10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: Happy New Year! When we think of New Year’s Eve before we had kids, many images may come to mind. Remember when we used to get all dolled up in our cute outfits for a night out on the town? Or perhaps you recall those special memories made at a friend’s house as you more intimately celebrated the end of one year and the beginning of another? Regardless of how you used to celebrate, now that we are mothers, things look a tad bit different on New Year’s. I actually enjoy being creative and transforming special holidays to be more family-focused.
As we evolve as parents, so do our celebrations and our priorities. Even our New Year’s resolutions take on a different perspective because these tiny humans of ours have given birth to a new version of our identities. When developing new traditions for holiday celebrations, there are a variety of ways to make these milestones memorable, easy, and fun for all ages. What I love most are the unique ways you can celebrate New Year’s Eve (before 9 p.m.) with your family. Below are some fun and easy New Year’s Eve celebration ideas for your families to bring in the new year with festivities, sparkles, and joy.
1. Do Some NYE-Themed Crafting
Bust out the pompoms, glitter, and hot glue gun to get crafty with your littles on New Year’s Eve. You can go the simple route with these crafts and they will still produce endless amounts of fun. Create confetti poppers from Melody in the Making and add some pizzazz to your celebration.
You can also craft these countdown clocks by Buggy & Buddy with your kids and adjust the time if your family doesn’t plan on staying up until midnight. My personal favorite is designing a Wishing Wand by Life Over C’s to discuss some sweet wishes you and your little twinkling stars can hope for in the new year.
2. Plan a Family Game Night
Once your child is in the toddler age, games are fair game for celebrations. I love infusing some competition into a celebration to add some spark to family time. Playing these Minute to Win It Games by Family Education guarantees some great times for all, plus they include supplies you likely have on hand—no need to buy anything new!
Consider the classic bingo game but make it New Year’s themed by using this New Year’s Bingo created by Kristen Duke Photography. You can’t go wrong when choosing the oldie but goodie board games like Twister and Charades, which never disappoint and always bring smiles to a gathering.
3. Have a Family Movie Watch Party
For a more mellow night in, movies are a great option to enjoy and relax on New Year’s Eve. The following rentable movies are New Year’s-themed and provide some sweet messages on explaining this holiday and honoring the diversity of celebrations.
- Sesame Street Celebrates Around the World: Available on YouTube
- Happy New Year, Charlie Brown: Available on AppleTV+
- A Very Merry Pooh Year: Available on YouTube, Google Play, and Disney+
4. Celebrate with Food and Drink
Nothing is better than tasty treats for a New Year’s Eve celebration. These delicious recipes are easy for little hands to join in the cooking so it’s a fun time for all.
For a healthier version of New Year’s cooking, consider these yummy-licious fruit rockets by Eats Amazing. I’d recommend subbing out the grapes for raspberries if you have younger kids to avoid possible choking hazards. Or make a New Year’s-themed snack board, like this adorable spread from @mrscofieldandco with cookies, cheese and crackers, and more.
Try these New Year’s Eve cupcakes by Big Family Blessings to inject some instant sweetness to your home celebration.
Kid-Friendly NYE Drinks
No celebration is complete without scrumptious mocktails by The Everyday Mom Life. Even though there is no alcohol, these drinks add a festive flavor to any party.
5. Do (an Early) Kid-Friendly Countdown
Our little ones may be too young to stay up until midnight, but with these creative countdown ideas, you can speed up the clock and not forfeit any merriment in the process.
Recreate the Ball Drop
Bring New York City’s iconic ball drop to your home with this fun and easy NYE idea by It’s Always Autumn.
Get Creative with the Countdown
Another version of a countdown is to decorate balloons with specific times to design your own countdown balloon clock by Twinkle Twinkle Little Party. If you want to give your sweethearts a treat on the hour for a memorable countdown, try these countdown bags by Coffee and Confetti Mom to bring excitement and anticipation for the new year.
For a super easy countdown idea, tune into Netflix, where there are a number of kid-countdowns to stream with favorite characters like Boss Baby and Spirit.
A simple, profound, and meaningful way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your family is by recalling favorite memories of the year and sharing hopes and wishes for the upcoming year. We often don’t have time to have these important conversations, but they can inspire togetherness and lovely traditions for years to come.
Design a Thankful Tree
Have each family member contribute to each leaf on the tree by sharing something they are thankful for. Be sure to snap a photo because you’ll want to remember how your littlest members of the family answered the question.
Create a “Year-in-Review” Slideshow
Gather photos of your family’s favorite moments of the year that you can reveal with anticipation on New Year’s Eve.
Display a Bucket List for the Upcoming Year
Brainstorm as a family items for your bucket list and display them in a communal area of your home. Your family can get excited for all the extraordinary memories to come.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated for timeliness.