Here are 10 wonderfully simple New Year’s Eve ideas for kids. Make ringing in the new year a fun, easy, enjoyable holiday! Let’s get started:
1-Faux Cocktails aka Mocktails
These can be especially fun if the adults at the party are also enjoying “grown up” drinks. Some easy ideas:
- Use champagne flutes (plastic works best) filled with apple or grape juice. You can add a few gummies, etc to make it cute. Another option would be to wet the rim of the glass and dip it in sprinkles to make it pretty.
- Make sparkling punch with a blend of sorbet and seltzer (or Sprite/etc). Add a cherry or cocktail umbrella to make it feel festive.
2-Watch the Fireworks
- This is a classic, but watch the fireworks online/on tv, a lot of kids really enjoy this. If it is too late for your kids (which I totally get), just DVR-it and watch the next day/”night” whenever fits most organically for your family. If you want to stay on the same day, just air the prior year’s version (they will never know).
- Watch them FOR REAL. I know many towns have fireworks on the 31st, go to a good vantage point and watch for yourself.
- Watch them FOR REAL, version B. If you are lucky enough to have a (even slightly) decent view of the fireworks, just view them from home. Trust me, you don’t have to catch every spark to keep young children enticed. From our house we can only see the “high fireworks”; however, my kids still love watching from the back deck.
Another fun idea is to have hourly count-down bags or treats. The idea is the heighten the waiting fun by having a treat, project, or event each hour. Some things you could include:
- Toy or trinket
- Candy or snack item
- Game idea
- Questions or time capsule time info
- Photo challenge
4-Eat 12 Grapes
Eating 12 grapes at Midnight is a Spanish tradition that is meant to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year. There is one grape for each month. Who knows if it works, but no harm in trying, right!?
5-Have a Balloon Drop
This idea really couldn’t be easier; however, kids really enjoy it.
Supplies needed for a ball drop.
- 20-50 inflated, non-helium balloons
- sheet or tarp
- tape or contact hooks
- String or cord
Steps to make the ball drop.
- Tie the cord to one corner of the blanket or tarp.
- Inflate the desired number of balloons.
- Group the balloons together in the sheet or tarp.
- Affix all 4 corners of the sheet to the ceiling using either tape or Command hooks
- At midnight (or whatever time you decide), have someone pull the cord to release all the balloons.
6-Make a Time Capsule
Spend some time on New Year’s Eve creating a time capsule of the past year. You can put it all in a small bin or shoe box. In the future, you can look back at your boxes from each year as a way to review the years.
Ideas for items to include in your time capsule:
- Photos from the year
- A list of the kids favorite things at that time
- Items related to current events (for example 2020 might include a mask or a small bottle of hand sanitizer)
- Handprints or footprints
- Hopes or predictions for the following year
- Let each child choose an item they feel best represents the year
7-Undecorate the Tree
My Old-School Southern Grandma always told me how it was terribly bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up past New Year’s. I think the idea stems from not wanting to drag the past into the “new” present; and, wanting to have a fresh start. In any event, undecorating can be a great activity for New Year’s Eve.
Allow everyone to take part in the process by dividing tasks up among things that young ones can handle. While they may not be the best choice to package up Great-Grandma’s crystal angel, they may be great at rounding up holiday pillows or folding up the tree skirt. In this case many hands can make light-er work and create a tradition.
8-Move it to Noon
Consider moving the whole thing to Noon. Kids, especially very young kids, aren’t necessarily the best bets to make it until Midnight. Fortunately, the needn’t be. Consider moving NYE to noon. You can all ring in the “holiday” together and make them feel included. You can do all the trappings that one would for an actual Midnight celebrations, just change the time. If you want to show the “ball drop” or fireworks, simply stream a prior year, they are all but guaranteed to not know the difference. BONUS: You and your sweetie can ring in the New Year alone, while the kids are safely tucked in bed.
9-Prepare “LUCKY” food for New Year’s Day
There are a bunch of traditions that claim to provide you good luck simply by eating them on New Year’s Day. Why not spend some time on NYE preparing foods for the next day. Here are some of the traditions:
- Black Eyed Peas with Greens & Cornbread: Bring Wealth, pennies (peas), dollars (greens) and gold (cornbread)
- Pork: brings progress
- Pomegranate: fertility, life, abundance
- Fish: abundance
- Noodles: longevity
- Rice: fertility & wealth
- Round cake: full circle of life
- Oranges & Honey: Gold, Good Health, Good Fortune
- Lentils: Luck
- Cabbage: Money
10-Make a Memories List
Make a list of everyone’s top memories from the year. They can be simple things like ” I liked going to the zoo.” Or larger things like “My 5th birthday was amazing.” Whatever they may be, write them down. You will treasure them in the future.
I hope we have given you some great ideas to make your New Year’s Eve Amazing!