Finding fun and age appropriate New Year's activities can be tricky, especially for families with young kids. For those of you who may be searching for a creative way to ring in the new year, here are a few family friendly ideas. Don't worry, they can easily be modified for an older group as well!
(New Years Eve- Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Midnight can be late at night especially when were taking little ones. To save yourself from midnight meltdowns choose a favorite location in a different time zone. Try Rio De Janeiro, London, or Miami. Theme your night around your chosen spot- decor, food, games and music. When the clock strikes 12 in your designated location, celebrate the moment in your own home. To help distract your older kids of the actual time, turn off electronic clocks in your home (the microwave, oven etc.). Tip: consider researching new year traditions of other countries, and adopt them as your own each year. See below to find out what the Spanish do!
(Image courtesy of Ginger Interiors)
Instead of heading out late at night to see your city's fireworks, recreate the noise and surprise of fireworks in your home. When you invite guests over on New Years Eve ask each to bring a clock with an alarm. Set up the clocks on your table and when the magic hour strikes, all of the clocks will alarm at once (for younger kids, set the alarm to go off earlier in the night). All guests will be surprised and excited when the clocks ding, chime and beep. You will have the noise and magic of fireworks without the chilly temps and late hours.
If you prefer a quieter celebration you will appreciate this clever trick. Gather sheets of bubble wrap and color the backside (flat) of the bubbles with permanent marker. Lay white paper down on the floor and lay the bubble wrap on top. Tape the two layers to the floor securely. When midnight strikes, the kids will have fun jumping on the bubble wrap to pop the bubbles, and you will enjoy the slightly quieter sound (as compared to noise makers!).
Twelve Grapes at Midnight
Adopt a new tradition this year. In Spain it is tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The sweetness of the grapes represents the sweetness of the months ahead. Freeze the grapes and drop them into champagne or sparkling cider, or just eat them fresh out of a fluted glass. It's one party food that won't leave you feeling guilty in the morning!
If you would rather attend an pre-planned event, here are a couple family oriented options in Memphis:
Zoo Snooze at the Memphis Zoo- Friday, December 31 from 6:30pm - 10am. Children 6-12 years old. View details
New Year's at Noon at the Children's Museum of Memphis- Thursday, December 30 from 10am - 1pm. View details
No matter how you choose to celebrate the night, remember to be safe, have fun and enjoy the moment.
- The Girls at Bella Vita