Traditionally, New Year’s Eve is considered a holiday for grownups. True, midnight is past most kids’ bedtimes, but there are still fun ways to usher in the new year with children.
Here are some tips:
- Hold a mock New Year’s Eve for young children, celebrating at 7 or 8 p.m. instead of midnight.
- Make a ball-shaped piñata that resembles the big ball that drops in New York City. At midnight, let the kids bang it open.
- Ask guests to bring as many alarm clocks as they can and set them all to go off at midnight (or earlier, if you’re celebrating a mock New Year). When the alarms start ringing, bang pots and pans, toot horns and make a general ruckus as you hug, kiss and wish everyone a happy year.
- Take a cue from political candidates and do a balloon drop. Suspend a bunch of balloons above the partygoers, then release them at midnight. Or, fill balloons with confetti before you blow them up, then have the kids pop them at 12.
- Toast each other with sparkling cider or some other bubbly mocktail.
- Have the kids spend time scrapbooking their memories from the previous year or making time capsules that will be remain sealed until the children turn 18--or at least until the next New Year's Eve.
- Let siblings have a slumber party with one another in the living room. Pitch a tent if you have enough space.
- Get fancy! Play dress up with young children. Bring out the bowties, high heels, lipstick and pearls.
- Host a board game marathon.
- Craft the night away.
- Throw a Bingo party.
- Host a hat-themed party, where everyone must wear to goofy-looking hat to get in the door.
- Many cities have community-wide “First Night” activities, which are family-friendly, alcohol-free events that usually involve live music, art, crafts and other entertainment and activities. Find out if there’s one near your home.
Or, get a babysitter on Dec. 31 instead, then celebrate the new year with the kids on January 1. Make it an annual tradition to host a special breakfast, lunch or brunch with family or friends. At some point, write down resolutions (or goals) and share them aloud with one another.