For a family friendly New Year’s Eve party close to home that keeps teens safe, stay in a hotel. Family friends of ours started this tradition years ago. Last year’s party was in Findlay, Ohio at the Hampton Inn. The mom of this brood thought creating a fun tradition when the kids were young would keep them off the roads as teens. It’s worked. Plus, it’s inexpensive, builds family memories, and it doesn’t involve cleaning house.
1. Pick a hotel with an indoor pool with seating for adults who may not want to swim, but who like to visit.
2. Make sure the hotel has a free hot breakfast.
3. The hotel also must have a lobby/breakfast area with tables, chairs and a TV. The TV is for watching the ball drop in Times Square (or whatever else is on TV to show the new year has arrived). If there’s a party room, see if you can use it for free. Sometimes the answer is yes.
4. Bring games to play. Apples to Apples, Pictionary, Uno and Cranium have been our favorites.
5. Bring party food. Chips, pretzels, dips, and whatnot.
6. Bring sparkling juice for the kids and for those who don’t drink alcohol for a New Year’s toast.
7. Bring champagne for those who do
8. Order pizza from a place near the hotel that delivers. Find out if there is a coupon before ordering. Use the hotel business computer to download coupons if possible.
9. Bring a Happy New Years banner, necklaces and New Years hats to create a festive mood.
10. Bring confetti poppers (but get kids to pick up the mess afterwards)
11. Allow your kids to bring a friend or two along. This is particularly important with preteens and teens.
12. Right before midnight, make sure that all of those at your party are in the same place for the New Years hugs and kisses.
13. Before the hotel stay, make sure everyone knows how to behave while staying in a hotel. No banging on doors, no running in halls and do not play music or the TV so loud that other guests can hear.
14. Before you leave the hotel, make sure hotel rooms are picked up so that the person whose job it is to clean the room will feel respected. Plus, this teaches kids manners and how to be stellar travelers.
15. Leave a tip with a Happy New Year note.
Another possible hotel option:
A bit pricier option, but a hotel chain that would be perfect for New Years Eve is Springhill Suites. My extended family stayed at the one in Florence, Kentucky two years ago. See post.
I found the Hampton Inn in Findlay to be clean and comfortable. The breakfast was also quite good. The pool is close to the lobby which is handy for keeping track of a crowd made up of people doing different activities such as swimming, playing games, or hanging out in a guest room.