Parties & Entertaining

A family-friendly New Year's party

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Girl with balloon
Playing volley balloon is a fun New Year's party game for children and adults
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Plan an exciting family-friendly New Year's party.

For those of us with children, finding a babysitter on the biggest social evening of the year can be downright impossible, limiting our options for celebrating New Year's Eve. Fortunately, family-friendly celebrations are easy to put together and so much fun you won't even miss going out. Here are few ideas to help you put together an exciting New Year's Eve at home.


The first thing you and your family can do to welcome in the New Year is to decorate the house. Children love crafts, and dressing your home in festive New Year's ware is fun and exciting. Blow up balloons, hang streamers, place noisemakers at everyone's place at the table and watch the smiles appear. Work as a family to make a large Happy New Year's banner to hang in your house. Let the kids decorate it with crayons, markers, finger paint and sparkles for a festive feel.


One of the most original ways to celebrate a family-friendly New Year's party is to create a family crystal ball. Have your children decorate a shoebox, or any kind of container you would like and drop questions about the New Year inside. Asking "Will Johnny make the football team this year?" or "How many 'A's will Tracy get on her report card?" are great ways to inspire your kids to share their hopes for the upcoming year.

After the questions have all been asked, ask everyone in the family to write a prediction for the upcoming year on a piece of paper and place it in the box without letting anyone else see it. Once they are all inside, tape the box shut and put it away until the next New Year's Eve where they will be read to see if any of the predictions came true. This is a great way to reminisce and see how things have changed over the last 12 months.

Another exciting thing to do when having a family-friendly New Year's party is to create a family journal. Every New Year's Eve have each member of the family write down what they are thankful for and what they hope for in the New Year. Resolutions can be written down too. Mom and dad can write for smaller children. Every year, bring out the New Year's journal and see who kept their resolutions and which hopes came true.


Volley balloon, or batting a balloon back and forth seems like an easy game, but adding a twist can make it more exciting. Try having each player partner up and link arms. Wherever one player goes, his or her partner must go too. Whichever duo can keep their balloon in the air the longest wins.

Match Two is another great way to celebrate a family-friendly New Year's party. Cut out cardboard squares and tape or paste family pictures from big moments of the year on the back. Split up each photograph over two squares. Turn the squares over and take turns trying to match up the pictures and share the memories from each photograph.

Family Sleepover

A great way to celebrate a family-friendly New Year's party is to invite a family or two over for a New Year's sleepover. Have everyone bring their pajamas, rent movies, pop popcorn and have a fun night. The adults can even re-locate to another room for cards or board games. If you don't have enough beds, have the kids bring sleeping bags (they will probably prefer bunking down together on the floor anyway) and adults can sleep on air mattresses. In the morning, have a big brunch to celebrate New Year's Day.

Celebrating a family-friendly New Year's party is fun and easy to do. Happy New Year! 

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