Staying up to midnight is a fun tradition, but with children, not always practical. If you want to ring in the new year with your kids, but also have them not be cranky, sleep-deprived monsters the next day, here are a few family-friendly activities you can do.
Count Down to a Different Time Zone
If you live in the Western Hemisphere, you’re one of the last people to countdown to midnight. This means that other places, like Beijing, Paris, and London will have already counted down. You can livestream or record these celebrations and then use them for an earlier countdown with your kids. Streaming services like OnDemand and Netflix will have New Year’s Eve celebrations available to watch at your leisure, so there will be something on TV to get your kids excited about.
Spend the Evening Outside
If you live in a colder climate, there should be a local outdoor skate rink that you can visit. Take advantage of the last of Christmas music and décor and engage in a traditional Christmas pastime. There’s nothing like being outside and skating at night. And, because it’s the middle of winter, it will be dark by 5PM and you can have an earlier evening.
Cook Something Special
It’s nice to be able to go to a fancy restaurant on New Year’s Eve, but they are crowded, loud, and expensive. With kids, this isn’t always practical. Instead, splurge a little bit on some fancy food you can cook at home. It’s fun to see kids try to crack crab legs, and who doesn’t love to dip their food in melted butter? Have your kids cook an elaborate dessert that they will delight in eating later. You can purchase some sparkling juice to go along with your own champagne.
New Year’s Eve can be a big deal if you make it. Even if it’s just your family, have everyone dress to impress. Fancy clothes, maybe some costume jewelry and hats, will help bring a bit of festivity to the occasion. There aren’t many opportunities to dress up anymore, so if you can make these special nights happen, you can add to your children’s memories.
Have a Party
Bring the celebration to your house and have a few families over. Everyone can bring a dish to help lessen the load of cooking. Kids get to run around and have fun while adults get a chance to socialize with each other. You can set up sleeping bags a head of time if that works for a massive kids’ sleepover, or agree to end the night by 9PM or 10PM so that everyone can sleep in their own beds. Either way you get to end the year among friends.