Family Countdown: 10 ideas for how to do New Year's Eve with kids
New Year’s Eve with kids is likely to be quite different to your pre-parent plans; especially when the thought of staying up until midnight feels like a challenge all by itself. But if you find yourself stuck for ideas for how to spend New Year’s Eve with kids, then we’re here to help, with 10 ways to make it your new favourite way to ring in the new year.
Whether you’re staying at yours or heading off to spend it with relatives, add some of these New Year’s Eve activities for kids to your plans for an evening the whole family can enjoy - you might just want to spend New Year’s Eve at home every year!
- Follow the celebrations around the world
Starting with New Zealand and then onto Australia, Japan, China, India and more, you can join in the New Year celebrations long before it reaches midnight in the UK. Learn about traditions, watch the fireworks and add some themed fun and games from each country - did you know in Colombia they carry their suitcases around with them all day in hopes of having a travel filled year? See what else you can discover!
- Movie Night
For one night only, transform your living room into the ultimate home cinema. Build comfy cushion piles, grab blankets, order a takeaway and have popcorn on standby, then pick your favourite films from the last 12 months and settle down to enjoy the show! If you’ve got guests coming, why not get the kids to make them tickets to redeem on arrival? Not a fan of recent films? Tick one off the list of films all kids needs to see!
- Game On
Feeling competitive? Get everyone to choose their favourite game and have the ultimate head to head to see who comes out on top. From strategy and skill, to straight forward silliness, it’s a great way to spend some quality time together with lots of giggles too!
- Discover a new family tradition
You all know about Auld Lang Syne, but what about creating your own tradition to ring in the new year? From picking a new song, creating a new dance or even sharing your favourite thing about the last 12 months, these little moments are something that the kids can take with them for a lifetime and keep going for generations!
- Dress Up
If you were heading out for a night on the town you’d have your best glad rags on, so why not use New Year’s Eve at home as the perfect excuse to get all dressed up? Choose anything from your best party wear to crazy accessories or even fancy dress - why not let the kids decided the theme?
- Start a 2019 wish jar
All you need for this is a jar, some paper and some pens, and hey presto, you can plan loads of fun family adventures to take in the new year. Each family member can use a piece of paper to write one thing they’d love to do or place to visit in 2019, from their favourite day out, to spending more time with the grandparents, to eating their favourite meal at their favourite restaurant! Then, throughout the year, take it in turns to pick from the jar and build your weekend plans around that - an adventure awaits!
- Make your own drinks bar
Swap queuing at the bar for your own pop-up version, with lots of family friendly delights on the menu. From mocktails and milkshakes, to hot chocolates (and maybe even some prosecco for the grown-ups), let the kids create their own concoctions and giving them a name, fancy cocktail bar style. Make mine a double...
- Book a last minute getaway
Still not sold on spending New Year’s Eve at home? Why not plan a short family break to a theme park, with lots of bundles available for New Year’s Eve. You’ll spend the day in the park, then spend the evening in your hotel with entertainment and activities the kids will love.
- Make a scrapbook
Memories are precious, so why not spend the night looking back on the last 12 months? Choose your favourite photos, mementos and anything else to help you build a scrapbook or memory box. This could easily become an annual tradition, to help track your family adventures over the years. Don’t miss our guide on how to make a scrapbook.
- Watch the CBeebies Bedtime Story
The kids will love it, and if past years are anything to go by, there’s something for the adults too… Previous NYE bedtime story readers include Tom Hardy and Dolly Parton, so whilst this year’s hasn’t been announced just yet, we’ll hedge our bets that it’s going to be a good’un!
Oh, and by the way, if you've already started planning ahead, here are some great ideas for things to do in January.