New Year's Eve Party Ideas for Kids

Kids New Years Eve party props and snacks

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

New Year's Eve can be a family affair when you plan a party that welcomes guests of all ages. Whether you celebrate the new year before bedtime or let the kids stay up until the ball drops, these New Year's Eve party ideas make the celebration a blast for everyone who wants to join.

  • 01 of 09

    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 or card games. Set up a tournament of your family favorites that lasts until midnight. Tried-and-true classics include Trivial Pursuit, Uno, Monopoly, and Scrabble.

    In addition to board games, family-friendly New Year's Eve party games are a fun way to celebrate the occasion. From guessing other guests' resolutions to New Year’s karaoke, choose games that will entertain guests of all ages at your celebration.

  • 02 of 09

    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 09

    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 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 countdown.

  • 04 of 09

    Kid-Friendly Toast

    Hot cup of cocoa drink

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    Kids want to be a part of the New Year’s Eve toast, too, so let them indulge with a fancy Champagne flute or wine glass—made of plastic and filled with non-alcoholic drinks, of course. Pour ginger ale, a kid-friendly punch, or even milk into their fancy beverage cups. If it's chilly outside, swap the glass for a mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows.

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  • 05 of 09

    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 enjoy at midnight by filling brown paper lunch bags with treats such as New Year’s cookies or winter trail mix. Before the celebration, task the kids with drawing countdown clocks on circles cut out of cardstock or sheets of foam and pasting them into the bags. They could also scrawl messages on the bags and decorate them with glitter, stickers, and ribbon.

  • 06 of 09

    New Year's Tree-Trimming

    Person wearing slippers with christmas decorations, high angle
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    If your Christmas tree is still standing, redecorate it for New Year's Eve. 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 09

    New Year's Eve Slumber Party

    Kids Spa Birthday Party
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    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 a tent pitched on the living room floor. If the guests are up to it, combine traditional slumber party games and makeover activities with the camp-out idea to throw a New Year’s Eve glamping bash.

  • 08 of 09

    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, a photo booth gives a tangible memory of the event. For a DIY booth, choose a flat wall that has enough room in front of it to set up a camera tripod or for someone to stand far enough away to take a photo with their phone. Try these potential background ideas:

    • Hang sparkly tinsel garlands vertically to cover the wall.
    • String white Christmas lights across the wall.
    • Hang vertical strips of black, white, gold, and silver paper streamers.
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  • 09 of 09

    Winter Pool Party

    Happy friends jumping in pool on the vacations
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    If you live in a warm climate, you may be lucky enough to have weather that welcomes a New Year's pool party. If not, 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 room service, movies, and microwave popcorn.