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8 Fun Ideas to Celebrate New Year’s Eve for Families at Home

Are you looking to throw a family-friendy New Year’s Eve this year? You’re not alone. New Years Eve for families is a time to remember the year that was, and look forward to the next. This is the perfect year to stay in and celebrate the new year with family at home. But staying in need not be boring; here are eight kid-friendly new year’s eve activities. 

new year's eve tradition ideas

Over the years, our family has participated in lots of different New Year’s Eve activities. We’ve done skating parties, potlucks with friends, campfires, and more. We’ve come to cherish celebrating this special night with our closest friends. 

But, of course, this year everything looks different. We’ve had to learn all kinds of new ways to create fun and meaningful events at home with just the members of our households, and most likely, New Year’s Eve will be no different.

But still, we do want it to be different, don’t we? New Year’s Eve is not just a day like every other day. It’s special! It marks the end of a season in our lives and the start of a fresh one. It’s a chance to celebrate and reflect on the year that’s passed and dream about the one that is to come. 

And who better to do this with than our family? These are the people we’ve gone through all the ups and downs with over the last year (and boy, were there ever a lot of ups and downs!) So even though you may not be able to go out and party with others this year, why not create an extra special New Year’s Eve celebration at home? We’ve come up with some inspiration for fun things to do on New Year’s Eve with your family!

We’ve put together eight fun ideas to make New Years Eve for families even more joyful. With a little bit of planning, you can create a special evening that all will enjoy. Celebrate New Year with family by following some of these helpful ideas.

1 Create an At-Home Spa

New Year's Eve for families spa night idea

Pamper yourself, the kids, and your significant other with an at-home spa to celebrate the New Year in complete relaxation. 

Here’s how:

  • Prepare a couple of snacks, sandwiches, and drinks and set them up on a table so everyone can help themselves.
  • Find a playlist that sets the mood, such as this soothing soundtrack that’s great for meditation and relaxation.
  • Light up a few scented candles that bring some calm into your lovely home. Try this therapeutic Birchwood Pine Candle from Sephora, or the oh-so lovely French Cade Lavender Candle from Voluspa. 
  • Set up stations for everyone to soak their hands and/or feet in small tubs of warm water with bath salts and essential oils. You can substitute baking soda for bath salts if you want to heal chapped hands.
  • Then, let your family can take turns massaging each other’s hands or feet. Try this healing foot lotion or make your own version with essential oils. Nail polish is optional, but usually popular. Kid-friendly Piggy Paint is a great option. 
  • Then, help everyone apply face masks and kick back and watch your favorite Christmas movie. Freeman’s masks have been my favorite brand of masks to use since I was a kid. Here’s a variety pack you could try with your family. Just don’t forget to set a timer! (And probably steer clear of using peel-off masks on kids; they can sting a bit if you’re not used to them. Instead, use the cream masks and stock up on face cloths for washing them off after).

For more ideas, check out this video on how to set up a spa at home.

2 Have a New Year’s Eve Game Night

monopoly boardgame new years eve for families idea

Family game night is such a blast! You get to bond, laugh and tease each other while trying to beat your competitors. But it’s all fun and games of course! 

It’s also a great way to keep the kiddos from getting impatient while waiting for midnight. You can play ice-breaker games, charades, Monopoly, Pictionary, wacky trivia games, Clue, and so many others. But you can also try these two activities:

  • Find the Clock: This one’s super easy to play. All you have to do is hide an alarm clock and set it up to go off in 5 minutes. You can also use a smartphone because they’re easier to set up. Then have the little ones run around the house looking for it. Whoever finds it before it rings wins a special prize.
  • Two Resolutions and a Lie: Get everyone together in the living room or dining room table and have everyone come up with two New Year’s resolutions and a lie.  The rest of the group will have to figure out which of the resolutions is a lie. Keep a score to see who got the most correct answers. Whoever wins gets an epic prize. Just make sure to get something a few weeks before New Year! 

3 Do a Letter Exchange

new years eve for families letter exchange

A week or two before New Year, gather the whole family around a table with colored pens, scented paper, and markers. Have everyone write a letter to friends and family to express their gratitude and love for them. If you’re staying home, mail the letters a few weeks in advance so they get them just in time. 

Have the kids write letters to their brothers, sisters, and parents, and as the clock strikes twelve at midnight, exchange the letters to start off the New Year knowing how much they’re loved. 

4 Create a Brand New Tradition

creating a new years eve family tradition family walk

Tired of celebrating the New Year the same way again and again? Try something new! Grab a piece of paper and write down all the horrible things that sucked this year. Then roll the paper up like a scroll, light it up with a match, and throw it in a metal tin outside and watch all the bad stuff burn away. It’ll feel like having a clean slate. You can read about the way other cultures embrace the New Year for some extra inspiration and come up with a new family tradition that you guys can enjoy. 

5 Set Up a Confetti Bar

family confetti ballon bar party tradition idea

Instead of setting up a candy bar that is likely to make your kids way too energetic, try a confetti bar. You can buy confetti bags, air compressed party poppers, and even confetti balloons online in any color you want. When you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids, activities like these make the evening a blast! Here’s how you set up the bar:

Get a few decorative confetti balloons or fill up some regular balloons with confetti before you inflate them. Set them up by a table. 

Place a couple of sheer organza bags full of confetti so when midnight hits, the kids can either pop the confetti balloons or dig into the bags and throw confetti up in the air to celebrate. 

If you want to celebrate the New Year with a bang, buy a pack of confetti party poppers on Amazon which shoot confetti streamers made of tissue paper up to 10 feet in the air.

6 Inspire Each Other’s New Year’s Resolutions

daughter and father new years resolutions adventure family idea

Okay. So this might sound a little cheesy at first, but coming up with ways to improve our lives is always a good thing. New Years Eve for some families means reflecting on a challenging year. Give each other something to look forward to in the form of a resolution.

There’s nothing cooler than gathering the whole family and talking about what they want the New Year to bring. And if anyone’s stumped, give them a hand coming up with their own New Year’s resolutions. 

Maybe they need a little push to find ways to save for that backpacking trip to Europe they’ve been dreaming about. Maybe they’ve been dealing with health issues and it’s time to start taking better care of themselves. Perhaps, it’s time to try that salsa dancing class they’ve been too afraid to go to. Who knows? You might even be able to help make some of their resolutions come true further down the line.

7 Make a Video About the Good Times

family video tradition idea family sitting on couch

Encourage everyone to take the time to shoot a short video about some of the good things that happened this year before the New Year comes along. Use your favorite photos and videos from birthdays, trips you took together, or a movie you all watched online that made you laugh or cry. Stumped on how to edit the footage? Try the InShot app. It’s perfect for beginners and super easy to use. Thankfully, technology can also play a useful role in making New Years Eve for families even more memorable.   

8 Create a Countdown Bag

girl writing down ideas for a family activity bag

Making a countdown bag is easy. All you have to do is write several notes with a particular activity the family would enjoy doing and place them in a bag. Then, on New Year’s Eve, pick an activity from the countdown bag every hour from noon to midnight. The activities don’t have to be insanely difficult. In fact, it can be super fun like baking a cake, playing a video game online with long distance family, or sending the grandparents and other family members short videos wishing them a Happy New Year.

However you choose to spend New Year’s Eve with your family this year, I hope you you are able to relax, have fun, and create some special memories that will carry you well into the new year. 

Your turn! Have any other ideas when it comes to celebrating New Years Eve for families at home? Leave a comment below and we might add it to next year’s list!