But, what do you do if you have kids? Not every place allows children, and sometimes it is challenging keeping them awake until midnight.
With that in mind, here are some ideas on how to make the New Year special for you and your kids:
Noon Year's Eve
A lot of places, such as children's museums, zoos, and stores, will have celebrations at noon for kids on New Year's Eve. These celebrations usually include dancing, crafts, and kid-friendly music.
This is a great way to celebrate with your kids during the day, and then put them to bed, so you can have an adult-only celebration at midnight.
Be sure to check your city's local activity board online to see what is going on near you.
Have a celebration at home
Not every place is kid-friendly, but your home is guaranteed to be.
If you want to stay up until midnight with your kids, have lots of things to do to keep them awake. Play games, either board games, or homemade games. You can find ideas online for "minute-to-win-it" type games that the whole family can play.
Make a pillow fort in your living room, and let the kids sleep in it with sleeping bags. Bake your favorite treats, and have noise makers for your kids to use when the clock strikes midnight.
Try to avoid watching TV or movies that will put your kids to sleep instead of keeping them awake.
Learn about other countries' traditions
Turn New Year's Eve into a fun learning opportunity for you and your kids. Research what other countries do to celebrate the New Year, and incorporate those into your traditions.
Read about when the Chinese New Year is celebrated, and why it is different than our own. Eat 12 grapes at midnight like they do in the Latin American culture. Try and predict what is coming in the New Year like Germans do, or look up the traditions where your ancestors are originally from, and try them for yourself.
One fun activity to do with your kids is to give them a questionnaire every year with the same questions. Ask them what their favorites are, including: color, food, TV show, activity and movie. Then, ask them what they want to be when they grow up, and who their hero is. Also write down their favorite thing they did this year, and what they are looking forward to next year.
Spend the time counting down to the new year looking at past year's answers and seeing how much they have changed over time.
If you really want to celebrate with others, throw your own party. If you are overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your own party, make it a pot luck. You provide the place, and ask everyone else to bring their favorite game and/or treat.
Invite friends who also have kids, so yours are not the only ones. You can include activities for the kids, as well as adult-only festivities.
New Year's Eve doesn't have to mean a night out on the town sans kids. Include them in your New Year's plans and make it a night they look forward to as well.