12 Fun Things To Do On New Year's Eve If You Have Kids

By
Share
Ad failed to load

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.

Ad failed to load

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.

Ad failed to load

1Capture The Year That's Passed

Giphy

Put together a keepsake for the ages. Ask each participant, in this case, each member of your family, to bring some items that remind them of the year. It can be photos, magazines, funny sayings, clothes, etc. You can also have each guest fill out a time capsule questionnaire like this one from Pretty Providence or make up one of your own. Decide as a family if you want to open the time capsule a year from now or several years from now.

2Decorate Party Hats

Giphy

The more festive everyone looks, the more fun they will have. You can buy hats and sparkly necklaces and 2018 eyeglasses, but you can also save a little money and give yourself something to do if you make the party hats yourself using a template like this from Oh Happy Day.

3Have Some Photo Booth Fun

Giphy

Get some props like silly hats, New Year's Eve crowns, plastic guitars, magic wands — anything you can think of. Place them in a bucket and set up a photo station. You can use a photo app like Pocketbooth Photo Booth from your phone or Fun Booth on your computer. After the photo op, create a slideshow or Shutterfly book with all the photos.

Ad failed to load

4Make Some Noice (Makers)

Giphy

Another project can be putting together noise makers. Put beans in a water bottle and use ribbons, stickers, and whatever else you have lying around the house to decorate the outside. Or, as The Centsible Life suggests, use paper plates and rice to make some noise.

5Go To A First Night Celebration

Giphy

Many towns have First Night celebrations, where they are celebrating the first night of the year (even though they technically hold it on New Year's Eve, the last night of the year). These are typically arts and music festivals full of family-friendly activities. Look online or call city hall to see if yours is hosting one.

6Put Together Some New Year's Poppers

Giphy

If you don't mind a little mess at midnight, put together these confetti poppers that the Repeat Crafter has created.

Ad failed to load

7Go Ice Skating

Giphy

Many skating rinks host family-friendly New Year's Eve parties. Bundle up and head over for some active fun.

8Create A Video

Giphy

You can have fun and be really creative with this one. Make it a mocu-mentary, in the spirit of The Office or pretend to be doing a news report on the year in review. Ask people for their New Year's resolutions or to tell a quick story about their favorite moment of 2017. There are plenty of easy-to-use programs these days on your computer, like iMovie, that will allow you to edit it.

9Give It Some International Flair

Giphy

Download Sesame Street Celebrates Around the World and teach the kids about children and celebrations in other countries. Take a sneak peak ahead of time and see if you want to incorporate some international traditions into your own festivities this year. For example, you can make a pinata like they do in Mexico, or eat 12 grapes at midnight and make a wish as they do in Portugal and Spain.

Ad failed to load

10Have A Movie Night

Giphy

Set up blankets, let the kids get in their pj's and pop some popcorn for some movie fun. There are plenty of kid-friendly New Year's movies to available to stream that both parents and kids would be into.

11Drink Some Cocktails and Mocktails

Giphy

Fun drinks can add to the spirit of the party. Create some bubbly champagne concoctions for the adults, but you don't have to leave the kids out. There are lots of fun mocktails you can help the kids create and let them toast with at midnight. For something extra fun, blogger Vicky Barone has created a sparkling cotton candy drink.

12Watch The Ball Drop... Anytime You Want

Giphy

Netflix has a New Year's countdown that you can use at any point during the night. If you can't keep them up until midnight, you can still do the big countdown with them (chances are, they're not old enough to realize that it's not really midnight yet). Then usher the kids to sleep, and continue the celebration in peace.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}