Many parents party the night away on New Year’s Eve, while others opt to stay at home. Parents might not be able to find a sitter for their children or they might want to spend the evening celebrating in a more relaxed environment.
Younger children might not be able to stay up until midnight, but older children could enjoy staying up late in anticipation for the New Year to begin. How can parents keep children entertained and excited during the big night? Here are 10 activities to celebrate New Year’s with kids.
- Make decorations and noise makers
- Write a resolution for the year
- Bake up a few celebration treats
- Host a movie night
- Enjoy a New Year’s Eve game night
- Tune into an earlier New Year’s countdown (via cable or streaming)
- Explore how other cultures celebrate a new year
- Create a kid-friendly party night
- Dance the night away
- Start a New Year’s book club
Parents might plan to incorporate all or just a few of these activities. Depending on how late parents are allowing children to stay awake, there could be many hours of activities needed to keep children busy and entertained.
Craft Decorations and Noise Makers
Children might love the idea of celebrating New Year’s even if they can’t stay up all night to welcome the New Year. Let children enjoy the festive and celebratory evening by making decorations and noise makers that usher in 2023.
Noise makers are easy to make using cardboard, popsicle sticks and a few pennies. The Children’s Museum of the Arts offers a full tutorial on how to craft noisemakers.
To get the home ready for the New Year, children also can make signs and other decorations. Parents might buy materials ahead of the festivities. However, signs can be made using construction or printer paper and whatever coloring supplies are on hand.
Write a Resolution
A new year offers new beginnings. Adults and children can make a resolution for the year to embark on positive habits or changes that they wish to embrace in their lives.
Simple resolutions for children include resolving to make homework their first priority, clean their room regularly, try new foods (one new food per week/month) or maybe a child resolves to read more books each month.
Parents can make a resolution, or families could make a ‘family resolution.’ This could be a goal that everyone shares like sharing dinners together, less screen time, etc.
Bake up a Few Celebration Treats
If parents and children love to cook or bake, turn the New Year’s Eve celebration into an opportunity to create delicious new recipes or a sweet dessert. Bake up some New Year’s cookies, a special cake or cook a dinner just for New Year’s.
Portzelky are known as “New Year’s Cookies.” These treats are deep-fried and dusted with sugar. In the South, a New Year’s meal typically includes black-eyed peas, collared greens, cornbread and other delicious foods. However, families could create their own special meal for New Year’s.
Host a Movie Night
A New Year’s Eve at home could be the perfect opportunity for a cozy family movie night. Let everyone choose a movie they want to watch, but make sure the choices are appropriate for all viewers in the home. Don’t forget the popcorn or ‘concession’ snacks.
Enjoy a New Year’s Eve Game Night
Some families love game nights. New Year’s Eve offers plenty of hours for a long night of board game play. Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly could both be great choices. In addition, card games also could be fun for a New Year’s celebration.
Children could bring out their favorite games. Parents might mix in old favorites like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders or other popular board games that their children love.
Tune into an Early New Year’s Countdown
Younger children might not be able to stay up until midnight to welcome the New Year and some parents also could be strict about sticking to a bedtime schedule. Celebrate New Year’s a little earlier by tuning into broadcasts of the countdown from other time zones. It’s midnight somewhere!
Explore How Other Countries and Cultures Celebrate a New Year
The Chinese New Year begins January 22, 2023. In Spain, New Year’s is called Nochevieja (translation: Old Night) and at midnight it is tradition to eat 12 grapes. Across the world, celebrating the New Year might include unique traditions and customs.
On New Year’s Eve, parents can explore with children how other cultures celebrate. At midnight, maybe children eat 12 grapes and adopt traditions from other cultures, too.
Create a Kid-Friendly Party Night
Parents can create a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party. Just because parents decide to celebrate with children doesn’t mean the party stops. Order food trays or make veggie and fruit platters.
To celebrate the New Year, toast with sparkling grape juice. Parents also could make fun drinks for children with sparkling seltzer and cherry juice (plus cherries to garnish).
Dance the Night Away
If parents are creating a fun party atmosphere (kid-friendly, of course), then they shouldn’t forget the music. Create a New Year’s playlist that includes up-beat dance music and some favorite songs. Let children pick songs they want for the playlist, and parents can add their tunes, too.
Get funky at the party by making a homemade disco ball with kids. The Spruce offers a tutorial for this DIY project that will add glimmer to the night.
Start a New Year’s Book Club
For families who love to read or even families that simply want to read more during the next year, use New Year’s Eve as the opportunity to start a family book club.
Sit down and discuss books everyone would like to read. When creating a family book club, though, the book selections should be leveled appropriately for everyone. This is a great opportunity for parents to read what interests their children and vice versa.
For the book club, families can select a book per month. Outline the monthly books and plan family meet-ups to discuss the book throughout the month. Not only is this a great way to encourage regular reading, but it also helps parents carve out time to bond and talk with children.
Parents also could include book-related activities for their club. For example, some books have been adapted into movies. Read the book and then watch the movie together as a family. After watching the movie, the family can talk about how the movie compares to the book.
While many parents might look forward to going out to a party or late-night event to usher in the New Year, others prefer to stay at home for a more relaxed celebration. Some parents might be unable to find a babysitter for the big night, but parents also could enjoy having a fun night celebrating with their children.
An at-home New Year’s Eve can include many kid-friendly activities to ensure children are entertained and busy for the hours leading up to the New Year. Parents can host a kid-friendly party, make decorations/crafts, write resolutions or even host a movie night or game night. Parents with young children who can’t stay up until midnight also could tune into earlier countdowns to welcome the New Year a bit earlier.
Celebrating New Year’s at home with children can even become a new tradition. Bake up special recipes, turn on a playlist of great music and have fun together. The New Year brings new beginnings and possibilities, and a New Year’s Eve celebration symbolizes the hope and joy that leads up to this brand new year.