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New Year’s Eve with Kids: Kid-friendly Activities & Celebration Ideas

New Year’s Eve is a great opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends, but it can also be challenging for families with small children. Here are some kid-friendly New Years Eve activities and ideas to make sure your New Year celebrations are enjoyable for everyone.

Kids celebrating new years eve

Celebrating New Year’s Eve With Kids

Involve the kids in your New Year’s Eve celebration and create lasting memories that they will cherish for a lifetime.

Having young kids is no reason to give up on the idea of enjoying a fun-packed evening. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!

There are so many great ways to see in the new year with kids of all ages, with something to suit families at every stage of life, from celebrating New Year’s with a baby or toddler to ideas to suit older kids and teens.

Whether you choose to play games at home or host your own event, there are New Year’s Eve activities to suit every family!

How To Plan A Family-Friendly New Years Eve

Celebrating the past year is a special occasion shared with family and friends. This is a wonderful time for reflection and new beginnings.

What better way to say goodbye and hello than with your favourite people!

These tips will and ideas will help you to plan the ultimate celebration with plenty of things to do with kids on New Year’s Eve, both at home and out and about.

First, here are a few tips for planning New Year celebrations with kids:

  • Plan ahead in order to avoid last-minute stress – If you’re stressed, you won’t enjoy the celebration.
  • Consider spending it with others who have similar aged kids – Friends or family with kids of their own understand the different needs of celebrating with youngsters.
  • Keep it simple – There is no reason your celebrations need to be elaborate or fancy. Some of the best celebrations are those spent with just your nearest and dearest at home.
Free printable birthday party checklist

Need delicious food for your NYE celebration? Check out these simple New Year’s appetisers and these incredible grazing platters and charcuterie boards.

New Years Eve Events With Kids

If you’re planning on going out to celebrate new year’s, make sure to choose a kid-friendly event.

Many cities have their own end of year celebration with fireworks or concerts and live music, food trucks and other entertainment that target families and kids.

The best part about family-friendly NYE events is that they will typically schedule all their main entertainment for earlier in the night, so there is no need to drag tired, irritable kids around until midnight!

If fireworks are scheduled, often they will hold an early fireworks display then hold a second display on the stroke of midnight.

This way, you get the best of both worlds!

A lot of popular attractions will also hold special events during the day on New Year’s Eve. This can be a perfect alternative when celebrating NYE with kids by spending a fun day out together, with a quieter night spent at home.

Much like these fun Christmas day activities for families, you can create your own fun at home!

New Years Eve Activities With Kids At Home

New years eve countdown bags

If you’re staying home, there are plenty of ways to make your New Year with kids a memorable occasion. And best of all, the kids will have their own bed ready for them as soon as they are ready to sleep.

This is a far easier option than dealing with the tantrums and over-tiredness while out and about

Celebrating New Year’s Eve at home can be spent just with your immediate family, or you might like to invite over a few family and friends as well.

The quieter atmosphere is ideal for kids who experience sensory issues and you can cater fun activities to suit your children’s ages and interests.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with how to spend your evening, why not try creating new family traditions specifically for New Year’s Eve.

Get the kids involved in coming up with ideas for the whole family since they are sure to think of something you hadn’t!

Here are some fun things to do with kids on New Year’s Eve at home:

  • Host a new year’s film marathon – Get the entire family together for an old-fashioned movie night with easy snacks and favourite flicks.
  • NYE game nightBoard games, card games or plan your own minute to win it games.
  • Make new years resolutions or intentions as a family – As well as making new year’s resolutions of your own, why not let the kids have a new year resolution too?
  • Countdown Bags – This is such a fun way to keep the kids engaged if they are determined to skip their early night and make it until the new year. Each hour there is a countdown bag with a new activity in it. I don’t know about you, but I kinda want someone to make me grown up countdown bags from now on!
  • Host an old-fashioned family dinner – You can make new years eve with kids as ordinary or extraordinary as you like.
  • Get creative – Have some fun by making new year’s hats and decorations together.
  • Pizza night – Make homemade pizzas with a selection of your favourite toppings.
  • Watch the entertainment on TV – The NYE celebrations from around the world are televised on different channels, from your local big city to the iconic Times Square balloon drop, the Santa Monica Pier fireworks display or Sydney Harbour live entertainment.
  • Karaoke night – Kids love it when you are silly with them and nothing is sillier than a night of off-key singing and classic karaoke songs. You can get an affordable karaoke machine or play a singing game like SingStar on a gaming console.
  • New Year’s Questions Activity – This question jar activity is a great way to finish the year with loved ones, taking in turns answering questions and getting to know more about each other along the way.
  • End of year toast – Get some plastic champagne flutes and fill them with a special kid-friendly fizzy drink for your own toast that the whole family can join in with.
  • DIY Ball drop – Create your own ball drop for home with this fun DIY craft project that the kids will love.
  • Make a time capsule – Fill a special box with things that you are loving as a family right now. This can be actual items or lists of items, such as your current favourite tv shows, movies, games, foods and places and then open it next new year’s eve to see how much has changed. This can become a fun tradition for New Year’s Eve for families.
  • New Years’ Eve Box – Much like creating a Christmas Eve box, you can fill a box with activities, snacks, and small gifts to enjoy together for a fun night in.

