A Kid Friendly Midday New Year’s Eve Party
Our family loves ringing in the new year. As one of the most celebrated days around the world, we want to make this a tradition even for our youngest child. Having four kids under the age of eight makes getting to midnight difficult. It is also my birthday (born at 10pm, my parents celebrated a new year with a new baby) and leaves us trying to balance a few celebrations in one day. While we have such young children, we have resorted to celebrating New Year’s Eve during the day with a midday party complete with kids’ champagne sipped at 12pm, noon. We wanted to share with you a few tips for ringing in the New Year with your children, early enough that parents can still go out for an adult evening celebration with friends!
Watch fireworks across the world
Thanks to the internet, we can tune into countries celebrating their NYE several hours ahead. This way, we don’t wind up missing out on fireworks and a countdown, but don’t have to keep the kids up all night. Depending on where you are and what time you want to celebrate, there are several major cities to tune into: Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai, Seoul, London, Reyjavik, and our personal favorite, the amazing show at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
We make sure everyone is dressed up for the special occasion. We go big on glitter and more formal attire. Everyone wears a collared shirt or dress, and dress-shoes. We go from pajamas straight to our formal attire. Even us parents get dressed up. I love the Waved PH Tutu dress and 2pc Mini Fable Bow in Onyx from Meems for our daughter. For our sons I would choose the Tally Cord Pants and Millington Polo from Meems.
We decorate the night before so the kids wake up to lots of fun around the house. I want it to immediately feel like today is different and a big celebration. Each year might have a different color scheme but there is always a lot of shiny gold tinsel. This year, we used a lot of colors for the holidays and are planning plenty of bright colors for NYE as well. Our decorations include a big NYE sign, balloons, glittery garland hanging from the ceilings and chandeliers, party blowers, NYE hats or headbands, and a bunting banner.
A big spread is put out starting around 10:30 am. We set everything out on the table and make a drink bar adorned with fun punch drinks for the kids. We don’t have a sit-down meal, but instead let everyone graze throughout the day. We put out desserts after our ‘countdown’ to celebrate the new year with sweets for the sweetest upcoming year!
Charades is a party favorite. I will pre-plan topics that are references to something that happened this past year. It gives everyone a chance to laugh or reflect on good times over the course of the year and close out with nice memories. It also gives our younger children an idea of time and how long a year can be (or how short it seems for us adults!).
Man vs Clock is fun because it seems like NYE is all about time. The way the game works is I pick out fun kid-friendly challenges that need to be completed within one minute.Inevitably, it is full of laughs, even for those that can’t beat the clock. Celebrating the close of a year, starting a new one, and even the countdown to midnight is all centered around time, so what better game than Man vs Clock?!
Another is Reflection Race, in which we set up an obstacle course, divide into two groups, and everyone has to complete it moving backwards using a mirror to guide the way!
We will start a clock so the kids can see the countdown starting at 11:59. During that time we start to hand out noise makers, glitter bombs, and drinks. We also lower the music so we can hear everyone countdown the final ten seconds. We crouch down with each number and pop up and start the music and cheer/dance/glitter bomb and make a bunch of noise when the clock finally strikes 12. The kids love to have a dance party at the end of the countdown.
Fun kids’ friendly resolutions
After all that, we sit around with our kids and talk about our hopes, dreams, and resolutions for the upcoming year. We keep it light and joyful for the kids. I also try to make this point more silly than serious. Highlighting your kids’ accomplishments is a really good way to make them feel special and focus on the positive efforts they made through the year.
We let the party and our guests slowly wind down throughout the remainder of the day. I start cleaning up when we begin making dinner in time for the kids to eat on the early end. By this point everyone has cleared out. By the time we have our tired kids in bed, it is just about time for us to be getting ready to go out for our adults' New Year’s party.
Christine Russell Janis writes about life as a mom of four kids, living abroad, and travel on her life & style website ashadeofrose.com. You can also follow on social media @a.shade.of.rose.