Since becoming a parent, you may have noticed that your nights of drinking have turned into nights of story times, and days of sleeping in have turned into days of running around with your kids. You may also experience some type of nostalgia for the days when you could go party, like on New Year’s Eve, when it seems everyone else is out enjoying themselves. This year, though, you can have fun and still be a parent. Plan a “kid friendly” New Year’s Eve party and invite all your parent friends and their kids to enjoy it with you.
Fireworks are a large part of any NYE celebration, and if you have them at your party you will want to follow all local law and regulations, as well as the rules on the fireworks. Do not allow more than two people to operate large fireworks at one time, and make sure they are in communication with one another. If children are given fireworks, make sure they are closely monitored while lighting them.
You can keep the food simple and order pizzas, but make sure you order well in advance as many places are either closed or swamped form other orders. You can slow grill hot dogs and burgers, but if you live in an area where it snows this may not be a good option for you. You could also ask each guest to bring a food item and just do a fun potluck dinner where each person can pick and choose what they like. Make sure you have enough drinks for everyone, and also make sure to keep alcoholic beverages out of the reach of children. If people are drinking at your party, ask them to bring a designated driver or have a taxi pick them up.
Keep the New Year’s Eve parade in Times Square on the TV for anyone who may want to see it, but don’t expect people to be glued to it. Offer board games, card games, music, and outdoor activities for fun. You can set up a dart board in the garage, or make a dance floor in the dining room. Also make sure the kids have plenty of games and movies to keep them happy an occupied, and consider setting up an art table for them to do arts and crafts.
Make a Kid-Schedule
Many kids don’t understand the concept of time unless they can measure it ways they do understand. For example instead of telling a child he or she will get a treat in an hour, you tell them they can have a treat after dinner and bath time is over. This way they can see the things they are accomplishing to get to that treat. Do the same for the party. Make an “event map” for them, where guests will arrive, there will be food, then games, then an art project, followed by a movie, then fireworks, then the countdown to a New Year. Once they can see the series of events they will be more likely to participate with ease.
Beds for Kids
Have beds and blankets ready for the kids that can’t hold out until the ball drops at midnight. This is not uncommon and lots of excitement will make kids tied and cranky quickly. Have beds ready before guests arrive and tell parents where they are in case they need to put their child to sleep.
Be Prepared for Crying
A new place, new people, loud noises, a break in routine, and sugary foods can send just about any kids into a tantrum, and you should be prepared for that. Keep in mind the kids may be confused, especially smaller children. Be ready with juice, tissues, blankets, and anything you know of to calm a child. Remind parents to bring comfort items for their children in case of such a meltdown.
Do you have any more ideas on how to have a Kid Friendly New Year’s Eve? Please leave your ideas in the comments below so we can all benefit from them!