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When You Can’t Find A Sitter On New Year’s Eve

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy

Photography by Photograph by Corina Mitrescu

Finding a babysitter on New Year’s Eve is tough! Not only is it hard to find a willing caregiver on the eventful night, but when you do, they usually raise their hourly rate, which can really add up quickly, considering you’re coming home after midnight. If you’re lucky enough to have grandparents in the area, you may be in the clear. But, if you’re not one of the fortunate ones, you may need to come up with a solid plan B. Not to worry! Just because you’ll be at home with the kids, doesn’t mean that it has to be an uneventful night. We’ve put together a list of festive, family-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy before the clock strikes 12, and beyond!

Light Up The Night: One of the best parts of New Years Eve is the festive New Year’s decor, balloons, and poppers. Why not kick it up a notch by purchasing a few bright and exciting additions? Think small sparklers and glow sticks, or light up toys for the kids. The illuminated loot will elevate the night and make it feel extra special.

Pick A Theme: If you’re tired of traditional New Years Eve celebrations, why not add a fun theme to this year’s bash, and have your entire family dress the part? Try a pajama party, or a black tie event where everyone sports their fanciest digs. Dressing up, however goofy it may seem, can transform the night into one you and the kids will never forget.

Make A New Years Eve Playlist: Pre-select some of your favorite, kid-approved party tracks and add them to a playlist, or choose from various curated selections on Spotify. Then, let your tracks play throughout the night. You and the kids will have a blast singing along, and dancing the night away. Have a karaoke machine? Even better!

Set Up A Photo Booth: If you’re looking for an out-of-the box activity that captures those last memories from 2016, why not pin up a flashy backdrop, prop your family camera or iPhone on a tripod, and have a little fun with the self-timer? Make sure you add a few props into the mix like masks, hats, and funny glasses to make it extra festive.

Break Out The Board Games: Whether you buy a few crowd-pleasers (like The Voting Game and Catchphrase) or create your own, playing games on New Year’s Eve can be a simple way to ensure that everyone has a blast, while you’re counting down. Who said there was anything wrong with a bit of friendly holiday competition.

Build A Fort: New Year’s Eve is all about getting ready to break new ground, so why not go a little wild and build an epic fort for the kids to enjoy all night long. They’ll have a small space of the house where they can play and celebrate, and if you’re lucky, you might even be able to snag a few minutes to yourself to relax and celebrate with your significant other, or friends.

Stock Your Fridge: One of the nicest parts about being home on New Year’s Eve is the convenience. So, why not stock your fridge with plenty of things that you, your kiddos, and your potential guests will enjoy? If you’re low on time and have more families coming to your place, don’t be shy to make it a pot luck. This way, you don’t have to fret about everyone being fed, and you can worry about more important things, like enjoying yourself all the way until the clock strikes midnight.

New Year’s Staycation: If you’re itching to get out of the house, why not book a hotel room in town for the night? Your kids will have a blast swimming in the pool and ordering room service, and you’ll all be able to see your city in a different way, while creating New Year’s Eve memories for everyone to remember.

Take A (Very) Small Road Trip: Another exciting way to get out of the house with the kids on New Year’s Eve is to drive somewhere close and watch all of the festive happenings in your town, like fireworks or parades. Depending on where you’re located, you can pack a thermos of hot cocoa or bring along sparkling cider to enjoy for the ride. When the clock strikes midnight, park the car somewhere safe, and crank the stereo high to ring in the new year in a fun new way.

Celebrate Early: For your littlest kiddos, try setting all of the clocks in your house forward two hours, so that all of the exciting stuff happens for them at 10 p.m. This way, they can still have a celebration, while also getting a full night’s rest. This also gives you a couple of extra hours to celebrate and unwind for yourself.

Have A New Year’s Eve-Themed Movie Night: If you’re looking for a more relaxed way to spend New Year’s Eve with the family, why not watch a couple of nighttime classics? Stream fan favorites like Happy New Year Charlie Brown or Sleepless in Seattle. Pop some popcorn and cuddle up!

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