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New Year's Plans

What's everyone doing New Year's Eve?

Because I have two toddlers, I suspect I'm going to stay in. But I am thinking about hosting a New Year's Eve party during the day for friends and their children. Not sure how I would set it up and what food I'd serve, but I figure I'm not the only parent staying in that night. And I'd still get to socialize. I'd love your tips on how to throw a good party for both parents and kids.

While we're talking about New Year's, let me pass on a question I received:

Your "Holiday Treats" in today's Washington Post is an excellent holiday planner. Are you planning to have another such guide to include New Year's celebrations at hotels? If so, when will it appear in the Post?

"Holiday Treats" ran in today's Weekend section and I encourage everyone to check it out for listings of concerts, house tours, festivals and Santa sightings throughout the holiday season. Staffers in Weekend tell me the exact guide you are seeking will run in the Dec. 15 edition. Please watch for it.
In addition, Julia Beizer, a producer at washingtonpost.com, offered this advice:
If this reader wants to get a jump on New Year's Eve planning, they can check out our always-growing list of New Year's Eve events. You can find information about four of the big hotel parties here.

By Liz Seymour |  December 1, 2006; 1:07 PM ET  | Category:  Parties
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I'd stick with finger foods for both kids and parents, and make sure there are lots of non-alkie drink options if you decide you want to serve alcohol at all. Ideally at least some planned activity should be a family affair.

That's my input, anyway. Someone else will hopefully have something moroe concrete. :)

Posted by: | December 1, 2006 02:19 PM

How many parents of babies and toddlers do you know? If it's a critical mass, you could host a pajama party! Start it after the nap (assuming the kids all take afternoon naps.) People can come over for pot luck, order Chinese, or pizza-- something simple. Serve sparkling cider and juice in festive glasses and sippy cups.

Hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows.

Have a kids room for "sleeping" and the adults can sit around and play games (charades is fun because there are no little parts for little people to walk off with).

Another idea is if the weather is nice, have a "walk off the holiday pounds" parade. Have everyone come over with strollers and Snuglis and go for a big, group walk. Then have everyone over for veggies and other low cal dishes. It's a great way to get a jump start on new year's resolutions!

Integrating older kids with younger kids is a challenge. Older kids need more activities to occupy them. Perhaps some of the older kids can keep an eye on the youngsters while the adults interact. This sounds like something to discuss with your friends who are interested in enjoying the evening with you.

Posted by: Slvr Sprng | December 1, 2006 05:48 PM

"Perhaps some of the older kids can keep an eye on the youngsters while the adults interact."

Ugh, would advise getting actual sitters or paying them. I remember being older and *hating* that I couldn't participate in teh holiday fun ebcause I was watching the little ones. You'd want this to be fun for everyone, not just the adults.

Posted by: | December 4, 2006 08:56 AM

When I was little, we would do New Year's Eve with my extended family. One activity was making party hats--we'd have construction paper, glue, glitter, feathers, pipe cleaners, and other craft supplies, and make funny hats for ourselves to celebrate in. We'd often do a family sharing time, where people would go around and say one thing that had been great about the past year and one thing they were looking forward to in the new year. You could also do this as a family art project--each family could get a posterboard and markers and art supplies and make a 2006 Family board that showed things they appreciated, important things that happened, or other events of 2006. At some designated time--not midnight!--we would do a New Year's countdown, yell happy new year, and drink Martinelli's sparkling cider.

Posted by: Brooklyn | December 4, 2006 09:04 AM

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