Remember the New Year’s Eve parties of yore, when you would stay up into the wee hours of the morning? A kid or three later and those days are gone, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend New Year’s Eve reading bedtime stories in your pajamas—we’ve got some great ideas to help you throw a New Year’s Eve party where kids can join in the fun!

New Year’s Eve Decorations

Keep it classic with a white and gold color scheme, and the more balloons, the better! Decorate with twisted white and gold streamers and helium-filled balloons; a ceiling covered in helium-filled white and gold balloons will look like champagne bubbles!  Number shaped balloons to spell out the new year will make a great centerpiece for the snack table.

Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Appetizers

Stick to finger foods so guests don’t have to balance plates as they mingle, and remember: everything looks fancier on little sticks – include a cup of them for convenience. A kid-approved appetizer menu could include tortellini skewers, cheese cubes, meatballs, and chocolate dipped strawberries or mandarin orange segments dipped in chocolate.

If adults are having champagne, make kids look-alike mocktails with sparkling juice in plastic champagne glasses with rock candy swizzle sticks!

New Year’s Eve Activities for Kids

FamilyCelebratingNewYearKeeping kids entertained throughout a long New Year’s Eve party can be a challenge, so schedule activities throughout the night. One fun way to do this is to write activities on strips on paper, then slip each strip of paper in a balloon, blow it up, and use a marker to write the time to start the activity on the balloon.  When the time on the balloon arrives, pop it to reveal the next activity!  You could also use paper bags instead of balloons—write the time on the outside, and put supplies for the activity inside.  Activities could include making noisemakers, decorating party hats, baking cookies, playing a game with glowsticks, and lighting sparklers.

After the countdown, let kids celebrate with a milk and cookies toast! If your kids are too little to stay up until midnight, you can always celebrate the new year’s arrival in another time zone. Hint: London is five hours ahead. Netflix and other online sites even offer kid’s countdowns that you can play at whatever time you need to.

Throwing a New Year’s Eve party ensures your kids will think you’re the coolest parent ever, and friends with children will thank you for the opportunity to feel like adults again on New Year’s Eve. It’s also a good bet that you’ll have your house back to yourself by 12:15.  Better go straight to bed and clean up in the morning—you know those kids will be up at 6!