* All digital cards and invitiations have moved! Check out the new pingg.com >

Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Ideas

When you have children, celebrating the New Year as a family can pose a bit of a challenge.

This is because many of us are used to the traditional adult-centered New Year's Eve celebration filled with friends, champagne toasts and midnight kisses. However, a New Year's celebration with your family can prove to be even more fun, not to mention more special; just take a cue from some of these family-friendly New Year's Eve ideas!


New Year's Resolution Printable

New Year's resolutions are a staple tradition of the holiday. Encourage your whole family to reflect on the past year, and set goals for the next one, with fill-in New Year's resolution printables like this one from Thirty Hand Made Days-- or make your own!


Image via Thirty Handmade Days


New Year's Eve Memory Jar

While New Year's is largely dedicated to welcoming the future, it's also about remembering the past year as it comes to an end. Have your family fill out colorful post-it notes of favorite memories of the year and place them in a mason jar to share at your New Year's Eve celebration. This will not only make for a special and fun activity, but also a beautiful decoration!


Image via Steamy Kitchen


12 Grapes

While toasting to midnight on New Year's is often associated with bottles and flutes of champagne, it is a popular tradition in Spain to ring in the new year with twelve grapes, one for each month of the year. Adopt this tradition with your family for a kid-friendly and sweet New Year's Eve treat!


Image via Suburban Bliss


Toast Midnight in a Different Time Zone

One of the main dilemmas for families with young children celebrating the New Year is the factor of time. With your child's bedtime being 8 or 9, it may seem impossible to allow them to join in on the midnight festivities. But there's no reason they have to be left out!

One clever and fun way around the issue of time is to set your celebration in a different time zone. Pick another country, for example Brazil, with a time zone ahead of your own, and count down accordingly! For more fun, theme your entire celebration around that particular part of the world or check out our article on how to say "cheers" in 20 different languages.


Bubble Wrap Jump

It is an age-old tradition to make a lot of loud noise on New Year's Eve. Make your own interactive and child-friendly noisemaker with a bubble wrap jump! Everyone loves the sound and feel of popping bubble wrap, so it's sure to be a hit with children and adults alike.


Image via Martha Stewart


Balloon Drop


The ball-drop in Times Square at midnight is arguably the most famous New Year's celebration in the world. But not everyone can be there in person! Bring the tradition to your own home with this adorable and fun idea. In place of the Times Square Ball, gather a bunch of brightly colored balloons and store them beneath a net or tarp on your ceiling. When the clock strikes twelve, cut them loose! This will definitely be an unforgettable experience for the whole family.


Image via Mom's Choice Matters


Sky Lanterns

It is the tradition on Chinese New Year to send floating lanterns, like the ones pictured here, into the sky. The image of the many sky lanterns rising up together in the night is absolutely breathtaking. Adopt this Chinese tradition with your own family by letting each person release their very own sky lantern; it will make for a perfect end to a very special night.


Find more party planning inspirations for New Years Eve

Inspiration to your inbox

Want to receive the latest Celebrations.com ideas?

Get our newsletter »
Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

Read More »
Exotic Cocktail Recipe Video Link to video gallery. Upgrade your spring sips with this cocktail tutorial. »

Inspirations Delivered to Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and have party tips and ideas sent straight to your inbox! You'll be the first to know about our best recipes, decoration ideas, invitation inspirations and more.