Whether you’re venturing out on the town with the family or sticking closer to home, there are some great ways to celebrate the New Year in the QC. We’ve done a little searching for you on the best places around town to celebrate with kids and listed a few ideas if you’re sticking closer to home.
One of the biggest events in town is First Night Charlotte. Yes, after dark it can get pretty wild, but the day of the 31st is a very fun scene for the whole family (if your kids are like mine, they LOVE going Uptown. It’s like going to NYC for them!).
This year will incorporate the NASCAR Hall of Fame, outdoor terrace at Charlotte Convention Center, Bechtler Museum, Mint Museum, The Green, and the main stage located at Levine Avenue of the Arts. Check out their web site for more details of all the FUN events planned (think Tarradiddle Players, art, music, and more!). Kid-friendly events are from 12-5 PM (with a live countdown starting at 4 PM at the Levine Avenue of the Arts).
Noon Years Eve at Northlake Mall
The party begins at 9:30 a.m. with non-stop dancing, games, arts and crafts, live entertainment from the Radio Disney Road Crew, and more.
Families can ring in the New Year with a balloon drop, noisemakers, hats and a juice toast as they watch the clock strike 12:00 p.m. NOON.
Great Wolf Lodge Snowball New Year’s Eve Celebration
Magic shows, dance party, duck races, a balloon drop AND awesome water slides. What more could kids ask for? Check out their web site for reservation details.
If you want to stick closer to home, New Year’s Eve with children (especially young kids) takes just a little creativity. My husband and I don’t like to go out on the town at New Year’s anymore (too many crazy people!) so we host some friends with kids at our house for an early celebration. Last year’s big hit was the karaoke machine Santa brought my daughter. I suspect it will play a key role in this year’s celebration, too (note to self: find some karaoke CDs other than Taylor Swift and Disney Pop!). If you’re looking to do the same, here are some fun ideas for a family-friendly night in:
Noisemaker craft (although I think my kids are noisemakers enough, this is at least a fun way to get the kids involved!)
Bubble Wrap Stomp – A cheap and oh-so-fun way to ring in the New Year. Grap some bubble wrap (preferably the bigger bubbles) and tape them on to your floor. Let the kids go wild at midnight!
Holiday countdown from a different country – if your kids (or you!) can’t make it to midnight, pick a country that will hit 12:00 before us and celebrate then. Want to start the countdown at 6:59 PM instead of 11:59 PM? Count down like you were in London – hey, at least it gives you a chance to be the queen that you are right? You can get creative with this one – choose food and decorations from the country of choice.
Pajama party game night – our friends did this when we all had babies. We’d all dress in pajamas, make homemade pizzas, and play games. It was loads of fun and so baby-friendly (oh, the days when they’d just sleep in the baby carrier!). Now that my kids are older (and obsessed with games!), they’d really get in to this idea!
“Champagne” toast with personalized kids’ cups – This is a super cute idea. Kids can make their own toasting glasses. Celebrate with sparkling grape juice!
We’d love to hear your ideas for ringing in the New Year with kids – post ‘em!
Happy 2012, Smarties!!!