As the clock ticks down on New Year’s Eve, get the entire family in on the festivities. Children can enjoy celebrating the holiday in their own, innocent ways. They’ll get caught up in the spirit of bringing in the new — and you can make lots of special family memories closing out a year together.
Creating the Spirit
Ringing in the New Year family-style should involve New Year’s decor and party supplies. Stock up on New Year’s hats, party horns and noisemakers. Encourage everyone to help decorate the house with banners, balloons and streamers. You might invite another family or two for the evening so the kids have comrades for the celebration. Set up a crafting area where children can make and decorate their own party hats or make additional noisemakers out of toilet paper rolls, brightly colored duct tape and dried beans. Just supervise all the crafting projects carefully and ensure they are age appropriate. Play games, like charades, if the kids are old enough to participate — and have plenty of good music on hand to get everyone dancing.
Cooking up a Storm
Food and celebrating naturally go together, so plan a menu that the kids will enjoy. Homemade pizza or tacos with yummy toppings might be an ideal New Year’s Eve meal. The beauty of these menus is that everyone gets involved in the preparation. Fondues are another fun, meal option. You can dip meats, bread and veggies, as well as prepare a dessert fondue with chocolate sauce and provide fresh fruit for dipping. Don’t forget snacks, too. Homemade caramel popcorn with warm apple cider might keep everyone going throughout the evening.
Family Camp Out
Little ones often have trouble making it until the ball drops, but this shouldn’t mean bedtime as usual. Plan a family camp out in the living room, complete with sleeping bags and pillows. Kids could even pitch an indoor tent by draping a blanket over a table. Everyone can get comfy in sleeping bags in front of a crackling fireplace. Roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Instead of telling ghost stories, tell family stories, reliving old memories of special times. When the little ones conk out, let them snooze until morning — and then have a special, New Year’s Day breakfast.
Venturing Out on the Town
If you decide to hit the town as a family, you will probably have several options for New Year’s Eve festivities. Communities often plan family-friendly celebrations, so check with your local chamber of commerce, news stations or churches to learn about New Year’s Eve celebrations. Zoos, museums and city parks are often the venue for these family, New Year’s parties. Festivities might include shows, music, crafting activities, dancing, food and even fireworks. Some cities plan celebrations during the day on New Year’s Eve so little ones can get in on the fun before they get too tired. You might also plan a getaway for the holiday at a hotel with an indoor waterpark and other kid-friendly amenities.