How To Celebrate New Years Eve With Kids

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
3:30 pm
12/28/21

Photographed by Irina Ozhigova

For many of us, saying goodbye to another turbulent year (2021) can’t come soon enough. And now that this day is right around the corner, we’re thinking of thoughtful ways to say goodbye to the year that was and welcome 2022 with a dose of hope. With the pandemic hitting yet another winter peak in many parts of the world, most parents are in a similar boat—marking New Year’s Eve 2021 and New Year’s Day 2022 at home with our kiddos, and perhaps a small group of other loved ones. To make the occasion one you and your children will remember—instead of just another day spent in the house—we’ve got some festive ideas below.

Dress Up. Face it, your sweats have gotten a lot of game time lately. On New Year’s Eve, give them a night off and try dusting off a favorite dress or jumpsuit instead. Ask the whole family to do the same! If you want to go the traditional NYE route, try something with a little shine, feathers, sequins (we love these affordable dresses for littles), or a tuxedo theme.

Accessorize Head-to-Toe. No need to stop at a NYE outfit upgrade! If you’ve got a little one who loves playing dress-up and “salon,” go to town with your accessories, too. Pull out all of your favorite add-ons (sparkly tiaras, velvet bows, capes, wigs, you name it!), paint your nails, do something fun with your hair, and maybe even try out one of those trendy rhinestone or neon eyeliner tutorials.

DIY Your Party Supplies. Try getting resourceful and creative (and more eco!) when it comes to your NYE party supplies. There are plenty of 2022-themed printables online that you can spruce up with paint and glitter, and we love the idea of using all of your leftover balloons, horns, confetti, sparklers, etc. from past birthday or holiday parties, even if they are in a variety of hodgepodge hues. If you’re really ambitious, check out this DIY Balloon Drop idea, which is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages. (While you’re at it, read up on our tips for throwing a more Earth-friendly party).

Festive Food & Bubbly Drinks. Keep it simple, but festive! Think about ordering in from your favorite local spot, make a favorite appetizer or two, and don’t forget dessert! Chocolate anything will often do. As for beverages, while the adults indulge in bubbly, let your kiddos feel fancy by giving them a flute filled with sparkling apple cider or their favorite flavored fizzy water.

Have A Game Night. Mark the last night of 2021 with a family game night, which could include classic interactive games like charades, Pictionary, or Twister, new favorites like the hilarious Pencil Nose, or create you own family-friendly “Minute To Win It” obstacles. You can also create a fun scavenger hunt for the kids to find small treasures around your home.

Reflect & Set Goals. 2021 was a big one in so many ways. Take some time to reflect individually and as a family on how you experienced 2021 (the highs and lows) and the lessons you are taking with you into the year ahead. Be sure to write down the goals, hopes, intentions, or thoughts you have for yourself and your family for 2022. If you have lost a loved one this year, think about incorporating their memory into your night.

Rally Your Family & Friends. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that friends and family are of the utmost importance. While you won’t be able to ring in the New Year with all of your loved ones IRL (nor in the same timezone), you can schedule Zoom calls and FaceTimes to mark the occasion together and share your hopes for 2022.

Countdown Early. If you have little ones whom you need to keep on a schedule, Netflix created a countdown (just type “countdowns” in the search area) for this very reason. You can turn it on right before bed time or any time you gauge the kids are getting tired and ready for bed. Meanwhile, some parents opt to have a “Noon Year’s Party” with the littles, rather than trying to make it a late night.

Kiss At Midnight. Whether it’s an actual smooch or handing your child a Hershey’s Kiss surprise, seal the New Year with this sweet tradition and start 2022 off with lots of love.

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