10 Things To Do On New Years If You Have Kids
The celebration of New Years on New Year’s Eve is often thought of as an adult holiday. Most people get dressed up and go out to a party at a friend’s house or a club or restaurant. There is often lots of champaign, special menus and discussions of resolutions. It all lasts until midnight, when the Time Square ball drops and everyone cheers and midnight loved-one-kisses, celebrating the new year. Not much of this is fun for kids and many places kids aren’t allowed. My kids would be absolutely bored at the adult parties and when they were young I didn’t let them stay up until midnight. But that doesn’t mean kids can’t enjoy the holiday. You just need to do a few tweaks to make it more kid-friendly.
Fun New Years Ideas With Kids
1- Make it fun. You can still have silver and gold party decorations and fancy foods (or pretend fancy but ones that the kids will like). Invite some adult friends over with kids of similar age. Decorate the house the day before to give yourself enough time the day of the party to do smaller things and not be overtired.
2- Offer to babysit other people’s kids. You’ll be home anyways, why not make some money and have other children around for your’s to play with. Make sure they bring an extra set of clothing if you plan to do messy arts and crafts and pajamas if they are spending the night.
3- Reset the clocks!! We are in California so we celebrate the Times Square ball dropping four hours earlier, when it drops in the first U.S. time zone in New York. We aren’t cheating New Years, we are just doing it a children’s way. This way the kids can celebrate and still go to bed on time. Having them in bed by 8pm isn’t too bad and they still go to celebrate with all the fun party antics.
4- Get party poppers, silly hats and horns and bang pots and pans. Why? Kids love making noise! You can even search Pinterest for some homemade noisemakers. Kids can create them, draw their own designs on them and then when they are completed, have with them. New Year’s Eve party hats can be found at party supply stores and come in a variety of colors and designs. When I was a kid we went on our front porch or in our driveway to bang our pots and pans together and make noise.
5- Plan an annual tradition. Roses Only has gorgeous sets of bouquets that can liven up a room or the whole house and can be ordered for New Years themes. Put a few vases up in the kitchen, on the kitchen table and in the living room plus some smaller vases in the bathroom on the countertop. Not only do flowers look great, they make the house look fancy and welcoming and smell good.
6- Have the kids make their own resolutions. Write them down (or help younger ones write them) and put them in a safe place, like a jar. Bring them out the following year to read out loud. Don’t forget to toast with apple cider.
7- If you are planning on serving pizza make sure you order ahead or get the ingredients and let everyone make their own personal pizzas. Carryout places are often busy with people that don’t want to cook and want catering done or to order to-go food. You can grab some popcorn from The Little Kernel for a snack during the movie. They come in a variety of flavors, including: Sweet & Salty, Pink Himalayan Salt & Butter Flavored.
8- Shop ahead for entertainment. Get out some board games. 2-3 games should be enough unless you have a large group of kids. Play charades, get out some puzzles, you can ever do some fun things like make your own chewing gum (a kit by Glee Gum) or get a science kit lab to have some fun experiments at the kitchen able (make sure you have newspaper to put underneath of everything and you have all the proper ingredients on hand ahead of time).
9-Figure out how long (from the party starting until bed time) the kids will be up and write out a flexible schedule. Include eating, crafts, dress up, board games and then put on a movie when you are ready for them to quiet down and relax. Find a classic like Goonies, The Wizard of Oz or Mary Poppins. You can find a Disney movie for younger kids like The Lion King or The Little Mermaid. Have the kids cuddle up in their own sleeping bags on the living room floor. That way if they fall asleep during the movie you won’t have to move them.
10-Create some New Year’s scavenger hunts. Have the kids hide some nickels, dimes, and quarters for each other to find on New Year’s Day, to attract a prosperous new year. Keep a count of how many were hidden so you know how many need to be found.
When It Is Time For Sleep
When it is time for bed turn on the air conditioner or heater (for the white noise). I like to have my Echo Dot play ‘Ocean Waves by Joe Baker.’ You don’t want random fireworks going off in the middle of the night waking your kids up. Where I live all the fireworks and firecracker noises still happen for about an hour after New Years so we keep the white noise on for a few hours so the kids will sleep though the night.
When the party is over and the parents arrive to pick up their kids make sure you have their bags packed with their completed art projects, clothing, etc. If they are leaving at night make sure they kids are in pajamas, brush their teeth and go to the bathroom before leaving. That way if they fall asleep in the car the parents can put them straight in bed. If they are spending the night and their parents are picking them up in the morning than make sure to feed them breakfast (unless they are picked up really early) and are ready to go. That way there is no scramble to get everything packed when they leave.