When you’ve got children, the festive holidays tend to focus on Christmas – with little expectation for a New Year family celebration.
But it is possible to celebrate New Year as a family, with lots of fun and anticipation.
Here’s our top five tips for seeing in 2018 with the little ones.
Make Countdown Treats
Plan out the evening to keep the kids entertained, with bags or cards to give to them every hour, with instructions on fun New Year family activities.
These bags from The Idea Room might give you some inspiration. But if they look too complicated, writing instructions on cards will work just as well.
As an example of the fun you could have, here’s what you could choose to do:
4pm: Make cupcakes to eat later, and mocktails for the countdown to midnight
5pm: Order in your favourite takeaway and eat it
6pm: Play a New Year’s Eve game
7pm: Watch a festive movie
8pm: Have a break, and make hot chocolate (to eat with cupcakes) before continuing movie
9pm: Make a New Year’s craft
10pm: Play charades
11pm: Make a music playlist and have a dance-off
11.59pm: Turn on TV to watch the countdown and fireworks. Toast the New Year with some mocktails
Mix your drinks
The kids will feel grown up having fancy cocktails at midnight, so make some of these delicious non-alcoholic mocktails to share. We love Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade, made using ginger ale, lemonade, and three strawberries. Get the recipe here.
Or to make sure they get their five-a-day, try a mango and strawberry crush – basically a fruit smoothie with a bit of ice and sparkling water to add some fizz. Check it out here, along with the recipe for a more indulgent chocolate mocktini, containing chocolate milk and mint choc chip ice-cream. Yum!
New Year family celebrations can be alcohol free and still taste great.
Make Party Hats & Noise Makers
Making festive headwear is a great craft activity for the evening. And you could follow up by taking a family photo with everyone wearing their creation.
Cone hats are pretty simple to make, with just some coloured card and decorative sequins or glitter, along with a bit of tinsel. But if you want a step-by-step guide try here or here.
Chances are you’ll have some noisemakers handy from your Christmas crackers, but if not you can make them out of drinking straws. Find out more here.
Build a Family Time Capsule
A great way to look back at what you’ve enjoyed together in the past 12 months, a simple memory jar or time capsule is a great idea. We love this one which involves attaching a family photo to a jar or box, and filling it with ticket stubs, pictures, shells collected on a beach holiday, cards received from loved ones, or anything you like.
This is one of those New Year family ideas which can become an annual tradition – to look back on when the kids are older.
Smash your way into the New Year with a Pinata
Of course, you could buy a piñata to signal the start of 2018, but if you fancy making your own here’s a great DIY guide for one you could make in the afternoon, and fill with sweets, ready to break open at midnight.
Whatever way you’re spending New Year, have fun and see you at Barracudas in 2018