Celebrate New Year’s Eve with your Kids!

Celebrate New Year's Eve with Your Kids!

When we think New Year’s Eve, we typically think adults partying and having fun, kid-free. But, perhaps lining up the babysitter and heading out just doesn’t interest you or you want to hang out with your kids on New Year’s Eve instead. Then there is good news because kids and New Year’s Eve celebrations can go hand in hand. Here’s how!


Most parents do not want their kids up past their normal bedtimes much less up until midnight. Some don’t even want to be up until midnight themselves even on New Year’s Eve. There is an easy fix to this – plan your clock striking midnight at an earlier hour. If you’re in the East Coast, consider celebrating at midnight GMT. That’s 7pm Eastern Time. If you’re in the West Coast, consider celebrating at midnight ET.

Go so far as to change an analog clock in the room to your “new time” so you can really see it strike midnight. Search online for broadcasts from other time zones to catch a live celebration.


Celebrate the New Year in style with a few fun, kid-friendly activities:

  • Decorate party hats. Buy solid colored party hats and make them one of a kind with glitter, pom poms, markers, stickers, etc.
  • Set up a photo booth with props – top hats, funny glasses, feathered boas. Or grab items from your kids’ dress up stash. Those fireman hats and princess tiaras work well too!
  • Craft festive shirts. If you’re celebrating midnight GMT, consider having a “Union Jack” themed party and make shirts to coordinate with your theme.
  • Make poppers from toilet paper rolls, leftover holiday paper, and small prizes (temporary tattoos, stickers, small toys, etc) following this tutorial.
  • Create a time capsule. Reuse a container from your pantry (an oatmeal container would work great) or even just get a large envelope. Let the kids have fun decorating your capsule. Then print out a New Year’s Eve Time Capsule Printable. Have each person complete one and stash it away in your capsule until next year. It will be fun to see what changes and what stays the same. These would also be great for scrapbooks, baby/child albums or memory boxes, too. 


Even if you can’t find a celebration to watch on TV or online, don’t fret. There are other fun ways to countdown to “your” midnight:

  • Balloon drop. Blow up a bunch of balloons, gather into a balloon bag and hang overhead. At “midnight,” pull the string and release the balloons. 
  • Dim the lights and let the kids celebrate with a safe indoor “fireworks” (i.e., glow in the dark wands, necklaces and bracelets). Given it will be dark outside after the party, if you’re having guests over, these will be fun for the ride home too.
  • Break out the noisemakers. Let the kids get a little loud and rowdy with traditional NYE noisemakers. After all, it’s early evening (not really midnight) so you aren’t likely to wake up any of your neighbors and the kids might get a thrill thinking they are doing something on this special evening that typically isn’t encouraged.


Let the kids toast at midnight too!

  • Fill plastic champagne flutes with “sparkling Jell-o” or ginger ale.
  • Rim shot glasses with chocolate and sprinkles. Then fill with milk.
  • Top a champagne flute of milk with a chocolate chip cookie.

And don’t forget a kiss at midnight. No fear if that idea gets an “eww” from your kids. You can skip an actual kiss. Hand out Hershey’s Kisses instead.

When the clock strikes “midnight” (even if that is 7pm) remind the kids that it’s midnight and start saying good-bye to any friends who have joined you. It’s time to get the kids into bed so parents can enjoy a quiet evening ringing in the official new year on the couch watching Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and enjoying a real champagne toast. Or snoring soundly as they sleep because, after all, the kids will still be up bright and early on New Year’s Day no matter how wild you let them party the night before!

Happy New Year!

Ring in the New Year with your significant other while enjoying 5 Bubbly Cocktails to Ring in the New Year.

Photo credits: Sarah Coggins

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Sarah Coggins

Sarah lives in North Carolina and is a mom to 2 kids. She is craft and DIY obsessed - the latter of which comes in handy as she & her husband work to transform their foreclosure purchase into their dream home one project at a time. When she isn’t working on a project, she enjoys spending time with her son & daughter outdoors, exploring parks and geocaching. Find out more on her blog, 2paws Designs.

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