The Mayans were right, the end is near...the end of 2012 that is! Now that the Christmas decorations are all put away and we gaze into the potential Fiscal Cliff thanks to an inert Congress, we can stay positive with the ringing in of the new year. Most new year's activities revolve around adult parties with libations late into the night. But here's some ideas on how to celebrate the new year with children that doesn't involve drinking or late hours!
Change Your Time Zone
There's no doubt that the best and most festive way to celebrate the arrival of the new year is watching the ball drop in Times Square in New York City, but we all know that keeping little ones up until midnight will make for a very rough start to the new year! So consider watching London, England ring in the new year. It's a night filled with fireworks and fun. Not to mention the fireworks shoot out of Big Ben! Although it will be midnight in jolly 'ol England, it will be at 7pm here and you should be able to watch it live on the Internet as it's broadcast live on BBC1. It's a bit tricky to get but LiveTVCafe.net offers a stream after downloading Real Player.
Break Out The Glitter
Use today to take down your Christmas decorations — if you haven't already — and put up some New Year's Eve decor! Cover plain party hats with glitter by spraying them with spray glue and then letting the kids go to town sprinkling glitter on them (may we suggest doing this in the garage?). Prepare for the big countdown by making paper poppers that can be filled with confetti, use a toilet paper roll and wrap it in a couple sheets of tissue paper, closing the ends with curling ribbon.
Make A Time Capsule
You don't have to dig a hole in the backyard to create a memorable time capsule with your kids. In fact, this can easily become a fun and special New Year's tradition for your family! Print out a survey that every family member needs to complete, with questions such as these: What's your favorite food right now? What is the best thing you did this year? Include the survey and a photograph of each family member and put them all in a special box. Add to the time capsule each year with the same survey of questions. It will be so fun to read from year to year and even five or 10 years down the road!
Throw A Family-Friendly Bash
Remember all those friends that you used to spend New Year's Eve with, pre-kids? Well, now that you're all in the same parenting boat, there's no reason why you still can't get together to celebrate the new year! Invite them all over with their kids and throw a big, family-friendly New Year's Eve bash, complete with champagne... and juice boxes. Tell your friends to bring pajamas for the kids and set up movies, popcorn and sleeping bags for the little ones so that everyone can stay as late as possible.
The simplest but also the most memorable thing you can do with your kids on New Year's Eve is to sit down as a family and make a plan for the year to come. Get a big piece of poster board and go crazy brainstorming things you want to do as a family, places you want to travel, projects to conquer and goals to accomplish.