Parents, let's share our best ideas for fun things to do on New Year's Eve with kids!

Whether you let your kids stay up until midnight or celebrate New Year's Eve on your own timeline, we're collecting a big list of kid-friendly ways to say goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2023.

How do you like to celebrate New Year's Eve with kids? Let us know about the New Year's Eve traditions and activities that your family loves by adding to the list below!

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    Sip on Sparkling Apple Cider

    Shila:  Every year growing up, one of the kids' favorite things to do on New Year's Eve at family gatherings was to sip sparkling apple cider out of glass champagne flutes (the bubbly juice contains no alcohol). It's not as sophisticated as what adults drink on New Year's Eve, but it makes clinking "cheers" so much more fun for kids!

    Appetizer Dinner

    Kelly R.:  Indulge in a fun dinner of appetizers and finger foods for a fancy-feeling New Year's Eve with kids from the comfort of your own home! Don't feel like cooking? Pick up an assortment of Trader Joe's favorites in their freezer to heat up for a fun spread.

    Make Some Noise

    Kelly R.:  Banging on pots and pans was always one of our favorite things to do on New Year's Eve at home when I was growing up. If you want to preserve your cookware, grab a few noisemakers to help ring in the new year. Kids love an excuse to get loud!

    Family Slumber Party

    Kelly R.:  Dress everyone in their PJs and spread out sleeping bags and pillows on the living room floor. Enjoy a movie and leftover Christmas cookies, and see who stays awake to watch the ball drop! If anyone falls asleep early, no problem. They're already set in their sleeping bag!

    Year in Review Photo Slideshow

    Kelly R.:  Reminiscing about the previous year is always a meaningful way to celebrate New Year's Eve with kids. Collect your favorite photos from the past year and cast them onto the TV for a fun family slideshow that everyone can enjoy together from the couch.

    Board Game Night

    Kelly R.:  Did the family get some new board games for the holidays? Have each family member choose a favorite game for a New Year's Eve game night!

    Start a Memory Jar

    Kelly R.:  Ready to collect some wonderful new family memories? Spend your New Year's Eve at home starting a memory jar for the coming year. Have the kids decorate an empty leftover jar as creatively as they like. All year long, family members can drop in slips of paper and ticket stubs to document favorite memories and experiences from that year. Next New Year's Eve, you can go through all of the memories in the jar together to look back on the year and reminisce.

    Balloon Countdown

    Kelly R.:  Inflate a bunch of balloons and write a different time on each one (7:00, 8:00, 9:00, etc.) to serve as a countdown to ring in the new year with kids. Take turns popping each balloon at its designated time as the clock approaches midnight. You can even make the balloon popping more frequent as you count down the last hour!

    Dessert Bar

    Shila:  Make a once-in-a-year kind of dessert to ring in the new year with kids! Consider a hot chocolate bar (see our favorite recipes), an ice cream sundae bar, chocolate fondue waterfall, milkshake bar topped with elaborately decorated candy, etc. This year, my kids are asking for "root beer float flights," which is out of the ordinary (and epic enough) for us!

    Watch a Movie Series

    Katie G.:  Pick a kid-friendly movie series to watch throughout the day leading up to the NYE festivities. My family has done Star Wars and Harry Potter. Pop some popcorn to enjoy during the movies.

    "Noon-Year" Countdown

    Sarah Calamita:  We always get dressed up fancy to celebrate "noon-year" and do a count down until noon. Party City has fun silver/gold/black 100 balloon drops to hang from the ceiling that can drop at noon while you sip apple juice from plastic champagne glasses, play Auld Lange Syne and blow party horns.

    Time Capsule

    Kelly R.:  Work together to fill a family time capsule with items that describe the past year for you and your kids. Everyone can choose an item or two to include, and you can open it on New Year's Eve next year and talk about how much things have changed - hopefully! What would you include in your time capsule?

    Make Your Own Confetti

    Shila:  Families can make their own confetti to throw around on New Year's Eve; it's an easy craft for kids. All you'll need are scissors and/or hole punchers, as well as paper. Punch or cut a bunch of handfuls of confetti using construction paper (or reuse holiday wrapping paper!) and toss them up in the air at midnight. If you have a ceiling fan, too, layer the top of each blade with some confetti. At 11:59 PM, flip the switch and watch the confetti fall like rain in the living room!

    Make New Year's Resolutions

    Kelly R.:  Thinking about fun and attainable resolutions is a nice way to get excited for the year ahead. And you don't have to focus on correcting bad habits. Try making a list of the people you'd like to see, places you'd like to go, and family traditions to start in the new year.


    Shila:  In similar fashion to the 4th of July, safely celebrate with sparklers in the backyard.

    Family Movie Night + Dance Party

    LovliQueen:  We like to get the Welches sparkling grape juice and champagne glasses and have a toast to the new year. We also snuggle on the sofa and watch family movies and have a small dance party before midnight. I also took a tip from a Cuban coworker of mine and we freeze grapes and eat them.

    New Year's Eve Interview

    Kelly R.:  Interview each of your kids (and let them interview you!) about your favorites over the past year...favorite movie, favorite book, favorite memory, etc. Write it down on a template you print out, or record it on video for a more personal keepsake. Make this an annual tradition, and it will quickly become of of your favorite things to do on New Year's Eve!

    Minute to Win It Game Night

    Kelly R.:  Minute to Win It games are good for a lot of laughs, especially when mom and dad get in on the fun! Plan out an evening of silly games like Cookie Face and Chopstick Challenge that you can probably play with things you already have on hand.

    Wear Festive Accessories

    Agreatmom2!:  Wear New Year's Eve hats, necklaces, glasses, and shirt. Make cookies and have ice cream!

    Escape Room at Home

    Kelly R.:  At-home escape room experiences are a fun activity for families with teens and tweens who enjoy brain teasers and logic puzzles! These escape room games are generally good for one use only, but it's still a bargain for a fun New Year's eve for kids.

    DIY Photo Booth

    Mommyx3 (Monique H):  Get crazy creative with it and create a super fun back drop with some cool props, set up your phone or camera on a tripod and get to snapping! It’s always fun looking back at the memories every year.

    Hourly Surprise Bags

    Kelly R.:  The wait until midnight can be tough, especially once you hit the home stretch, so fill those hours with some fun surprises to help the time pass! Create a series of mystery bags, each labeled with the hour it should be opened. Fill each bag with a different treat or activity the family can enjoy together. This could include a bag of microwave popcorn with fun toppings, a card game to play, or slips of paper with conversation starters to talk about.

    Bake Noon Year Eve Cookies

    Mommyx3 (Monique H):  It’s almost like Christmas Eve but a little more exciting. Going with New Year inspired decorations like edible glitter, edible pearls, lots of confetti and sprinkles makes this even more fun.

Primary photo:   Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.