Countdown The New Year With These 10 Family Activities


Finding a way to occupy the kids to stay sane and stay up until midnight can be a challenge. This is the first year I want to attempt the impossible — in the past we watch a countdown on Netflix at 8:00 and toast with some Sprite. Then Luke and I put them to bed and watch a movie or play a game to stay awake — a much different change of pace than before we had kiddos.

For those of you who want to start this new tradition with your kids in a way that doesn’t involve traveling to someone’s house or a late night ending with everyone irritated with one another…I’ve got a few fun ideas to add intentionality to ending your 2019 with a bang!


Don’t wing it, plan it! Get a pack of brown paper bags and write times on the front for when you’ll do the next activity. Make your own plans or copy mine below:

5:00 MAKE HOMEMADE PIZZAS: Put a jar of pizza sauce in the bag. Spend the next hour making homemade pizzas and eating them together as a family. Get creative with a toppings bar!

6:00 PLAY A CARD GAME: Put some playing cards in a bag. My kids love this set of card games we received for Christmas last year. These easy games are great for even your littlest learners! Use this egg carton trick to hold a lot of cards for small hands.

7:00 MAKE A DESSERT: Put a recipe or cookie mix in the next bag. Spend some time baking together. Maybe you want to start from scratch with a family recipe or pop a few ready-bake cookies in the oven.

7:30 LOOK OVER THE PAST YEAR: Stick a photo in the bag. While your dessert is cooking, browse your photos from 2019 and talk about your favorite memories. Apple Photos will even create a slideshow with music to a preselected album within seconds for you to watch!

8:00 PLAY A BOARD GAME: Put a game piece in a bag. Break out an old favorite and see who comes in first place! For little ones, we love the Junior versions of all the classics.

9:00 FILL OUT 2019 TRIVIA AND QUESTIONNAIRE: Put a few pencils in a bag. Print a trivia page for each person in your family and use the answer sheet to see who knows the most! For a large group, I like to have a prize on hand for the winner!

9:30 WATCH A MOVIE: Place a new movie in a bag. This year I chose Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Other favorites include Jumanji, Dennis the Menace and Harry Potter.

10:30 POP SOME POPCORN: Put a popcorn bag in the next bag. To make it more interactive, make a popcorn bar where the kids can add goodies to their bowl.

11:30 GET READY! Put plastic champagne flutes in a bag. Have everyone do some stretches, take a bathroom break and get your TV tuned to the ball drop. Need to wake up? Play hide and seek, charades or Pictionary. Fill up your glasses with some sparkling cider so everyone can enjoy!

12:00 HAPPY NEW YEAR! Put some poppers in a bag. After you toast the New Year, shoot your poppers outside in the yard for easy clean up. Then give hugs and tell the kids that the first one asleep in bed is the winner!


After you’ve printed your Trivia Page and Answer Sheet, make sure to share any New Year’s traditions you have, Then get ready to set goals for 2020!

Happy New Year!


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