New Year’s Eve looks a little different for us these days. Gone are the late nights of getting dressed up with friends, finding a good party and staying out until the early morning with little luck of finding a cab to get home… and honestly, I’m here for it. There is always so much pressure on NYE, and the homebody and early bird in me is usually ready to call it a night before the ball drops. I am who I am. In this season of life, there’s a lot to be said for getting cozy and staying in with the littles. In fact, we’re going to try something a little different this year and countdown to 12 p.m. instead of 12 a.m. – let’s hear it for Noon Year’s Eve! Our kids are up by 6 a.m. anyway, so we’ll have a solid half day to celebrate the new year without compromising bedtime – a win-win.
There are so many fun ideas out there to make this a special, memorable day. To help make planning a little easier, I pulled together a few ideas to get you started.
Decorate the house
Nothing says New Year’s Eve like glittery streamers, balloons, and confetti (tip: skip the glitter and confetti because it’s a PITA to clean up.) Amazon has tons of great decorations, like this festive kit and this fun banner. We’ll also have sparklers for the kids to light at noon!
Plan a special activity or treat for each hour of the countdown. As I said, my kids are up well before the sun most days (does it ever get better?), so they’ll have 5-6 treat bags each and will open one each hour. You can fill the bags with candy, a new book, or things to help celebrate the day, like a party hat and noisemakers.
Get dressed up!
Just because you’re not going out, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your clothes. Whether you’re team PJs all day or want to break out old Halloween costumes and a feather boa, have fun with it!
Create a time capsule
This is one I’m super excited about. Collect a few memorable items that will be meaningful to look back on, then seal everything in a box together and decide which year in the future to open it.
Play, play, and play some more
If you’re like me, the thought of a long day at home might make your eye twitch. My kids are super active and need to be kept occupied, otherwise, it turns into WWE around here. I’ve found that pre-planned games and activities are a must for keeping sanity. We’re big fans of floor is lava, and now that they’re getting a little older, we’re playing more games like Candy Land and Uno. I also found this NYE-themed scavenger hunt that’ll most definitely be a hit.
Prepare the first meal of the year
As you’re planning your Noon Year’s Eve, have your kids come up with what they want their first meal of the new year to be. Knowing mine, it’ll be something sugary but hey, anything goes! Remember: they’ll have hours to burn that energy before bedtime!
Set new year resolutions
I’m big on New Year’s Resolutions and I actually kept mine from last year! Talk with your kids about their goals and wishes for 2024 or come up with a shared resolution for the family. You could even turn this into a craft and make vision boards for the year ahead! While you’re at it, build on their excitement for the future and plan a family bucket list for the new year.
Toast to 2024
When the clock strikes noon, toast and cheers to the new year with your favorite beverage — that’ll be champs for me! My parents always gave us sparkling juice in a faux wine glass for fancy occasions when we were little (hey, it was the early ‘90’s), and we might do something similar. If desserts are more your speed, toasting to the new year with cupcakes is another sweet way to kick off the new year.
If you’re in the mood to go somewhere fun with the family this New Year’s Eve, be sure to check out our post Ringing in 2024: New Year’s Eve Across Central Florida for a ton of great ideas. Cheers to 2024!