Celebrating New Year’s Eve with young children is very different to those nights spent partying until sunrise, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. See out the old and bring in the new with these family-friendly New Year’s Eve traditions that will make the day feel just as special.

Make a New Year’s Eve box

Forget Christmas Eve boxes, New Year’s Eve boxes are the next big thing. Why not say goodbye to 2016 with snuggly PJs, hot chocolate and a great family movie? Presenting the whole lot in a special box will help little one get excited about the occassion.

New Year’s Eve with young children

Invite your friends over

If you can’t go to the party, make the party come to you. Loud music, late nights and lorry loads of booze may no longer be an option, but inviting friends and family members over who also have young children can be a great way for you all to celebrate together in a child-friendly atmosphere.

Have a games night

Bring the family together with a night of games and kid-friendly party food. It doesn’t matter what games you play – whether traditional board games or multi-player computer games – as long as everyone can join in.

New Year’s Eve with young children

Create a memory jar

Create a memory jar to capture your favourite memories from the past year. Think about the sights, sounds and sensations of the last twelve months and write them all down to be revisited at the end of 2016. Add pictures or small mementoes to turn it into a mini time capsule.

Have a candle-lit dinner

Turn your final family meal of the year into a special occasion by eating by candle light (with candles safely out of reach of small hands!). Prepare the meal together to create a feeling of closeness, letting little ones help where they can. You can turn this into even more of a family tradition by always cooking the same meal every year.

New Year’s Eve with young children

Go to a pantomime

Pantomimes are synonymous with the festive spirit, and they aren’t just for Christmas. Going to see a panto can be a lovely way to round off the celebrations and end the year with lots of smiles and laughter – perfect for those families who like to get out of the house on New Year’s Eve.

Introduce a Kindness Elf

A lot of people are becoming aware of the Elf on a Shelf tradition that has taken off in recent years, but the concept of a mischievous elf causing trouble throughout December doesn’t suit every family. One alternative is to introduce a Kindness Elf, who focuses on prompting children to do good deeds. Use a little elf magic to encourage positive behaviour in slightly older children as they enter the new year.

New Year's Eve with young children