As much as young children love the idea of staying up past their bedtime to ring in the New Year, most can’t make it to midnight—nor would their parents want them to. But that doesn’t mean that little ones can’t celebrate in a more age-appropriate fashion.
Instead of keeping your kids up till the clock strikes 12:00 midnight, try throwing a kid-friendly bash at 12:00 noon. Here’s how to host your own Happy Noon Year party.
- Line a wall with butcher paper and create a 2012 timeline. Have each guest bring a photograph or memento representing a favorite 2012 memory. Set out glue sticks and let each guest stick their item onto the appropriate month.
- Create a balloon drop. Lay two paper tablecloths side-by-side. Using a hole punch and yarn, loosely stitch them together lengthwise, leaving yarn hanging at one end to act as a ripcord. Next, tape the connected tablecloths to the ceiling on three sides, so it sags in the middle, creating a pouch. Stuff it with balloons and confetti, then tape the fourth side to the ceiling. When the clock strikes noon, pull the yarn!
- Make your own noisemakers. Fill empty water bottle with beans and glitter, line the floor with bubble wrap to jump on, or create a tambourine by punching holes around the rim of a paper plate, then threading ribbon through it and tying jingle bells as you go.
- Buy a set of plastic champagne glasses for an all-ages noontime toast. Whether it’s sparkling cider or milk and cookies, the importance of the toast is to honor the year that’s passed and the one that’s about to begin.
- Create a CD with 2012’s top hits to play at your party. This can also double as décor and goodie bags. Burn copies for each guest and use a permanent marker to draw a clock face set to 12:00 on each CD. Slip them into a clear sleeve with a hole punched in the corner. Then, use ribbon to hang them from a chandelier or banister.
If you don’t want to host your own Noon Year party, check out local venues. A lot of children’s museums and zoos have their own Noon Year’s Party and often they offer discount admission for the occasion.