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Written by Erin Feher & James Kicinski-McCoy

Photography by Photo Via Oh Happy Day

It’s likely you’re ringing in the New Year in a decidedly different style than before you had kids. But that doesn’t mean the party hats and sparkly dresses need to stay hidden away (I mean, who loves party hats and sparkles more than kids?). Parenthood just means mixing up the party traditions a little bit, and we’re here to help with fun, family-friendly ideas for an NYE bash to remember.

Dress Up. Make the night special by putting on your New Year’s best. Wear that sequin dress you would have worn if you were heading out to a party. Let the kids don a pretty dress or necktie, give them a special hairdo, and wear mama’s perfume or dad’s cologne. They will be excited and ready to celebrate! Just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you can’t feel fancy.

NYE Party Supplies. A quick trip to your local party store or a last-minute Amazon order is all it takes. Blow up balloons, get New Year’s top hats, and headbands or party glasses that read 2020! New Year’s crackers and poppers or silly string is also a good idea to add to the festivities and fun!

Bring On The Food. Instead of making dinner on New Year’s Eve, make (or order in!) a variety of delicious appetizers that the family will love. Make sure to include some kid favorites like mini pigs in a blanket, queso and chips, spinach and artichoke dip, pizza bites, fresh vegetables and ranch, or anything on a stick. Make sure to prepare a few that adults will love, too—just because there are kids at your party doesn’t mean you need to eat like one. Don’t forget the dessert! Chocolate-covered strawberries, cookies, or cake will always make the kids smile.

Fizzy Drinks. Champagne and NYE go hand in hand. Let the kids feel included in your New Year’s toast by giving them something special to drink. Apple juice in a big-kid cup or something sparkling, like Martinelli’s, for the older kids in plastic champagne flutes!

Play Games. Have a game night, including interactive games like charades, Pictionary, and Twister! Or create you own family-friendly “Minute To Win It” obstacles for you all to try. You can also create a fun scavenger hunt for the kids to find small treasures if boredom sets in.

Make Some Goals. Create a list of goals together as a family. Things that you all want to achieve in the new year. Whether it’s traveling to see the coasts, taking a trip to Disney, or going camping. Have the kids think about personal goals that they can write down, too!

Rally Your Friends. Ring in the New Year with the ones you love. Invite a few good friends over (and offer up bed space for sleepy kiddos to crash) and make it feel like a real party. The best part—when your friends come with a handful of kids each, you only need to invite one or two to make it feel like a lively bash!

Countdown Early. If you have little ones whom you need to keep on a schedule, have no fear, Netflix created a countdown (just type “countdowns” in the search area, starting on December 26), 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. Or, 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. Of course, you should kiss your kiddos when the clock strikes 12, but make it extra sweet by giving them each a Hershey’s Kiss! You might even get to kiss your partner while they’re busy with their chocolate.

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