Champagne, a slinky sequined cami and partying through brunch the next day — that’s what NYE looked like before you had a New-Year’s-named baby of your very own. Now that you’re a mom, you can still have plenty of fun — just not with your kiddo in tow. You’ve got a sitter lined up so you and your S.O. can celebrate like real grown ups, but that doesn’t mean your tot is left completely out of the picture. Since staying out until midnight as a family makes for a public toddler tantrum from a cranky kid who’s struggling just to keep their eyes open, check out these “Noon” Year’s Eve alternatives!
1. Party Poppers: Fireworks are a no-go when it comes to a noon-time celebration. Sure, the bright light of day washes out the would-be sparklers. But that doesn’t mean your little one can’t create their own fire-free display. Save a few push pops, minus the actual pop (your kiddo can go ahead and eat that). Thoroughly wash and dry the container out. Fill it up with sequins and shredded metallic paper. Cover the open end with a festively fab piece of shiny tissue (or another lightweight paper), and lightly glue it to the outside. At the stroke of noon, your child can push the pop and watch the sparkles go flying.
2. Tot Toast: Champagne is out — for your child, that is. You’re sipping on the bubbly stuff, and mini-me doesn’t understand why they can’t have some. Um, because they’re 21 months, not 21 years. That argument will be lost on their little ears, so instead of explaining why mommy gets to have a super-fun-looking sparkly drink and they’re stuck with a sippy cup of milk, give them a completely kid-friendly (i.e., non-alcoholic) version. Stay simple and pour sparkling grape juice into a fancy Champagne flute, or get cooking and whip up a frothy fruit smoothie or mix juices together to make a colorful concoction.
3. Daytime Dance Party: Just because your family isn’t heading out to a fancy-pants New Year’s Eve gala doesn’t mean that everyone has to stay in their sweats and jammies. Get dressed up (all of you, not just your child) and have a midday dance party. Put on your finest or go with a theme, such as disco or a 1950s sock-hop.
4. Human Countdown Clock: “10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Happy Noon Year!” Your child can create their own countdown clock — using themself. Have them bend and move into number shapes as you both count down to the new year (well, the noon year, anyway). Not only does this easy activity sneak in some math, but it also gets them up and active.
5. Midday Meal: Celebrate the holiday with a Noon Year’s lunch or brunch. Instead of hitting the kitchen alone, take your little helper with you. Even though your child can’t use the stove or the oven, they can help you mix, measure, wash and stir ingredients. Make a multi-course feast, letting each family member pick their favorite dish.
6. Cupcake Celebration: You’ve made a meal and eaten it too. Now it’s time for dessert! Again, let your child mix and measure while you do the baking. When the treats have cooled, your child can get artsy and decorate them with frosting and sparkling crystal sugar. Another option is to create a countdown of cupcakes. Write icing numbers from 10 to one on top, and then line the cupcakes up in descending order.
7. Ball Drop: Your child is going to miss that magnificently lit ball drop in Times Square (or at least they’ll miss the live televised version of it). That’s okay: You can make your own version. Tie a piece of yarn to a wooden dowel, push the dowel through a soccer-ball-sized styrofoam sphere, and cover the ball with shiny kitchen foil. Count down for your own DIY ball drop!
Share your family’s favorite New Year’s Eve tradition with us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)