What Are Some New Years Ideas for Families?

Updated on December 31, 2016
S.E. asks from New York, NY
9 answers

I'm looking for some ideas for a family New Years that are fun, affordable, and work for spending the night in. I'd like to have a nice New Years with the family at home this year!

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answers from Washington DC on


My husband and I haven't gone out on NYE for 16 years.

We stay home and fix chicken cordon bleu from scratch - pound out the chicken, buttered noodles and a green veggie (typically broccoli or peas).

We play games, watch the Twilight Zone and then (If I'm awake!!) watch the ball come down and cheer in the New Year with the carbonated grape juice! YUM!!

when the boys were younger? We still had chicken cordon bleu but we played games that they would enjoy at their age...they would go to bed and my husband and I would play Scrabble in front of the fire....nice date night!

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answers from Washington DC on

when the kids were still home we'd plan a big snack-filled feast, like you'd do for the super bowl, make a bunch of nests and blanket forts in the living room, and have movie night.
when they hit the tweens it got more complicated but also more fun as they spent the night with friends or we had friends at our place.
now the ol' man and i don't even try to make it until midnight.
:D khairete

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answers from Dallas on

NYE is our anniversary and we typically went out to a great restaurant for an early dinner then stayed in the rest of the night. TOO many drunk drivers!!

We had movies, great wine and enjoyed being at home.

I always did prime rib on New Years Day!

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answers from Portland on

We have family friends over. We do a bonfire, tons of appetizer type fun foods (like spring rolls, etc.) and we are doing a chocolate fondue this year because I bought myself one for Christmas. Always wanted to try it. We have a rink and Christmas lights strung up through the trees so we'll alternate rink, bonfire, inside.

For inside though - eat, play games, throw a movie on if kids get tired, and we buy some silly party hats (my husband enjoys that part), etc. It's kind of the same as we do for Christmas Eve but we invite friends over. The kids have friends that will stay the night.

When kids were little, they would get in the PJ's, and we'd make the living room into a big fun sleepover room, and they'd just crash when they got tired.

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answers from Santa Fe on

We are going to a friend's house for an evening of games and fondue with the kids! You should see if any good friends are available and invite them over. Get blowers and hats and poppers. We will have fondue pots for meat, dipping into cheese, and into chocolate. My husband goes on the computer and finds a ball dropping online from another country where new years happens earlier and we will watch that with the kids.

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answers from Boston on

We hated going out for NYE - always worried about the impaired drivers!

Board games.

Indoor picnic - put a big sheet out on the family room or living room floor. You can do picnic type foods or the snacks mentioned below (Super Bowl style). The kids can participate in making things like Chex Mix and so on. I make super-easy appetizers with English muffins: split and toast lightly, then make a paste of shredded cheese (taco, cheddar, or some of each if people have different tastes) and mayo, and spread it on the muffin halves. Quarter the muffins so you get little wedges. Pop under the broiler until puffy and starting to brown. You can make ahead and refrigerate on a baking sheet, then just broil when ready.

Fire in the fireplace.

Buy some New Year's Eve hats or tiaras at the party store, and some noisemakers or other accessories. Take pictures. You can get plastic champagne glasses and serve sparkling cider or sparkling white grape juice.

Scavenger hunt if you have the time/energy to put it together. Just hide things randomly, or write out clues (making them easier for the younger kids). The "prizes" can be the hats and noisemakers you will use closer to midnight.

Put on the TV at about 11:45 and watch the ball drop.

Do some crafts or make decorations - paper chains, decorate a photocopied symbol on card stock (the number 2017, champagne glass, Baby New Year, whatever) and so on. Buy craft stuff like feathers, googly eyes, pompoms, sequins in different shapes, whatever is cheap and on sale).

Make resolutions, predictions or wishes for the new year, and put them in a jar or shoebox. Put those on a closet shelf and put a note on your calendar to remind you where it is, and drag it out next year to see what came true, who followed through, etc.

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answers from Los Angeles on

We invite a few families over for dinner. We make a main course and a couple of things, but otherwise ask everyone to bring a dish, too. It's easy and not that much work for us. It's a very casual meal. The kids just run around and play and the adults sit around and talk. Sometimes we play games like Catchphrase or Taboo. It's a lot of fun and the kids look forward to it every year.



answers from New York on

Make ball-shaped cookies with edible glitter (for the ball drop). Buy a new board game and play it together. Rent a fun movie. Buy ingredients for a cocktail that you+hubby have never made at home (Bourbon punch, Manhattans, whatever sounds good). Order pizza, chips+dip, fun snacks. Have champagne.

For New Years Day, bagels with smoked salmon, more champagne, mimosas.

For this year, it's kind of last-minute, but in the future, maybe invite another family to join you (the kids can play together and the adults can do some fun party games). New Years Eve is fun with loved ones but it can be extra fun with friends!

ETA: And then, we all grab a flight to Portland and and see if we can swing by Margie G's rink and bonfire party! Sounds like fun!! (I'll bring the cocktails!)



answers from Portland on

We are going to a "kids New Year's Eve" party tonight. Starts at 5. They run on NY time, so things wrap up early, the kids get to see the 'ball drop' (gotta love satellite tv) and go to bed at a reasonable time.

Next question: How Do You Ring in the New Year with Young Kids?