New Year’s Eve is traditionally a time of celebration as friends and family gather to ring in the new year. But if you have kids, a night on the town may not be your choice for an end-of-year countdown. But how do you create a New Year’s Eve with kids that everyone can enjoy?

We’ve got you covered with options that will help your family reflect on the past year, create tasty foods and fun crafts, and play until the clock strikes midnight.

So break out the balloons and party poppers, and let’s get started!

1. Share your favorite pictures.

Have each family member choose a picture from the last year to share about. This can be a picture with a parent, spouse, or sibling—anything that captures a memory of family togetherness. Go around the room and have every person take time to share what’s going on in their photo and why it’s special to them.

2. Set goals for the new year.

Set goals for the upcoming year using FamilyLife’s® guide to family values and resolutions. Be sure to fill it out and hang where everyone can see as a reminder throughout the year. Maybe one of your goals in the new year could be to spend more time as a family (or maybe just Mom and Dad).

As you create New Year’s resolutions, surrender them to the Lord. Instead of striving for perfection, remind your kids to allow God to grow them in the areas they entrust to Him. Wrap up your time together by praying for each family member and the goals they set for themselves.

3. Our year in review.

Craft a list of three to five age-appropriate discussion questions for your family. This is a time to reflect on the blessings and hardships of the year and how God worked in them (Psalm 107:2; Psalm 34:8)

Here are a few sample questions:

  1. What was the hardest part of this year?
  2. What’s something you learned about yourself this year?
  3. What is something you learned about God this year?
  4. How have you experienced God’s redemption this year?
  5. What would you like us to do more as a family?

4. Set up a photo booth.

Break out the Halloween costumes, crazy hats, and costume jewelry for this one. Put up some balloons or a dollar store “Happy New Year” sign and voila! You have a photo booth! Get a little silly as you strike your best poses.

What could your family do with 500 Hours? Take the challenge.

5. Personal pizza station.

This fun idea from Food Network suggests setting up a personal pizza station for New Year’s Eve with kids. This is a simple meal that’s sure to please even your picky eaters. Purchase some personal pizza crusts or make your own, and set up a station with cheese, sauce, and everyone’s favorite toppings. You all will have as much fun making these as you do eating them.

6. Confetti balloon New Year’s Eve countdown.

What’s New Year’s Eve without a good countdown? Consider counting down with confetti balloons. Get your kids involved and fill the balloons with confetti before blowing them up. Write a time on each balloon for every hour (i.e. 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.). Have the kids pop each balloon according to their corresponding time.

7. Create fancy milkshakes.

Make sweet treats the whole family can appreciate! Purchase a couple tubs of ice cream and set out a few dishes of your favorite candies and toppings. Feel free to get a little messy as you decorate your tasty creations. Don’t forget to take a family photo with your Insta-worthy desserts!

8. Family game night.

It’s time to bring some friendly competition into your evening!

Game nights are a classic tradition for my family whether we’re playing cards, classic board games, video games, or more interactive activities. If you’ve dug through your vault of card games, board games, and video games and are in need of more ideas, try charades or Minute to Win It games.

9. Sing karaoke.

Pull up the karaoke versions of your favorite songs and belt your heart out! If you’re not into singing, try out your lip-syncing skills.

10. Have a dance party.

Slide around some furniture, set up your speakers, and get on your feet! Search for family-friendly party playlists or let your kids be DJs. I’m a firm believer that dancing brings people together. You don’t have to be good. Take it from me, those of us who are less talented in this area may be the ones having the most fun!

Alternative: Hook your phone up to a speaker and set an alarm to go off at random times each hour. Choose an upbeat song for each alarm and have a mini dance party every time the alarm goes off.

New Year’s Eve with kids

Now that you’ve got some ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids, it’s time to get planning your ultimate family night.

At FamilyLife, we believe families can reflect God to the world through the ways they love one another—whether that’s discussing the highs and lows of the last year or playing a silly game. That’s why we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most in the new year. Join us in taking the 500 Hours Together challenge. Perfect for couples, families, or even those who want to spend more time making a difference in their communities.

Five-hundred hours, a lifetime of impact. Find all the details here.

Copyright © 2020 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

Alex McMurray is a writing intern for FamilyLife at Cru headquarters in Orlando. She graduated from Cedarville University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a concentration in child and family studies. She grew up in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania with her parents and older brother. In her free time, she enjoys going on outdoor adventures with her friends and playing card games.