Remember the days when New Year’s Eve involved congregating at Time Square in New York or going to a few bars in your hometown before hitting the club?
What great memories!
But that was before kids came along.
Now that you have them, your New Year’s Eve is a bit different. Infact some years, you might not have even stayed up till midnight because of your babies.
This year, if you want to make the most of the celebration and bring in the new year with your partner and children, you will need to come up with some celebrations of your own.
With that in mind, here are 10 ways to plan a family-friendly New Year’s eve night.
Follow these suggestions, and you are sure to make some wonderful memories during a night of fun and laughter with your family.
- Decorate the house
The first thing to do when planning a family-friendly New Year’s Eve is to decorate the room or area in which you plan to spend it.
Not only does it set the mood early, but it is also a great way of getting the children excited about the evening ahead.
Let them be involved in this process by encouraging them to create artwork and crafts for your event, which you can hang up around the space.
Infact why not give them a bit of free range to set it up as they see fit? After all, the more you allow them to do this, the more invested they will become in the celebrations.
- Organize the food
You are going to need to eat during the evening and, understandably, you will want to make it a bit special.
But instead of spending all day slaving over a hot stove to create a mouth-watering array of appetizers, a nice main and a couple of desserts, why not get some caterers in instead?
The last thing you will want is to fall asleep exhausted by 9 pm after a busy day in the kitchen. So why not give yourself the night off and get the professionals in for a true gourmet experience?
Companies like Gathar can provide you with everything from charcuterie grazing tables to fine dining decadence. (Check out this Beverly Hills example of what you can get).
Eating like royalty for the night will be a terrific way to end the year. And best of all, there will be no washing up!
- Plan a Family Game Night
Games are always fun to play, especially as a family. So why not have a few of them organised?
This could be anything from card games like Snap or Poker (if your children are teenagers) to board games like Trivial Pursuit, The Game of Life or Monopoly.
For something a little different, why not consider setting up a game of bingo?
You can also play more energetic games like those available on the Wii or Game Shows like Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which you can find online.
If in doubt, you can’t beat Charades or Twister either. Or a good old-fashioned game of pool.
The onus here is having fun, laughing and spending quality family time together. Which is something these games will help you do very easily.
- Have a Family Movie Watch Party
When you need a rest from the high-octane activity of the games, or if they are getting a little too competitive, watching a family movie gives you the perfect chance for some downtime.
The age of your children will determine what movie(s) you watch. But if you need some inspiration, you might consider Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and A Very Merry Pooh Year if you have pre-schoolers.
If your children are a bit older, The Holiday, which stars, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black, is a very good family-friendly film to watch. As is New Year’s Eve. Which features pretty much every single A-List Hollywood actor, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro and Hilary Swank.
- Create a ‘Year-in-Review' present
A year is a long time and as a family, you would have accrued many wonderful memories throughout it.
Therefore, a brilliant thing to do then on New Year’s Eve is to surprise the kids, and your partner, with a presentation of your most treasured family moments that took place in the previous 12 months.
The likes of YouTube, Canva and Animoto are among the plethora of applications that enable you to produce slideshows or video presentations that can be accompanied by music.
So why not grab a few of your favorite photos and videos and create something heartwarming and nostalgic?
- Draw up a Bucket List for the forthcoming year
A new year is always a good opportunity to set new goals and targets.
Many people do this individually in the form of a new year’s resolution. But why not take the chance to make up a bucket list?
This can take the form of family-orientated wishes like going to a theme park or a holiday to a specific destination, as well as personalized goals for the children like trying a new hobby or food item or getting A grades at school.
On both a family and personal level, this activity should ensure the whole family look forward to the new year with great anticipation.
- Do an early countdown for young children
Unfortunately, some of your children might be a little young to stay up until midnight. But this doesn’t mean they can’t experience the thrill of a New Year’s Eve countdown.
Just before their bedtime, why not consider recreating it for them?
Netflix has plenty of child-friendly countdowns including some of their favorite characters like Spirit and Boss Baby, that set the mood perfectly.
You can even pop a few streamers, release some balloons, blow party horns and throw some glitter around to simulate the kind of celebrations you see at midnight.
- Dance Party
Dance parties are always fun on New Year’s Eve (they might give you flashbacks to when you used to spend yours at the club!).
So why not pump up the music, get the strobe lights going and boogie until your heart is content?
Spotify has plenty of playlists you can put on with loads of family-friendly dance songs. Just be careful that you are not having too much fun to realize the clock has gone past midnight!
- Break out the Karaoke
As well as a dance party, Karaoke is always a good idea too. Everyone loves to unleash their inner Beyonce or Mick Jagger!
If you do not have a machine of your own, you can access Karaoke for free from websites like Smule, The Voice or KaraFun.
- Sing Auld Lang Syne
Finally, when the clock strikes midnight, be sure to break out into a chorus of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
There is no better way to bring in the new year than singing this song arm-in-arm with your loved ones.
In case you don’t know the words, here are the lyrics to them.