11 Ways to have a family-friendly New Year's Eve party

Nov 29, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. ET

We've rounded up our favorite ways to help the whole family celebrate in style.

Start early

Maybe you have young kiddos that just won't make it to midnight, no matter how hard they try. That doesn't mean they have to miss the big event. Ring in the new year with a country that's a few hours ahead of us — like Brazil or Morocco — so you can celebrate early. Use the internet to watch their ball drop, and then watch ours sans children.

Have a dance party


Photo credit: Life, among other things

Don't worry, mama, you can still wear that party dress! Break out your sparkliest garb, and encourage your kids to do the same. Make sure everyone has a hat and a horn, and dance away the last few hours of the year in style. The family from Life, among other things, likes to party in their pajamas, and there's nothing wrong with that either.

Let kids decorate


Photo credit: The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Half the fun of the party is getting ready, at least for the kids. Let them help (or take over completely) the decorating for your New Year's party. Give them some tape, streamers and balloons and let them go to town. If you really feel like going wild, let them make the decor, as well. You might end up with something fab, like the blogger from The Chocolate Muffin Tree did.

Make some noise


Photo credit: The Adventures of J-Man and Miller Bug

Dollar store horns and noisemakers are tons of fun, but save those dollars and make more memories by helping your kids construct their own noisemakers, like this blogger did. PS — this way, you can control exactly how much noise those noisemakers really make.

Have a sleepover

Photo credit: terren in Virginia/Flickr

The more, the merrier, right? Your kids will love the idea of having friends over for the big night, and all those other parents will owe you big time for giving them a kid-free evening on the most expensive babysitter night of the year.

Make a clock of cookies


Photo credit: Adventures in Homeschooling

Because... duh. Take turns eating the cookies as the hours pass.

Serve sparkly drinks

There's nothing wrong with having a glass of bubbly as midnight approaches. Grab a bottle of sparkling juice, too, and let your kids join in on the toast. If you feel like getting really fancy, try some of our favorite mocktails for kids. Cheers!

Make a time capsule


Photo credit: Meaningful Mama

Wrap up the current year by celebrating all of its best parts. Create a time capsule filled with photos, mementos and notes about everyone's favorite moments of the year. Agree on when you'll open it. Set it for next year, in five years, or even longer if you think you can wait that long. Blogger Jodi Durr makes sure the activity is double fun, by letting the kids not only fill up the inside of the capsule, but also make sure the outside looks great.

Have a balloon drop


Photo credit: Daydreaming and Sightseeing

All kids love balloons (don't lie — you do, too), and they'll love them even more when they're falling from the sky. Buy a kit, or make your own balloon drop by trapping balloons on your ceiling under a plastic tablecloth. Attach a string to one side to pull for a quick release, or connect two for a bigger effect, like they did over at Daydreaming and Sightseeing.

Fill a piñata


Photo credit: Stephanie Sicore/Flickr

Let your kids go crazy when it strikes midnight — by beating on a piñata, not your walls. Fill one with sweets or fun surprises, and make them wait until the new year to break it open.

Balloon countdown


Photo credit: Poofy Cheeks

Keep the excitement alive all evening by popping a balloon every hour as midnight approaches. The blogger at Poofy Cheeks makes it even more fun by filling each balloon with an activity to keep everyone busy while the next hour passes.

See all of our holiday articles

More for your New Year's celebration

Celebrating the New Year with your family
Cool New Year's Eve outings for kids
New Year's crafts for kids

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