Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Six fun and family-friendly New Year’s Eve Party ideas to help ring in the new year with a bang!

Six fun and family-friendly New Year's Eve activities to help ring in the new year with a bang!

New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite days of the year. Well, the evening is, at least.

I’ve never been one to really go out and party on New Year’s Eve. The closest to “partying” I ever got was the one or two times my parents forced encouraged me to go to a youth dance at church. My favorite New Year’s Eve celebrations have been spent with family members – playing games all night and eating yummy appetizers.

To me, holidays are best spent with family, and New Year’s Eve is definitely no exception.

While I’m totally fine with having a low-key holiday with my family, it can be fun to have some special activities planned. Here are a few family-friendly New Year’s Eve party ideas that I think would make ringing in the New Year even more fun. These would be great if you are getting together with other families (or you just have a large family to begin with!) As I was coming up with these ideas, I noticed that The Dating Divas had some fun printables for them on their site, so I’ve linked to those where applicable.

Favorite Things Gift Exchange

I played this at a church activity a few years ago, and I always think it’s a lot of fun. Basically, everyone brings three of their favorite things (it can be three of the same, or three different) and everyone takes a turn describing why they love what they brought. Then you draw a name of three people, and those three people get what you brought. Everyone gets to go home with three new, fun products. It’s a good idea to put a price limit on what people can bring.

The printables from the Dating Divas are $9.97 and include:

  • Host’s Guide to help you plan all the details.
  • Invitations (and instructions)
  • Party Decor including food table decor, framed printables and even a banner!
  • Ice Breaker Games to add a little more fun to the evening.
  • Gift Exchange Printables to make the main event run smoothly.
  • Party Favors to send your guests home with something special from you.
  • Gift Exchange Ideas to inspire the three items you bring to the party.

You can purchase it here.

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Game Night

This is pretty self-explanatory but you just pay games all night. You can let everyone pick their favorite game to play (whether it be a board game, card game, or even a rousing round of Mario Kart!) This is pretty much what we do every New Year’s Eve, and it’s always fun. One year we even all play Bop It Extreme for a couple hours. I put together a list of the best group board games in case you need some ideas.

Minute to Win It

Minute to Win it games are so fun! We played a few at our family reunion a few years ago (as well as at the one previous to that), and everyone always enjoys them. They are fast-paced, competitive, and people of all ages can enjoy them. I made this Pinterest board awhile back with Minute-to-Win-it games in case you need some ideas.

Follow Katie Clark @ Clarks Condensed’s board Minute to Win it Games on Pinterest.

The Dating Divas has a great Minute-to-Win-it party pack that they sell as well. It says it’s a group date idea – so some of the activities are geared toward that –  but overall, I think it’s great for all groups. It’s $14.97, but it includes so many fun ideas and printables


Time Capsule

Have you ever made a time capsule? I’m pretty sure my family made one when I was younger, but I’m not sure that we ever opened it! I do think time capsules are so fun, especially because I’m realizing more and more that it’s hard to remember all the special  moments from the past.

While you could do a time capsule that you put in a box and vow not to open for years, I loved this idea from The Idea Room for time capsule jars. You do one every year on New Year’s Eve and everyone puts in mementos from the year. She also has a fun survey you can fill out to put in the jar. I think this is a great idea. I have been thinking I’d like to do an end-of-year questionnaire with my kids each year, and this would be a great way to do that (though I think I will make one of my own and share it some time!)

White Elephant Gift Exchange

I LOVE white elephant gift exchange parties! I’ve done them a lot over the years, and they are always so fun. I think it’s best when people bring gag gifts (here is a great list of hilarious white elephant gifts), but you can always bring something nicer if you want as well. I would definitely encourage a price limit, though.

I’ve played it in a variety of different ways, and you can adjust for the group you are with. If you are playing with children who won’t react well to the possibility of their gift being stolen, you can play a story version. All you do is read a story (there are tons of them online) where there are keywords that indicate whether you pass the package left or right. At the end of the story, whichever gift you end up holding is yours!

Otherwise, the classic version is fun! We played it last year at Christmas, and I think everyone enjoyed it. You put numbers into a hat and everyone draws one out. The person with number one gets to pick the first gift to unwrap. Then, the person with number two has the option to open another gift or steal the first gift. It goes on until all the numbers have been picked. Obviously, it’s most advantageous to be the last person!

Here is a printable pack from the Dating Divas for a White Elephant Party. It is $8.97 and includes invites, games, DIY gift ideas, recipes, and more.


Countdown Bags or Balloons

I’ve seen these ideas floating around Pinterest for the past few years, and it seems really fun. It’s a great way to keep people excited and involved with the festivities of the night.

You have a bunch of different balloons or bags with times leading up to midnight written on them.  Inside each bag or balloon is a fun activity to do when that time arrives. You could make it even more fun by adding a candy or treat to every bag!

The Dating Divas has a printable pack with lots of fun ideas for $8.97!


And of course, no New Year’s Eve would be complete without yummy food! Be sure to check out this post with yummy and family friendly New Year’s Eve appetizer and drink ideas!



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