8 Fun New Year’s Activities for Kids


If you are celebrating New Year’s Eve this year at home with the kids, it doesn’t mean you can’t have some holiday fun. When you have tweens, it can be especially difficult to plan age-appropriate activities. They are outgrowing childish things, but are not at the age where they can legally drink or go out gallivanting on their own. With some creativity, however, you can plan some fun New Year’s Activities for kids that even your tweens will enjoy, even if they won’t be willing to admit it to you.

Here are some fun, festive ideas for New Year’s that won’t cost a lot of money:

Play games

Instead of watching movies or everyone being glued to their electronics, spend the night playing games together. You will appreciate the extra family bonding time and all the extra laughs you will share together. You can pull out all the favorite board games or you can get creative and make up some special games to play like guessing each other’s resolutions. Everyone has to write down on a piece of paper what their New Year’s resolutions and then each player tries to guess which resolution goes with which player. It even works as a subtle way to get some insight into what your kids are thinking.

Create a scavenger hunt

Want the kids up and moving? Plan more active fun like a scavenger hunt. Give each kid a list of fun items to find and then have a little prize ready for the winner. If it is really cold, have the scavenger hunt just indoors, but if you are lucky enough to have good weather, you can take the fun outdoors as well. Even your tweens will enjoy putting their investigative skills to use.

Make a time capsule

The kids will love putting together a time capsule to remember 2016 by. Help them gather photos and other important memories from the year to store in a capsule and hide in the house. Next year you can pull out the time capsule and see how much all the kids have grown and revisit special memories and achievements from the year.

Let the creative juices flow

Do your children love to do arts and crafts or to dance? Work on a special art project together or have a dance party to your favorite tunes. No one said you had to sit on the couch all night long and even your older children can be persuaded to bust a move with the right jams and no witnesses.

Make fun snacks and mock tails

Family baking or cooking time can be a real bonding experience. Bake some brownies together for the big night or teach the kids how to make pigs in the blanket or their favorite dip. It is all about spending quality time together. Decide on a menu together ahead of time and then earlier in the day all head into the kitchen to whip up all the treats for your special night together. You can also create a mocktail for the kids to toast with while you enjoy your cocktail. Have the kids help you blend their special drink so they feel like they are one of the adults. If you have older kids who are not quite of legal age for drinking, you can also try a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne for them to ring in the New Year with.

Create a party atmosphere

Even if you are all in your pajamas, creating a party atmosphere will help everyone stay in the holiday spirit longer. You don’t want anyone crawling into bed too early, do you? Make or buy some fun banners to hang up and get some horns and hats for everyone for the countdown. You want it to be a fun night that they will remember all year and want to recreate next year.

Bring in special New Year’s traditions

Different cultures or even just different families have their traditions they like to keep alive from generation to generation and New Year’s Eve is no different. Whether it is hold a dollar for good luck as the ball comes down or it is cooking and eating special foods, pass down important traditions to your kids and take the time to explain to them why they are important. In Scotland after midnight, people visit their neighbors wishing them a Happy New Year and in Spain, many people will eat 12 grapes quickly after midnight signifying good luck for the next 12 months. It is especially important for your tweens to have a strong sense of self.

Continue the fun on New Year’s Day

While some people prefer to use New Year’s Day as a recovery day from all the fun the night before, that is not an option when you have children so why not continue family fun into the New Year? Plenty of towns have New Year’s parades that you can attend or host your own New Year’s Day party for family and friends. Your kids will love having everyone over and helping you decorate and get everything ready. This is the perfect time before people rejoin the hustle and bustle of their normal schedules to all spend some quality time together.

Remember that the important thing is to spend time as a family and make it a festive time for everyone. Ask your tweens to help you plan and prepare all the festivities. It might surprise you how much fun it can be working together and who knows they might have some cool ideas hidden under their sleeves.

Whatever fun New Year’s activities for kids you choose, it is important to let your inner child out and create special memories that you and your family will keep in your heart for years to come. Just because you are not getting dressed up for a night out on the town doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You don’t have to settle for a boring night of laying around watching television. Try some of these fun New Year’s activities for kids to jazz up your holiday.