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Celebrating the New Year with your family

There are many ways to make both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day meaningful and memorable for your family. Be inspired to start a new tradition, resurrect an old one or add to what your family already enjoys with some of these ideas shared by fellow moms.

Boy on New Year's Eve

No New Year’s Eve party? No problem for these mothers. Many parents are using the new year to create family traditions that center around quality time with loved ones and making memories. That is what truly makes the new year special.


The new year is a great opportunity to spend quality time with immediate and extended family. “We usually make New Year’s Eve family game night,” says Sia M. “We make a bunch of snacks and pick out our favorite board games.” Afterward, they watch the ball drop then bang pots and pans outside.

Julia S. heads to a family cabin in the mountains with her husband, daughter and large array of relatives each year. They make pizza from scratch using a family recipe, watch the ball drop and have a Champagne toast. “[It’s] pretty low-key but what we have done for 16 years,” she says. Some families prefer to go out. Karen S. spends New Year’s Eve with cousins, nieces and nephews. “[We] all go bowling,” she says. Afterward, they converge on one house to continue the party until midnight.

If you have little ones and cringe at the idea of staying up too late, make it a “New Years at Nine” celebration. Leah T. has games, crafts and a dance party all leading up to the new year countdown at 9 p.m. “We toast with sparkling cider in Champagne flutes then put the kids to bed!”


No celebration is complete without food. The menu can be a bounty of Chinese food delivery, potluck or a fancy dinner on fine china. Marisa M.’s family does a fondue-style dinner. “It’s a great family tradition that we can also participate in and since fondue takes so long, it’s a whole evening event.”

On New Year’s Day, several foods are thought to bring good luck. These include black-eyed peas, long noodles, sauerkraut, pork, lentils and pomegranates. “My mom roasts pork, carrots and onions in sauerkraut,” says Regina L., while Moira W. maintains the tradition her mother started. “Bean soup for good luck in the new year, pound cake and the [Philadelphia] Mummer’s parade.”


Lynn Z. makes each new year memorable with a special family project. Their family decorates a time capsule and each person adds a favorite item representing something great they did that year. They open it the next New Year’s Eve then repeat. “It was a lot of fun,” she says.

Other ideas include taking a family snapshot New Year’s Day and/or interviewing each child on paper or on video about their favorite foods, song, movie and goals for the next year. You’re only limited by your creativity!

More about New Year’s Eve with kids

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Come to my party, but leave your kids at home
Safe New Year’s celebrations for teens

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