New Year's Eve celebrations are often overpriced and overhyped. Restaurants and clubs can charge crazy fees above and beyond what a dinner any other night would cost, all because it's New Year's Eve. Add a babysitter, at premium prices and with limited availability, and it can be very prohibitive to go out on the big night. It might be worth including the little ones in your celebration this year as there are so many things do on New Year's Eve with kids if you're not too keen on being away from them or breaking the bank.
It's really easy to start some fun New Year's traditions, either with just your kids or together with other families. Many communities have celebrations you can enjoy for free or for a very little fee, and if you're planning on spending it with other families, you can pick one house and gather there. We have spent many New Year's Eves with a houseful of kids and adults celebrating together. The nice thing about partying with other families is that you can still hang with other adults, while the kids are distracted by other kids. If the kids are a range of ages, then the older kids play the role of camp-counselor and let them watch over the younger ones. In some cases you might have to throw them a few bucks as incentive but it'll be cheaper than any other babysitter you hire.
The great thing about a casual gathering is that it's up to you when to start the celebration and also whether to allow your kids to stay up until midnight. If you are bringing the kids out, bring their pajamas with you so that the kids can change while they're out. Then if they drift off before you make it back home, it will be easier to transfer and tuck them into their beds.
Sometimes New Year's parties can drag a little as you wait for midnight to strike. If you're looking for ways to entertain the kids until then, here are some activities you can do with kids on New Year's Eve that will be fun for everyone.