9 Fun, Mom-Tested Ways to Spend New Year's Eve with Kids

9 Fun, Mom-Tested Ways to Spend New Year's Eve with Kids

Just because you’re parents now doesn’t mean your New Year’s Eve has to be lame!


By: Lorraine Allen

New Year’s Eve … with kids?! Not necessarily the way you’ve always longed to ring it in, but as with everything else about parenthood, there are creative ways to keep it fun and exciting, even if you’re not out dancing till dawn. I asked nine moms how they choose to celebrate this exciting, late-night event as parents. I’m fired up to try any of these with my kid this year because until now, all we’ve done since she was born six years ago was try to get her to sleep (as usual). How lame is that?? Here are their way more fun alternatives:

1. “We play charades. It’s really funny the things that kids pick for us to act out. It’s hard! They’ll write things like ‘mom.’ So I have to act like myself, and no one gets it! Ha ha ha!” -- Emily, mom of three

2. “We take a hike in the woods near our home with lanterns, then we light a bonfire and snuggle around it and roast marshmallows and talk about our hopes and dreams for the future. Usually, there is snow. Sometimes we see an owl or fox, and there are always deer. It’s this magical time. We talk about it all year long.” -- Vicky, mom of one

3. “We take the kids to New Year’s Eve concerts since they turned 7 years old. They can handle staying up late, so it’s really fun. It feels like we really ARE partying all night!” -- Meg, mom of two

4. “We bake a cake and hide a little plastic crown in it, inspired by the French galette des rois! We eat it for dessert after a late dinner and it’s exciting to see who will be QUEEN or KING for New Year’s Eve. We play games too.” -- Suzannah, mom of two

5. “We make a really fancy dinner and our family comes over so it’s really special. We make delicious desserts too. It’s like a feast. It’s fun to spend the night with family and ring in the new year together. ” -- Rachel, mom of one

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6. “We put the kids to bed at their regular 7 p.m. bedtime, and don’t really make it a big deal because they are only 3 and 5 years old. Then WE get to enjoy some grown-up time, and we have a few grown-up friends over to play cards and eat dessert (quietly!). Then we watch the ball drop on TV. It’s almost like a secret New Year’s Eve!” -- Amelia, mom of two

7. “We go for a sleigh ride in the woods!” -- Nicole, mom of two

8. “We go all out and decorate our home with streamers and balloons and invite the neighbors. I serve hot cocoa with whipped cream and bake lots of cookies. I also get party hats and party whistles for the kids, and the crackers you pull open with surprises inside. At midnight we go on the terrace and light sparklers. It’s so fun!” -- Arianna, mom of two

9. “We play a game called ‘hot tamale’ -- we all sit in a circle and there is a surprise, wrapped gift we pass around, like ‘hot potato.’ We have the countdown on, and whoever has the gift at the stroke of midnight in their hands gets to keep it, but they also have to do the dishes the next day!” -- Marissa, mom of two

Do you do anything fun as parents on New Year’s Eve?


Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/LanaDjuric


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