4 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Kids
Gone are the days of partying until the wee hours, dancing in a sparkly dress and heels, anticipating a kiss at midnight. Unless of course, you can find a sitter willing to give up their New Year’s, and we all know how tough that can be. But if you’re like me, most of your friends have kids as well and there are some great ways to enjoy and incorporate your kids into your plans.
Countdown to Noon in New Orleans
Every year, I bring my boys (age 4 1/2 and 18 months) to Zoo Year’s Eve at the Audubon Zoo. The event is free for members or included with zoo admission. From 10:30am-1:30pm, they have music, games and prizes, then hand out party hats and noisemakers for the countdown to noon. We meet up with friends and enjoy the entertainment, see the animals and ride the carousel. Everyone has a great time, and both are ready for a long afternoon nap.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum also has a similar event, The New Year’s Eve Kids Countdown, from 9:30am-2:30pm. The event is $5 for members and $10 for non members. Kids can make noisemakers and party hats, enjoy regular museum activities and second line with the Red Hot Brass band. The countdown to noon finishes off with a confetti toss and a balloon drop.
Spend New Year’s with friends who have children close to the same age as yours. The kids will be entertained and everyone will understand if you choose to end the night early for the sake of routine bed times. We usually go to a friend’s house one street over, so we are close to home. Last year, I headed home a bit early with my younger son while my husband stayed longer with the oldest. Sometimes we will bring a pack and play as well, just in case.
Host the Party
In the past, we would host New Year’s Eve at our house so our son could go to sleep at regular time in his own bed. We kept it small, just a few family members and friends so it wasn’t a lot of work to plan after an already busy holiday season. You could even consider hiring a sitter for the earlier portion of the night to do activities with the littles while adults partake in revelry and festive drinks. My kiddos tend to sleep really hard, so we can still pop fireworks if they are asleep.
Fireworks on the Mississippi River
If your kids can go until midnight, enjoying a fireworks show is free and fun for everyone. Headphones are great if they don’t like loud noises. Outside of the city, the levee in Algiers Point offers great views of the downtown New Orleans fireworks display.