10 Fun ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Kids!

New Year’s Eve Celebration is such a blast to plan! You may not have the single life anymore, but you can still have just as much fun on New Year’s Eve with the kids! You may need a few more awesome ideas for bringing in the New Year with your baby, toddlers and kiddos. Follow my exciting guide to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year with your kids!


As a kid, I looked forward to New Year’s Eve every year! Midnight celebration was not the only exciting New Year’s Eve event in our family home. Usually during the day, my parents and sister and I would play games, bake and plan our fun evening out. Some years we would all be together as a huge family, other years we celebrated with a sleepover at my grandparents, or celebrated at my other Grandma’s with all of my immediate cousins, making our own New Years decorations! The night was epic, especially as a child. But the memories, celebrations and traditions have lasted forever!

As an adult and a mommy myself now, I now look forward to the unique traditions and exciting ideas we can come up with each year to celebrate the holidays in our family’s future.

As a thirty-something mommy, I thought I would miss the life of going Downtown to dance and wear my little dress, my fabulous new heels, and sip my chocolate martini, sing along with the top-chart, thumping-song that year, and celebrate at midnight in the city. I would spend hours on my nails, hair, makeup and just the right fancy, sparkly necklace. I’ll admit I did like the primping part. What girly-girl doesn’t love fancy dress up?…

I have to say, as of now, I do NOT miss that life. Surprisingly. I am having the time of my life in my Christmas jammies celebrating New Year’s with Stefan, my baby Harry and our cat Tessie. Trading in the ‘party’ days to me, was such an upgrade when I factor what I have gained in my life: My precious boy, and the comfort, warmth, laughter and love of our own little mini party, right in our condo.

We’ve got our own fabulous living room dance floor, a sparkly ‘members only’ room (aka-our porch with some twinkle lights), We are always on the VIP list, Our ‘DJ’ (good ole’ Pandora) knows all my favorite 80’s tunes, and the menu is exactly what I expected 😉 We still have balloons and confetti and cocktails (or ‘mocktails’).

I still wear the necklace… but now its a toddler-chewable, silicon chunky necklace for Harry. I still wear the heels… for 5 minutes for our official New Year’s photo. I still get to dress up in my fabulous dresses, because- why not?! And the best part: at midnight I get to kiss not only 1 amazing man, but 2! My husband, Stefan and my baby, Harry.

New Years as a family is where my heart belongs right now! I plan on making so many holiday memories with my kiddo and any future kiddos as well.

Your Guide to 10 Super Fun ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the kids:


Celebrate New Year’s Eve: Bake Something Together

During New Year’s eve day, My dad, my sister and I used to bake a home made loaf of bread that had about 5 pennies and 1 dime baked inside it. Then we would enjoy it later, and whoever got the piece with the dime in it was to have good luck for the whole year! That’s the way my dad explained it, and I loved that idea! Each year it was so special to cut open the bread, so excited about our tradition. Each year was memorable.

Play dress up with the kids for New Year’s Eve

Get the fancy dresses, boas, high heels, makeup, masks, hats, and superhero outfits out for some exciting, New Year’s Eve celebration dress-up! Your kiddos will go crazy for this idea… especially if you dress up with them. And you get bonus mommy points if you let them put makeup on you!


Have a Dance Party to Celebrate New Year’s Eve!

Once you’re all dressed up you HAVE to have a dance party! Throw on your top songs and get your jam on! Show your kiddos how to bust a move while you pump up the jam! (They missed the power dance anthems of the 80’s and 90’s). You should ease them into the Macarena as they realize you’ve got the right stuff. Whatever you do, commit and have fun, you can’t go wrong!

Make a New Years craft together with the kids!

Maybe something with fireworks, confetti, or integrate the numbers of the new year. Or you can ask them what they want for the new year, or even make a vision board together! When I was a nanny, the kiddos and I would make collages from old magazine photos that they liked. This works well for kids at least age 5 or older. The little girl I nannied really got into this project! She was very creative and visual, and I love projects! I called it our ‘dream life collage’, or ‘beauty collage’ or ‘power poster’… It was always a hit!


Make your own confetti for New Year’s Eve

When we celebrated New Year’s Eve with my Gram Shirley, my many many cousins and I would have blast spending hours making our own confetti from old newspapers, craft paper, and left over Christmas wrapping paper scraps! We would bond over our creative time together. We literally made a huge bucket of confetti to throw! We were so proud. I think we actually had more fun making the confetti than throwing it… no wait! It was awesome when we threw it! Those are some of my best memories with my cousins and my Gram on that side of my family. Home made projects are always a blast!