Find more activities to do at home with kids plus over 100 fun ideas for the backyard too!

Ideas For Hosting A New Year’s Eve Party For Kids

New years eve props

If you have older children who want to celebrate with friends, it can be fun to host your own new years eve celebration. This can be a kid’s New Year’s Eve party or a family event with all ages coming to celebrate with you.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money creating an elaborate evening – simple decorations, some fun games, yummy food and the ultimate NYE playlist will have your party ready to roll!

These ideas aren’t strictly for kids. They are great to incorporate into any end of year party where younger guests will be attending.

Here are some fun ideas for kid-friendly New Year parties:

  • DIY photo booth – Set up an area in your home for all party guests to take photos of themselves with funny photo props.
  • Glow stick dance party – Give everyone a heap of glow sticks to decorate their outfit with, turn the lights down and play some tunes for a fun glow in the dark dance party the kids will love.
  • New Year’s Eve Treasure Hunt – Hide surprises around the house or garden and give each child a bag to collect their finds. If you’re feeling extra creative, make some clues to go with your scavenger hunt too.
  • Kid’s mocktails – The adults might be enjoying some celebratory drinks so give the kids their own fancy beverages with a variety of mocktails. Even apple juice with soda water is a simple way to give them fizzy drinks minus the actual soft drink!
  • Dessert bar – Set up a dessert bar or candy buffet for a fun treat. They will be hyped up on sugar with hopes of lasting until the clock strikes midnight although beware of the sugar crash!

New Years Eve Kids Games

Hosting your own New Years Eve event? No party is complete without a few exciting games thrown into the mix! If you want to be sure the kids will have a great time at your New Years Eve party, why not try one of these themed games:

  • New Year’s Family Feud – This printable game is a good idea to play with a smaller group of people and works just as well for a quiet NYE at home as it does for a party.
  • Printable Scavenger Hunt – Give the kids these scavenger hunt printables and send them on their mission to see who can complete the list the fastest.
  • New Year’s Eve Dice Game – Kids and families will love this printable dice game since it involves candy!
  • NYE Minute To Win It Games – Nothing quite compares to the laughs that come with playing minute to win it games and this collection of games will be a hit at your party with guests of all ages.
  • Printable New Years Eve Bingo – Who doesn’t love bingo? These printable bingo boards are a quick and easy game idea for a party.
  • Balloon Games – There are so many fun games you can play with balloons and these games are sure to entertain everyone!
  • Party Games For Kids – 50 kid’s party game favourites to entertain kids (and adults) alike

For more fun seasonal game ideas, check out these Christmas party games and Halloween party games.

New Years Eve Crafts For Kids

New year's eve party hats diy

Keep the kids entertained at home or at your New Year’s Eve party with a few simple craft activities they will love.

These do not need to be anything too fancy. Yet it will help make it a memorable night for children of all ages when they get to create some of these cute celebration crafts.

These New Year’s Eve kids crafts also make great take-home party favours as well!

Here are some simple New Years Eve kids crafts to try:

  • New Year’s Eve party hats – Kids love decorating their own new years eve party hat with streamers, glitter and sparkles. Get the free template for a simple party hat craft activity.
  • Friendship Bracelets – Get some sparkly yarn or twin to make these simple friendship bracelets with a little sparkle.
  • DIY Confetti Party Poppers – These mini confetti cannons turn into messy fun that the kids will love!
  • Fireworks Salt Painting – This very cool creative activity will delight kids, using simple materials and looking great once it’s done.
  • Fireworks in a Glass – This is more of a science experiment than a craft however it’s a fun way to make your own mini, silent fireworks display!
  • Toilet Roll Fireworks Painting – Ready for a little messy play? This simple craft activity is perfect for younger kids to make their own fireworks painting.
  • Paper Plate Noise Makers – If you don’t mind a bit of extra noisy fun, these DIY paper plate noisemakers are a simple project for your celebration.

Tips For New Years Eve With Toddlers & Babies

When you are celebrating New Year’s Eve with a baby or a toddler, your options tend to be a little more limited since you want to avoid a difficult, sleepless night.

And if you are still nursing, you will likely not be wanting to overindulge too much either.

A quiet night at home celebrating with your close friends or family can be a great option when you have very young children. This means you can keep your usual routine while still making the night special.

If you do choose to attend an event, be mindful of loud noises at entertainment venues, especially if there is a fireworks display. This will potentially startle babies or toddlers and be very loud on their sensitive ears.

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Make New Year’s Eve with kids special by making new memories, spending quality time together and focusing on the things that are important to you. Your New Year’s Eve celebrations will be memorable whether you party until after midnight or you have an early night after some quiet family fun!

Happy New Year!

Celebrating new year's eve with kids