New Year's Eve Party Ideas for Kids

Who says New Year’s Eve is only for grown-ups? This party idea countdown is all about ringing in the good times with the kiddos.

  • 01 of 10

    New Year's Eve Party Games

    Happy family playing chess together at home
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    New Year's Eve is a great time to gather the family around the table to enjoy some board games. Have a tournament that lasts until midnight.

    In addition to board games, these New Year's Eve party games are a fun way to celebrate the occasion. From guessing other guests' resolutions to New Year’s karaoke, these ideas for kids’ party games and activities are designed to entertain guests of all ages at your celebration.

  • 02 of 10

    Mock Countdown

    Boy and girl celebrating New Year's Eve

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    If the kids at your celebration are too young to stay up until midnight, you can have a mock countdown at a more suitable time. Simply change the clocks so that they will strike 12 when it is only 8 or 9 p.m. Hand out noisemakers, party hats, and confetti to toss when the countdown ends. This is a great way for kids to be a part of the celebration but still get to bed on time.

  • 03 of 10

    Celebrate With Balloons

    Colorful Helium Balloons Against Ceiling

    Víctor Del Pino / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Maybe you can’t have a ball drop in your home, but you can have a bunch of balloons drop as you ring in the New Year. Use a balloon drop kit or make your own by filling some netting or a plastic tablecloth with inflated balloons. Tape the balloon-filled net to the ceiling in the party room and release them when guests reach the end of their midnight countdown.

    Another fun idea using balloons is to have each child write a resolution or wish for the New Year on a piece of paper. Have them each fold their paper and place it inside a balloon. Then fill the balloons with helium, tie them with ribbon, and have the kids release them into the air as the clock strikes 12.

  • 04 of 10

    Warm Cocoa Toast

    Hot cup of cocoa drink

    Fresh, Colorful, Inspired / Getty Images

    Kids want to be a part of the New Year’s Eve toast, too. Why not let them indulge with a fancy champagne flute or wine glass–made of plastic and filled with non-alcoholic drinks, of course.

    You can pour ginger ale, a kid-friendly punch, or even milk into their fancy beverage cups, but my favorite is warm cocoa (hot cocoa that has been allowed to cool just a bit), topped with marshmallows.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Midnight Snack Bags

    Playful girls throwing popcorn

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    Staying up late can work up an appetite. Have kids make their snack bags to open up and enjoy at midnight. They can fill brown paper lunch bags with treats such as New Year’s cookies or winter trail mix. Have them draw their countdown clocks on circles cut out of cardstock or sheets of foam, and paste them into the bags.

    More ideas include scrawling messages on the bags and decorating them with glitter, stickers, and ribbon. This a fun way to celebrate the midnight theme while feeding hungry guests, or a cute way to pack a treat for later.

  • 06 of 10

    New Year's Tree Trimming

    Person wearing slippers with christmas decorations, high angle
    Dan Brownsword / Getty Images

    If your Christmas tree is still standing, why not redecorate it for the occasion? Remove the Christmas ornaments and invite kids to a celebration that includes trimming the tree with New Year’s decorations such as silver tinsel, noisemakers, balloons, and streamers. Don’t forget the shiny top hat as the tree-topper!

  • 07 of 10

    New Year's Countdown Cake

    Father and son baking cake

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Have kids help paint the numbers on the cookies for this cake, then take one off and eat it for every hour that passes. At midnight, it's finally time to cut and enjoy the rest of the cake!

  • 08 of 10

    Slumber Party

    Kids Spa Birthday Party
    lisegagne / Getty Images

    New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to throw a slumber party. Guests can gather in their jammies and ring in the New Year from their sleeping bags, or even from a tent pitched on the living room floor. For girls, combine some traditional slumber party games and makeover activities with the camp-out idea to throw a New Year’s Eve glamping bash.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Photo Booth

    Carnival and New year party background with carnival masks, funny eyeglasses and photo booth props
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    With party hats on and noisemakers in hand, the kids at your party are practically begging for a photo-op. A photo booth is a fun addition to any party, but especially exciting on New Year’s Eve. Whether you make your booth, rent one, or hire a professional photographer, these photo booth party ideas just may make your event the highlight of the year.

  • 10 of 10

    Winter Pool Party

    Happy friends jumping in pool on the vacations
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    Throw a New Year’s bash in a hotel where kids can enjoy a pool party, followed by a night of hotel room fun that includes things like room service, movies, and microwave popcorn.