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It’s so fun to have New Year’s Eve traditions to do with your family to ring in the new year. We’ve done a lot of the ones in this post in the past and we’re so excited to start new traditions as our kids get older.
Just a reminder, New Year’s Eve is December 31st and New Year’s Day is January 1st. Most people celebrate on New Year’s Eve and stay up till at least midnight to ring in the new year.
It’s the last holiday of the year and comes soon after Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
There are so many different traditions from around the world that people do to celebrate. This post has a lot from the Untied States and some from other countries too.
There are so many fun and different New Year’s Eve traditions that you can do with your family, friends, or at a party.
#1 New Year’s Eve Tradition – Write Down Your Goals For the New Year
It is so fun to set resolutions and goals for the new year and New Year’s Eve is a great time to do this. You can reflect on the old year and think about what you would like to do in the coming year and how you can change your life.
I recommend writing down your goals instead of just thinking about them. This way you can remember what they were and look at them often.
I made this New Year’s resolutions printable where you can write your resolutions and check them off when you accomplish them.
This is probably the most popular of the New Year’s Eve traditions.
2. Eat Appetizers For Dinner
My family did this for a few years when I was growing up and it was so fun. You can do chips and dips, fruit, veggie trays, spring rolls, samosas, and more. You can eat them for dinner or just set them out for people to snack on throughout the night.
3. Make Fondue
Fondue is really fun food to eat for couples or for families. You can do it at home for dinner or do a chocolate one for dessert. Chocolate is my favorite kind. I love to dip strawberries, pretzels, and marshmallows in it.
4. Drink Sparkling Cider at Midnight
Sparkling cider is so tasty! We always save it for special occasions, like New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
You can use champagne for adults and sparkling cider for kids if you’d like. We love to drink it throughout the night and save some to drink right at midnight.
This is one of the New Year’s Eve traditions that we’ll always do.
5. Watch The Ball Drop
It’s always so fun to have Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on your tv so you can watch the ball drop in Times Square in New York City. I’ve been watching this my whole life and will continue to.
They always have big stars singing at it. If you want to step it up a notch, you could make a tradition of going to New York and watching the ball drop in person!
6. New Year’s Eve Clock Cupcakes
I’ve always thought that New Year’s clock cakes are so cute! You put a number on each cupcake and put them in a circle so it looks like a clock, then you make the time on the clock midnight.
This would be a cute table decoration and a fun treat to eat.
7. Countdown to Midnight
I love watching the timers and start counting down out loud with everyone when there’s only 10 seconds left till the new year!
8. Kiss At Midnight
A very popular and classic thing to do is kiss someone at midnight. This is typically your significant other. You kiss them right after counting down to midnight.
9. Watch NYE Episodes of Your Favorite Shows
If you need some ideas of what to watch, take a look at my list of New Year’s Eve movies and TV show episodes.
My favorites to watch are the New Year’s Eve episodes of Friends and How I Met Your Mother. This is one of the New Year’s Eve traditions that I do every year.
10. Watch New Year’s Eve Movie
I’ve loved watching this movie every year since it came out. It has tons of well-known actors in it.
11. Play Board Games
Playing board games with a group of people is a really fun activity to do on New Year’s night. I’m excited to play board games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders with my kids when they get a little older.
My husband grew up playing Monopoly with his cousins on New Year’s.
12. Play New Year’s Eve Bingo
We’ve played Bingo a few times for New Year’s and it’s really fun. We don’t do it with prizes, but you can. You can just get simple toys at the dollar store or candy to give out.
13. Celebrate Noon Year’s Eve
If you have little ones who don’t stay up till midnight, you can celebrate noon year’s eve and do a party and countdown at noon instead of midnight.
We do this with our kids because they’re toddlers and babies, so they’re too young to stay up till midnight.
We just find a New Year’s countdown on YouTube to watch and countdown with. My kids love it and always ask for a few more countdowns.
We’ll keep doing this and adding more New Year’s Eve traditions as they get older.
14. Balloon Drop at Midnight
You can have a balloon drop setup and release it when the clock strikes midnight so it rains balloons on everyone. Kids will go crazy over it!
15. Make a Banner
I love banners as decorations! This one says Happy New Year. You can get the free printable for it from The Idea Room. One year we spent New Year’s Eve with the kids we babysit.
We printed this and got out markers. Then we each drew on and decorated each letter of the banner. It was a fun activity, then we hung it up on the TV stand so we could see it while we watched the ball drop at midnight.
16. Wear Glasses with the New Year on Them
This is kind of cheesy, but I always love it! You can get a pack of 4 of these ones that are different colors and sparkly.
This is one of my favorite New Year’s Eve traditions. We do it every year and will continue to do so. It’s always fun to wear them and see them on everyone.
17. Decorate For New Year’s Eve
I love to decorate with gold and silver for New Year’s Eve! This party pack also has black and white in it. It has balloons that say 2023, pom poms, and balloons.
It’s an easy and inexpensive way to make your party more special.
18. Celebrate with Party Poppers
Party poppers are fun for adults and kids to use! These cute ones are filled with confetti that is pink, white, red, and gold. This is a must for a party with kids!
19. Bang Pots and Pans at Midnight
When I was little and we’d spend New Year’s Eve at my grandparents’ house, they’d give us pots and pans to bang at midnight to ring in the new year. It’s an old tradition to ward off evil spirits.
20. First Footing
This is a tradition in Scotland that started in the 17th century. This is where the first person to enter your home in the new year is a man who is dark and tall. He must hold ceremonial gifts like shortbread, whisky, coal, or salt. This is done to bring good luck to your family in the year ahead.
21. Eat Traditional New Year’s Food
Traditional new year’s food varies by country and region. In the South of America it’s traditional to eat a dish called Hoppin’ John. It has black eyed peas, collard greens, pork or ham, and cornbread.
A lot of cultures believe in eating round foods because it will lead to prosperity. In Spain you eat 12 grapes, in Chile you eat lentils, in the Philippines you eat 12 round fruits (one for each month of the year).
22. Sing Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne means old long since. It’s a song that was written by the poet Robert Burns, who is Scottish. It’s a song that you’ll hear on a lot of New Year’s Eve shows, movies, and programs.
23. Do The Polar Bear Plunge
A polar bear plunge is where you jump into freezing cold water. You can start a tradition of doing this every year on January 1st as a way to start your year. This is a Canadian inspired tradition.
24. Light Some Fireworks
You can set off fireworks or keep it more simple and do sparklers. This is a fun activity for little kids. You can do it before midnight if your kids aren’t staying up that late.
I hope this post has given you some good ideas of what you can do with your family for New Year traditions.
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