Low-Stress New Year’s Eve Activities

I keep seeing memes about how weird the week between Christmas and New Year’s is. Not knowing what day it is, not sure whether we’re supposed to be working, etc. I just made a panicked call, afraid I may have missed a morning appointment that I assumed was Thursday, but what if it was Tuesday and I forgot to write it down?! (It’s Thursday. Whew!)

Anyway, our at-home Christmas was very nice, despite recovering from colds and being sad about missing out on seeing family. We played a new card game, had a pizza-and-movie night on Christmas Eve, opened stockings – and even took a shorts-and-a-T-shirt walk at Woodward Park! Just because we could! I made pumpkin soup, honey cornbread and sweet potato boats for a simple but tasty Christmas dinner.

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So that’s Christmas taken care of, but what about New Year’s?! Last year, I found myself tackling a last-minute New Year’s baking project. I’ll share more below. Suffice it to say, it could have been a fun project, but the fun was rather diminished by the frenzied rush to just get it down. This year, it would be nice to plan ahead! So here are some ideas of we might spend New Year’s:

1. Countdown Cookies

This was my big project from last year. If you’re not sugar-cookied-out after Christmas, here’s another opportunity to make and decorate cookies. I just used storebought frosting for decorating. Simply cut out round sugar cookies, and pipe the numbers 1-12 on them. Add a big hand and little hand to two others.  Arrange them in a clock shape, and enjoy! You could move the hands in the middle to countdown to midnight, and just eat the cookies at midnight along with a glass of milk. Cupcakes would also work.

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2. DIY Confetti Poppers

Last year, Discovery Lab hosted a New Year’s Confetti Popper challenge, which Joss and I enjoyed participating in! To make your own confetti popper, watch their video below. You just need a toilet paper roll, a balloon, decorating supplies and confetti! Make your own confetti using crushed up leaves or paper. This video is great because it explains some of the science behind the popper.

3. DIY Noisemakers

There are a ton of ways to make your own noisemakers. I like the idea of a simple paper plate, folded in half, filled with beans and stapled/taped shut. Easy to do and fun to decorate! Here are some other ideas to try: howdoesshe.com/9-easy-ways-to-make-noise-for-the-new-year.

4. Remember the Past Year

2021 was another difficult year for many. But no doubt you made some good memories as well! If you’re really planning ahead, why not print out some of your digital photographs and do some scrapbooking? (I stole that idea from TulsaKids’ list of 10 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Kids.) Or just enjoy looking at them and reminiscing.

5. Look Forward to the Future

While you’re at it, talk about some things you’d like to do in the New Year. They don’t have to be resolutions, just goals or dreams. Maybe you’ll be surprised by what your kids come up with!

While you’re doing this, plan for the future by starting a Gratitude/Good Memories Jar! At the end of each week, each family member can write something good that happened that week on a piece of paper, and add it to the jar. Then, you’ll be all ready to read a year’s worth of good memories together next New Year’s Eve!

6. Play Would You Rather?

We’re not planning to stay up till midnight, no way. But if you do have all those hours to fill, I do like the idea of making sure to emphasize conversation over something like a movie marathon. Not that I’m opposed to that. A couple New Year’s Activity Roundups suggested playing “Would You Rather.” You could play a New Year’s-Themed version (here is an example: thecraftingchicks.com/new-years-eve-would-you-rather-printable-game) or a more general version (thefamilydinnerproject.org/fun_content/would-you-rather). Of course, your kids may enjoy coming up with their own questions as well! But this would certainly take your family conversation in directions it may have never gone before! 🙂

7. New Year’s STEM Activities

Keep your evening entertaining and educational with these New Year’s STEM Activities: littlebinsforlittlehands.com/new-years-eve-stem-activities. The DIY Confetti Popper makes the list, but there are some interesting suggestions for making your own New Year’s Ball – and a tower to drop it from. We tried the Fireworks in a Jar activity. So pretty!

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This is after the experiment has concluded. Check our Instagram Reel to see how it works!

8. Take a Hike

The weather is taking a turn for the colder this weekend, but getting out of the house for a family walk may still be a good activity. We really enjoyed our leisurely “hike” around Woodward Park. Well, it was more like Joss wanting to dig in the dirt and me pulling him away occasionally. There was even a lovely clarinetist serenading the picnickers and strollers. Turkey Mountain is hosting a Scavenger Hunt New Year’s Day, which sounds fun. But Chandler Park, Ray Harral Nature Center, River Parks … any of your favorite hiking haunts would do. Plus, Christmas lights will be coming down soon, so this may be your last chance to see all the lovely sparkles!

Then, of course, there are the classic activities like Family Game or Movie Night. Find suggestions at tulsakids.com/10-ways-to-celebrate-new-years-eve-with-kids. And, for some out-of-the-house ideas, check out tulsakids.com/ways-to-celebrate-the-new-year-in-tulsa. I haven’t found many New Year’s-specific events around town. Favorites like Discovery Lab’s Noon Year’s Eve party aren’t happening this year, but if anything comes up, I’ll add it to the list!

How are you celebrating the New Year?

Sotw New Years Eve

Categories: Spaghetti on the Wall