Family Activities


The 11 Best Things To Do With Kids For New Year’s Eve

kids on New Years eve

The 11 Best Things To Do With Kids For New Year’s Eve

When we’re in our 20s and 30s, planning what to do on New Year’s Eve is a no-brainer. It's either you’re going to the nightclub or downtown. However, when you have kids and those wild days are over, we generally think about the last day of the year in a whole new way. What do you do with the youngsters that allow them to celebrate the new year in a safe and fun way? We’re here to help. Here is our comprehensive list of the 11 best family activities and things to do with kids for New Year’s Eve.

1. Celebrate Another Country’s New Year or Watch YouTube

Many kids are excited about watching the ball drop right at midnight but they’re too young to stay up that late, you may need to get creative. If you are looking for things to do with kids for New Year’s Eve and they are interested in geography and other countries, then see if the new year in that country starts earlier than yours. If so, you can try to watch their celebration online or talk to someone who lives there. 

You can really go all-in with this celebration by decorating the house with that country’s flag and colors. Find shirts online that celebrate that country. Bake a special cake with a flavor famous in that country and decorate it with their colors. When the new year hits, count down and throw confetti into the air.

If you don’t want to go through all that, but you still want to give your kids the joy of seeing the ball drop in New York City, then go on YouTube and watch the celebration from last year or the year before. Play it off like it's the real deal, and then send the kids to bed so you can watch the real thing and your kids can get some sleep.

2. Have a Fancy Dinner at Home

Knotts Berry Farm Family Enjoying Authentic Mrs Knotts Chicken Dinner
Have a fancy family dinner to celebrate the new year.

©Knott's Berry Farm PR – Original / License

You may not be able to go out to the club anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a fancy night at home. Use this opportunity to dress the kids up and have a fancy dinner at home. Cook some of their favorite foods and pour everyone a refreshing non-alcoholic kids' drink, like virgin rainbow cocktails, non-alcoholic punch, and a special Batman drink made with Grenadine syrup + Orange juice + Lemonade. When it gets close to midnight or bedtime, don’t forget to toast your drinks with a clink of your glasses.

As an added touch, prepare some of the traditional New Year’s dishes from around the world, like black eye peas, dishes that move forward, like pork and fish, and 12 grapes. These are the foods you should consume for wealth and prosperity in the new year.

3. Create a Bucket List

Another idea for your kids for New Year’s Eve is to create a bucket list for the upcoming 12 months. Sit the entire family around the dining room table and think about your family goals for the new year. Do you want to go on a big vacation this year? Is there a certain skill that one of your kids wants to learn? Do you want to move into a bigger house? It can be exciting to talk about these new adventures and it’s a great way to start the new year on a positive note.

This is similar to when you create new year's resolutions. Resolutions could include anything from getting an “A+” in a class at school to meeting a new friend on the playground. These can be serious goals or just fun to pass the time.

4. Have a Family Slumber Party

If you don’t want the fun to end at midnight, then plan a family slumber party. Lay out the sleeping bags, pillows, and bedsheets. Get out some of your favorite board games, set up the video game console, lay out your favorite sweet and sour snacks, and have a night to remember. Pass the time by watching your favorite movie or just talking and telling stories. If the kids are being rambunctious, then wear them down with a dance party. Put on your favorite tunes and go crazy with your favorite dance moves. If the kiddos make it until midnight, then watch the ball drop on TV in real-time.

5. Get Out of the House

Family day trips and hiking - Camps in Wisconsin
Get outside and take a hike to ring in the new year.

©Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

Just because it’s New Year’s Eve, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend the day all cooped up inside. Instead, you can get out of the house and take in some fresh air. 

What you do will depend on where you live and the weather outside. If you live in a warmer climate during December, you can take a hike, go to the park, or even go to the beach to watch the fireworks. If it’s cold and snowy, go out in the yard and build a snow fort, a snowman, or a snowball fight. 

6. Attend an Event for Kids for New Year’s Eve

If you’re out of ideas at home, look online or check the newspaper for local events in town where your kids can have some fun. Many towns have fireworks displays, virtual parties, library events, or dance parties for all ages. You can go to the event all night or split the evening between being out and home.

7. Make Your Own Noise Makers

Combine your love of new years with arts and crafts by making your own noise makers that you can all use when the clock strikes midnight. Look online for instructions for confetti poppers, noise-maker shakers, glitter slime, and more. This is a great way to pass the time until you get to the countdown at the end of the year. Let your children's imagination go wild, and they’re sure to have a blast.

8. Create a Time Capsule

Since New Year’s Eve is all about remembering the good times of the last year as you look to the future, this is a great time to make a time capsule that you can bury in the backyard. Let everyone in the family choose an item that they believe captures how they felt about the past year and put it in a shoe box or a time capsule that you find online. On New Year’s Day, go outside and bury the capsule and create a nice surprise for a later time.

9. Look at Photos From the Past Year

While you’re waiting for the ball to drop, spend some time going through your phone or camera and looking at the many photos you took during the past year. Look at the vacations you took, the accomplishments you all had, and the general silliness around the house. You can either pick and choose photos at random, or mom or dad can create a comprehensive slideshow ahead of time and show it on the television.

10. Play New Years Games

Another way to pass the time and entertain your kids for New Year’s Eve until the ball drops are to play new years-themed games that you can find online. There are many options, including new years bingo and new years mad libs. You can also have a scavenger hunt, create an escape room, play trivia, and more. You could even make up your own game and make it a tradition to play it every new year’s eve.

11. Creative Arts & Crafts Projects

There are many unique arts and crafts projects that people have come up with over the years that you could try during your new year's festivities. Some of the many ideas include:

Try one of all of these awesome craft ideas and let your imagination run wild. Once you’re done with these, try to make up your own. Don’t worry. There are no bad ideas on New Year’s Eve!


These are just a few of the best things to do with kids for New Year’s Eve. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask your children what they want to do this year, and you could create a brand new family tradition. Whatever you choose to do, we wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!

To top