Tips for a Happy New Year with Family at Home!


happy new year banner held by a man in a tshirt

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids doesn’t have to mean a boring night at home. Keep the night at home but lose the boring with these 15 fantastic family-friendly activities to help celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids at home.

The most meaningful celebrations are the simple ones with those we love the most, but simple doesn’t have to be dull. From balloon pops to ball drops, discover how to ring in the new year in the most festive and memorable way.


1. Pop a Balloon Every Hour

There’s something exciting about popping balloons at the top of the hour, every hour, until midnight—the biggest pop of the year! Of course, you don’t have to keep popping until midnight. Start at noon, start after dinner, do a dozen, or do just a few; one of the best things about this activity is that it can be tailored to the ages (and bedtimes) of the kids in the family.

2. Make an Escape Room at Home

Puzzle your way into the new year with an at-home escape room. Download one of several Escape Room kits with options suitable for ages 3 and up and turn your home into an escape room puzzle game.

3. Have a Dance Party

There’s nothing better than dancing your way into the new year. Put on your favorite tunes, pull up a kid-friendly playlist, or get a free Just Dance app for some family-friendly booty shakin’.

5. Countdown Treat Bags

For goodies that won’t fit in balloons, opt for simple paper bags filled with treats and activities, one for each hour of the night. Kids can help decorate the paper bags, but make sure to keep the insides a surprise. The bags can be filled with an array of things, like a new game to play or book to read, special treats to eat, or even fun things to help celebrate, like noisemakers or party hats.

6. Make Your Own Party Poppers & Noise Makers

Crafty families may not want to buy their party hats and noisemakers—instead, make crafting part of your celebration. Try making holiday crackersconfetti poppersnoise-maker shakersglitter slime, or even party hats. (These make great accessories for your photo booth…)

7. Dress-Up with a Photo Booth

Who doesn’t love to dress up for a special occasion? Break out the feather boas, top hats, or exaggerated plastic glasses. Anything goes! Try these printable photo booth props or spend the day crafting with the kids to make your own unique props, using this tutorial. Whatever you choose, make it fun, make it silly, and make it memorable to mark the end of the year. Set up a little corner with a camera and tripod, or go all out and create a party-style photo booth in your living room, and start snapping.

8. Create a Time Capsule

Something that will become extra meaningful down the line is creating a time capsule of this year. Take the time to collect all kinds of items in a time capsule for your family to look back on when these childhood days are a mere memory.

9. Cook New Year’s Eve Dinner Together

Reservations at a fancy restaurant for New Year’s Eve are just not happening. Instead, make a reservation Chez Vous, and have the kids help out in the kitchen. The best way to get kids excited about cooking is to make their favorite foods, so try letting them set the menu. (It’s just one night, so if nothing green is included, that’s ok!) If the idea of cleaning up a kitchen that has been hit by hurricane little chef is too daunting, get them involved on a smaller scale. Kids can help make festive popcorn balls, or set up a fondue table for an activity that both entertains and feeds the family.

10. Make New Year’s Resolutions

Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition ingrained in American culture. Since making resolutions helps us break with the past and look with hope to the future, it feels like an especially important thing to do at the end of each year. It’s a great time to get kids to think and talk about everything they experienced in the past year. Give everyone their own sheet for individual resolutions, or opt to have one big family resolutions page.


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