How to Throw a Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Party

Welcome the new year at home with a celebration the whole family will enjoy.

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

Photo By: SETON ROSSINI ©SETON ROSSINI

New Year's Eve for All Ages

The days of ringing in the new year until well past midnight with hundreds of overserved grownups may be behind us – but having an unforgettable party doesn't have to be! Whether you're hosting a few close friends and family members or the entire neighborhood, we've got you covered with sparkly decor ideas, snacks and activities for all ages. Follow these festive and simple ideas to make this New Year's Eve celebration family friendly and fun.

A Milk-and-Cookies Toast

Ring in the new year with a family-friendly milk-and-cookies toast. Prepare the glasses in advance by dipping the rims of cocktail or champagne glasses in melted chocolate, then covering with colorful sprinkles. Set up a fun decorating station to make fortune cookies (which can be ordered online) more festive. Simply dip cookies in melted chocolate, then decorate with assorted sprinkles and mini chocolate chips. At midnight (or whenever you decide "midnight" is), serve the milk and the fortune cookies. Toast to the new year and read your fortune! 

Confetti Balloon Countdown

Assuming those little ones might not make it to midnight, a confetti balloon countdown is a great way to celebrate the new year without keeping them up too late! Use a large craft hole punch to make plenty of confetti out of colorful tissue paper or gift wrap. Have everyone write New Year’s resolutions on small pieces of paper to include. Then, use a plastic bottle with the bottom half cut off as a "funnel" to slip all the confetti paper into the deflated balloons. Blow up the balloons (one for each hour) and hang them high on a wall. Celebrate by counting down and popping one every hour until midnight (or bedtime). 

Mason Jar Time Capsule

A New Year's Eve time capsule is a fun and creative activity for the whole family. Just fill a Mason jar with memories from the year, including photos, ticket stubs and stories. Create a questionnaire and have everyone jot down their favorite memories, songs and hobbies from the year, along with predictions and resolutions for the new year. Seal up the Mason jar, labeling it with the year, and a new tradition is born. 

Sparkler Cupcakes

Make any New Year's dessert extra special with the addition of sparkler candles. Cupcakes work especially well, as everyone can have their own personal dessert, with no utensils necessary! Just bake in advance and then light the sparklers when it’s time to welcome the sweet new year. 

Hot Chocolate Bar

A custom hot chocolate bar is the best way to keep warm on a chilly New Year's Eve. Everyone loves a cup of hot cocoa, but topping it with extra goodies makes it even more special. First, create a large batch of hot cocoa and keep it warm on the stovetop or in a thermos. Assemble a station with mugs, spoons and small dishes of assorted toppings. Marshmallows, nuts, candy canes, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, cinnamon sticks, fruit and – of course – whipped cream all make for great toppings. The little ones will love creating their own cocoa, and the grownups can get in on the fun too, with shots of peppermint Schnapps, vodka or bourbon!

Photo Booth

One of the best parts of hosting a New Year's Eve shindig is being able to capture the memories with a photo booth. Start with a simple yet eye-catching backdrop – think shiny wallpaper, balloons or gold fringe. Then create plenty of fun photo props so your family members can really express themselves! Party hats, paper crowns, and red lips, mustaches and monocles on sticks all make for fun props. Cut out large 2017 numbers from posterboard and cover them with glitter. Lastly, have a small chalkboard handy so people can write down their New Year's resolutions on it and hold it in the photo. Set the camera on a tripod and capture all the fun. 

Pizza-Making Station

Celebrating New Year's at home is always fun, but keeping the kids entertained and engaged until that ball drops can feel overwhelming. Here, pizzas serve double duty as a meal and a fun activity. The trick is to keep it simple and let everyone make their own personal pizza. Purchase pizza dough from a local pizzeria (or make your own) in advance, and set up a pizza-making station in your kitchen. Put out different sauces, cheeses and plenty of toppings, and let everyone create individual pizza combinations.

Noisemakers

These DIY noisemakers are sure to bring the house down when the new year rolls in. They're incredibly simple to make and a fun activity for the entire family. Just remove the labels from several plastic water bottles and create a decorating station where you can turn them into festive noisemakers. Fill them with beans, buttons, jingle bells, ribbon and confetti! Then screw on the cap and decorate with glue, cut tissue paper, washi tape and ribbon – the possibilities are endless. Make some noise for 2017!