New Year's Eve can be a tough one to celebrate with the littles, BUT it is possible! Whether you're ready to strap an infant on for a night on the town or would prefer an early evening in your pajamas, there's a way to make a family-friendly midnight work -- even if it means cheating the countdown clock a little... Besides, marking the successful survival of a calendar year together is certainly cause enough for a celebration!
Cheating the Clock
The best trick in the book: countdown doesn't HAVE to take place exactly at midnight.... in fact, it could take place at any time!! An after-dinner appointed hour is fine for kiddos. Netflix declared that "9PM is the New Midnight" and we couldn't agree more!
Celebrating in Solidarity -- with Someplace Else!
This is one of our favorite ideas because unless you live in Samoa, somewhere in the world is turning over to the new year before you! If you live in London, UK, why not celebrate with an Indian-flavored feast when Mumbai's midnight hits (around 6:30pm GMT!) Or if you're in New York or elsewhere on the US east coast, try joining the European's with a Greek (5pm EST) or an Italian (6pm EST) or even a British-themed (7pm) repast! Chicagoans, go Brazilian with Rio de Janeiro (at 8pm Central), and Californians, you have your pick, including Buenos Aires (at 7pm Pacific) or much of the Caribbean (8pm). Take a cue from another culture this year!
Another fun way to mark the moment is with the food itself! Here are some easy ways to take part in a globally-minded way:
- Spain and Portugal famously down 12 grapes -- one on each stroke of the midnight bell.
- Turkey and Greece smash a pomegranate on the floor and count the scattered pieces for good luck.
- In lots of places -- Italy, India, Brazil among others -- lentils or other legumes like black-eyed peas are considered good luck foods.
- Long noodles symbolize longevity and make many new years appearances across Asia
- Savor a Scandianvian-style new year's treat with pickled herring
- Don't mis any excuse to include donuts as a festive dessert, their round shape is good luck too!
Fun for All!
Lastly, fireworks or not, make sure you've got something to set a sparkly scene...
-- and don't forget to take some special pics to remember the occasion!
Hit the town, TOGETHER!
If staying out until midnight doesn't suit, there are earlier options for all ages in lots of cities. Check out some fun ideas:
- NYC: Eataly is celebrating on Italian time -- and it sounds pretty delicious! Or have a burger with Londontown at Five Napkin.
- CHI: So many options, like a "Noon Year's Eve" Pizza Party and crafts at musuems.
- MIA: Early fireworks, balloon drops, and of course an apple juice to toast!
- DC: Concerts, daytime festivities, a fundraising light show, and more.
- BOS: Make a time capsule or watch a reindeer parade -- plus early fireworks!
- LA: Oshugatsu in Little Tokyo, parade prep and of course, some Disney sparkle