The Traveling Family

Your Guide to a Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve looks a bit different with kids than it did without!

However, that doesn’t mean you all can’t still have a great time!

Activities, snacks, and an early(ish) bedtime make the celebration fun for everyone.


Our favorite New Year’s Eve Family Traditions

  • Activities
    Whether you have older kids who can play a challenging brain teaser like Monopoly or younger children who would prefer a craft, games are a great way to pass the time while you wait for the ball to drop.

    Our girls love card games, so Go Fish, Skip Bo, and Slap Jack make an appearance. This year we got lots of board games for Christmas and will probably pull one or two of those out, as well.

    An idea I’ve heard of and will finally try out this year is to make a family time capsule. Gather photos, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia (or write down your favorite memories) from the year and place them in a coffee can or mason jar. Seal it up and place it somewhere no one will open it until next New Years Eve!

    A movie screening is another great way to spend New Year’s Eve, especially if you received movies for the holidays. Set up a blanket in the living room with lots of pillows and stuffed animals and ring in the New Year with some new favorite characters.

  • Food
    I don’t know about your family, but mine loves to eat! New Year’s Eve is a great time to create tradition and memories with the kids in the kitchen. Let them help make shrimp cocktail, an olive and cheese tray, and other finger foods that can be eaten at the game table.

    Shrimp cocktail and jalapeno poppers (jalapenos that have been cut in half, seeded, and stuffed with a cheddar/cream cheese mixture than wrapped in bacon) are staples at our celebration. We enjoy nachos and artichoke dip with veggies, too!

    If you are eating while watching a movie, set the kids up with their Snack & Play Travel Trays to keep messes contained and clean up a breeze!

  • Early To Bed…
    Ring in the new year peacefully! All parents know that a tiny human that misses her bedtime is a bear in the morning. Why start a new year with a cranky kid if you don’t have to?

    Thank goodness for Netflix on New Year’s Eve…and all the parents said “Amen!” There are a few different programs available to watch an early New Year Countdown  and the kids will never be the wiser – at least until they start telling time. King Julien has been a favorite in our house the last few years, but we may branch out and check out the Fuller House and Skylander’s Academy countdowns since the girls have discovered those shows this year.

What traditions do you and your family have for New Year’s Eve? Share them in the comments!

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