Gone are the days when New Years Eve meant drinking champagne until dawn at a loud, crowded nightclub with thousands of strangers. Having children means having whole new adventures and looking at life a little differently. But New Years Eve always means celebrating, reminiscing and goal-setting, and you can still have a party that includes the new little additions in your life. Host a family-friendly New Years Eve party this year that will make both the grown-ups and children feel welcomed and included. Your friends will appreciate not having to hunt for a baby-sitter and you can rest easy knowing your entire family is safe and sound under one roof. These tips and ideas will help you host a fabulous family-friendly New Years Eve party your guests will always remember.
How to Have a Fun-Filled Family-Friendly New Years Eve Party
Send out sensational party invitations.
When sending out your New Year’s Eve party invitations, make sure you specify that kids of all ages will be welcome at your bash. In addition to the basic information (time, location, theme, etc.), provide some details on the kid-friendly parts of the party…. asking them to bring food or games if it would make them more comfortable, and have them bring pajamas for the kids in case they fall asleep (many little ones have trouble making it until midnight). Since people’s holiday calendars fill up fast, make sure to send out your family friendly New Years Eve party invites about four weeks in advance.
Plan a fabulous family friendly feast.
Your family friendly New Years Eve party should include dinner, especially if the adults will be drinking alcohol. You can serve dishes that will appeal to both kids and adults, or to really make the little ones feel included, you can set up two party tables. Your grown-up table can include things like fancy salads, fruit and veggie trays, bruschetta, chips and dip, marinated meatballs and other savory delicacies. The kids’ table should stick to the basics: pizza or pizza rolls, sliders, chips, fruit and veggies with dip. Create a delicious punch for each table, but make sure the kids know not to dip into the grown ups’ punch! For delicious holiday drink recipes for kids, click here.
Decorate your home.
If your party will have a theme, incorporate your decor into that theme (check out this post for theme ideas). Otherwise, pick a color scheme such as purple and silver or blacks, white and gold (gold is a popular choice for this sparkly holiday). You don’t have to go all out with your decor- just hang a “Happy New Year” sign on your door and make sure the room where you’ll have the party is glistening with glam.
If you still have a Christmas tree up in your party room, you can incorporate it into your decor by removing any ornament that’s too “Christmasy” and replacing it with items in your color scheme and extra strands of lights. Make sure your party table has an elegant centerpiece, and give the kids’ table a fun centerpiece as well. If you’re on a budget, visit your local dollar store and score silver and gold Christmas ornaments and tinsel. These make amazing New Years Eve decorations and can make your home look elegant at a very small price. Paper lanterns, string lights and confetti stars all add to the festive vibe as well.
If you have the space, create a treat table for the kids with decorated cupcakes, party hats and noisemakers. You can also provide coloring books and crayons and board games for them to play. This will help them feel included and will keep them from digging into the fancy adults-only truffles on the food table!
Plan plenty of activities.
Adults-only parties may thrive on hours of mere socializing, but family friendly New Years Eve parties will require some games and activities that kids of all ages will enjoy. For the first hour or two, the guests will trickle in, greet each other and grab some food and a drink. During this time, keep the kids busy with coloring books or a movie. When all the guests have gathered, here are some ideas for getting everyone together to have a great time:
- Karaoke contests. Rent a karaoke machine or purchase a game for your gaming system. Have everyone take turns belting out their favorite tunes. In this competition, everyone is a winner!
- Get crafty. From DIY party masks to pipe cleaner fireworks, there are all kinds of crafts that families will enjoy making at your party. Set up a station, provide everything necessary, and have fun!
- Have a dance party. If you have the space, clear out an area for a dance floor (if you live in a warmer climate, you can turn your backyard or porch into a dance area). Put on a pumped up playlist and let the kids and adults bust out their favorite moves. Dance parties are fun at any age!
- Travel the time zones. No matter where you live, it’s practically always midnight somewhere! Before everyone arrives, set up different clocks and alarms to ring in the New year in other time zones. Research New Years customs around the globe (for example, in Japan they laugh in the new year) and celebrate accordingly. If your party starts early enough, you can celebrate many new years’ arrivals.
- Write down your resolutions. Explain to the kids what New Years resolutions are and why we make them. Have everyone (adults included) write down their top five resolutions for the new year. Read them aloud and see how many you have in common.
- Create a time capsule. This will require some pre-planning but can be a lot of fun. Have each family bring some mementos of the year (awards won, photos of trips taken and crazy newspaper headlines). Provide a shoe box, construction paper, markers, glue and other materials for each family. Spend the evening creating special time capsules and reflecting on the year. Share memories with each other and vow to open your time capsules next New Years Eve.
- Have a slumber party! Between tired children, alcohol consuming adults and the dangers of the roads on this holiday, you may want to consider turning your family friendly New Years Eve party into a slumber party. On your invitations, ask guests to bring pajamas and pillows. Dedicate a room to sweet slumber and set up sleeping bags and blankets for any children (or adults!) who pass out before midnight. If nothing else, keep the number of a good taxi company handy or designate a couple of drivers to ensure everyone makes it home safely.
With a little planning and creativity, you have have a family friendly New Years Eve party that will surpass the expectations of every age group. Let these ideas inspire you to host a bash your friends will talk about for years to come.