10 Fun Things to Do on New Year’s Eve with Kids

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New Year’s Eve with kids can be a total blast, especially when you plan a few activities to do together. Check out these fun things to do on New Year’s Eve — with kids!

The following content is sponsored by Baskin-Robbins. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

Fun Things to Do with Kids on New Year's Eve | Life as Mom

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FishPapa and I have always been homebodies. We love to stay home way more than we like to go out, so big New Year’s Eve parties are just not our thing. Though, true confessions, just once, I’d like us to get all dolled up and have some fun event to go to. Maybe I convince one of our kids to get married on New Year’s Eve.

Anyway, since we’re homebodies and since we have six kids, it’s always been our practice to stay close to home rather than pay for  a babysitter and go out to a big party on the 31st. But, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun!

The changing of the year has always been good for us because we’ve always planned fun things to do on New Year’s Eve with our kids.

Are you wanting to spice things up at your house? You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but there are some pretty fun things to do on New Year’s Eve that don’t require high heels, hangovers, or hurried driving.

Check these out:

10 Fun Things to Do on New Year’s Eve with Kids

1. Get outside.

After all the heavy eating and sedentary holiday celebrating, it’s so good to get outside and go walking. If you can go play in the snow or the sand (location dependent), all the better. I have super fond memories of childhood neighbors inviting us over for a game of football — only the ball was a head of iceberg lettuce. It was hilarious as the lettuce head fell apart with each subsequent pass!

Think outside the box — or not. A simple walk around the neighborhood can give you great perspective on how your kids see the world and how your neighbors are doing.

2. Read a book.

You know I love books! I would be very happy spending every day curled up in a chair reading a book. Reading with my kids is the next best thing. We still have our box of Christmas story books out; the girls and I have enjoyed reading a few together in the evenings.

Need a new read aloud? Check out this list of our favorite family read-alouds.

3. Create a video.

My kids have had a blast creating movies with the iMovie app on our iPads. There are templates with graphics and music to make it super easy for kids to produce their own movies. How much more fun if Mom and Dad get in on the action?

We have great memories of looking at videos we’ve created over the years.

10 Fun Things to Do on New Year's Eve with Kids | Life as Mom

4. Watch a movie.

Movie marathons are super fun — and a great way to count down the minutes if you and the kids have decided to stay up until the ball drops. Consider working your way through a series of films like the Star Wars saga, The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter. Binge watching can be so fun!

I’ve reviewed a lot of movies over the years because our family loves to watch movies together. You can browse through the Life as Mom movie reviews here. You can also check out our recent round-up of 2016 family movies here.

5. Have a mocktail party.

Every New Year’s Eve, we have a snacky dinner, aka mocktail party. Instead of a regular dinner, we make a bunch of appetizers and pour out fun drinks, like Cranberry Sparkly or Sparkling Apple Cider.

For the past two years, my kids have done the cooking! That has taken a load off me and given them something really fun to look forward to. The meal takes longer to prepare than if I did it myself, but they have a great time. Plus, I figure that someday they will be a well-oiled machine, and I’ll sit on the couch eating bonbons. 🙂

On the menu this year: shrimp cocktail, fish and chips, Garlic Brie Bread, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Samosa Cups.

10 Fun Things to Do on New Year's Eve with Kids | Life as Mom

6. Enjoy some sweet treats.

Ice cream is a super fun, economical treat to enjoy all year long. This New Year’s Eve, participating Baskin-Robbins stores are offering regular and kid-sized scoops for only $1.31 (+tax). What a fun afternoon outing to enjoy as a family!

Plus, you can try their new Peppermint Bark in the Dark flavor of the month. Baskin-Robbins “minted” this winter favorite by combining creamy chocolate ice cream and crunchy peppermint bark for a deliciously refreshing blast. Yum!

Baskin-Robbins is one of FishChick8’s go-to dessert choices when she goes out for Dinner with Dad. The folks at our local store are super accommodating of her nut allergies and go to great lengths to make sure she’s safe.

Do it up big for New Year’s by taking home a few quarts and serving an ice cream sundae bar. Include whipped cream, chocolate shell, sprinkles — the works!

For a fun twist, prepare one large sundae in a big salad bowl, heaping it high. Let everyone eat from the same bowl — if among germ-free family members — or simply serve individual portions out of the ginormous sundae.

10 Fun Things to Do on New Year's Eve with Kids | Life as Mom

7. Play games.

We have a large, growing collection of board games. I just can’t stop myself! We’ve got a big lineup of games to choose from on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Check out our list of favorite board games here.

8. Bake a cake.

I can’t remember when we started this tradition, but I know we were doing it in 2003…. We bake a Happy New Year’s Cake, complete with number candles for the new year. I make all the kids stand by the cake and we take a picture. Dorky, with bad lighting because it’s usually late in the evening, but a fun way for me/us to mark the years.

9. Interview each other.

Make a record of where your kids are right now by interviewing them. Take a snapshot and start asking them questions. This questionnaire is a great starting point. Alternatively, you could interview each kid on video. What a fun keepsake!

10. Set some goals for the new year.

One is never too early for learning goal setting. It’s great for our kids to dream big dreams and see them to fruition. Download this goal setting worksheet for kids and help your children think through the things that they’d like to learn, see, visit, earn, and do in the new year. Be sure to let them dream big and then think through how to accomplish their goals. You’d be surprised what you can do together!

What are YOUR favorite fun things to do on New Year’s Eve with Kids?

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  1. I can’t wait until my kids are big enough to cook for us! At 1 and 3, we are going to celebrate NYE with them for the first time this year and I’m pretty excited. We’re definitely doing a snacky dinner and I love the idea of a cake with the “birthday” year on it. Thanks for sharing all of your fun ideas!


    I know you scoped about this, too. Do you post to your blog first and then Periscope or the other way around?

  2. Love your ideas! When our kids were really little and could not stay up until midnight, we would pick a country/state and celebrate whenever midnight happened for them. For instance is the kids picked Mexico, we would eat a Mexican dinner, lookup Mexico on the computer so we could share some fun facts and then ring in the new year when they did. We live in the west so almost everyone celebrates the new year before us. Now that they are older we celebrate like you do with games, movies and yummy food. 🙂

  3. We re-decorate the Christmas tree with New Years decorations and then I fill balloons with various denominations of money. Then, my kids take turns doing still tricks and goofy dance moves and then they get to choose a balloon and pop it for the money inside. Because some of the balloons have more significant cash in them than others, even the older kids get into the action!