Mama OWL Blog: New Year Fun Family Activities

New Year Fun Family Activities

Thursday, 2 January 2014

So - how did you ring in 2014?

Long gone are the days of spending it in a pub or club for us with five kiddies, and to be fair while I do enjoy the odd night out I do find everything overpriced and overhyped on NYE and would much rather spend it at home in my PJs watching the fireworks on telly with the kids.

We like to go out & do something as family on NYE to make it an event and something special to look forward to for the kids after Christmas. Previous years have included a trip to the Pantomime (they still quote it now, unfortunately it was D i c k Whittington & the line they remember most fondly is "It's Spotted D I C K,     D I C K!") and a meal out, but this year the seven of us headed off to the local cinema to watch Disney's Frozen. The kids had received an Odeon voucher for Christmas from their cousin so we put that towards it and luckily for us, NYE fell on a Tuesday which meant discount tickets - win!

Frozen was absolutely fantastic, all five of the kids were mesmerised throughout (I actually thought E must have fallen asleep at one point as she was so still and quiet) and I loved that the storyline centered around the bond between sisters rather than princesses being rescued and other such fluff. It was a really lovely afternoon out and we had a lovely time together watching it, I can't wait for it to come out on DVD.

After that we came home and spent the evening pottering around together, watching movies and playing games before we watched Big Ben ring in the new year at midnight and oohed and ahhed at the fireworks, toasted with some Shloer and then headed off to bed.

For those of us with kids or who frankly who just really aren't all that fussed about going out on NYE, what options are there?

- Party at home
Invite some family and/or friends round with their kids and enjoy an evening in together. Ask guests to bring a plate or a bottle, and maybe even a game for everyone to play. Perhaps make some sleeping arrangements so that nobody has to drive home if they don't want to, and make it a fun sleepover for the kids.

- Fun & games
Our favourite games that everyone can join in with are the Disney Scene-It DVD games. They are great fun and easy for everyone young and old to take part in. We have two of the Disney editions of Scene-It as well as Twilight & The Simpsons. They are great fun. We also enjoy Disney Cars Monopoly and playing Wii games such as Mario Kart, Lego Band Hero, Just Dance, Boom Blox and Hasbro Family Game Night.

- Cook a family meal
Why not start a tradition of a special family meal that you have every NYE and that you can all prepare and cook together, such as a Mexican style buffet or a home-made curry.

- Have a takeaway
Don't want to cook? Then get a takeaway! You could either take it in turns for someone to choose what you have each year, or have everyone write down their choice and pick it out of a hat. Someone could pick a main dish, with someone else choosing a dessert. Mix it up and make it work for you.

- Go out for dinner
Don't fancy a takeaway either? Want a family meal with none of the washing up? Head out to your favourite restaurant and enjoy having dinner cooked for you and wake up to the new year with a clean kitchen! Last new year the kids chose Pizza Hut and we had a fun time out enjoying dinner together.

- Movie night
Stay in and enjoy a family movie together. Perhaps you could even buy a new one for the occasion, or just enjoy an old family favourite. Get some popcorn and snacks and enjoy an evening curled up on the sofa with your nearest and dearest.

- Go to the cinema
There are so many new movies out at Christmastime that you'll probably be spoiled for choice as to what to watch. We really enjoyed watching Frozen and look forward to heading to the movies again next NYE.

- Go to a Panto
A couple of years ago, the in-laws treated us to a visit to the pantomime at the Theatre Royal in Bath and we had a brilliant time. What do you mean 'Oh no we didn't'? OH YES WE DID (sorry...). Maybe make an extended family outing of it and invite friends & relatives to go along too, you could probably even swing a group booking discount this way.

- Take a hike
Okay so if it's raining or you're knee deep in snow this is probably not a viable option, but a great way to blow the cobwebs away on NYE or even New Year's Day is to pull on your boots, pile everyone in the car and go find somewhere to enjoy a walk. Locally we are spoiled for choice with several national trust parks and other woodland areas, have a google and see what you can find near you.


  1. i love your ideas. We watched frozen too over Christmas - it was better than i thought it would be. xxx

  2. Great ideas! We always have a party tea then play board games and games on the Wii...


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