New Year’s Eve is always a much anticipated night for our family. It is, of course, the one night a year that my little night owls are given permission to stay up until midnight! We started the tradition of celebrating a “family friendly” New Year’s Eve a couple of years ago. Some years we have joined together with other families. This year it was just the 5 of us at home for the evening.
I kept things inexpensive by hitting up our local Dollar Tree for supplies, and then I went to work. I already had paper bags, card stock, and glue sticks, so our “On the Hour Bags” didn’t cost a dime! My plan was to start our evening festivities at 6:00, so I made a bag for each hour from 6:00 pm – Midnight. I googled “free printable clock templates” and then added the clock hands to each one before printing them out onto white card stock. I traced around a bowl to get perfect circles on the shiny blue and sparkly card stock behind the clocks. A few finishing touches later, and the bags were done.
What was in each bag? Each bag contained something that had to do with the activity for that hour.
6:00 pm: Time Capsule Printouts & A Mason Jar We started a new tradition this year, and it was a huge hit! I looked up some ideas for the time capsule template on Pinterest, and then created my own for our family. We began our evening by sitting at the table together and filling in our favorites, reflections from 2016, & resolutions for 2017. Then we read them to each other, rolled them up and placed them in a mason jar. Our plan is to open them up on New Year’s Eve 2017, read them together, and then create a new time capsule. I’m pretty sure this will continue to be a treasured tradition.
7:00 pm: Glow Sticks & Balloons This was SO….MUCH….FUN! We put glow sticks in balloons and then had an epic living room battle. Boys vs. Girls with Dad as the DJ. We turned off all the lights and made a line of glow sticks dividing the floor in half, girls on one side, boys on the other, with 6 glowing balloons on each side. When Dad played the music, we would try to get all the balloons onto the opposing side. When the music stopped the team with the least balloon on their side was the winner. The girls started off strong, but after 5 rounds, the boys were the ultimate winners! I’m telling you…I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!
8:00 pm: Popcorn & A Red Box Movie Popcorn and movie nights are a family favorite for us, and my kids really wanted to see the movie Storks! Perfect for one of our New Year’s Eve activities!
9:00 pm: Gummy Worms with a “Dessert Break” note attached We took an intermission from the movie to get dessert. This year, I made a delicious ice cream pie with a clock face. I used gluten free Joe Joe’s cookies from Trader Joes to make an “oreo” crust, filled it in with vanilla bean ice cream, and poured homemade chocolate fudge frosting over the top. While it was setting in the freezer, I made a clock on wax paper out of melted white chocolate and placed it on top of the frozen pie. We also included gummy worms for the “non ice cream eater” in our family.
10:00 pm: M&M’s, Marshmallows, and Straws Game Time: I found this idea under “minute to win it” games on Pinterest. I set the table with two paper plates for each player. One plate contained M&M’s and marshmallows. The other was empty. Each player was given a straw (cut to about 3/4 size). At my “GO” the players had to suck up the candies and mallows to make them stick to their straw and transfer them from one plate to the next. The first player to get all of theirs transferred had to call out “Happy New Year!” Micah for the win!
11:00 pm: A Big Bag of Skittles Make a rainbow science experiment! I had seen a couple of videos on youtube of this simple and fascinating science experiment, so I thought it would be a fun way to keep my tired children awake that last hour before the ball dropped. Check out our “make a rainbow” video!
12:00 pm: Cups for Sparkling Cider and Party Horns We opened our final bag about 10 minutes early. Little Sister put on her party hat (she was the only one willing to wear one this year). We filled our cups with cider and got ready to ring in the New Year! We found a countdown on TV, and when the clock struck midnight, we ran outside yelling Happy New Year!!! Oh, and Micah finally got the chance to use that blow horn he got for Christmas!