new years eve events for kids
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Celebrating New Year's Eve as a Family Is Easier Than Ever


Dec. 30 2020, Updated 1:59 p.m. ET

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most parents knew all too well the struggle of celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids. Sometimes you find a sitter and other times, you have to opt for a night in on one of the busiest party nights of the year. It comes with the territory. But, truth be told, there are plenty of benefits to celebrating with kids.

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Like getting to avoid possible traffic due to the holiday, avoiding snow-covered roads on a 1 a.m. drive home, and being able to gorge on snacks while wearing your pajamas with no pressure to actually put an effort into your look. And during a year when it’s actually a necessity to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home, there are some options to make it fun for both you and the kids.

new years eve events
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Celebrate with a virtual Noon Year's Eve party.

Most parents are pretty familiar with the idea of Noon Year’s Eve. It’s a way for kids to get involved in a countdown without actually staying up well past their bedtimes. Before, you might have taken your kid to the local children’s museum for a morning of fun, followed by a collective countdown until noon. For now, however, you will have to rely on the virtual version of that.

If you look into your local museums and libraries, however, it may not be difficult to find a free Noon Year’s Eve event offered for you and your kids to enjoy from the comfort and safety of your own home. It may not be the same thing, but it’s something to help your kids get into the New Year’s Eve spirit during the day.

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Play party games remotely on New Year's Eve with your family and friends.

Thanks to games like Jackbox, you can now play party games with friends from all over. Most Jackbox games aren't made for very little children, but older kids and adults can enjoy the silly games while on New Year’s Eve with friends and family who are also in their own homes. Again, nothing quite beats getting the entire gang together. This is still a nice second resort, though.

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Attend one of many virtual New Year's Eve events for families.

Unsurprisingly, there are some free virtual events taking place on New Year’s Eve that almost anyone can register for ahead of time. A Girl Scouts event involving a noon countdown and STEM activity can be found here for kids and their families. And Chozen Media Kids is hosting its own free virtual pajama party with games, giveaways, and activities.

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Host a Zoom New Year's Eve party.

You can also host your own New Year’s Eve party on Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook, or any other platform you might prefer to get your family and friends together for the sake of counting down to what everyone hopes will be a far better year than 2020. There are also fun Zoom backgrounds you can download to make things extra festive and you can plan for the ball drop or even a movie to watch together over the video call.

Watch the Times Square New Year's Eve ball drop from home.

Why mess with a classic? Plenty of families have always honored the tradition of watching the Times Square ball drop from their respective living rooms and 2020 may be no different for them in that regard. Even if you had planned that this was *finally* the year you would travel to New York City to see it in person, you can still watch the ball drop virtually.

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times square new years eve
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It’s no secret that 2020 was excruciatingly hard for some families. It was a lot for many to handle, with barely a week to catch their breath before something else happened. But there’s no better way to say goodbye to the year than ringing in 2021 in the best way possible — even if you have to do it at home.

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