Celebrating the New Year With Your Child

The end of the year is an exciting time, with hopeful ideas for the future. It’s an ideal time to celebrate as a family. Here are some family-friendly ways to celebrate the new year with your child – both on New Year’s Eve and in the days before.

  • Watch fireworks. Many locations offer family New Year’s Eve firework displays earlier than midnight, taking advantage of winter’s earlier sunset. As always, be sure to attend only public, professional fireworks events to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • Have a family movie night. Even if your child can’t participate in the festivities at midnight, a New Year’s Eve movie night is a fun way to celebrate. Choose your family’s favorite movies and start a new tradition.
  • Celebrate the new year as it happens elsewhere. Staying up until midnight may not be possible for your child, but why not celebrate the new year at midnight in another time zone? For example, if you live in the Eastern time zone, you can go online and tune in to New Year’s Eve celebrations as it turns midnight in England. Your child will be able to experience the fun, while also going to bed at a reasonable hour.
  • Throw a new year’s party before the big day. The holiday season is full of socializing, but you can hold a short, small gathering of your child’s closest friends to celebrate the new year. Play dress-up, blow noisemakers, throw confetti, watch movies, write out wishes for the new year, and listen to fun music. If you have an older child, a slumber party is also a fun idea.
  • Talk about your family’s favorite moments of the year. The end of the year is an ideal time to look back and reflect. As a family, share your favorite memories and stories, both as a group and as individuals. You can create a scrapbook of the year with drawings, photos, and other mementoes of the events.
  • Learn about new year traditions around the world. Whether you share traditions from your own culture or research something new, this is an ideal way to help your child learn about the world.
  • Do a balloon drop. Party stores sell balloon drop bags, which you can hang from the ceiling and then release at midnight (or at an hour of your choosing if you have younger children). Afterwards, you can use the balloons for balloon party games for children.
  • Investigate family New Year’s Eve parties in your town. Many towns will hold earlier events for families on New Year’s Eve. Whether it’s ice skating, plays, games, face painting or music, there’s something for everyone.
  • Allow older children to stay up late. For older children, staying up to watch the New Year’s Eve countdown can be an exciting event. Make a family evening out of it by dressing in your comfiest pajamas, making popcorn, and drinking hot chocolate or sparkling juice.
  • Create a new food tradition. There are many delicious and exciting edible treats to help the family ring in the new year. Lemon Lime Adventures has some easy New Year’s Eve snacks and drinks for children to enjoy.
  • Make a fun plan for January 1. Together, decide how your family will commemorate the first day of the year. Whether it’s sleeping in or going out for breakfast, choose something everyone will look forward to.