How to have fun without going out
There’s no sugarcoating it – it was a challenging year for all of us. So, when it comes to welcoming a new year, and the new possibilities and reinvigorating outdoor experiences to come, we’re definitely ready to celebrate. So, we’re sharing fun ideas for how you can bring in the new year, while staying close to home.
Looking to do something totally different this New Year’s Eve? Set up a special campsite in your backyard and celebrate outside. Cozy up to a fire pit and tell your favorite stories of the past year, add some backyard games and start a family tournament, or kick back with smores and hot cocoa and do a little star gazing. If outside isn’t an option, keep your campsite indoors or have the whole family work together to create an epic blanket/pillow fort worthy of the new year ahead.
Trying to keep kids up and entertained until midnight is admirable, but it’s also exhausting – for everyone! This year, start the party early with special kid-friendly events, an outdoor scavenger hunt, and of course plenty of snacks. You can even create your very own ball drop for an early kids’ countdown outdoors. Create the ball from things around the house and tie some string around it for a controlled countdown. Or if you’re feeling crafty, grab a foam ball from any crafts store and have everyone decorate it with colored glitter, markers, cut out pictures and other memories from the past year. 10…9…8…
Sometimes the best part about looking forward to the new year is looking back on the things that happened in the previous one. One activity that is sure to bring your family closer together is creating a time capsule. Simply find a container that can keep its contents safe (like a water bottle or mason jar) and add mementos like photos, news clippings, lists of favorite songs, or whatever you want to remind you of the past year. Bury it outside somewhere special or find a place inside to store it. Wherever you hide or bury it be sure to make a detailed map or mark down the location, because part of the fun is digging it up next New Year’s Eve. If a time capsule doesn’t work for you, consider a scrapbook or photo album, full of this year’s favorite memories.
Just because you can’t dress in your finest suit and gown to attend a glamorous New Year’s Eve event, doesn’t mean you can’t make your own. Create fun theme parties to make the night feel special. Don your fanciest garb for an elegant party right at home, complete with glamourous cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and even a dance floor – you can even create your dance floor outside with the right lighting and ambience. Have a potluck party with socially distanced drop offs so you can share your favorite dishes with friends and neighbors. Or if you’re looking to keep it super casual, make it a PJ party and get everyone matching flannel sleepwear and wicked good slippers for the coziest, comfiest New Year’s Eve party ever.
Sometimes life pushes us in different directions to show us exactly where we need to go. So, if your normal traditions are off the table this year, maybe it’s time to create new ones. Have a family meeting or pass a paper around to find out what new traditions everyone is interested in. No matter how silly or quirky, see how many you can make happen. At the very least it’s a unique and fun new way to celebrate the new year, but don’t be surprised if these fresh additions become the beginning of your family’s most cherished and time-honored traditions.