Kid-Friendly Ideas to Fill New Year’s Eve Before 10pm

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New Year’s Eve can be hard to celebrate when you have younger kids.  The kids want to stay up late and ring in the New Year with mom and dad, but what do you plan between their normal bedtime and midnight? And if you do decided t let them stay up late, you are dealing with irritable and whiny children.

Here are a few easy ideas to fill your New Year’s Eve, all before 10:00 pm!

New Year’s Tree

I  found a New Year’s tradition called, Oh New Year’s Tree! This activity kit comes with a book about two children who are sad Christmas is over and that their Christmas tree’s lights have been turned off. They have an idea to light and decorate their tree one more time on New Year’s Eve with streamers and put a party hat on top where the star was. They then work with their family to come up with wishes or goals to work towards in the new year. They place their wishes in their New Year Ornament and place it on their tree.

The kit came with everything I needed: the book, streamers, party hats, a topper for our tree, goal sheets, and a New Year ornament. I ordered the kit, and our new family tradition was born! You can easily do this tradition without the kit. Since the kit only came with one set of streamers for the year, we head to our local party store every year and pick out new streamers each year. 

New Year’s Party Hats

My daughter’s favorite new year’s tradition is picking out New Year’s Eve party hats for the evening! She has a collection of hats that she has worn over the years. While we are looking for streamers at the party store, she picks out party hats and any fun clappers she would like for the evening. 

NYE Dinner

We love to make a fun dinner together as a family. Anything that can get all three of us in the kitchen cooking together is great! We’ve made individual homemade pizzas, walking tacos, and a nacho bar. There are lots of fun and easy ideas out there. 

Year in Reflection

We spend time reviewing our previous year’s goals and seeing how we did on them. We then work on our new goals. We usually help our daughter with hers. We then put them in our New Year’s Ornament and our daughter hangs it on the tree. 

Movie Night

My husband usually works on New Year’s Eve evening, but my daughter and I usually pick a movie to watch. This year I plan to make a movie night charcuterie board with popcorn, candy, and pretzels!

Cheers with a Kid-Friendly Toast

I also plan on getting my daughter some sparkling grape juice so she can also toast in the New Year!

New Year’s Eve is one of my family’s favorite holidays and can easily be planned to include younger children.

What are your family’s New Year’s Eve traditions? I would love to add some to my list!

wish holder
New Year Tree
New Year


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Carissa South
Carissa is a loving wife, mother, and educator holding a masters of reading from the University of Central Oklahoma. She loves helping around their farm by taking care of the goats, chickens, and dogs. Her newly-adopted daughter brings lots of new challenges to her life as she is learning to balance work, family, and parenting.


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