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Cool New Year’s Eve outings for kids

New Year’s Eve parties at home are lots of fun for your kids, but sometimes it’s even more fun to go out. What types of things can you do away from home? These moms share their unique New Year’s Eve traditions.

Little boy on New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve is traditionally an adults-only time for celebration. A time for drinking and revelry, and not a time where kids are involved or even welcome. Some parents really enjoy hosting kid-friendly parties at their house, but others take their kids out for celebrations.

We asked moms what sorts of events or gatherings they’ve taken their kids to to welcome in the new year, and they didn’t disappoint.

First Night

First Night USA celebrations began in Boston in 1976 and have since expanded to many cities around the country. These events are family-friendly, and several moms we spoke with mentioned their local First Night as an excellent option for families with children. “First Night is a non-alcoholic event,” explained Brittany, who lives in St. Louis, Missouri. “There’s food, a giant birthday cake (I guess for another year older?), acrobats and all kinds of performers. We didn’t go last year but we’ll probably go this year. I really hate the cold and I was concerned Ella would be too young and lack patience while we were trying to find parking. I like the idea of it though and I know it’s a pretty big thing here.”

Other communities have different events for families, so even if you’re not close to a First Night celebration location, see if there is another option. “We took our kids to a New Year’s Eve ‘ball drop’ at a place by our house a few years ago,” shared Lisa, mom of three. “It was an event that had fireworks and dancers and stuff.” She explained that the ball drop took place early, at around 8 or 9 p.m., so kids could enjoy the party and “ring in” the new year without being up and out too late.

Going visiting

Other moms have made it a tradition to go to a relative’s house for the evening. “I take them to my aunt’s New Year’s party every year,” explained Charlene, mother of two. “I don’t see the harm in letting them stay up past their bedtime once in a while. They’re kids, it’s fun!”

Ashley, mom of four, has a similar family tradition. “We just go to my in-laws’ house and spend the night every year,” she said. “Kids stay up and we all play board games and have a couple drinks. Midnight hits and everyone goes to bed shortly after.”

Booking a hotel

Another popular and totally fun option is booking a hotel for the big night. Your kids will adore staying somewhere that isn’t home. Load up with snacks (healthy options as well as some junk food) and choose a fun drink such as sparkling grape juice to open and toast with at midnight — or earlier if you’re trying to keep your kids on a schedule.

Some hotels will also offer an on-site party, which means that you can book your hotel and attend an event. This allows you to “go out” without the risk of being on the road with drivers who may have been drinking.

Ringing in the new year with kids in tow may not be your ideal situation, but some moms really love having their kids by their side as they prepare to flip the calendar to January. “I also would never, ever go out with just my husband and get a babysitter,” Charlene told us. “No way, no how. I must be with them at the start of every new year and kiss them exactly at midnight.”

More on ringing in the new year

How families around the world ring in New Year’s
Celebrating your first New Year’s Eve with Baby
How to celebrate New Year’s Eve with toddlers

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