I can remember the excitement I had as New Year’s Eve approached before I had kids. I would reflect on the past year, what I’d accomplished and what the new year may bring. But the focus of my excitement was having a celebration.
I have to admit I was probably a little reckless—or carefree, at best. Although, once our daughter was born, things changed. Kind of like that drive home from the hospital with your first born. When you realized how many “crazy” drivers there were on the road and that hardly anybody, except you, of course, followed the speed limit.
At first, going out on New Year’s Eve seemed so “different” after becoming a dad. It was not as exciting after my priorities changed. It doesn’t have to be that way. New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be boring when kids enter the picture; it can still be epic, just a different kind of epic. Here are 10 New Year’s Eve ideas for kids and families to bring in the new year, so you can have epic family fun and create family traditions.
1. Ring in the “Noon” Year.
If your kids are too young to stay up until midnight, then have your celebration at noon. Create your own countdown, bring out some bubbly (sparkling juice), and dance the noon day away once the clock strikes 12!
2. Leave the Christmas tree up a little while longer.
Does your Christmas tree stay up well past Christmas and into the new year? Well here’s a great “excuse” for keeping it up for a little while longer. Make it a “Resolution Tree,” by having the kids help take down decorations and create note cards with resolutions on them. Leave the lights on the tree and tie the resolution cards on the tree for all to see.
3. Slumber party in the living room.
If you know some of your kids will not make it until midnight, then grab blankets, pillows, some toys, and some movies. The kids that won’t last until the ball drops, at least, can fall asleep knowing they are right with you, their siblings, and all the fun.
4. Make your own ball drop.
Create your very own ball to drop at midnight, at noon, or whenever you decide. A quick trip to the craft store can land you some materials to create a ball of your own. It’ll be even more exciting and fun for the kids when the ball drops knowing they created it themselves. Not to mention the great time together you’ll have creating the ball.
5. Set all the clocks, alarms, and devices to go off at midnight.
We all live in a house full of electronic devices. Most of them have alarms. Use these devices as your noisemakers when the clock strikes midnight. Place a surprise (candy or something) with each device, then run around the house turning them all off.
6. Act like it’s Thanksgiving.
This has become one of our family traditions. Each year, we drive about 45 minutes to the house of our relatives and enjoy a huge meal with family and friends, play games, and ring in the new year with sparkling juice for the kids. Our kids absolutely love it and so do we!
7. Join in worship for the new year.
In addition to acting like it’s Thanksgiving, we attend a service at our church. We used to go to the late service, which lasts through the ball dropping. But the past several years, we’ve gone to an earlier service. It’s a great way to close out a year counting your blessings and worshiping together as a family.
8. Create a time capsule.
As you close out the year, you can reflect on all the things your kids experienced and accomplished. A great way to commemorate is by creating a time capsule that can be buried or stored for later.
9. Dance the night away.
Do your kids get to see you dance? I mean, really dance? Turn your family room into a dance party and show them how to really dance. Just don’t hurt anything because you’ll have to go back to work in a few days.
10. Winter pool party.
Instead of staying home, check into a hotel with a nice pool and have a winter pool party. Whether you do this through midnight, earlier in the day, and/or on New Year’s Day, it can be a fun thing to do that they may not get to normally experience in winter.No matter how you bring in the new year, be sure to involve your kids.
No matter how you bring in the new year, be sure to involve your kids. Any New Year’s Eve celebration as a family is an epic celebration in my book!
© 2014 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and say, “Let’s make this the most epic New Year’s Eve and New Year we’ve ever had! Here’s what we’re going to do.”