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How to Celebrate the New Year at Home with Family
Virus or no virus, how many of us would probably be looking for kid-friendly New Year’s Eve ideas to do at home anyway?
I’m guessing a lot of us wouldn’t be taking our children out to New Year’s parties. That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the end of a year and the beginning of a new one with the family.
And that brings us to today’s topic: how to celebrate the New Year at home with family.
1. Comfort Food
It’s not a party without good food! Pull out all the stops. We’re talking the good stuff — because why not send the old year out with a bang!
What are some of your family’s favorite comfort foods? You could always make a hot meal, or keep it simple with some of your favorite snacks and appetizers.
Here are a few of our favorites to help you get started.
A family favorite, tortilla chips are made even more amazing with a hearty scoop of taco dip.
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 1 packet taco seasoning
Layer the mixture in either an 8×8 square pan or a pie tin. Then spread a layer or taco meat over it (making sure the taco meat is pretty dry so you don’t end up with soupy dip).
Layer your favorite shredded cheese and diced veggies (onions, tomatoes, olives, etc.). And enjoy!
Slow Cooker Cocktail Sausages
This one couldn’t be easier. Simply dump a couple packages of cocktail sausages into a slow cooker, then pour your desired amount of barbecue sauce over them.
You could even add a little grape jelly, too, if you wanted something a little different.
Whip up a batch of Swedish meatballs and keep them warm in a slow cooker.
Whisk together in a saucepan until smooth:
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
Cook and stir over low heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Stir half of a 20 ounce package of frozen cooked meatballs, thawed meatballs, and continue cooking until meatballs are heated through, about 5 more minutes.
White Chocolate Puppy Chow
This sweet treat is a huge hit with kids!
Melt two cups white chocolate chips and ¾ cup peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time in a large glass bowl. It will take 90 seconds total.
Stir well, then add in 10 cups of Rice Chex and mix well before transferring it to a large ziploc bag, along with 2-½ cups powdered sugar. Shake until fully coated.
Mini Fruit Pizzas
Mini fruit pizzas are both delicious and easy to make.
Simply spread cream cheese frosting over plain sugar cookies, then top with sliced fruit of your choice. You can create fun patterns — or keep it simple and let everyone make their own fruit pizza.
2. Hot Chocolate Bar
A hot chocolate bar could be a lot of fun! There are a lot of different directions you could take this idea.
For example, you could make your own homemade hot cocoa, or you could provide a few different flavors to choose from:
– white chocolate
– milk chocolate
– dark chocolate
And, of course, you can’t forget the extras:
– mini marshmallows
– candy canes
– Andes mints
– Peppermint patties
– Cool whip
– cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger (or a cinnamon stick)
3. Reminiscing About the Past Year
Time to forget the bad, and reminisce about everything good that happened during the past year!
Gather up your favorite videos and/or photos you can find from the beginning of the year till now. Then, put together a slideshow, and everyone can sit down, eat delicious snacks, and laugh at all the good times.
You could also put together a photo book with your favorite memories, and everyone can take turns flipping through it throughout the evening.
4. Game Night
This is one that you could take one of two directions.
The first is a nice, quiet night spent playing the family’s favorite board games together. While I don’t particularly enjoy board games, this does sound like a fun, laid-back evening activity.
However, if you’re craving a little more excitement, consider these game ideas.
- Two Resolutions and Lie. Everyone tells the group two of their real resolutions and one fake resolution. Then everyone tries to guess which one is fake.
- Scavenger Hunt. Look for items such as streamers, noisemakers, a party hat, a clock, Happy New Year balloon, drink stirrers, a calendar, chocolate coins, and so on.
- New Year’s Eve Karaoke. Put together a playlist of songs related to the New Year or songs that contain lyrics that relate to New Year’s Eve.
- Guess the Resolution. Everyone writes down their resolution on a piece of paper, then puts it into a hat. Then read them aloud, while everyone guesses who it belongs to.
- New Year’s Eve Word Scramble. Older kiddos (who can read and write) might enjoy unscrambling these New Year’s Eve words.
Whichever game or games you end up choosing, the most important thing is to enjoy some fun together as a family.
5. Noise Makers at Midnight
Then, when the clock strikes twelve, let ‘em rip!
6. Goals/Plans for New Year
New Year’s Eve is typically the time to come up with New Year’s Resolutions, goals, or plans for the coming year.
What does everyone in your family envision for the coming year? A fun family road trip? Some sort of home improvement project?
Sit down, grab a pen and some paper, and start brainstorming ideas. It should be fun to hear what everyone wants to accomplish in the next year!
Talking and planning are fun and all, but even better, come up with a plan to make your dreams happen — and make sure to include a timeline in your plans.
7. DIY Balloon Drop
Doesn’t this sound like fun? We just might have to try a DIY balloon drop at our New Year’s Eve celebration this year. I bet my girls would love it!
Supplies you’ll need:
– hole punch
– ball of yarn
Here’s how to do it:
- Cut the tablecloth in half and hole punch along both sides where you cut it.
- Weave the yarn through the holes, sewing the two halves together, leaving a few feet of yarn on one side.
- Tape the ends of the yarn to the ceiling so nobody accidentally pulls it early.
- Tape the ends of the tablecloth to the ceiling, leaving enough slack to fill with balloons.
- Blow up the balloons and fill up the tablecloth.
- At midnight, pull the end of the string, making sure to pull it all the way through the seams so the balloons drop.
8. New Year’s Eve Kit
Fill a bag or box with little things that will help you celebrate New Year’s Eve.
You could even put together a bag for each family member or a separate bag for each hour of your family’s celebration.
– journals (for jotting down resolutions)
9. DIY “Photo Booth”
Time to make new memories! Create a DIY photo booth at home.
- Decorated wall to use as a backdrop
- Tripod and camera remote (optional, but helpful)
- Fun photo props
A few fun backdrop decorating ideas:
Either make your own photo props, or order some from Amazon.
– faux giant DIY confetti poppers
10. Midnight in Another Country
Kids too young to last till the stroke of midnight? Good thing midnight doesn’t just come once a day!
Because the New Year begins at different times, depending on your time zone, choose a different country and ring in the New Year with them. (Then might I suggest sending them off to bed so the grownups can celebrate!)
It doesn’t have to be in the evening, though — you could even do the countdown at noon on New Year’s Eve.
If you want to go all out, you could even research the ways that particular nation celebrates New Year’s Eve, and try out something completely different this year.
New Year’s Eve Ideas at Home
And there we have it — ten of the best ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids. What does your family have planned this year?