12/31/2012 11:33 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2013

7 Ways to Ring in the New Year With Kids

Written by Mary Lauren Weimer for

Before we had kids, my husband and I made a big production of New Year's Eve. We spent it out on the town and always had a blast with our (also childless) friends.

As soon as our kids came along, though, on New Year's Eve we found ourselves valuing sleep over staying up to watch the ball drop. And those nights on the town, tossing confetti and sipping champagne? Forget about it.

One year, though, friends of ours invited our family over for a family New Year's Eve. We all had babies and toddlers, and they played together on the carpet while the adults spent some rare time catching up with each other. Granted, we didn't exactly make it till midnight -- we celebrated at the stroke of 9pm -- but it was fun nonetheless.

That shindig got me thinking: why couldn't we keep our New Year's traditions alive, even with kids in the picture?

Every few years we host our own family-friendly New Year's party. It might not be the rowdiest party on the block, but we always have fun. There's good food, great friends, and some pretty terrible karaoke jam sessions. What's not to love?

I've rounded up 10 ways to ring in the new year with kids. I hope they inspire you to celebrate, family style!

Kid-Friendly New Year's Eve Party Ideas

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