Gone are the days when you waited for New Year’s Eve with excited anticipation. No, you are in a different stage of your life now. You are a parent of children. Young children. Ones that can’t be left alone while you party hardy with your friends. New Year’s Eve and kids are a combination that requires a bit more planning, some patience and perhaps — just perhaps — a tip of wine (or champagne).
Though it may seem this way as you approach December 31 with the family, all hope is not lost. There are things that you can do with the kids where you and the little ones can enjoy the celebration.
1) Special Dinner – It’s the end of the year so celebrate! The kids will surely be in a celebratory mood so why not get them involved in cooking? Get some family-friendly recipes that the children can help you make (including baking a cake or cookies for dessert). Timing is everything: start the baking in the afternoon, the dinner preparation in early evening and sit down for a nice meal a bit later than normal. Do your New Year’s Eve with the kids early if the children are on the younger side. If they’re old enough to stay up late, let them. This night is not the night to insist that they follow their usual bedtime rules. It’s New Year’s Eve and staying up to see midnight is part of the fun, after all.
2) Games Tournament – How about some old-school entertainment for the family? You can always turn off the TV or XBox and gather around the dining room table for a Monopoly championship. If your kids are old enough, consider playing this classic game as it is not only fun, but it takes time (at least a couple of hours) and will get them thinking and strategizing — which is always a good thing. If the kids are on the younger end of the spectrum, card games are always a favorite, with Go Fish, Crazy Eights and Concentration as great games to keep the little ones occupied.
3) Movie Night – How about a themed evening of entertainment? After the homemade dinner (see point #1), sit the family down to some old classics as well as some new faves. New Year’s Eve can be a wonderful time for families to bond together over the dinner table (see above) and a good movie. As with anything, plan in advance and have your mix of movies ready to go for the big night. That way no time will be wasted deciding on a film that everyone will like…
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