Remember being young and New Year’s Eve was the biggest party of the year? Were you one of those people who camped out with friends for hours so you’d get the best vantage for the NYE fireworks? Or perhaps you’d go to a good house party where you’d pop the champers and party til dawn. Or maybe you were one of those people who got frocked up and headed to the hottest club then danced the night away?

Whatever kind of person you were, chances are things have changed quite a bit since you had kids. Personally, I don’t remember the last New Year’s Eve when I stayed up until midnight…. isn’t that sad?! However when you’re up with babies overnight then the toddler wakes you up at an ungodly 5am, losing that precious sleep in the evening just isn’t worth it.

However just because you have young kids, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Sure, you might not be partying until dawn (well not the way you used to) but you can still have fun!

Afternoon barbeque with friends

This is my favourite choice for NYE – we just ask a few families with kids the same age to come over in the mid-afternoon We throw a few snags on the barbeque, pop the champagne and run the kids ragged under the sprinkler. Then, choose a time (any old time really) and have your own mini countdown with the kids. Give them some party poppers and some noisy blowers and let them celebrate the new year. By 9pm, most people have gone home so the kids still get to bed at a reasonable time and you feel like you’ve had a celebration, albeit a few hours earlier than the rest of the country!

2. Join the community

Lots of suburban communities and towns have their own New Year’s Eve parties which are perfect for family friendly fun. Sometimes there’s even entertainment for kids like jumping castles and face painting. There’s even a live shows from Paw Patrol, Smurfs and Dora the Explorer and face painting at Westfield in Miranda, Sydney Lots of councils do their own free celebrations so check out your local websites.

3. Early fireworks

For many families, it’s just not New Year’s Eve if you haven’t seen the fireworks. There are family friendly 8:30 or 9pm fireworks in most cities so it’s a great way for kids to enjoy the magic without the ridiculously late bedtimes. Fortunately, many places have alcohol restrictions and a real focus on family friendly fun so it’s a great night out for all.

4. Get out of here

If the idea of battling the crowds is your idea of hell, perhaps you might fancy getting away from it all. For example, OneandOnly Wolgan Valley’s NYE sounds pretty heavenly. There will be a special New Year’s Eve dinner set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Wolgan Valley followed by drinks in the Country Kitchen. Then the next morning you can send the kids to KidsOnly club where they can learn about their idyllic surrounds. Meanwhile, you can welcome the near year with a pilates session in the brisk mountain air.

They follow that up with a relaxing BBQ lunch with live entertainment then the whole family can take a Wildlife and Sundowners tour and learn all about this amazing landscape. Where do I sign up?

5. Skip New Year’s Eve

If your kids are just too young or it’s all just too hard, give New Year’s Eve a miss and instead do something special on New Year’s Day. Perhaps you could all rise at dawn and greet the first sun of the new year or enjoy a special brunch with family or friends. Even a nice early walk around the block is a perfect way to bring in the new year. As a bonus, you can also feel smug that you don’t have a hangover unlike pretty much everyone else. Happy New Year!