Do you have special traditions for ringing in the New Year? If you are searching for something different to try, check out these 7 New Year’s Eve traditions for families.

In the past, New Year’s Eve was never my favorite holiday. I’m not a wild party girl, and it always felt a little lonely and depressing before I was in a relationship with my husband. My New Year’s resolution was typically the same — to lose weight. That was depressing too since I had been overweight my whole life. (I’ve since lost 100 lbs. You can read the story of how I did that here.)

I’ve discovered I enjoy New Year’s so much more now that I celebrate with my family. Sometimes we get stuck in our holiday traditions and we forget that we are the grown ups and can create new traditions that we actually want and enjoy!

Here are some ideas to consider that will be fun for your kids AND for mom and dad.

7 New Year’s Eve Traditions for Families


We start our New Year’s Eve celebrations by attending worship at our church. If your church doesn’t host a New Year’s Eve service, you should be able to find a local church that does, or consider having a family devotion or prayer time together at home. Start the new year with what matters most — reflect on what God has done for you and ask His blessing for the year to come.

2. Party foods!

We splurge on New Year’s Eve and have our family’s favorite food — seafood. We buy crab legs (a once a year treat) and shrimp. For our family members who don’t like seafood, I make soft pretzels. We round out our feast with cream puffs for dessert.

Check out this post for fun mini shot glass appetizer and dessert ideas, too.

How to Host a Shot Glass Mini-Servings Party Like a Pro

This easy raspberry punch is our favorite punch recipe.

Raspberry Punch

Try a fun themed buffet and let everyone make their own treat, like a s’mores or waffle bar. I have lots of great ideas on my Pinterest Party Time board:
Follow The Holy Mess’s board Party time!!! @ Holy Mess on Pinterest.

3. Balloon Drop.

Here’s a really fun idea from Pinned It blog. Host your own DIY balloon drop. Kids will love this! Get the full directions here.

4. Noon Year’s Eve

If your kids are little, consider having a Noon Year’s Eve celebration for them. Have a countdown starting at 10:00 am, with treats and games until 12:00 noon. Then that evening, mom and dad can bring in the New Year with a glass of wine and Netflix while the little ones are in bed.

5. Balloon Pop Count Down

Balloon Pop Countdown

Crafitbilities has this great New Year’s Eve idea for families.

Cratibilities has this fun New Year’s Eve count down for families. Inside each balloon is a piece of paper with a different activity listed, like, “make cupcakes” and “glow in the dark paint” for kids to pass the time until midnight.

6. Family Game Night

We love playing games together as a family. Here are a couple of our favorites:


Suspend — Can you add pieces without letting them all fall down? Available at

Heads Up is a hysterical game app for your phone. The app gives you a word or phrase, and your team has to get you to say the word. Tilt the phone up to pass and down for a correct answer and to gain a point. Another fun features is that the phone video records the sessions, so you can watch your team in action after each round is over.

Our family gets lot of laughs out of this! The app is free but has optional rounds for purchase.

Heads Up in itunes.

Check out Busy Boys Brigade blog for printable games, activities, and crafts:

7. Look at Photos from the Year

We often think of New Years as the time for looking forward (which is great!), but let’s not forget to look back on the previous year and give thanks for our blessings. Take the time to look at pictures from the previous year.

Here is a neat idea. Print photos of your family from the previous year and use them to create a simple Memory Matching Game:

Check out No Time for Flash Cards blog for complete instructions on how to make this simple Memory Matching Game.

Choose one or two of these ideas to bring in the New Year in a fun, meaningful way with your family.

How do you celebrate the New Year?

7 New Years Eve Traditions for Families|The Holy Mess