How to Throw an Easy At-Home New Year's Eve Celebration Kids Will Love

New Year's Eve parties don't have to be big productions for kids to love them

By Sandy Wallace, publisher of Macaroni KID Lynchburg, Va. December 21, 2021

Families with younger kids often struggle to find ways to celebrate New Year's Eve. 

But all you really need to celebrate with kids are party hats, confetti, and noisemakers. Add some kid-friendly snacks? It's the perfect family New Year's Eve celebration!

And guess what? You don't even have to stay up until midnight! If you have younger kids and know they won't last — or you know you won't! You can celebrate the New Year a few hours early or even host a "Noon Year's Eve" bash. Kids will love the party and celebration more than worrying about the actual time on the clock.

Here are three ideas to make an at-home New Year's Eve party with younger kids special:

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1. Prepare celebratory food and drink

No party is complete without great snacks! Looking for ideas? Go kid-friendly with these goodies — all of which kids can easily help prepare:

  • Pigs in a blanket (Simply roll hot dogs in biscuit dough and bake)
  • Pizza bagels (set up a mini bar so kids can add their own toppings)
  • Fruit skewers that kids can make themselves. We love this fun concept from Macaroni KID EATS.
  • Pour sparkling cider or apple juice for a "midnight" toast

Don't forget the dessert! Make cupcakes or a cake, add sprinkles, and write the new year on top with frosting. Or get even more creative by making a round cake and decorating it with an outline of a clock showing the hands of the clock at midnight.

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2. Decorate

No party is complete without decorations, and kids will love to be responsible for making the house feel festive:

  • Set up a craft table for kids to create their own new year signs with paint, markers, or crayons. Hang them on the wall for decorations as they finish. 
  • Make super easy confetti using a paper shredder and colored construction or scrap paper. Give each of the kids a baggie full of confetti so that they will be ready to toss when the clock hits the appointed hour. (Have kids do this outside if you don't want the mess!)
  • Make your own New Year's Eve ball! Use a plastic play ball or beach ball and simply write the new year on it with brightly colored markers. As you count down to "midnight," pass the ball around the room without letting it touch the ground.

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3. Play games

Play games that everyone — no matter their age — will enjoy:

  • Interactive games like Twister, Charades, or Pictionary are always great choices. Let the kids team up against the adults for some extra laughs.
  • Have kids and adults write down their wishes and resolutions for 2022 and add them to a jar when they get to the party. Later in the evening, you can pick some at random for people to guess who wrote what. Give prizes for the funniest, most unique, or most wishful.

Remember, no matter how elaborate or low-key your New Year's celebrations are, the most important thing is that you are with people you love. Happy New Year!

Sandy Wallace is the publisher of Macaroni KID Lynchburg, Va.