New Year’s Eve Family Fun!

fireworks1New Year’s Eve family fun–what does New Year’s Eve mean to your family? Some couples go out, leaving their children with very happy, well paid sitters. Others invite friends over, saving the cost of a sitter and letting their children enjoy some or all of the night’s activities. Some choose to make it a true family night, with games and activities targeting the entire family.

When our children were born, we began the tradition of celebrating at home with our children, just as my parents had done for so many years. Often, our children have invited friends over to our family friendly festivities while their parents went out, saving them a babysitter and adding to our family fun. In recent years, it’s been more of a family time for us with fewer outsiders and more centered on family. A full buffet of finger foods, noisemakers and silly string at midnight, and plenty of board games and other fun activities round out the 5 or so hours we spend welcoming in the new year.

What will your New Year’s Eve be this year? I’ve put together a few suggestions that might help your family bring forth some new traditions or revisit ones from previous celebrations.

Since most family events include a festive food, that’s a good place to start. You might plan a candlelit dinner with all the trimmings in front of the fireplace. In a warmer climate, a picnic under the stars is just perfect. We enjoy a buffet of finger foods, favorites that we normally don’t serve every day in our home. Some friends of ours dine out, others choose delivered pizza. The idea is to find a menu that is special to your family; one that is not everyday fare. It need not be expensive, just special. NY eve food

Find some great recipes here.

The activities you plan will need to work with your menu. Board games are a fun addition for most ages, but some prefer more active games such as charades, freeze frame, stuffy wars, or balloon volleyball. A large hallway or livingroom invites crabwalk races, while smaller areas might be better suited to ball toss or clothespin drop. If you are in a warmer climate, enjoy a starlit game of volleyball; though a snowball fight under the stars, followed by hot chocolate is a great way to spend the evening in snow country.

Some families enjoy a movie marathon for New Year’s Eve. You might choose old favorites, or perhaps a few that your family has been hoping to see.

The midnight hour approaches and your choices change to how to celebrate that midnight moment. Will you watch the ball drop on a tv show as you count down to the new year? Do you plan to toast the new year with sparkling grape juice or a family favorite punch? Will you have sparklers to light at midnight or pass out the glow sticks? Silly string is fun, give everyone a container and stand back! Confetti is another option, but be prepared to clean up the impending mess. confetti1

When considering which activities, remember that they should all include each of your family members (except perhaps infants and young toddlers).

Your dogs and cats might not be included in each game, but you need to consider their comfort, too. If the neighbors are shooting off fireworks and you have noisemakers and popping balloons, your sensitive eared furkid might be miserable all evening. We plan our activities with our dogs and cats in mind; too much noise is stressful on animals, as is running and screaming kids. If you have a quiet area where sensitive pets can retreat to, that might be a good option, too.

Read more about pets on Pet-Counsel.com

You’ve put together a memorable night and have the plans set. Put fresh batteries in the camera and get ready to record some new family memories!

Have other ideas to share? Please share them in our comment section below!

 

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