New Year’s Eve has always been synonymous with going out on the town, but let’s be real — most of us, parents or not, aren’t always up for the hustle and bustle of the holiday. Christmas and/or Hanukkah just ended, you’ve been surrounded by family for days (or even weeks), and now you’re expected to go to a party? No thanks. Instead, why not just put on one of these kid-friendly New Year’s Eve countdowns from Netflix, and go to bed early? This anti-social, sleep-loving writer approves this message.
Here’s the deal: Netflix is in your brain, and knows that staying up until midnight can honestly be a hassle (when it’s something you have to do, of course — when I have to wake up for work the next day, I just have to watch one more episode of Grey’s Anatomy before I fall asleep). And if you have little ones who are aware of the holiday, chances are they’re demanding to stay up just like their parents and older siblings to countdown to 2019. But there’s a way around this! Simply open up Netflix, search “countdowns,” and choose from one of the many family-friendly videos. They’re all about five minutes long, and finish off with a countdown for your tots to ring in the New Year (or make them think they have). So without further ado, here are your options:
Alexa and Katie
This Netflix multi-cam sitcom landed with its first season back in March. Aimed at tweens and young teens, Alexa and Katie is about two high school freshmen who find their worlds changed when one of them is diagnosed with cancer. Season 2 begins on Dec. 26, and the countdown is available the same day. If you haven’t checked this one out, ‘90s kids will be in for a treat: Kelly Kapowski from Saved By the Bell (Tiffani Thiessen) stars as Alexa’s mom, Lori.
All Hail King Julien
Made famous by the DreamWorks film Madagascar, the loveable lemur King Julien has taken up residence on Netflix with his own award-winning series. Though the fifth and final season of All Hail King Julien has been available to watch for over a year now, kids who have been missing it (or, more likely, just rewatching it over and over) will be treated to a tiny bit of fresh content featuring the party animals themselves.
Music lovers, rejoice: The Beat Bugs are here. The third season of the primary-age kids' series premiered last month, and now you can ring in the New Year with the Beatles and their many legged animated pals.
Another spinoff of a DreamWorks movie, The Boss Baby: Back in Business has two seasons available to watch on Netflix. So it’s not surprising that the streaming service sprung for a countdown featuring Ted and his Baby Corps co-workers.
Yes, it’s a family-friendly sitcom, but everyone knows that Fuller House is really for Millennials nostalgic for the original series. Season 4, which returned to the series’ standard 13 episode format after the third season’s expanded order, just arrived on Dec. 14, but there’s a little more of the She-Wolf pack coming if you’ve already binged your way through it.
Korean children’s series Larva struck up a deal with the streaming service, and all three eight-episode seasons are now available, along with Larva Island, a Netflix original comprised of 13 eight-minute episodes in which larvi Red and Yellow encounter a human. The countdown is sure to be another adorable entry in the show’s catalogue.
Art, music, and Black history are prominent in the animated series Motown Magic, the first season of which dropped last month on Netflix. A New Year’s countdown that features a classic Motown hit or two is definitely a good way to ring in 2019.
This long-delayed series based on the Nickelodeon short of the same name is finally coming to Netflix on Jan. 1, 2019. So you can introduce the kids to the goofy hot dog and his human friends on Dec. 31, and if they’re into it, they’ll have a full six-episode series of Pinky Malinky to watch while you recover on New Year’s Day.
Prince of Peoria
It’s a pretty common tale — a teenage royal comes to America to “blend in” and “be a regular kid,” and he or she needs another ordinary citizen to show them the ropes… and, obviously, become best friends along the way. The first season and a Christmas special of Prince of Peoria are available on Netflix now, and the brief countdown video is forthcoming.
The star-studded voice cast of animated fantasy series Skylanders Academy has already offered up three seasons and a birthday message (another quick video for young fans when the time is right), so it’s no surprise they’ve compiled a countdown vid as well.
Spirit Riding Free
The DreamWorks-Netflix partnership is going strong with Spirit Riding Free, the animated series about a horse and this young owner, Lucky, during the 19th century. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s based on the 2002 movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. With seven short seasons in the bag, this is one that the kids could definitely get hooked on.
The preschool-age children of Frankenstein, Dracula, and other famous fantasy creatures are the stars of animated series Super Monsters, which boasts two seasons, a Halloween special, a Christmas special, and a collection of songs is a natural choice for a New Year’s countdown if you’ve got tiny tots you need to get to bed on the big night.
Tales of Arcadia
Acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro brokered a deal with Netflix to bring a trilogy of animated series to life on the streamer, with two common characters throughout. Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia is a three-part series that began in 2016, while Part 1 of 3Below lands on Dec. 21. The alien royalty and their bodyguard (voiced by Diego Luna, Tatiana Maslany, and Nick Offerman), who are stuck on Earth in human form, will be the stars of the countdown video.
True and the Rainbow Kingdom
Finally, more for the preschool crowd: True and the Rainbow Kingdom, the first of three animated series that have aired on Netflix over the last year, will have its own New Year’s countdown featuring the eponymous young heroine.
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