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By: John Adams, author of and dad of two young daughters
Posted on: Dec 20, 2019

5 Family Friendly Ideas for New Year's Eve Celebrations

TCH's guest blogger, John Adams (aka Dadbloguk), shares 5 family friendly tips for bringing in the New Year.

No matter how you look it, we are into the final days of 2019. For those of us with children, how are we going to celebrate the start of 2020?

In my young, child-free days, New Year’s Eve was all about partying. While I still like to mark the occasion, I now prefer to do it in a way that means I start the New Year with a clear head. I think most people with children feel the same way, so here are some ideas on how you can celebrate the new year in a family friendly way.

Hold a sleepover

If you still want to have a New Year's Eve party, why not invite your friends and their children? Give a bedroom to the children, fill it with snacks, games, and movies, and then let the grown-ups party downstairs. This is something we have done as a family, albeit on a small scale. This works better if no one has to drive. Ideally you want enough bedrooms so that all the adults can stay over, or keep the party between immediate neighbours so you can all walk home.

If you are stuck for ideas on how to keep children entertained, have no fear: This post on the Morning Chores blog has heaps of inspiration and, better still, it caters for children of all ages.

Let them stay up late

Of course, you don’t have to have a New Year's Eve party. You can simply let your kids stay up late and have fun together.

Here are some ideas for you to while away the hours until midnight:

  • Make a video as a family. You could make this an annual tradition and do it every year.
  • Set up a photo booth with props and take lots of photographs.
  • Have a massive karaoke session.
  • Do some arts and crafts together.
  • Make your own balloon drop and let the balloons fall down at midnight.

You’ll find lots of similar ideas on the A Mother Far From Home blog. Be sure to pick something that will appeal to you all as a family.

Have a low-key movie night

We often make a huge deal of New Year’s Eve. A lot of people have massive parties and in Scotland, the celebrations famously go on for two days! If you have slightly older children, you could take the decision to keep it low key and simply snuggle down on the sofa and stay up late watching movies together.

As it happens, we did this last year (well, it was a Taylor Swift concert, not movies, but you get the idea!)

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Organise a date night

If you have babies or toddlers, you know you won’t be going wild, so embrace the situation and make the most of it. Tell your friends you’re busy and have a date night with your partner whilst the children are asleep.

Over the Christmas break you'll probably spend lots of time travelling and visiting different relatives, so it's important to take a moment for some quiet time. From playing board games to painting a watercolour together, there are some great ideas for at-home date nights on the Art of Manliness website.

Look online for nearby celebrations

You’d be surprised what opportunities exist for families in your local area. Businesses have wised up to the fact that people with families still want to celebrate New Year’s Eve, but simply want to do it in an inclusive, family-friendly way.

I did a simple online search for “family friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations.” I found several companies that are holding family friendly parties and discos on 31 December. Some of these events start and end early. You can have fun together with your friends and family and return home in time for an evening meal knowing you have burnt off energy and still marked the occasion. If you choose to stay up until midnight, great, but if you don’t, at least you've made the effort to celebrate the arrival of another year.

Enjoy yourself!

Whatever you decide to do on New Year’s Eve, I hope you and your family have a great time. I also wish you the very best for 2020 and hope it brings you happiness and prosperity!