Entertainment, Relationships

Kids and New Years Festivities: How to Have Fun!

New Year's Eve is coming!

As a young couple, my husband and I had lots of fun traveling between all the home and hotel parties in fancy clothes with fancy drinks. Once, we were married and expecting our first child, life changed.

Once we became parents, we struggled to still have a good time celebrating the New Year, while having our babies tucked in at a normal hour. For a few years, we tried making it work by letting them fall asleep at friends houses or even in the baby carrier. After our third was born, we realized it was just easier to be home so that they could go to bed and we could have our own NYE after they were in bed. As they got older, we were able to go back out to various family gatherings and restaurants for kid-approved New Years Celebrations. Our oldest is now ten years old, so we have really tried it all over the last decade.

Below are my favorite ways to celebrate the new year in style and with kids in mind!

A simple night in-try this!

Keep it simple! Order your dinner in. While you wait for it to arrive, put your kid(s) to bed. Then, light some candles and enjoy your dinner with some bubbly (or not). Whether you are in pj's or dressy clothes, ring in the new year while watching your local coverage on tv. Spend time with your loved one reflecting on your year and making goals for the next one!

A game night with friends- try this!

It works out well if you get together with friends that have kids similar ages as your own. Pick one house and make a game night out of it. Everyone can bring a kids game and an adult game to share. If everyone pitches in to buy some pizza and bring some other treats, plus some adult and kid-friendly beverages. The kids can play their games in one room and adults in another. It is an inexpensive night for everyone sure to provide fun, laughs, and memories.

A progressive dinner with neighbors- try this!

If you want a little fancier of a night (kids included or not) try a progressive dinner with neighbors. Depending on the ages of your kids, they can tag along or you can hire a sitter to watch all of them at one of your homes.  Each neighbor can host a different part of the night. Start with four homes to host four courses: happy hour with light appetizers, soup and salad, entree, and dessert. Everyone shares in the cost of the meal and the enjoyment of being together.

A night out- try this!

Lots of restaurants offer kid-friendly dinners. Check out the local offerings near you. There are usually early dinner options with ball drop and confetti included! Some even have package deals with dinner, dancing, and a DJ offered. If that is not your style or if you feel comfortable with this option, hire a sitter and head out for a night on the town like you used to! You can get dressed up and share a special night out to start the new year off right!

No matter what you decide, make it fun and easy for you and the kids. You can add special twists like making a time capsule to open in ten years or writing down your favorite memories of the year and your goals for the coming year. Don't forget the sparklers or pots and pans to bang at the ring of midnight!!

Happy New Year!


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Mom of 3 married to my high school sweetheart and living in suburban Chicagoland. I blog about how messy, but beautiful life can be.