25 Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve at Home

New Year's Eve Family Celebration

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Celebrating New Year's Eve at home with your kids can be a good way to bond and make lasting memories. You don't have to spend a fortune or do anything elaborate either. Kids love the novelty of simple things like party hats or little horns to blow when the ball drops. Even just the idea of staying up until midnight seems exciting (but don't worry, your kids don't have to be awake until 12 to enjoy New Year's).

New Year's Eve may also be the perfect chance to get some downtime after the hustle and bustle that comes with this time of year. Staying in can help regulate your kids if their routine has been turned upside down by the holiday season. "After the first week of winter holidays, which can be very busy with visiting relatives and shopping, many families are ready to spend a night in," says Rachel Graf, a teacher in Ontario, Canada.

Think of all the little things you can do to make a regular night into something special. Maybe there's a special movie you can watch, or a yummy dinner that can become your traditional New Year's meal. What matters most is spending the time together. "You can create happy memories at home that will last a lifetime," says Graf.

In case you need some festive inspiration, we put together a list of fun activities to do at home with your family and kids on New Year's Eve. Read through our ideas to find something that works for your household.

Girls making glitter slime

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Creative New Year's Eve Activities

Tap into your creative side and maybe even get a little crafty this year. These creative ideas don't require you to have any serious artistic talent, and they're fun for kids of all ages. Grownups, too!

Compile a Bucket List

Write out a giant list of all the things your family wants to do in the coming year. Post it on the fridge so you can refer back to it in the coming months.

Put Together a Time Capsule

Have everyone in your family write or draw something to remember about the past year. Mention topics like favorite movies or the latest technology. Seal it all up in a shoebox with instructions not to open until a certain date in the future.

Make New Year's Eve Headbands

Cut strips of paper and measure them around everyone's heads before taping or stapling them. Cut out the numbers of the new year and attach them to the front of the headbands.

Get Festive With Paper Plate Shakers

Fill one paper plate with beans, beads, or other things that make noise, then tape or staple another plate over the top. Shake them at midnight—or whenever you decide it's time for bed.

Make Slime With Glitter

Look up a recipe, or purchase a kit to use.

Play Dress Up

Make it extra fun by dressing up like different decades of the past!

Write New Year's Resolutions

Goal-setting is a positive activity at any age! Younger kids can dictate their resolutions to adults or older kids.

Family watching a tablet together

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Cozy New Year's Eve Activities for Families

This time of year it's often cold and the sun sets early. Sometimes the perfect New Year's Eve is one spent warm and cozy at home. Try these activities to relax and unwind together.

Blast Music and Have a Dance Party

Get into your pajamas and shake it out in your living room.

Make It a Spa Night

Go all out: Run a bubble bath, put on face masks, and paint every family member's toes.

Play Video Games

Try an Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch party or a Super Mario Kart race.

Watch a Movie

Get everyone fed and washed up early, and spend the evening with a family-friendly holiday movie (or two).

Family celebrating New Year's Eve

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Fun-Filled New Year's Eve Countdowns

When you think New Year's, you think countdown time. There are many creative ways to mark the moment the clock strikes midnight. If your kids can't stay up that late (or you don't want them to), you can still do these activities whenever it's their bedtime. After all, it's 12:00 somewhere!

Balloon Drop

You can do this fun DIY balloon drop right in your living room. All you need is balloons, string, and a shower curtain.

...Or Try Popping a Balloon Instead

Pop a balloon every hour until the stroke of midnight!

Make Some Noise

Whether it's banging on pots and pans with a wooden spoon or pulling out an old fashioned clanker, this is the one night it's okay to get loud.

Treats by the Hour

Prepare brown bags with different small treats in them that can be opened up every hour on the hour.

Watch the Ball Drop on TV

Turn on your TV to watch the ball drop together. Bonus—if you live in a different time zone, you can get away with doing this earlier.

Family having a pizza party

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Food-Related Activities for Families

It's always fun to bond over food, whether you're preparing it together or eating it. Special family meals also make good traditions that you can repeat each year, leaving the scents and tastes in your children's memories. Try these fun food ideas for New Year's Eve.

Bake a Clock Cake

Bake a cake and decorate it like a clock. If you want, you can cut off a piece every hour.

Cook Dinner Together

Give everyone a job, like mincing garlic or washing vegetables.

Have a Pizza Party

Don't feel like cooking? Order in and relax.

Make Hot Cocoa

Don't forget the marshmallows and whipped cream!

Family playing a card game

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Games to Play on New Years Eve

Playing games can be the perfect way to bond and make memories, while also giving everyone a little mental exercise.

Board Games

Pull out a few board games from your cabinet and play a round of each. Little kids can team up with older kids or adults if they are too young to play alone.


This game tends to come with nonstop laughter.

Go on a Treasure Hunt

Use post-its to put clues around your house and tell your kids where to go next. At the end, place a fun surprise.


Try to guess what your teammate is drawing—no talking allowed.

Two Truths and a Lie: Resolution-Style

Play this game like two truths and a lie–except your two truths should be resolutions you made this year.

By Elisa Cinelli
Elisa is a well-known parenting writer who is passionate about providing research-based content to help parents make the best decisions for their families. She has written for well-known sites including POPSUGAR and Scary Mommy, among others.