Celebrating New Year’s Eve with Young Kids


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New Year’s Eve is traditionally seen as a night of drunken debauchery.  One big all-night party.

Then you have kids.

Just because you've got young kids doesn't mean you can't have any fun on New Year's Eve. Here's what we do to have celebrate with our preschooler.

On Miss O’s first New Year’s Eve we went to a nearby friend’s house.  She wasn’t feeling well, but she was only 10 months old so I figured we’d just throw her in the Ergo and she’d be fine.  Instead she threw up all over me and we were home by 8 pm, asleep by 10.

I’m told that at some point you can go back to your glory days and make New Year’s Eve a night to remember followed by a larger-than-you-remember hangover.  But my daughter’s 5, so I’ve got a ways to go.

However, just because you’ve got young kids doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun.  In fact, last year was probably one of my favorite New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Here’s what we did to have a happy New Year’s Eve:

Keep it small.  We invited one other family with a daughter about the same age as ours and my mom, who was staying with us.  That’s it.  We had fun, the kids had fun, life was good.

Keep it simple.  I made pizza, put out some chips and leftover Christmas cookies, and that was about it.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing that would keep me in the kitchen all night.  Just good food.

Don’t overplan. I had a couple of things the girls could do, but honestly, the second they saw each other they began running around and playing on their own.  No special activities needed.  If you want a more structured evening have a couple of activities or new toys (from Christmas) to bring out, but don’t go crazy.  Kids are perfectly capable of having fun without us telling them how to do it.

Be flexible. None of us were expecting the girls to make it to midnight, but they did!  Around 10:00 they started to get a little droopy, so we put on a movie and they chilled on the couch.  We were thinking they’d head to bead around 9, but they had other plans and that was just fine.  Roll with it.

Make it special. You don’t have to go all out to make a night special.  For us all it took was some sparkling cider and some silly glasses and glow sticks from the dollar store.  The grown ups got party hats and champagne.  Viola!  Just those few little touches made the night seem more special.

Have fun. A new year is all about looking forward, setting goals, and moving ahead with a positive attitude.  Enjoy yourself and this time with your family.  There will come a time when your little one isn’t so little anymore, and can’t wait to get out of the house to celebrate New Year’s Eve with her friends.  Use this time to make some memories.

What are some of your favorite things to do with your kids on New Year’s Eve?  Share in the comments.

Just because you've got young kids doesn't mean you can't have any fun on New Year's Eve. Here's what we do to have celebrate with our preschooler.

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