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Having Fun Together

New Year's Eve With Kids: 11 Fun Ideas

Ring in the New Year with the kiddos with these creative party ideas

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New Year's Eve with the kiddos doesn't mean you can't have a blast. Here are 11 fun ways to celebrate.

1. Celebrate when the clock strikes 12-as in noon. You don't have to skip out on the fun festivities just because no one in your house can stay up past 7:30pm. Ring in the New Year at noon, instead of at night. Go all out with party hats, balloons, noisemakers and sparkling juice.

2. Get creative with your resolutions. Taking down holiday decorations is such a bummer. Here's an idea: Let your tree live to see another year by throwing a NYE-themed tree trimming party. Have everyone write down two to three resolutions on a note card. Punch a hole in the top of each one, string through a ribbon, and hang them on the tree.

3. Plan an international affair. It's always New Year's Eve-somewhere. So make a plan to ring in the New Year as other countries do. Decide how many time zones you want to observe, and then let your kids pick a country they're interested in to represent each one. For each place, select a special dish or custom that you can partake in when it turns midnight in those areas. Brazilian cheese bread or Canadian maple syrup tarts, for example, make for fun kid-friendly fare. Bonus: It turns one celebration into many!

4. Create a time capsule. If you want a relaxed night in, huddle everyone around the table for a special project. Ask each person to remember a favorite memory from the year and grab a few mementos (think: a drawing, a vacation photo, map from a summer road trip, birthday party favor). Put them all in a box, and then stick it somewhere until you pull it out to look at together next New Year's Eve.

5. Host an indoor campout. Make the last night of the year memorable by throwing a family slumber party, complete with sleeping bags, piles of pillows, and a movie. End the evening with a milk and cookie toast (put the milk in plastic champagne flutes) for the kids and a real toast for you.

6. Opt for an all-night game night. Pull out the board games! Freshen up your family's favorite hobby by giving your go-to games a NYE-themed spin. Think: Bingo cards with pictures of party hats, balloons, or fireworks instead of numbers. Or buy a disco-ball piñata; whenever someone wins a game, they get to give it a whack.

7. Get your glow on. Create a groovy vibe by throwing a glow-in-the-dark dance party. The secret ingredient to pull this off: glow sticks. Hang them from the ceiling or (for kids over three) buy the kind you can wear as necklaces and bracelets. 

8. Turn bath time into a NYE blowout. The next best place to be if you aren't going to Times Square to ring in the New Year? The bathtub! Fill the tub with bath bombs that fizz and pop like fireworks, and turn the water all sorts of cool colors. Then throw in some water-soluble confetti to make it even more fun. Party attire: Bathing suits.

9. Schedule a night of activities. Keep the party going by breaking the evening up with a schedule of things to do. Decide how many hours you want to celebrate for-say starting at 4pm and ending at 7pm-and fill a paper bag with a different activity for each hour. Some ideas: design your own party hat, decorate cupcakes, or for the last bag, a stash of noisemakers.

10. Watch the ball(oons) drop. Tape long sheets of tissue paper together and tape the ends to the ceiling to form an easy-to-rip hammock. Then carefully fill it with mylar balloons. At a designated time, give the paper a tear and let the balloons rain down on your minis!

11. Throw an uber-fancy party-at home. Have everyone dress up in their most over-the-top extravagant outfits. Dim the lights, turn on the music, pass hors d'oeuvres and punch, and set up a fun photo backdrop with props. (For the backdrop, all you need is a wall and a camera set on a timer.) Before you know it, the New Year will be here.