If you’re planning an at-home family New Year’s Eve party for 2021, you are in the right place!
Oh, 2020: you started with so much promise – and now we are so excited to send you off with an epic family New Year’s Eve party at home!
No matter the ages and stages of your kids, you’ll find lots of ways to celebrate the beginning of 2021 as a family!
Let’s dive right in with the 21 brilliant ideas for hosting the Ultimate Family New Year’s Eve Party!
1. Celebrate the New Year on your own time
You might think that you need to keep your kids up until midnight to have a proper family New Year’s Eve party for 2021.
But who would want to start the new year with exhausted, whiny kiddos?
No one, that’s who.
Instead, you decide what time is “midnight” – or the start of the new year for your kids!
If their bedtime is 8pm, you may let them stay up a little later and have your own unofficial New Year’s Eve celebration happen at 8:30 or 9pm.
Whatever time you choose will be important because you’ll be working backwards from there to create your amazing family New Year’s Eve party for 2021!
So choose a time that works for you and your kids, and go from there.
Free Printables for your family New Year’s Eve party
Before we get any further, you’ll want to take a look at all the family New Year’s Eve party resources in the Free Printables library here on Jen Bradley|MOMs!
You’ll find printables for:
- New Year’s Eve wordsearches
- scavenger hunt
- 2020 time capsule pages
- bingo boards
- funny fill-in-the-blank
- 2021 resolutions
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2. New Year’s Eve Balloon Countdown
To get your family New Year’s Eve party underway, you’ll want to start with some sort of countdown.
I love this awesome balloon countdown idea from Craftibilities!
Before you blow up the balloons, put a small slip of paper in the balloon with an activity written on it.
Then, blow up the balloon and write a time on it with a wide Sharpie marker. Better yet, attach a beautiful printed clock with the right time from the New Years Eve Party printable pack available in my shop!
How to customize your clocks:
To assign each balloon a time, decide when you want the party to begin, how many activities you want to do, and when you want the party to end (see tip #1 above!).
For example, there are 12 awesome games and activities for you in this article. You could choose to make 6 balloons – with 2 activities in each balloon. Or you could blow up 12 balloons and have one activity per balloon – and assign the times a bit closer together. It is totally up to you!
Great games for your family New Year’s Eve Party at home
These 12 fun games are divided into 2 main groups:
- active minute to win it New Year’s Eve games
- printable New Year’s Eve games for kids
We’ll take a look at the minute to win it New Year’s Eve games first!
Minute to Win It Games for New Year’s Eve
To play minute to win it games, you’ll need a one minute timer, good attitudes, and people who are ready to laugh!
3. (Cotton) Ball Drop
- several handfuls of cotton balls
- a flat top-hat party hat like this
Players put their hats upside down on the floor and then stand on a surface a few feet above their hat – a bench, sofa without cushions, etc will be perfect.
When the timer starts, players take one cotton ball at a time, hold it up near their nose and try to drop it into their upside down party hat.
The person who gets the most cotton balls in his or her hat is the winner!
4. Ring Out the Old
For this hilarious game, you’ll need
- one empty kleenex box
- 6-8 ping pong balls
- a long thick ribbon (2″ wide is perfect)
On the bottom of the kleenex box, make two parallel cuts just slightly longer than the ribbon near the center with an exact-o knife.
Then pull the ribbon through both cuts so the empty box is in the center of the ribbon. Fill the box with the ping pong balls.
Tie the ribbon around the waist of one player, with the kleenex box line up just above the player’s bottom.
The person then has one minute to shake all of the ping pong balls out of the box! Whomever does it fastest is the winner!
5. Ring in the New
Label the lunch bags with letters A-L. Place one jingle bell in one paper bag, two jingle bells in the next, three in the next, and so on until you have 12 jingle bells for the last bag.
Be sure to mix up the order of the letters as you fill the bags.
Line up the bags in alphabetical order on a table or on the floor.
The player has to shake each bag and arrange them in order based on the number of jingle bells he or she thinks is in each bag.
At the end of one minute, open each bag one by one and see if the bags were arranged correctly!
6. Face the (Cookie) Future
one cookie per player
Each player tilts her head back and places the cookie on her forehead. Using only gravity and her face muscles, the player must move the cookie down her face toward her mouth.
The first person to get their cookie in their mouth without dropping it is the winner!
7. Don’t Look Back
- several handfuls of cotton balls
- a flat top-hat party hat like this
Players divide into pairs. One team member kneels down on the ground facing away from their partner. The standing player takes 3 large steps backwards away from their partner.
The kneeling partner holds a top hat party hat upside down in his hands.
When the timer starts, the standing player takes several handfuls of cotton ball and throws them over the head of their partner, trying to land as many cotton balls in the party hat as possible.
