New Year's Eve Ideas for Families to Celebrate Together

Michele Meleen
Family celebrating New Year's Eve

Ring in the New Year with the people you love most. Whether you celebrate at home or your family's favorite getaway spot, you can easily pull together a night filled with festive fun.

Family Friendly Themes

Pick a party theme to make your celebration more memorable and fun. Look for concepts related to common New Year's Eve traditions.

Midnight Around the World

Choose a few countries around the world and convert their time to yours to see when they'll be celebrating the new year. Follow the traditions and customs for each country during the hour leading up to midnight there.

  • Make a traditional Vaselopita, or cake, decorate with blue and white, and play Greek folk games during your hour-long Greek New Year's party.
  • Celebrate the Chinese New Year by cleaning your house before midnight to get rid of negative energy, decorate with red, and serve up some extra-long Asian noodles.
  • Party like they do in Scotland on Hogmanay, or New Year's Eve, by singing Auld Lang Syne while holding hands in a circle then snacking on the traditional fruitcake called a black bun.

New Year's Baby

https://www.gettyimages.com/license/76132636

Use the iconic New Year's baby as inspiration for your entire celebration.

  • Serve only pureed foods and drink everything from baby bottles.
  • Play with classic baby toys like blocks.
  • Play baby shower games like the dirty diaper game where you guess which chocolate candy was mashed up into a diaper.

Futuristic

Look to the future with decorations, foods, games, and activities you think might be common 50 or 100 years from now.

  • Make costumes that represent a futuristic style of dress.
  • Get a Ouija board or hire a local psychic to do readings for each family member.
  • Use LEGOs or craft materials to build your interpretation of cars from the future.

New Year's Games

No matter where you choose to celebrate or what theme you pick, these New Year's Games will keep everyone occupied while you wait for the big countdown.

Real or Fake Resolutions

Similar to the Two Truths and a Lie game, each person writes down three resolutions. One should be their actual New Year's resolution for the upcoming year and the other two should be fakes. Take turns to see who can guess which is the real resolution.

Good Luck Charm Scavenger Hunt

Good luck charms list on clipboard

Turn a list of good luck charms into a quick scavenger hunt. Challenge family members to take selfies with each item they find in or around the house, restaurant, or wherever you are. The person who finds the most items within a given time limit or returns after finding all items the fastest is the winner.

Minute to Win It

Take advantage of the clock theme of New Year's and play Minute to Win It style games. These games are meant to be quick and silly. There is an endless supply of these one-minute challenges available online so you could play all night.

Trivia Game Show

Choose any game show format and use New Year's trivia questions and answers to play. Formats that work best for families are Jeopardy and Family Feud. One person will have to be the host, but everyone else can compete.

Activities for New Year's Eve

Pass the time with crafts and projects your family can enjoy long after the celebration ends.

Customized Countdown Balls

Make personalized countdown balls with glue, glitter, card stock, and your computer's printer. Each person can color and decorate their own ball then everyone can "drop" them together at midnight.

Fortune Cookie Hide and Seek

Make a paper fortune cookie for each person and hide them around the house. Set a timer and see who can find their personalized fortune the fastest. To make it fair, one person can hide everyone else's cookie then a different person can hide the original hider's cookie.

Family Time Capsule

Start a family time capsule, but bury it in the back of a closet instead of underground. This way you can pull it out every New Year's Eve and add new things. Start by having each family member choose one item that represents who they are right now to add.

New Year's Cards

New Year's Card Designs

Print, decorate, write messages, and send New Year's cards instead of Christmas cards this year. Give extended family members a recap of your past year and contact information for the future.

The Happiest New Year

New Year's Eve traditions center on having fun with the people you love most as a means to bring good luck for the whole family. Start a tradition that can carry over year after year, no matter how old everyone gets.

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New Year's Eve Ideas for Families to Celebrate Together