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Celebrating New Years Eve with Toddlers

New Years Eve is probably the biggest holiday that has changed since becoming a mother. New Years before kids consisted of short, sparkly dresses; heels, dancing and drinking champagne until the early morning; followed by sleeping until noon, watching college football, and eating junk food all day. Sure, having young kids is a blessing, but let’s be honest, parenting toddlers after a late night of alcohol induced fun is brutal. So if you’re like me and don’t feel like paying your kids’ college savings account to a babysitter for one night of overpriced, over-hyped fun, then see the following suggestions regarding celebrating the new year with toddlers.

Hourly Activities

One thing I know for sure, toddlers have the attention span of a goldfish. New Year’s is no different, so I suggest planning a new activity every hour. There are a million ways to craft an activity countdown on Pinterest: popping balloons, confetti poppers out of toilet paper tubes, or just writing down an activity and the hour it’s to be opened on the envelope. While you’re on Pinterest check out some of the super easy crafts and activities you can do with your tiny minions. Remember to take into account meals, naps, and other regularly scheduled activities that will help fill up your hours. Some of the activities I’m planning are: baking cookies, blowing bubbles outside, hot chocolate tea party, indoor scavenger hunt, and building a pillow fort.

Noon Years Eve 

When the girls were one, we discovered this genius concept called Noon Years Eve. Basically you use 12-noon as your kids’ midnight countdown celebration, which means your kids can still make their normal, or relatively close to normal, bedtime! This can be done at your house with your hourly activities, or check out one of the fun celebrations at the Henry Doorly Zoo or the Durham Museum!

Henry Doorly Zoo’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration 11 am-1 pm event is included with your membership or daily admission. There is a beach ball drop at 11:59 a.m. in the Wild Animal Kingdom Pavilion and in the Scotts Aquarium conference center. Following the beach ball drop there is a magic show in the Wild Animal Kingdom Auditorium by Joe Cole. This is a very popular event so get there early and enjoy the zoo!

Durham Museum Noon Year’s Eve 10am-2pm Free with museum membership or paid entry. Enjoy live music by Dino O’Dell and the T-Rex All-Stars, jump around on the giant bubble wrap stomp, and create some awesome party hats and other crafts! Then countdown to the spectacular balloon drop!

Say Good-Bye to 2018 and Hello to 2019

Photo by Unsplash

One tradition I’m really excited to start this year is getting the family together and watching the sunset on December 31st, and then getting up and watching the sunrise together on January 1st. Whether you drive to a park, or just stand out in your driveway, the symbolism of watching one year come to an end and then welcoming in the fresh start of a new year will be one of those traditions I hope my kids will remember into adulthood. Plus, I won’t feel so guilty if I’m in bed way before midnight! 

Whatever your celebrations include this year, I hope they are full of fun and excitement for you and your family. 

Happy New Year!

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