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a noon countdown for the younger kids

Just a few years ago, as a nanny in Chicago, I took the kids to a playroom in the city during the New Year’s Eve Day. We were there from about 10:30am-12:30pm. While we were there they hosted a “Noon New Year Countdown”. I thought that was so clever! All of the kids in attendance were under 4 years old. It was a wonderful way to include them (even though they don’t know what they’re missing yet…) Most of them cannot stay up until midnight. It was really fun! All of the toddlers received mini sparkly hats, and noisemakers, the adults shouted and hugged, and cheers with our coffee drinks! They played some loud music and we danced on the carpet together and they even brought in a Princess to help celebrate with the kiddos. It was a really great idea!

simple budget


Balloon Drop for New Year’s Eve

In addition to your New Year’s party, you can also assemble a ballon drop! This could be a huge hit with the younger kiddos! Even if they already love balloons, who doesn’t love a surprise of a massive drop of dozens of balloons on cue?! Especially if they are caught off guard, this could be epic for a younger kiddo to enjoy! … not to mention the fun of kicking and chasing around the balloons for 45 minutes after the balloon drop! *Don’t forget to grab a video of the balloon drop! You will want to cherish that moment!

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with board games or social games together!

As a kid, I loved to play Twister, card games, hide and seek, Connect 4… you name it! My family still loves to play games. We are very into board games and social family games. I love our game nights. The best bonding and best memories I have of my family was when we were all together playing games. We have discovered, bonded, and cracked up playing games together. Play a game with your kiddo. He will always remember that. And he may grow up feeling closer to you because of it!



Make a special Cocktail  just for the kids to celebrate New Year’s Eve!

Here are a few ideas for some kiddy “mocktails” for your celebration:

  • Jello cups made with club soda or a flavored pop (to give the bubbles effect)
  • Kiddy “Margaritas”: lemonade with a sugar rim and a lime garnish in a fancy margarita glass
  • Kiddy ‘Mudslide’: chocolate milk blended with ice, then garnish with chocolate shavings over the top
  • classic “Shirley Temple”, 7-Up pop with cherry juice, garnish with a cherry. You can’t ever go wrong with a cherry. 
  • Kiddy “Beer”: Root Beer Float (Vanilla ice cream and Root Beer over the top)
  • Kiddy “Sunrise”: Orange Juice over ice, pour some cherry juice slowly into the glass so it stays at the bottom creating a layered look.
  • Kiddy “Colada”: Blend coconut milk, fresh pineapple chunks, ice and a pinch of sugar.
  • **GARNISH** your kiddy drinks with a little umbrella and any selection of: sugar rim, a mango, a strawberry, a fresh pineapple, mint leaves, a lime wedge an orange wedge, chocolate shavings, mini marshmallows, a cucumber slice, cherries, even gummy bears! The kids will feel so festive, celebratory and special!

You can also grab this printable kiddy “mocktail” list for your next celebration:

New Year's Eve Mocktails

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with your own DIY Silly Photo Booth

It is super easy to set up! Tape some Christmas wrapping paper of a cute design to a wall, and grab some silly, cute and celebratory props for the pics! You’ll probably want to stick to New Year’s props theme. Can I suggest: sun glasses, noise makers, hats, mustaches, boa, dress up items, paper cartoon prints of silly items, you can even throw some confetti in your photo if you can capture it!

It’s pretty easy to setup a DIY photo booth, and fun to plan! Have fun with it, keep your expectations low, and you will probably still end up with some great pics that night!  See my DIY photoshoot we did here for Christmas a few years ago (this was pre- baby harry…)



Thanks for joining me today for the list of 10 Super Fun ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the kids!

I hope this inspired some confidence for your New Year’s celebration with the kids! & I  am so glad to have you here! Thanks for stopping by Little Hat Family. Don’t forget to grab your freebie printout of the kiddy ‘mocktails’ to bring in your new year with the kiddos!


Dominate your Budget in the New Year Mama! With my FREE budgeting email course, I can help you reduce your financial stress and get back to your adorable kiddos! Check it out here:


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What are your plans for New Year’s with the Kiddos? What are your awesome traditions you are implementing this year for the holidays? Comment below and let me know! I love to hear from you!

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Hi, I am Kelly! Creator and administrator of Little Hat Family, I absolutely adore my squishy, smiley, 10-month old son, Harrison (Harry), and my kind and cooperative husband Stefan. Our little millennial, hipster family lives in Chicago and yes, we do love hats!
As a professional nanny for 11 years in Chicago, and now a new mommy myself, I have picked up so much useful, modern, mommy advice and life hacks! I would love to pay it forward to my fellow mommy tribe!
I also love creating thrifty projects, organization, an organic lifestyle, dancing, blogging, cooking and spending time with our large families!
I absorb every drop of Mama advice I can get; and I’ve created some Modern Motherly advice along the way! We Modern Mommies have to stick together! Subscribe to my blog today, and let’s connect our Modern, Family Tribes! ~Kelly

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