15 New Year's Eve Activities For Teens (So They Can Party Too!)

Updated: December 11, 2021
3...2...1... Happy New Year! These New Year's Eve ideas are perfect for for teens and tweens.
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With 2021 coming to a close, everyone wants to be part of the celebration, but how can your teenagers be involved? Celebrating the start of the 2022 new year is easy! There are so many fun and safe ways your teen can ring in the new year, so you can leave your worries behind.

More: 10 Fun Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve as a Family

Below are 15 ideas for your teen to join the countdown. Happy New Year!

1. Late Night Outing

Your teenager will probably want to see if they can go out and celebrate New Year's Eve with their friends. How? Check to see if any local businesses are offering extended hours. This way, you know where they are and can be sure that adults are present. Some examples are ice skating, events at the local mall, or outdoor activities like parties at a park, and more.

*Keep in mind that we are still living in uncertain times and it is important to make sure that you and your teen are taking the proper precautions. With Covid-19 still making its mark, be sure to follow CDC guidelines as well as the business they will be at if it happens to be indoors.

2. Neighborhood Teen Scavenger Hunt

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

In place of more traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations, try helping your teen to create a neighborhood or local park scavenger hunt for friends. This will make for an adventurous and fun New Year’s Eve bash and will encourage your teen to get very creative with fun ideas for clues and hiding spots.

*This is a fun way to safely social distance outside with masks too and you can also adjust to make it virtual friendly!

3. Movie Theater Marathon

If you know your teen and their friends like to keep things more low-key, then suggest a movie marathon. They can watch a couple of movies at the local theater, or even pile in the car and go to a drive-in. With a drive-in theater, they have the freedom to bring their own snacks and drinks as well. You can pack some party hats and even glow sticks. The experience would be a lot of fun!

Often they show kid-friendly films as well as popular ones that are currently at the box office. Spiderman: No Way Home is out this December, and is a hugely anticipated movie for teens and the whole family. Help your teenagers save money on concessions with some easy snacks to make and take along to the drive-in.

4. At Home Movie Marathon

At-Home Movie Marathon

If going to a local theater is not an option, you can host a movie marathon at your home. Your teen can invite some of their friends and encourage them to bring over some of their favorite films. Great options for family-friendly movies for New Year's Eve are Rent, High School Musical, Forrest Gump, Legally Blonde, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Soul.

5. Friends Sleepover Party

Sometimes staying at home and being surrounded by your best friends is the kind of celebration teenagers want. They can stay up late and you will know that they are safe! Set up your living room with lots of appetizers, order pizza, watch movies, and play board games. There's so much that you can do at a sleepover. Turn your house into a place full of fun activities.

Some appetizers teens love are pigs in a blanket and fruit kebabs!

6. New DAY Party

New DAY Party

Who said the party had to start when the sun goes down? Turn New Year's Eve day into a fun extravaganza for your teen. Set up karaoke in your living room or encourage your teenagers to create a New Year’s themed playlist with all their favorite songs from the past year. Then, set up a dance floor!

Some fun decor like streamers and banners can also make a huge difference in turning the average house into a swanky New Year’s spot.

*It doesn't have to stop there. Invite friends and family from far away to join you on Zoom, or live stream on social media before your kids’ friends arrive, so they can feel like they are a part of the family fun.

7. Fancy, Fashionable New Year’s Eve Party

Who said you can't make your New Year's Eve celebration feel more upscale? Break out the fancy outfits and confetti, and turn it into a night the whole family will remember for years to come. Teens love to feel grown up, and also love the opportunity for a social media photo op, so they’ll be excited to have an excuse to break out that sparkly dress or suave suit. Even if they’re not heading out to a nightclub or dinner party, make your teen feel like a star by snapping some pictures.

During the actual party you can make mocktails, play some trivia, and watch the ball drop together. Top it off with a fancy meal and you are ringing in the new year in style.

Here are some fun, fancy but surprisingly easy food ideas; savory party bread, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and grilled pizza (you can opt for store-bought dough).

8. New Year’s Eve Party Games Marathon

This is the perfect night for a marathon of games. Break out the charades, balloon pop relay races, board games, and video games for non-stop party fun. You can plan ahead with your teen to set up rounds of specific games with each game win representing a certain number of points. You can play individually or in teams, and determine the ultimate winner as the clock strikes midnight. If you are itching for some new and creative ideas, check out some game suggestions here. Celebrate the winners with noisemakers and streamers.

*With so many games available virtually with multiplayer options, Zoom, and online versions of traditional board games like Scrabble, Checkers, Hangman, and more, it’s easy to use this as a pandemic-friendly NEW option.

9. Set Up an At-Home Photo Booth for a Pajama Party

Grown-ups and kids of all ages love to strike a pose. Consider renting a photo booth for your home! Wear your favorite pajamas, and put together a bucket of silly props that can be used in the photo booth. Everyone will have a blast customizing their pictures and showing each other the printouts. Here are some awesome props you can use for your photo booth.

*Don’t be afraid to splurge on this for just the members of your household as a special surprise for a pandemic New Year's. It can also be reused for other times of the year as well, such as St. Patrick's Day!

10. Scrapbooking Celebration

Scrapbook

If your teen is creative and prefers a quieter, more introspective night, plan a fun scrapbooking night. You can invite your teen’s closest friends or keep it as just family. Either way, having all of the materials necessary to put together a scrapbook of the highlights from this year will create such special memories. Throw in some appetizers and cupcakes for scrapbooking breaks, and you’ve got a perfect creative New Years' option.

*This is another fun option for a Zoom-based New Year's Eve celebration amongst friends if you do a contact-free materials dropoff at everyone’s house beforehand.

11. Make a Time Capsule

New Year’s Eve is also about reflecting on the previous twelve months, and going through some of your favorite memories. You and your teen can fill a time capsule full of important things from the past year. It is a fun bonding activity that your family can do together to reflect on all the growth you have been through in 2021.

Maybe they want to put in a school assignment they were particularly proud of, a photo from a fun summer outing, or a list of all the best movies and TV shows they watched in 2021. Every time capsule will be a unique snapshot of a very crazy year!

12. Redecorate Your Christmas Tree

If you haven't had the time to take down your Christmas tree, don't worry! Take this as an opportunity to make it New Year's themed! Cover it in all decorations that are silver and gold including beads and glitter ornaments. It is a fun activity to do together as a family before you store that tree for next year.

13. Write Your Resolutions

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14. Make Party Favors

Why buy when you can create? You can make homemade party hats, confetti, decked-out party glasses, even crowns! Below are some fun ideas to give you a little bit of inspiration!

Paper party hats

DIY confetti

Printable party glasses and ways to decorate your own

15. Cook Together

Use this as an opportunity to try some brand new recipes. There's nothing more fun than finding new dishes that you and your teen will love. Take a look here and you will find delicious finger food recipes like chicken parm eggrolls and mashed potato bombs. They are as fun to make as they are to eat!

New Year's Eve celebrations don't have to be boring for your teen. And remember, there are many, many hours to midnight, so you can try out lots of different activities this year. And you can save some for 2023!