New Year’s Eve. This is the glamorous party holiday of our calendar. The ball drops, the champagne corks fly. Fireworks explode in the night sky. These are the indelible images of New Year’s.
None of those images are very family friendly. Sure, my parents have a treasured snapshot of me, aged 1, curled around an empty champagne bottle asleep. But that’s not what most of us envision when we picture New Year’s Eve with our young kids.
How can you turn the glitz of New Year’s Eve into family friendly fun? First, never underestimate the power of a babysitter. There’s no law that every holiday must be celebrated with your kids. I have a group of friends who’ve gotten together for a NYE party every year for more than a decade. We still do it. The kids stay home. Some traditions are not for kids, and that doesn’t mean they have to be thrown out with the bathwater the moment the babies arrive.
If you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve family style, here are a few sure-fire party ideas.
- The Slumber Party. My childhood memories of NYE are all of sleepovers, snuggled up on the living room floor in a sleeping bag with one or two friends watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV. This is an easy party to pull off: all you need is a bowl of popcorn, a few kids, and some bedding. Plus the patience of a saint.
- The Craft Party. If you’re the crafty type, consider throwing a themed party for New Year’s. Getting a bunch of kids (and aduts!) together to make a creative project can be a great way to kick off the new year. I’ll be hosting a party this New Year’s Day featuring mask-making for kids.
- First Night. If you’re feeling ambitious, consider tackling your city’s First Night activities with your kids. The Boston version of the First Night festival features shadow puppets, storytelling, music and ice sculpture. It’s great for kids, adults, and even the teens and tweens in between.
What will you be doing this New Year’s Eve? Will you be partying like it’s 1999 or having a family style celebration?