Staying in with the kids for this New Year's Eve? Make it a fun celebration for everyone whether you have little ones who can stay up late or you need to do two countdowns to make sure everyone has a time to celebrate! Here are some fun ideas for what to do with the kids on New Year's Eve, some great local activities, yummy recipes and awesome activities and decorations to make it a great New Year's party for you and your family! Local New Year's Eve Activities:
- Celebrate the arrival of 2012 at a more kid-friendly time. Join The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology in Troy (CMOST) at their 7th Annual Noon Year’s Eve Celebration. The festivities run from 10am until 1pm. Stop in at the Noon Year’s animal show in the Operation W.I.L.D. exhibit, create cool Noon Year’s noise makers and party hats, get your face painted, and participate in fun games and activities. At Noon they’ll do a countdown, participate in a CMOST Museum parade, and welcome the Noon Year with a bubble blowing bonanza! Admission is free for members and $5.00 per person for ages two and up.
- Head out to First Night Saratoga in Downtown Saratoga, festivities start at 5:30pm. First Night is a New Year’s celebration of the arts and community. Each year, thousands of revelers come to Saratoga Springs to experience a wide-ranging variety of arts and music and it is a true showcase of the diverse and immense talent in the Capitol-Saratoga region. Broadway and the surrounding streets of Saratoga Springs will be filled with music, art, comedy and family-friendly entertainment. There’s no better way to ring in the New Year! or more information visit: saratoga.com/holiday/first-night-saratoga.cfm
- While you're downtown, head over to the Children's Museum for special First Night programs! From 6– 9 pm for First Night Saratoga 2012, they are excited to host storyteller Karen Pillsworth, and origami expert Dan Busha. Programs alternate every half-hour from 6 pm to 9 pm. The Museum’s exhibits will not be open. Admission is free for people with a First Night Button, and without a button cost is museum admission ($6 per person, children under 1 are free).
If you're planning a party at home:
- How about a 2011 family time capsule? It's a great way to remember the great times you had over the previous year and a fabulous way to preserve those memories together! Use any kind of box you want, and you get to decide when to open it, a year from now, ten years from now, however long you think you can wait! You also choose what to put inside, drawings, pictures, artwork created that year by the kids, the possibilities are endless. I like the idea of having the kids either write (or tell you what to write) stories and letters about their favorite memories from that year and having the parents do the same. Rather than bury it (and risk it getting ruined) just tuck it away in a closet or attic with a note attached saying when you'll open it to rediscover your favorite memories as a family from 2011.
- When you're done looking back on the great things you've done in 2011, you can make a Family Game Plan for 2012! Get a big piece of poster board and go crazy brainstorming things you want to do as a family, places you want to travel, projects to conquer and goals to accomplish.
- Do a midnight (or whatever your kid friendly "midnight" time will be) balloon drop to ring in the New Year! Check out these step by step instructions on how to make a fun balloon drop everyone at your family party will love!
Did you know 2012 was the Chinese Year of the Dragon? Have the kids celebrate the dragon with these fun dragon crafts! Make your own miniature dragon puppet here, download some free printables to make another cool puppet, or click here for an easy egg carton dragon, and use them to decorate your table!
- As a fun craft to do during the time leading up the party, have the kids make their own noisemakers! Super easy and fun to decorate, these noisemakers can be added to your time capsule after you're done with them as a memory of your celebration!
Another must-do craft for New Year's Eve? Party hats! Over at Martha Stewart these festive hats couldn't be easier to create! Simply fold a 12-inch-square piece of patterned paper in half to make a rectangle. Cut slits down from the open edge, 1 inch apart, stopping 2 inches from the folded edge. Curl strips around a pencil. Curve hat into a circle, and staple. Punch a hole in each side; string with ribbon and wear! She also has an easy how-tofor adorable foil party crowns too!
Over at Babble get the recipe for this adorable Cheese Ball Snowman! This is a fun and festive appetizer to make with the kids, it's a delicious treat for the adults and it is cute enough that even finicky little ones might be tempted to try it!
- A confetti cake is a great way to top off your New Year's Eve celebration, light it up with some sparkler candles and it will definitely be a New Year's Eve the kids (and you) will remember for a long time!