Ring in the New Year with the Kids

New Year's Eve with Kids
Photo Credit: Happy New Year! by Bill Read, on Flickr

Not planning on going out on the town this New Year’s Eve? You’re not alone. Many couples are choosing to stay home in order to save money. But you might want to stay home for other reasons too. Why not stay home this year and start a new tradition with the kids? New Year’s Eve just may turn out to be everyone’s favorite holiday.

Create your own excitement by setting up a festive atmosphere. You don’t have to go to Times Square to have a rockin’ good time. Play music that the kids choose or plug their mp3 players into a set of speakers so they can share their playlists. Set out bowls of fun foods like popcorn, peanuts, candies chips, and other New Year's Eve treats.

Play board games. There’s nothing like having mom and dad all to yourself when you’re a kid. The children will love a night of pure silliness when mom and dad don’t have to work or tend to adult tasks like bill paying. Make it a night to just relax and unwind with Monopoly or your family’s other game closet contents. Pull out those games you haven’t played in years and see how much fun it is to be a kid again.

Bring out the mock champagne. Sparkling apple juice in champagne flutes can make the kids feel like they are part of a grown up celebration. Serve appetizers like pigs in a blanket, mini corn dogs, fondue or other fun finger foods. Set everything out as a buffet so you can all grab a bite while playing games.

Learn how to play those Wii games that your kids are always playing. You may never have given them a second glance but they are really fun for adults as well as children. And showing an interest in what your kids like will go a long way towards fostering a more peaceful home life. Let them choose the games and watch as the hilarity ensues when mom or dad tries to whack a golf ball or return a ping pong serve in the virtual world. Offer prizes for the champions of the games. It’s fun to have something to work toward. Make up coupons good for one get out of bedtime free in the New Year or a pass on doing the dishes. Kids will love it and it costs you nothing.

Break out the party hats and streamers. Grab some noisemakers from the dollar store and let kids stay up to ring in the New Year. Sleep in sleeping bags in front of the fire or pull out cots or airbeds and have a campout in the living room. Kids will love the change in daily routine and will remember the night as very special.

You can have a New Year’s Eve celebration at home that rivals those out there in the city. You won’t be shivering out there in the cold, won’t have to pay enormously overpriced New Year’s dinner bills, and you will save on taxi fare, drinks and clothing, too.

Whether you live in the country or the city, you can make it a hip and happening New Year at your house. It’s all in the way you present it. Include the kids, no matter how old they are. Teens and tweens often pretend they want to be left alone, but they’re secretly glad to be asked to join in the fun.