Looking to start some New Year's Eve traditions this year with your family? Whether you're foodies, board gamers, planners, or anywhere in between, we've got you covered! Bring your family together this NYE and make some great memories!
Ready to start some fun New Year's Eve traditions?! NYE is basically known as the party holiday. It's full of food, fun, staying up late, countdowns, goals, and that special midnight kiss!
But New Year's Eve with kids is a little bit different. For one, if you have little kids, it can be hard to find a babysitter for you to go out. And if you have older kids, they may want to spend the night with friends, causing you to spend the night worrying about what they're up to.
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Staying at home as a family on NYE is a great solution! Skip the crowds, start a yearly tradition or two, and spend some quality time together right in your own house. You won't be disappointed with these fun New Year's Eve traditions!
This post was originally contributed by Britney from Color My Happy! It's since been updated with even more family fun ideas.
NEW YEAR'S EVE TRADITIONS THAT FOCUS ON ACTIVITIES
If focusing on activities to keep your family preoccupied and enjoying each other until the ball drops is your kinda thing, then these New Year's Eve traditions are sure to be a hit! Focus on one or mix and match as the night goes on. You're sure to have fun!
Christmas tends to bring with it a lot of service and love, but how great would it be to extend that spirit of giving just a little bit longer? Here are some great ideas for your family's service projects:
- Hand out blessing bags to the homeless (bags with lotion, granola bars, hand sanitizer, gum, money, etc.).
- Volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen.
- Visit a nursing home.
- Do yard work for a neighbor in need.
- Clean up trash at a local park, beach, or neighborhood.
- Go through your house and collect items to donate to those in need.
- Hold a bake sale or car wash for charity.
- Send cards or care packages to soldiers overseas.
- Bake goodies and deliver them to police officers and firefighters.
Whether you keep the same service project every year or choose a new one each time, this New Year's Eve tradition is the perfect way to end the year.
Pass the time until midnight with a fun movie marathon! Pick a theme — Disney movies, Harry Potter, Avengers, childhood faves, etc. or pick and choose some family favorites. Add popcorn and some candy (maybe make a fun snack tray?) and you're set for an awesome night in!
PHOTO BOOTH AT HOME
Create a photo booth at your house and snap some pictures! This creates a great yearly memory for you to look back on and watch your family grow. Hang a white sheet or tablecloth as a backdrop, use a side table and some books to prop your phone up, then use the self-timer to snap those pictures.
You can even grab props for some silly photos! Hats, feather boas, sunglasses, old Halloween costumes, whatever you like! Or download some printable photo booth props (Pinterest has lots of great ideas) and attach them to bamboo skewers.
FAMILY COMPETITION NIGHT
Split into teams and play a bunch of games together. Or participate in some sort of family challenge, like a lip sync battle or cooking competition. We love a good family night competition and bet that you will, too!
Grab sleeping bags or place a mattress or two on the floor and sleep together in the family room. You're staying up late already, so why not add that extra special touch?
A family sleepover is sure to create laughter, bonding, and possibly even some deep talks that bring you even closer. No matter how you do it, family sleepovers are bound to create memories your kids will remember for years!
NEW YEAR'S EVE TRADITIONS THAT FOCUS ON FOOD
It's probably a given that you'll have some sort of food on New Year's Eve. You can keep it simple if you're going all-out on other traditions. However, if you're wanting to start some New Year's Eve traditions that focus on food, you can't go wrong with these ideas!
A couple years ago for New Year's Eve, I decided to make a bunch of appetizers to graze on throughout the night instead of serving a traditional meal. It was SO much fun and quickly became one of our favorite New Year's Eve traditions!
- Meatballs (put them in the Crock-Pot with a jar of grape jelly and a bottle of BBQ sauce)
- Bacon-wrapped little smokies
- Cucumber sandwiches
- Crescent rolls wrapped around a cheese stick with pizza sauce and pepperoni
- Fruit with dip
- Veggies with dip
- Mozzarella sticks
- Twice baked potatoes
- Spinach and artichoke dip
- Chicken wings
- Fruit or veggie skewers
- Charcuterie board
- Pretzels and cheese dip
- Chips and guacamole, salsa, or queso
LATE NIGHT WAFFLE BAR
Breakfast for dinner is the best — but breakfast late at night is even better! Some of my favorite childhood memories come from late night breakfast chats with my family.
- Banana slices
- Chocolate chips
- Crumbled sausage or bacon
- Different flavors of syrup (homemade buttermilk syrup is one of our favorites!)
