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December 25, 2012

Do You Let Your Kids Stay Up Late on NYE?

Blog-nyeIronically, New Years’ Eve has never been a night when my husband and I have booked a sitter. We’ve always treated it as a casual family-night in. We’ll just make dinner and watch the ball drop together. And even when the kids were about six, we would let them stay up with us to welcome the New Year.

I was recently telling this to a friend who was pretty shocked that I would ever let a child stay up until midnight. And yes, I know, I would pay for it, for a few days of excess whining afterwards. But it was a fun, simple family tradition.

What do you do on New Year’s Eve? If you’re booking a sitter, I’d suggest doing that today. But if you’re staying home with the kids, I have some fun NYE family party ideas from the Editors at that might(!) be a little more exciting than my Dick Clark Rockin’ Eve. Would love to hear your ideas too:

  1. Host an Early Ball Drop. This would work for all early bedtimers. Google New Year celebrations in major cities in earlier time zones and celebrate while watching online. Countdown and blow horns, toast with fizzy apple cider. Whatever you want. Then kiss goodnight and let the kids get their sleep.
  2. Throw a Slumber Party. The friends with the biggest house get to host! But this way, kids and grownups all get to join in the fun – and parents can be with their friends after the kids have gone to bed.
  3. Have a New Years Day Open House. Forget the late nights and host a play date brunch for people to drop in and relax. It’s casual and playful, and another day for you to enjoy being with your kids – and each other.

Whatever you do for your New Year’s Eve and Day, I hope you have a great – and safe – night.

And here’s another tip. If you’re going out for dinner and you know you’ll be home early, as in around 9:30 or 10, let babysitter job applicants know. Create the job post with a title like "Need NYE Sitter – Will Be Home by 10PM." This works if you’re looking for a fun early night (since little ones don’t know it’s New Year’s Day!), you might just open up a wealth of job applicants (so they can go out after you get home!).

Tell me, what do you like to do with your kids for the holiday? Is it a big celebration for you?


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I was thinking of having an early countdown for the kids.
Instead of a countdown to midnight. On the Saturday before
the New Year, we are having a countdown to NOON with
streamers and balloons and sparkling grape juice.

Then the kids can do a little dancing or playtime, lunch and the
party's done. The kids will feel that they've been included for
something important and you can still get them to bed on NYE
at a decent time.


I have wonderful New Year's Eve memories from when I was a little girl. I was allowed to stay up until midnight (usually having had a nap earlier) and celebrate with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It was great fun to ring in the New Year as a family!
Now, with my own young children, I have allowed them to stay up until midnight so that they, too can have lifelong memories of watching fireworks and celebrating with everyone else. Of course, this is done within reason and various factors come into play. If they're tired and no one is up to staying awake and venturing out (especially if it's very cold), then we all go to sleep early. Sometimes the adults can't make it to midnight either! So in short, if it works out, great. If not, that's also fine. Either way, we enjoy our traditional lentils and bake a cake on New Year's day.
Happy New Year everyone, all the best in 2013!

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