5 Cheap New Year's Eve Activities with Kids

5 Cheap New Year's Eve Activities with Kids

Ah, the New Year's Eves of yore, back before ... children. I remember the nights of bar-hopping and champagne parties that last until dawn. For the last almost nine years ... not so much. Now with a kid and a dearth of babysitters who want to stay in on New Year's Eve, the party-hearty holiday has changed quite a bit. Still, we've managed to have fun either as a family or along with other friends with kids stuck in the same situation. Here are some ideas for New Year's Eve fun with kids.


Want an outing in which there is both allowable screaming and booze in a controlled-for-kids environment? Rediscover bowling! Kids love the funny shoes and adults like the fact they don't have to answer the question "why" every five seconds while sharing a Natty Light with friends.

bowling ball

Credit Image: johnny keelty on Flickr

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Game Night

If you've got school-aged or older kids, try oldies-but-goodies like Scrabble or Monopoly marathons, or even Hearts. To liven things up, involve money.


Credit Image: thebarrowboy on Flickr

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Whether it's ice or roller, skating combines exercise with interesting lighting. If you're bringing the kids, I recommend waiting until they are at least five or already know how to skate. It's no fun to spend the evening throwing your back out trying to keep your toddler from breaking her head open, not that I would know or anything like that.

ice skates and roller skates

Credit Image: jronaldlee on Flickr

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Traveling Dinner Party

You know the drill: appetizers at one house, entree at another and dessert at a third. Kids can help decorate and if it's not too cold, get sent OUTSIDE with the vuvuzela.


Credit Image: f_shields on Flickr

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Make a Movie

Want to remember 2012 in all its glory? Have your kids make a list of all the events they remember best and shoot a video of them describing their year. Then make sure you keep updating the file so you can show it at their high school graduation party.

making movies

Credit Image: Lourdres Nightengale on Flickr

What do you do if you've got your kids on New Year's Eve?

Rita Arens authors Surrender, Dorothy and is the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology Sleep is for the Weak. She is the senior editor for BlogHer.com.


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