrap stomping station. When the clock strikes midnight (or whatever time you want to celebrate), let the kids jump up and down making that firecracker noise on the bubble wrap. What kid (or adult) doesn’t love this?
3. Resolution Station
Have an area in your home designated to writing down your resolutions for the next year. This can be a great way to teach kids about setting goals or committing to try something they’ve always wanted to do in the New Year such as learn a musical instrument, try a new sport, or volunteer. Share them as a family right before you celebrate.
4. The Musical Countdown
Usually every local pop radio station is streaming the “Top 10 songs of the year” in order. I’m going to guess Ryan Seacrest is in charge of this one – he really does it all. If your children are old enough to be interested, make it a competition to guess which song will be #1. Award the winner with a mix CD of your family’s favorite songs!
5. Family-Friendly (Board Game) Competition
Select a board game that you and your family love. It could be the same every year or you could purchase a new one each year. If purchasing, rotate who gets to pick out the new game. Or if your family is into playing cards, it could be an annual New Year’s Eve “Gin Rummy” tournament depending on the size of your gathering. All fun options.
6. Food Focus
Growing up we always had lobster once a year on New Year’s Eve. Start a tradition like this with your family. Pick a food you all love, but don’t eat very often – maybe even once a year – and have that be your New Year’s Eve traditional dinner.
These are just some suggestions, but we know you all have some great ones too so please share them for everyone to enjoy. We hope you all have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve…cheers!
This post was originally shared on the now-defunct Mom’s Choice Matters blog on Dec 27, 2011.