Before I had kids I enjoyed staying up on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop, bid farewell to the previous year, and welcome in the new one. I was never interested in going to a big party, but a little celebration with family and friends was the perfect way to celebrate.
Then I had kids.
Suddenly the idea of staying up until midnight, even just one day out of the year, was much less appealing.
Seven Fun Ways to Ring in the New Year With Your Kids
It’s been a while since I’ve been awake at midnight to ring in the new year, but as our kids get older, I’ve begun to think that it might be fun to start celebrating with them. But how? My kids aren’t quite old enough to stay up until midnight yet, but there are still some fun ways for us to ring in the new year.
If you find yourself in a similar position, try one of the following seven ideas to celebrate the new year with your kids.
1. Noon Year’s Eve Party
If your kids are too young to stay up until midnight, why not move the celebration to a more suitable time? Pull out your finest stemware, fill each cup with sparkling grape juice, look up a YouTube video of the ball dropping, and toast the new year 12 hours early.
You can also check to see if your town has any kid-friendly celebrations to attend.
2. Pull out the photo albums
What better way to welcome in the new year than to look back on the previous one? Whether you’re super organized and have already made a scrapbook of 2015 or if your pictures are here there and everywhere, gather them up and take a look back through your year.
The pictures will remind you of moments you’ve forgotten and your kids are sure to remember details that you don’t. Reminiscing is always more fun when you do it with loved ones.
3. Make family resolutions
Set up a family meeting to plan out the new year. Talk about the goals you’d like to accomplish as a family and the things you’d like to work on improving together. Write down your finalized list and hang it somewhere everyone can see it.
4. Make Happiness Jars
Kids love crafts and this one is so open-ended that it can be adapted to suit the needs and likes of any child.
The idea behind Happiness Jars is simple: Each day you write down one good thing that happened and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, you read the slips of paper and look back on all the good things that happened throughout the year.
You could have a family jar or one for each person, but a fun way to begin the project is to decorate the jar(s) to show off your family members’ personalities. Check Pinterest for ideas on how to decorate them.
5. Make your own fireworks
If your kids won’t be staying up until midnight to see the ball drop and watch the fireworks, why not bring the fireworks to them? Wait until dark and then have some fun with sparklers (just be sure to use proper precautions!). If you’re not comfortable with those, glow sticks are also a great option.
6. Start a new tradition
Just because a lot of people celebrate in similar ways doesn’t mean you have to. Why not start your own family tradition? New Year’s Eve could become an epic family game night, a play dough party extraordinaire, or whatever else your imagination can come up with.
7. Let them stay up
Maybe your kids aren’t old enough or maybe they just turn into monsters if they don’t get enough sleep, but if you think they can handle it, let your kids stay up or wake them shortly before midnight.
I remember how exciting it was as a kid to be allowed to stay up late and I’m sure your kids will feel the same. After all, it is only one night and they don’t have to get up for school the next day.
Maybe this will be the year I start staying up until midnight again… with some little munchkins by my side.