As we lurch towards 2021, you might not be in the mood to party. That’s understandable. However, if only to say a massive ‘screw you and sayonara’ to the past 12 months, it’s worth marking the end of the year in some way. Most parents are familiar with spending New Year’s Eve indoors with only the munchkins for entertainment. Here are 10 ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020 with kids at home and the world (mostly) on lockdown.
10 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020 with Kids
1. WATCH AN EPIC MOVIE
The kids love bundling up under blankets, putting up the projector screen and watching a film into the early hours. Some years we play the ‘who can stay up longest’ game (hint: it’s always Ezra). Top recommendations for New Year’s Eve viewing: a holiday movie like Jingle Jangle, Trading Places (for older kids) or When Harry Met Sally (once the kids are snoozing). A marathon series like How to Train Your Dragon, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Or how about a classic musical like High Society, Singing in the Rain or Breakin’. Dress up as any of the characters and sing/dance along to the soundtrack.
2. LISTEN TO A CLASSIC ALBUM
One family tradition that I’m keen to keep going in 2021 is listening to a classic album on a Sunday afternoon or evening. Kids these days are so used to singles or playlists. But there’s something special about appreciating an album from start to finish. Classic albums we’ve enjoyed with the boys include The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Miles Davis Kind of Blue, Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense and 3 Feet High & Rising by De La Soul.
3. ZOOM PARTY
Yeah, I know we’re all exhausted by looking at ourselves and each other on those tiny screens. But Zoom was undoubtedly one of the hits of 2020 so why not go out with a Zoom party? The first Zoom gathering I had with extended family saw more than 100 of us catching up online. It was so much fun, especially seeing little nephews and nieces that I’ve not met in person. Hire a DJ or make a group playlist. Then get the bubbly ready to make your virtual party pop.
4. PLAY GAMES
Throw an old school board games tournament (e.g. Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Cluedo). Challenge your tweens and teens to a video game contest. Or whip out the chess board and make like you’re in The Queen’s Gambit.
5. DRESS UP
There’s no better excuse for fancy dress than New Year’s Eve. This can mean anything from putting on a Spiderman costume to getting out the heels and sparkles. Take inspiration from books, comics, TV shows or movies. And don’t forget to capture it all on film or photographs.
What’s an end of year celebration without a feast? Party food like hotdogs, cupcakes and Skittle vodka shots (for grownups) go down a treat. Or try a themed feast e.g. Frozen (every item has to involve ice or frosting). Put the kids to bed early then wake them up for a midnight feast and to hear the clocks chime. You could also support a small business by ordering a takeaway or cook at home kit. Pitanga’s Nigerian platters are insanely delicious (NB: the chef is my cousin but hand on heart, her food is banging. The Sunday Telegraph agrees).
2020 was the year of the #Verzuz contests on Instagram, featuring everyone from Brandy vs Monica, Patti LaBelle vs Gladys Knight and the epic bash that was Beenie Man vs Bounty Killa. Or follow DJ D-Nice on Instagram, another lockdown favourite whose Club Quarantine parties attracted 100k+ groovers. You might find yourself cutting the rug (virtually) alongside the likes of Bruno Mars and Michelle Obama.
Big anthemic tunes more your thing? Big Fish Little Fish Kitchen Raves have got whole families dancing in their living rooms, gardens, kitchens and bathtubs since lockdown began. Wave your glow sticks to house, techno, jungle and more from top DJs, playing live sets from their kitchens. Watch sessions on Twitch or Facebook.
Take time to reflect on the year’s highs and lows, accomplishments and lessons. Check in with how you’re feeling and how you hope to feel in the coming year. Make a 2020 photo or video slideshow to watch with the family. Write in your journal. Say a prayer for those you have lost. Create a family wish tree or bucket list for things you’re all looking forward to in 2021.
Permission to rest, people. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences and if there’s one thing you’ve earned in 2020, it’s the right to chill. So if all you want to do on New Year’s Eve is nod off on the sofa until 2021, I’m not judging.
How to navigate difficult and uncomfortable topics with family members over the holidays.
Spending Christmas break in London? Check out this guide to find out what’s still open, even in Tier 4.
Feeling overwhelmed? My tips for when life all gets a little too much.
Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year and much brighter times to come in 2021 x