As the parent of a 2-year-old, New Year’s Eve celebrations aren’t what they used to be. In fact, it might be safe to say for many of us that just staying up until midnight can be a challenge. But that doesn’t mean that New Year’s Eve has to be dull. Like so many other things that change once we become parents, we can celebrate the last day of the year in a whole new way. And let’s face it. Our young kids don’t really understand or care that a new year is beginning anyway. So this year, I’m exploring some new ways to enjoy New Year’s Eve as a family. I expect we’ll have a ton of fun and I’ll still be a well-functioning mommy on New Year’s Day. Here are some of the things I’m thinking we (and you) might try.

New Year's Eve Activities for Families //

I’ve Googled “family friendly New Year’s Eve activities” for my city and there are a number of events ranging from a water clock countdown at noon with a slew of festivities at our local children’s museum, from alleys offering unlimited family bowling in the evening to a big balloon drop at 8:00 pm at our state museum. Your local chamber of commerce or visitors bureau are great resources to find events in your hometown.

If staying in sounds like a better option, you don’t have to wait until midnight to start celebrating. Try ringing in the new year as it occurs around the world. I can just imagine the fun my 2-year-old will have hearing a countdown and saying “Happy New Year!” every hour. You could even try learning how to say it in different languages. Check out for “Happy New Year” in 40 languages with pronunciations.

Finally, think about throwing your own family friendly New Year’s Eve party. Your parent friends are probably looking for something to do just like you are. You can keep it super simple with games or movies for entertainment. And with this option, the kids will have a blast, and you’ll get some adult time, too.

Whatever we decide, I’m looking forward to a special day. We might just find a wonderful, new family tradition. And I’ll certainly be able to say the day was full of celebration – no matter what my bedtime.

New Year's Eve Activities for Families //

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