New Year’s Eve Ideas For Families With Children, i.e., When You Can’t Go Out!

I can’t remember the last time my hubby and I went out to bring in the New Year. Our oldest is 10…so maybe 10+ years ago? There are some holidays that are just hella hard for parents to get out and celebrate and New Year’s is one of them. Why? Because everybody and their mama is celebrating in some way or another. They’ll either be at the club, having a wonderful diner in a nice restaurant, on their knees at church giving thanks and praise, or at IHOP at 2am having a early New Year’s Day breakfast. The bottom line? Ain’t nobody at home! Lol! So, families with young children have to get creative! That’s what we’ll be doing this year (but I just told my husband we’re going out next year!) 😉

Check out these Family Fun Ideas from

First Night

Celebrate NYE with a family friendly First Night. There are many cities across the country that now hold all-day festivals for entire families to enjoy. Many are alcohol free and celebrate the communities’ local culture.  Check out the First Night USA website to find one in your state.

New Year’s Eve Sleepover

Instead of the traditionally champagne-fueled party, why not hold one specifically for your kids and their friends? Get together with your parent friends and host a good old-fashioned slumber party. Eat tons of junk food, let the kids run wild, and stay up to watch the ball drop!

New Year’s Resolutions

Decide on family resolutions for next year. What would make your family stronger? Do you need to spend more time together? Can you make a commitment to whole-family health? Some ideas are to watch less TV, eat dinner together four nights a week, and spend weekends doing something physical. Group resolutions are more fun and easier to accomplish because you can hold each other accountable. One way to keep yourself and your family on track is to remember that it’s a process and that one slip-up doesn’t negate all the progress, so KEEP TRYING.

Day of Firsts

Spend the first day of the new year doing ONLY new things. Eat all new foods, wear new clothes, only go to new places, and take a new route there while you’re at it! Is there a road you’ve never been down? Is there a town nearby you’ve never visited? Use this new day and new year to experience anything and everything you can think of. I know I want to try some new foods because that’s one of my weird hangups. I’m picky and hard to please, so why not start off 2012 fixing that.

New Year’s Crafts

Make confetti balloons to pop just as the clock strikes TWELVE! Write a time capsule letter to document this year’s favorites and next year’s expectations. Read the letter next year on December 31st to see how close you were and to see how things have changed. You can also use this fun free printable wish-list to map out the coming year.

I’m looking forward to wrapping up this year and welcoming the new one with my family. I want to try out many of the things on this list, and save a few for when my kids are old enough to play along. What are you planning for your family?