10 New Year's Eve Ideas for Teens Who Want to Celebrate

Updated: December 16, 2020
3...2...1... Happy New Year! These New Year's Eve ideas are perfect for for teens and tweens.
New Year's Eve Ideas_Featured

3...2...1... Happy New Year! As you raise a glass and toast the start of 2021, don't worry what your kids are up to. Plan ahead! These New Year's Eve ideas for teens and tweens will help them celebrate the holiday in safe and fun ways.

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

1. Late Night Activity

See if your kids' favorite hang out is offering late hours on New Year's Eve. Ice skating rinks, climbing walls, and trampoline parks often host holiday parties complete with special lighting, balloon drops, and confetti to keep the kids entertained. Be sure to ask if this is a chaperoned event, or if guardians need to be present during the festivities.

*In COVID-19 times, masked, outdoor activity is the safest way to socialize, so consider what your teen’s favorite outdoor locations might be doing to celebrate. Outdoor ice skating rinks, local ski slopes, tubing and sledding hills, and outdoor markets can be great options.

2. Movie Theatre Marathon

Got a super quiet teen? Head to the movies and usher in the new year with a double feature. Stop at the snack bar to stock up on festive candies and popcorn to munch on during the marathon. Earn bonus points for tucking glow necklaces and party hats in your purse for the kids to wear during the shows!

*One positive aspect of the pandemic has been the return of drive-in movie theatres. These outdoor theatres have been choosing to show classic movies that appeal to teens which could make for a memorable New Year’s Eve.

3. Friends Sleepover Party

Gather your kids and their besties for a night of fun in a safe haven - your home! Plan for board games, movies, video games, and anything else they enjoy doing when they get together as a group. Plan special New Year's Eve snacks, like sparkling grape juice in a champagne bottle and a tray of bite-size appetizers, so they feel like they're at a grown-ups party. Don't forget the party hats and kazoos!

*Thanks to various technology options, your teen can still do many of these activities with friends in a safe way from home. They can hop on Zoom or Facetime, or they can even watch a movie together through the fun group movie watch features on many of the streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+.

4. Daytime NYE Party

Want to make New Year's Eve a family affair? Plan to live it up with family fun at the stroke of ... noon! A daytime party is the perfect way to share a special meal, play games, wear funny holiday gear (hats, glasses, necklaces), and talk about what was great - and not so great - about 2020. Have each family member share a positive memory from the previous year and something they hope to accomplish in 2021. Keep the gathering teen friendly by taking some family selfies, or let the kids live stream on social media to show off to their friends!

*You might consider inviting faraway family members and family who are not part of your household to join you via Zoom!

5. Downtown Teen Night

Bigger cities often host several New Year's Eve ideas for teens. Look to the under-21 night clubs and gaming centers for events. For a set price, these venues usually offer all-night activities, snacks, and party favors. Often these parties are lock-in events, where the teen is checked in by a guardian, then signed out upon pick-up. This ensures your child has a safe, chaperoned holiday while you attend a separate event!

*Thankfully, many of the usual places are hosting virtual gatherings to help teens celebrate New Years Eve safely during this pandemic season.

6. Fancy, Fashionable New Year’s Eve Party

Everything feels more exciting when you have the opportunity to dress up. New Year’s Eve is months after homecoming dances and months before prom season, so this is a perfect opportunity to break out the fanciest decor and most special outfits to ring in the New Year. There’s nothing like watching the ball drop with some sparkle and confetti.

*In pandemic times, this can be an opportunity to host a couple of your teen’s closest friends so they can be fancy together fireside in the yard if the weather allows. A fancy Zoom party is so much fun too.

7. Neighborhood Teen Scavenger Hunt

In lieu 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!

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. 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 NYE option.

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

Grown-ups and kids of all ages love to mug for the camera. 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.

*Don’t be afraid to splurge on this for just the members of your household as a special surprise for a pandemic New Years.

10. Scrapbooking Celebration

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 just to your 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 Years Eve celebration amongst friends if you do a contact-free materials dropoff at everyone’s house beforehand.

The way to keep your teen safe - and enjoy a fabulous evening - is by taking the time to do some creative planning with your teen. Having a plan in place for the night makes all the difference!