- Peanut butter
- Biscoff cookie butter
- Homemade whipped cream
- Ice cream (seriously, if you haven't tried waffles and ice cream, do it! The syrup/ice cream combo sounds weird, but it's incredible!)
NEW YEAR'S EVE TRADITIONS THAT FOCUS ON THE TRANSITION
These New Year's Eve traditions are perfect for reflection and transitions. They're a fun way to think back on all of the fun times you've had this year. They're also a great way to help prepare for all of the family time you'll have next year. Give 'em a try, we bet your whole family will love them!
REFLECTION QUESTIONS GAME
This is a fun way to think about what happened during the year and to relive those memories. Think of some questions that would work well for your family. Cut up some slips of paper, write a question on each, then take turns drawing them one by one and answering them out loud.
Here are some prompt ideas:
- What was your favorite trip?
- What was your favorite family activity?
- What's the best memory you have from this year?
- What was your favorite movie?
- What was your favorite song?
- Who was your best friend?
- What holiday was the best?
- What goal(s) did you accomplish?
- If you could go back and relive any day this year, which would you choose?
- What was your favorite tv show you watched?
You may just be amazed and surprised at what everybody answers!
PLAN THE UPCOMING YEAR
Take some time to sit down and plan your entire year in advance! It's really not as difficult as it sounds. Look at vacations, extracurricular activities, traditions, birthdays, and more!
You can also discuss as a family what's working in your home and things you might want to change going into the new year. Just keep this positive!
MAKE A TIME CAPSULE
How fun would it be to make a time capsule every New Year's Eve to open the following year? Here are a few ideas to add into your time capsule:
- Yearly interview sheet to see how you've grown or changed (Pinterest has a ton of great ideas!)
- Pictures from the year
- Some favorites, either items or a list
- A book you read
- Art projects
- Letter to your future self
- List of gifts you received for Christmas
- A favorite movie or CD
- Souvenir from a trip
Yes, this is the obvious one, but it's still a great option! Take this opportunity to talk with your kids about the importance of goals, then help them set a few goals for themselves. Don't forget to set a few goals for yourself, as well!
CREATE A FAMILY BUCKET LIST
Sit down as a family and make a list of any activities you want to do or things you want to try in the upcoming year. Then make a plan to carry them out. This is a great way to promote family connection in the New Year! Here are some great ideas to get you started:
- Spring bucket list ideas
- Summer bucket list ideas
- Fall bucket list ideas
- Winter bucket list ideas
- Christmas bucket list ideas
We love to print ours out and hang them somewhere so everybody can see them and look forward to them!
ADD THAT SPECIAL TOUCH TO NEW YEAR'S EVE TRADITIONS
These fun ideas will give your New Year's Eve traditions a little somethin' somethin' and make it that much more special for you and your family! Try one or all of these and see which one your family has the most fun with.
Who doesn't love an excuse to dress up? Choose a theme each year and dress up for your at-home family New Year's Eve party! We've got some fun themes to spark your imagination:
- Around the World
- Glitter Party
- Hollywood Stars Night
- Glow in the Dark
- Literary Characters
If your family isn't really into themes, wear your pajamas and declare it a pj party! It doesn't really matter what you decide to do as long as your family has fun.
LET EACH FAMILY MEMBER CHOOSE AN ACTIVITY
Have each member of the family choose an activity so everyone feels like they helped plan the night! Ask everyone to come up with their ideas ahead of time so that 1) you can approve them, and 2) you can make sure you have any needed supplies ready to go.
Start with the youngest first, just in case they need to go to bed. Don't forget to allow time to eat (and do sparklers, watch the ball drop, or any other traditions that are important to your family).
NEW ACTIVITY EACH HOUR
Help mark each passing hour with a new activity. This will help the time go by and will keep the night fun and exciting! Here's an example schedule of what your night could look like:
- 5:00 – Appetizers and reflection questions
- 6:00 – Service project
- 7:00 – Dinner and goals
- 8:00 – Games
- 9:00 – Karaoke & dance party
- 10:00 – Dessert & plan the upcoming year
- 11:00 – Sparklers
- 12:00 – Celebrate and get to bed!
Make it as simple or extra as you want. As long as you're having fun together and making memories, that's all that matters!
NEW YEAR'S EVE TRADITIONS ARE SO FUN!
Staying in as a family for New Year's Eve can be just as fun, if not more fun, as going out. Plus, you can create some amazing New Year's Eve traditions and memories.
What are your favorite NYE traditions? Let us know in the comments below!
Wanting more great family-bonding ideas?
- We've got 7 cheap ways for you to start a family tradition!
- Here are some fun things to do at home as a family.
- These 5 daily activities will strengthen your family!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!