New Years Eve is not a holiday we get too excited about (staying up late isn’t really our thing :). However, it is a night to have some fun, and stay up celebrating if that’s what you’re into! Here are a few ideas for you for to enjoy the year-end celebrations from home!
If you’ve followed us for a while, you know we love game night! Games are a fun way to have fun and relax, with a good mix of conversation and cocktails. There are too many to list but we have highlighted our favorite games below!
- Ticket to Ride. This game is fun for adults and kids. It has an age limit of 8 years and older and lasts 30-60 minutes. My husband and I play this with or without kids.
- LLama Card Game. Llama is a card game that is similar to Uno but much more fun! We played this on Christmas with people ages 7 – 70 and everyone had so much fun!
- Code Names. Code names is a little bit harder as it is a word guessing game. You are partnered and give clues to you partner to guess words, you need to be creative!
- Catan . Catan is a strategy game that can be played with up to 4 players or 6 if you purchase the extension pack. They boys have been playing this game for years, dating back to their college days. It can last a long time for one game as you are busy settling across Catan. A version for the younger kids, Catan Junior, is also a favorite.
- Mexican Train Dominoes. Mexican Train Dominoes is easy and fun for the whole family, and you can play with a lot of people, although it moves a little slower that way. The instructions seem complicated at first, but then actually are not that hard. It’s an easy game to play and still have fun conversation while playing.
- Good old fashioned Rummy 500. This is another fun and easy game, all you need is a deck of cards!
- Drawful. This is online game that you can play on mobile devices (phones + tablets) and connect to the TV. If you have questions, ask Justin! 🙂 It’s best compared to a more humorous version of interactive Pictionary and fun for the kids too, if they’re able to read or pair up with an adult.
Document your 2020 memories!
This has been on my to-do list since March. 2020 has been a wild year and a year to remember. If your crafty, you could make an actual scrapbook. Or, if you’re like me, work on a photo book with memories from both adults and kids.
Another fun idea I’ve seen is a “Memory Jar” (or box), you could decorate a jar or box and fill it with hand written memories and photos to look back on in the future and remember what 2020 meant to you. I think this sounds like a perfect idea for some family bonding!
Last year, we spent the evening watching our old homemade video montages from past trips together and the kids loved it! Read more on our trip recap videos here.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!
Good food and drinks : always a must for a good time!
Cook up some of your favorite food or order takeout from a local restaurant and support some small businesses! Here’s some links to places in Madison that we love!
Indoor s’mores: we received this indoor s’mores maker as a Christmas gift last year and it’s a fun thing to pull out for special occasions.
Hot Chocolate Wands:
My daughter made these with her grandma and they were a big hit!
There are molds you can buy otherwise ice cube trays would work fine.
- Slowly melt good chocolate or chocolate chips on the stove or microwave.
- After melted, add a bit of half and half if needed
- Spoon into molds or ice cube trays (spray with cooking spray first)
- Top with mini dried marshmallows or crunched candy canes.
- Let cool a little and add a stick (popsicle stick or long toothpick, stir sticks, etc)
- Once cooled and solid, pour hot milk over wand and stir until melted! Voila!
I’m not much of a champagne lover but I do love this Pomegranate Punch Recipe from my cousin!
- bundt pan
- drink glasses of choice
- 2 bottles Prosecco Chilled (750 ml bottles)
- 1 bottle Sparkling apple – pomegranate cider Normal sparkling cider works too!
- Pomegranate seeds
- Make an ice ring by pouring water over pomegranate seeds in a bund pan and freeze over night . (This step can be skipped)
- Mix prosecco and sparkling cider in a punch bowl or large mixing bowl
- Add the ice ring just as your ready to drink
- You can add extra pomegranate seeds or rosemary sprig for garnish! Enjoy!
Sit around the fire
Another thing you’ll know about us, if you’ve been following us for a while, is that we love a fire, even in the winter! This is the perfect time to get bundled up and sit around a fire in the driveway and enjoy a beverage of your choice while the kids play in the snow!
Here is a link to the fire pit we have! They have some in stock in Madison, it has worked great, definitely recommend!
Take a Hike
The hikes and walks don’t need to end just because it’s winter. Dress for the weather with our “outdoor adventure apparel” post and you can enjoy the outdoors year-round. We’ve done several hikes the Madison-area and are always happy to recommend some family-friendly ones – just ask!
Hit the sledding hills
A roundup of some favorite sledding hills in the Madison, WI area is listed here in our post. We’re lucky to have a great hill in our neighborhood so sledding is a favorite activity for our kids.
Wishing you all a happy new year – I think we’re ALL ready to move on from 2020. 🙂 We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone for following along this year, and hope to have new and exciting adventures ahead in 2021!