How to celebrate New Years with the kiddos

new year lady
photo: Alejandro De La Cruz

Ok so you’re not 19 anymore. Fast forward 20-or-so years and here you are. But this time you are surrounded by one, two, three, four children??? Maybe pregnant, maybe nursing. Yikes. So the drinkfest isn’t an option. How can you entertain the kiddos and have a good time yourself ringing in the New Year?

Here are some of our suggestions:

1. Host a Kid-Friendly/Sleepover Party

If you are lucky enough to have good friends with kids around the same age as yours, throw a little party at your place involving both adults and the kiddos. You can still do a little celebrating while the kids play together – and hopefully nod off together – as part of their sleepover party. Once they’re asleep you are off duty and can enjoy the night. Your guests can even stay over too.

2. Plan a Pizza Party and Movie Night

Get the kids involved. Get them to make their own pizzas by providing a bunch of great toppings they can choose from like mushrooms, ham and pineapple. After you eat your delicious pizza, put on a kid friendly movie that is also great for adult company too: Minions, Drop Dead Fred, Time Bandits, The Never Ending Story, Chipmunks, Big, The Princess Bride? There are plenty of movies you can share that won’t make you feel like you’re being punished. And just Let It Go, seriously, let Frozen go. We give you permission to put that one away on the highest shelf for New Year’s Eve. There’s no reason for that!

3. Get Active – Take the Kids Skating

Bundle the kids up and take them skating by moonlight and twinkling lights from decorated evergreens. This is an activity the whole family can do. Treat your kids to a cup of hot chocolate and a New Year’s toast.

new year hat
by: Carole Carey

4. Order in and Bring on the  Board Games

Turn off the screens, put down the iPads and turn off your phone. Bring on the classics with some delivered Chinese food. It’s time for some good old Snakes ‘n’ Ladders. Pull out the Monopoly and take no prisoners. A game of Life is a game worth playing. The old faves are still crowd-pleasers. Or discover a new game, hit up the local toy store before the countdown begins.

5. Karaoke

You can get a fancy Karaoke player with display and microphone, but you can also go rogue with YouTube. Search your favourite song with the word ‘Lyrics’ beside it, and it will pull up your song with the words. Sing it loud and proud. Create videos of your performances. You may even find a family sing-a-long in the mix.

Urban Mommy Elisa adds:

I’m one of those people that LOOOOOOOVES New Year’s Eve. I love the celebration, the parties, the outfits and the champagne. My friends have always been a little shocked at my exuberance for NYE, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I do love the night. When I was pregnant and when my kids were toddlers, we would stay in. We’d cook a fantabulous meal – big, thick steaks, baked potatoes with all of the fixings, Caesar salad with dressing from scratch, dessert and a little bottle of bubbly for midnight (even if it was just to pop!). I would put on my sparkliest dress (a real challenge the years I was pregnant) and we’d slow dance in the den, staying up to watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV.

I’ve tried going to friends with kids in tow, throwing the party with other families joining us, having the sleepover, but now, we hire a sitter, leave money for them to order pizza and allow them to stay up late to watch movies – and tip the babysitter an obscene amount! We don’t stay out late and I don’t drink like my former Rockstar self, but there’s nothing wrong with heading out if that’s what you want to do. So, while we’ve got some great suggestions and experience for what you can do if you’re going to ring in the New Year with the kiddos, we don’t want want to give the impression that it would be wrong to go out.

Sorry Michelle – I know you’re going to have a great time at home with the fam, but this mama’s got a party shoes and a bottle of Veuve with her name on it!

new years table
photo: Alejandro De La Cruz

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