To some, New Year's Eve is a distinctly adult holiday. The late night celebration is far beyond most childhood bedtimes, and champagne toasts and kissing at midnight aren't exactly kid-friendly. Many of us who have children, though, often find that we want to incorporate our kids into the New Year's festivities, but aren't sure how to go about it.
If you plan to include children — whether yours or someone else's — in this year's New Year's Eve celebration, consider the following tips:
1. Break Out the Bubbly
You're probably serving champagne for the adults, so why not include the kids? Fill plastic champagne flutes with sparkling juice or cider, and watch little eyes sparkle with delight.
2. Set the Clocks Back
Unless the kids at your party are night owls, they may have difficulty waiting for the ball to drop at midnight. One easy solution is to turn the clocks back, and do a countdown earlier in the evening. No matter what time you choose, don't forget the noise makers.
3. Consider Hiring an In-House Babysitter
If you want to invite children to your party but also want parents to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, consider hiring an in-house babysitter. This way, kids can be included in the festivities, but also have a designated caregiver who will entertain them as needed.
4. Make It a Slumber Party
Even if guests aren't actually spending the night, encourage them to bring pajamas and sleeping bags for their little ones. Turn on a movie in another room, and let the kids have a slumber party (even easier if you've hired that babysitter) while parents ring in the new year.
5. Break Out the Finger Foods
Appetizers are standard New Year's Eve fare, and they're generally popular with children too. Mini meatballs, cheese and crackers, fruit and vegetable platters, and finger sandwiches are all good bets if you're inviting kids. For extra excitement, try setting up a hot chocolate bar or cupcake decorating station.
6. Get Your Game On
Adults may be happy to mix and mingle, but kids typically need a more organized form of entertainment. Play board games, stock up on New Year's Eve printables, or create New Year's Eve Countdown Activity Bags so that you have fun activities planned and organized for every hour of the evening.
7. Embrace the Chaos
Any party where children are present is bound to be chaotic at some point, but you can still have a great time if you're willing to go with the flow. By including kids in your festivities, you'll make them feel like they're truly part of the family — and quietly help them learn how to behave appropriately in adult company.
Are you celebrating New Year's Eve with children? Or do you prefer parties that are adults only?