A Fabulous Family New Years Eve
While it might have seemed more appealing to go out partying in our younger days, as we get older a more sentimental approach to these significant milestones often takes precedent, particularly when our children are young. A New Years Eve party in the comfort of our own home is the perfect way to mark the turning of the year when it comes to celebrating with family. We can share in festivities amongst all generations, and with a little creativity build memories that will last far longer than the year ahead!
Let’s look at some ideas to get this party started!
Create A Theme
Creating a buzz with a theme for your celebration is a wonderful way to get everyone out of their shells. When people dress up they tend to get into the party spirit far more readily, so consider what theme might best suit your family and guests. My favourite ideas are a Mad Hatters Party, a Masked Ball or a Glitz and Glam dress code!
For the children consider a slumber party theme. New Year’s Eve can be a very long evening for little ones, but the comfort of running about in soft pyjamas and having sleeping bags to retreat to if it all gets too much can give them the momentum to enjoy the evening, with or without power naps. This theme also makes going to sleep after the stroke of midnight a far more fluid experience at the end of the night! Try picking a kid-friendly zone and throwing some cushions or mattresses down, or creating a little den so that the children have a base to enjoy over the course of the evening.
Build A Countdown Kit
Because the evening is a long one, giving it some structure can keep up the festive momentum and avoid an early fizzle, especially for young minds! Buy some coloured envelopes to be opened on the hour, each hour, over the course of the evening. The contents of each will announce the next exciting activity creating a buzz around what will be coming next! An example of your hourly announcements might be:
7pm New Year’s Resolutions and Wishing Wall
8pm Buffet Dinner
9pm Treasure Hunt
10pm Photo Booth
11pm Time Capsule and Cocktails
New Year’s Resolutions and Wishing Wall
As the night begins, ask each person to write a New Year’s Resolution on a piece of paper and put it into a big box or bowl, and then make a New Years wish for the world by writing it on a post-it notes for your Wishing Wall. Choose a wall in your home and buy some multicoloured post-it notes and marker pens. Ask each guest to write their wish and stick it on the wall, creating a bright and beautiful representation of everyone’s positive intentions for the year ahead!
A treasure hunt can be a great way to get people moving after dinner. You can even make them earn their desserts! You can choose to make clues that will appeal to everyone or create two versions of the treasure hunt – one for adults and one for children. Hide clues around the house that your guests have to solve. There are many great websites offering tips for creating treasure hunt clues. Click here for inspiration! You can nestle treats along with each clue found building up to a grand finale such as a delicious cake or a chocolate fountain!
Create some hilarious mementoes of your evening’s revelries! A pop-up photo booth is a sure fire way to get everybody roaring with laughter. All you need is a savvy volunteer with a camera and some fun props to spark people’s imaginations! I love the idea of using your Wishing Wall as a backdrop, although there are many different formats you could apply. For example, you could set up an empty cupboard or some curtains as a more literal photo “booth” and provide some instant cameras. For props, an array of hats, wigs, stick on moustaches or just about anything silly you can come up with are perfect. If you don’t have access to dressing up goodies, you can find brilliant cardboard photo booth props online or have a go at making your own. Some glitter encrusted Dame Edna style cardboard glasses are just the ticket!
A time capsule can be something as simple as a box that you glue shut until next year’s celebrations, or you could go all out with a well sealing jar that can be buried in the garden! Collect the resolutions that everyone wrote at the beginning of the evening and make a fun game of reading them out and asking people to guess who wrote them. Add them all to your time capsule and invite everyone to add any other notes, messages or drawings that they think would be fun to find a year from now. Seal up the time capsule and you’ll have something interesting to delve into at next year’s celebrations!
Cocktails For Midnight
Toasting in the New Year is such an iconic part of the annual festivities so it’s wonderful to make it special for all present. Make a show of pouring cocktails for everyone! A Bellini makes a great choice for grown-ups. The classic Bellini is made by pouring sparkling wine over peach puree, but you can use any fruit you choose, my favourite is raspberry! For kids, you could try a Virgin Blushing Bucks Fizz. A Blushing Bucks Fizz is normally made by making a Bucks Fizz of sparkling wine and orange juice and adding a dash of grenadine syrup to create a sunset colour fade. For your kid-friendly version, substitute the sparkling wine with a sparkling apple or elderflower drink to create a sweet but sophisticated flavour that will delight their young palettes!
In Spain, it is tradition to eat twelve grapes to mark each chime of the New Year bell as it strikes midnight. You can make something really decorative with this by putting grapes in strands of twelve on kebab sticks and mounting them in a seriously retro hedgehog style table arrangement!
As the hour of midnight fast approaches, you will have everything in place to mark the occasion. Filling jars or bowls with paper confetti and leaving them around your home will make for festive table decoration that is ready to grab and scatter as the bells chime!
Bubble-Wrap On The Floor
Give the kids (and grown-up kids) something to focus on when the New Year arrives. Lay giant bubble-wrap on the floor, and tell everyone to stomp on it when midnight strikes. Who needs the sound of fireworks when you’ve got the bangs of bursting bubbles?!
Make Your Own Balloon Drop
A balloon drop is a relatively easy thing to rig up! All you need is somewhere high to attach it. A big crepe-paper tablecloth and some string can be used to create a hammock to fill with balloons. Choose thin paper that will give easily when you pull it down and tie string to the hammock in a way that it will split open with a reasonable yank.
Breakfast For New Year’s Morning
So everyone’s partied out, the kids are in a happy slumber party pile on the living room floor and while any guests may have headed for home hours before, what better than to gather in the morning to enjoy a celebratory breakfast to set everyone on a bright path for the year ahead.