The kneeling partner can move the hat around to catch as many cotton balls as he can!
8. Midnight Kiss Reveal
This is a fun group game for about five or six people at a time.
- Hershey kisses
- Flat surface, such as a baking tray
Write a number 12 on the bottom of a Hershey kiss. You’ll need at least one or two number 12’s for each person who will be playing the game. (If you have a lot of younger kids playing, go with two stickers per person!)
Arrange 30-40 regular (no 12 on the bottom) Hershey kisses on a large, flat surface such as a baking sheet. Place the Hershey kisses with the number 12 randomly on the surface as well.
How to play:
Players take turns quickly picking up a Hershey kiss, turning it over, and checking it to see if it has a 12 on the bottom.
If there is no sticker, the person has to eat the Hershey kiss as quickly as possible.
If there is a 12 on the bottom, the person who picked it up gets to count it as one point!
The person with the most points collected at the end of one minute is the winner!
Printable games for your family New Year’s Eve party at home
Now let’s move on to the printable games!
Remember, you can click here to grab all of these games that are available for you in the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable Resource Library!
9. New Year’s Eve word search
Word searches are both simple and fun!
You can either print one word search per person at the party and have everyone race against each other.
Or you can give a time limit and see who finishes before the time is up.
Finally, if you have a group with a wide variety of ages, you may consider having teams or partnerships complete the wordsearch together.
10. Funny fill in the blank
For this Mad Libs-style activity, gather everyone around and have them provide the words for the blanks.
It may help to give a quick review about nouns, verbs, and adjectives before you start!
When all the blanks are filled, clear your throat and read the entire story with as must drama as possible. You’ll probably have to pause and wait for people to stop laughing from time to time!
11. Your Year in Review
This is such a fun way to take a moment and think about all of the things that have happened in the past year.
If you have kids who are not able to write, adults and older kids can help them answer the questions – they’re all super simple.
12. New Year’s Eve photo scavenger hunt
The photo scavenger hunt is one of my favorite games for a family New Year’s Eve party!
Divide into teams of 4-5 people and give every team a copy of the scavenger hunt list.
Then set a timer for 7-10 minutes, and allow the groups to take photos of the items on the list. (Some of them can be acted out too!)
The group with the most (or funniest!) photos is the winner!
13. New Year’s Eve bingo
The New Year’s Eve bingo set (along with all of the other printable games here) is available for FREE in the Free Printables Library! It is the perfect game for a crowd of mixed ages.
With six different bingo cards, you may need to have kids partner up.
You can use M&Ms or these perfect colored plastic chips as bingo markers.
14. New Year’s resolutions
This is another great page to fill out on New Year’s Eve!
If you have family guests arriving at different times, you may have this available for the first people to fill out as others show up.
Also, make sure everyone puts their name on their page so they can take these home with them!
Additional activities for your family New Year’s Eve party for 2021
Here are a few more ideas to make your family New Year’s Eve party extra special and memorable:
15. Create a New Year’s tree
During the day of New Year’s Eve, have your kids help you take off all the Christmas ornaments from your Christmas tree.
Then allow them to drape all kinds of gold and silver metallic streamers all over the tree.
This gold and silver star garland would also be a perfect addition to your New Year’s tree!
16. Balloon drop
This is something I’ve never done before, but I can’t wait to give it a try!
I’ll be following the instructions in this easy DIY video from fellow mom, Amy Rowland!
This pack of gold, white, and black balloons is exactly what you’d need to coordinate with all of the other elements of your family New Year’s Eve party!
17. Pots and pans celebration
No matter what time your family is celebrating the New Year, grab a few pots and pans and some wooden spoons and make some noise!!
Especially if you are celebrating earlier in the night, your neighbors most likely won’t mind, right?!
Amazing food for your family New Year’s Eve party
To round out your amazing family New Year’s Eve party for 2021, here are some amazing party food ideas your kiddos are sure to love!
18. Clock cupcakes
This adorable cupcake clock from The Soccer Mom Blog is perfect for a small family party! (photo credit: The Soccer Mom Blog)
19. 2021 breadsticks
These fun-shaped breadsticks will be a huge hit with your kids. You can either make them with crescent rolls or your own favorite bread dough. (photo credit: Pillsbury)
20. Cookies and milk New Year’s Eve toast
21. Midnight kiss cookies
If your kids are like mine, they are generally revolted by the idea of kissing – so these cute cookies would be a good substitute for a midnight kiss! (photo credit: The First Year Blog)
Final thoughts on hosting the ultimate Family New Year’s Eve party for 2021:
Are you feeling motivated and excited to host an epic family New Year’s party for 2021?
There’s no doubt this has been a tough year for everyone – so let’s send it out on the best note possible and look forward to the hope a new year always brings!
Happy New Year, mama!