Pioneer Party’s Emily Hover shares how to throw a countdown party with activities by the hour.
1. Handmade New Years Eve Party Banner or Garland
a. Cut out little triangles to string on fishing line, string on party horns or blowers, add candy, and hang up for a darling decoration that can be used right before midnight!
2. New Years Eve (Christmas) Tree:
a. Turn your Christmas Tree into a New Years one! Right after Christmas take down all decorations and store away. Get a combination of horns, blowers, balloons, garland, streamers, confetti – and decorate the tree! Keep it up for the week in between Chrsitmas and New Years to get in the spirit! Right before midnight, guests or family members grab what they want off the tree to ring in the New Year!
3. Balloons filled with confetti:
a. Helium filled balloons are a must for any New Years party, but to add to the excitement, have kids make homemade confetti during the day. Fill numerous balloons with confetti, and blow up with air. Hang upside down from the ceiling (or from a string hung across the room). At midnight, each guest has a pin and can POP the balloons, causing the confetti to fall down! This is really fun for kids to participate in and very festive.
b. Make sure you get your cameras out – the confetti falling is darling for pics!
1. Make an individual party bag for each guest. In the bag will be their hat, horns, individual pack of confetti, a champagne glass, a notepad for goal setting, and of course, a treat. As guests arrive, hand them their bags!
2. Countdown by the Hour:
a. For this, you will have an activity planned for each hour of your party as a countdown to the New Year… Have a small table set up with a bag or box for each hour of the night. Label with a small clock or just the time written on.
b. For example, at 7:00, you will have a guest open up the 7:00 bag – and in it you will have all the supplies for some kind of activity. A favorite board game, painting nails & toes, baking cookies, watching a short cartoon or movie, playing dress up and taking pictures, photo scavenger hunt, etc etc depending upon ages and boys or girls.
c. This can be targeted towards any age group – a fun way to fill the night with lots of activities. (sometimes midnight seems to take forever to come… but not with this countdown)
3. Two fun activities to do during a party –
a. Snow Painting: Get squirt bottles, fill with water and add food coloring. Send the kids outside and let them go wild painting the snow! Don’t forget the hot cocoa and marshmallow afterwards!
b. Flashlight Limbo: two guests hold one flashlight each across from each other creating the “line” to walk under! Turn all the lights off and limbo away!
4. Take lots of pictures!
a. During the party, take pictures of all the fun things going on. If possible, print them during a downtime (movie or eating) and glue inside their New Years notebook. An adult can do this for the kids to take home, or if the kids are old enough – let them help create their own little “scrapbook” –
b. The notebook can be used to write down memories from the previous year, goals for the New Year, and/or journal keeping throughout the year!
New Years Eve Gift Ideas
Short on cash or time for Christmas gifts? Just change your mind set to New Years!
Most of the same gifts you would give to neighbors or friends for Christmas can easily be turned into a New Years Gift: (cookie mixes, homemade goodies, candles, etc.) But here are a few themed gift ideas for the New Year:
1. Party to Go Kit: a box full of New Year’s party supplies for a family of 4. Party horns, confetti, balloons, treats. Tag reads, “New Years Eve Party in a Box: Just add food, friends, and fun for a guaranteed Happy New Year! Wishing you the best in 2010!”
2. A Toast to You: sparkling cider, champagne glasses, & a few mints packaged together for a couple. Tag could read, “Here’s to a Happy New Year and some great friends!”
3. New Year’s Eve Survival Kit: All you need to survive the night! Bag consists of individual “necessities” for a night full of fun; gum Y chapstick (for the unexpected kiss), horn, confetti, balloon, candy, & caffeine.