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9 Fun Activities for Celebrating New Year's Eve with Kids

by Vannessa Rhoades 27 Dec 2022
9 Fun Activities for Celebrating New Year's Eve with Kids

Once you have kids, those nights of celebrating until sunrise are a thing of the past. Kids are in bed by 8:00 pm, and you’re probably asleep before 10:00 pm. Even if you could stay awake long enough to ring in the New Year at midnight, chances are pretty slim that your kids would let you sleep in the next morning. Though it’s usually viewed as an “adult” holiday, you can still enjoy fun activities for kids on New Year’s Eve. Take a look at some of our favorite, festive New Year’s Eve activities for kids

1. Decide on a “mock midnight”

Decide on an age-appropriate bedtime, and declare that your “midnight.” Some families celebrate with “Noon Year’s Eve” festivities. Others livestream a New Year’s Eve countdown from a different time zone. Families on the East Coast can watch New Year’s Eve celebrations in London and be finished by 7 pm. West Coast families can queue up a feed to watch the ball drop in Times Square or anywhere on the eastern seaboard. This way your little ones still get to celebrate but will still feel recharged and happy the next morning.

2. Enjoy their favorite foods

New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection on the year gone by. Your children have probably changed a lot over the past year – why not take tonight to commemorate some of their favorite foods? Let your kids help you plan a celebratory dinner! Sure, Spaghettios and chocolate milk may be on the menu this year, but what a fun tradition to begin and see how their favorites change from year to year. Celebrating with another family? Make it a potluck event so that each child can bring one of their own favorites to share with the others.

3. Dress up and take pictures

Even if you’re not going out, you can still make the night special. Invite your children to dress up in a fancy outfit (and bear in mind that “fancy” to a 3-year-old may mean their favorite Spiderman or Queen Elsa costume from last Halloween). Pick up some inexpensive party hats, feather boas, or crowns for everyone to wear, and take lots of pictures.

You can even create your own photo booth! Grab a roll of craft paper and let your kids adorn it with lots of glitter, sparkly letters, or whatever else you’ve got in your craft box that looks festive. Pull together a few costume props, and you’ve got the perfect spot to snap some fun New Year’s photos.

4. Dance the night away

Time to get your jam on! Put together a playlist that’s both grown-up-approved and kid-friendly (no need to sit through “Wheels on the Bus” tonight). Grab some glow necklaces and glow sticks for everyone to wear, blow some bubbles, and start your dance party!

Kids will love the GAMEZONE Bubble Buster fast-paced racing game right out of the box. Take turns blowing bubbles while the other child chases them down and pops each bubble with the friendly, smiling electronic bubble popper. Children already love bubbles so turning them into an active game is perfect. The Bubble Buster is a fantastic outdoor activity, catching bubbles helps children exercise, release energy, and even learn how to count.


5. Play games

Create a new family tradition by spending the evening playing games! It’s a low-key way to keep things festive and fun, and your children will love spending one-on-one time with you. 

The world’s fastest game, Tenzi Dice Party Game! Everyone gets ten dice. Someone says, “Go.” Then everyone rolls and rolls as fast as they can until someone gets all their dice on the same number and shouts “TENZI.” Lots of different ways to play. A fun fast frenzy for the whole family!


6. Watch a movie

As you count down the clock, watch some family movies that are either set on -- or feature key scenes around -- New Year's Eve. For younger children, check out Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year, or watch Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! Older children and teens may enjoy Ghostbusters II or Sleepless in Seattle.

7. Do a craft together

Crafts are favorite fun kid activities for New Year's Eve! It doesn’t have to be over-the-top creative as long as you do it together, and it’s fun! Paint colorful fireworks onto black paper and add some glitter. Create homemade party poppers by wrapping toilet paper rolls in some fun, colorful tissue paper, then filling them with various trinkets, confetti, and surprises. Tie them up, and hand them out for everyone to pop open during the countdown. You can even pick up a ready-made craft kit that will give you a fun moment to connect with your kids while doing something they enjoy.

Create pocket-sized scratch art with HEEBIE JEEBIES Scratch Art. This cute matchbox contains 12 mini scratch art boards and a wooden stylus. Use the stylus to scratch off the black coating and reveal beautiful rainbow colors.


8. Enjoy a New Year’s toast

What better way to ring in the New Year than with a celebratory toast? Break out the champagne flutes (maybe consider non-breakable ones if your tots are tiny) and fill their glasses with something festive and fizzy, like sparkling cider or ginger ale. 

9. Ring in the New Year…literally

Most kids love making lots of noise. Pick up a bunch of horns and noisemakers from your local party supplier. You can even make your own. Add some colorful sparkle to your empty recyclable water bottles, place some noisy objects inside (like beans or rice), and seal the lid to make some fun noisemakers this New Year’s Eve. They don’t call it “ringing in the new year” for nothing! 


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