10 Family Activities to Ring in the New Year

New Year’s Eve will be here before you know. For our family, and maybe yours, it can feel tricky to find fun ways to celebrate with kids ranging in age from 1 to 13. Thanks to a fun hour brainstorming and Googling, I’ve compiled a list of 10 family activities below. I hope they will help make the celebration more memorable for your family.

1. Make your own confetti poppers!

All you need is a balloon, an empty drink bottle, and a piece of paper. Here are some directions.

2. Invite friends/neighbors to gather and light sparklers or crack open glow sticks!

Most grocery stores or party stores carry sparklers and/or glow sticks. For the littles it can be a lot of fun to celebrate the new year at 12 PM instead of 12 AM.

3. Facetime friends and family members!

Maybe dress up in fun costumes. If FaceTime doesn’t work, you could make personalized videos to send. Be sure to especially reach out to those who may be lonely this New Year’s Eve.

4. Ball Drop Countdowns!

If you have young kids and can’t stay up late, there are “ball drop” videos on YouTube from past NYE celebrations. Also, Netflix has some fun countdowns.

5. Count-Down Bags!

Create “count-down bags” kids can open each hour of the day. Here’s a link with some ideas.

6. Word Searches!

Race to see who can do the New Year’s Word Search the fastest!

Search online for “New Year’s Word Search” to find hundreds. You can also download one here.

7. Thankful Things!

Grab a piece of paper and think of things you are thankful for from the past year.

Either draw a picture collage of those things or make a list.  After you’re done, go around the table and talk about what you put on your paper. Fill up your cups with some sparkling juices and toast. We say “Praise the Lord for…”

8. All Things New!

As a family, read Revelation 21:1–5 about God making “all things new” and discuss it as a family. Talk about John’s vision of the new heavens and the new earth and discuss what it means that Jesus is coming back to make all things new. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and ask, “In what ways do you want God to make you new this year?”

9. Listen Together!

Listen to a song about God making “all things new.” You can search YouTube or Spotify and tons will come up.

10. New Year’s Questions!

Spend time answering some questions from below:

  • When did you laugh out loud this year?
  • What is something you’re proud of from this year?
  • What is something you learned or a way you’ve grown?
  • What’s something that surprised you this year?
  • Who is a person (outside of your family) who was especially kind to you this year?
  • Who is someone you’ve grown to love even more this year?
  • What prayer did God answer this year?
  • What is something you’re hopeful for/praying for in the new year?

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About the author

Drew Hill

Drew Hill (MDiv, Denver Seminary) is an award-winning author, speaker, and pastor in Greensboro, NC. Drew has been in youth ministry for over two decades and regularly speaks around the country to thousands of parents, youth workers, and teenagers. He is married to Natalie and they have five children. He is the author of Alongside: Loving Teenagers With the Gospel, Alongside Jesus: Devotions for Teenagers and the minibook When to Get My Kid a Phone. You can visit his website at AlongsideTeenagers.com.

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