I remember many a New Years Eve pre-kids. We were guaranteed to be out late celebrating, dancing, having fancy food and drinks, and having a great time. While things have changed a bit since having children, many of the things we enjoyed childless we can still enjoy now…except a little earlier. Here are some fun kid friendly activities you can do at home with your family to ring in the New Year.


Festive decorations automatically make things more fun! Pick up fun plates, napkins, décor, and noisemakers from the closest party store, CVS, or rush an Amazon Prime order….OR make your own. Task your kids to make “Happy New Year!” signs in bright colors adorned with stickers. Blow up balloons and stick a glow stick inside and print off some of these cute party hats from Merriment Designs! Or, get one of these awesome DIY Balloon Drop kits.

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Have Some Fun

I LOVE this fun balloon countdown idea from How Does She? Put a balloon up for every hour starting at 1 p.m. all the way to midnight. Inside each balloon place an activity or game like read a story by the fireplace or paint with shaving cream. Each hour you pop the balloon to reveal that hour’s special fun!

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Ring in the Noon Year

Last year we spent New Year’s Eve at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Countdown to Noon and had a great time! There’s a number of family friendly NYE celebrations around the city but if leaving the house isn’t your thing, adopt the same tradition at home. Find a past NYE countdown on You Tube and do a countdown from 10 right at noon or catch the Netflix countdown at 9:00! Don’t forget the noisemakers and balloons!

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Make a Fancy Dinner

It doesn’t have to be lobster tail and filet mignon to be fancy! Many party stores have faux-fancy placemats and plates. Take a look in the wedding section for doilies, lace printed plastic tablecloths, and plastic stemware. If you really want to go all out, have your kids put on something nice and light some candles. My kids think fondue is about as fancy as it gets! Dig out that fondue pot you received as a wedding gift or just melt some cheese on the stove and use skewers to “fancy up” your dinner. Even if it’s not fancy, doing a dinner that’s out of the ordinary will help make your evening even more memorable. Make-your-own pizza bars, breakfast for dinner, a meal of all appetizers, or a backwards dinner (dessert first!) are other fun ideas for the evening…and don’t forget the sparkling cider!

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Family Room Slumber Party

Maybe your kids want to try to make it to midnight to ring in the New Year officially. Pull out the air mattress, take the mattresses off of the beds, or simply grab some blankets and pillows and set up camp in the family room! Make a fire, kill time by watching a favorite movie or playing games, and get cozy.