New Year’s Eve can be a lot of fun! It can also cost you quite a bit of money if you aren’t careful. Throughout the years, I have tried a few different ways to celebrate on a pretty tight budget during the holidays. So here are a few of my favorites!
My children and I found the children’s New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Raleigh many years ago. I forget how I heard about it initially, but once I knew of its existence, it became a tradition. My favorite part of the Raleigh ring in the New Year kids celebration is that it is an entirely FREE event!
One of our main streets in the downtown area is completely blocked off for the event. The end of the street is where they drop the Raleigh acorn at midnight. They also drop it at 7 pm for families and then reset it for the adults.
It has become much larger as the years have gone by, and now have a ton of food trucks down there for the event. Those you have to pay for, obviously, but at least you have choices if you choose to partake. There are also some rides and a giant Ferris wheel now too. Our only complaint is the lack of bathrooms (we really dislike porta-potties!) and when the weather is too darn cold to want to be outside.
In our city, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, as well as the NC Museum of History, have their own celebrations during the day on New Year’s Eve. These museums have crafts and events all throughout the day for families to participate in, for NO COST.
There are also vendors outside, in between both buildings, that are either performing dances or music. Some vendors have started setting up arts and craft tables outside for the kids and families to get involved in.
My kids and I have had a great time getting creative and making art together. Most times, these items hang around our house until Valentine’s Day. By then, I have had enough of them, so they usually meet an untimely end in my trash can. Either way, it is a great time and costs us NOTHING. That is a price I can get behind!
In past years, we have been invited to a New Year’s Eve sleepover party at a friends houses. It was a great idea because it was fun for kids and adults. We had video games and party games for the kids to play. The adults got to chat and catch up over some themed adult beverages, which I don’t ever argue with.
The hosts provided sparklers, hats, and noisemakers for the kids. Which they LOVED, of course, but we’re definitely loud for us adults. The kids were having fun, though, so that was really the important thing.
Everybody wore their pj’s later on and had one big pajama party, which was a lot of fun for us. This is something that is pretty easy to implement that can be a lot of fun for parents and kids alike, so I am definitely on board!
Ring in the New Year Potluck Party
One of my favorite New Year’s has been spent with friends at one of our private houses. Everybody signed up to bring a dish, whatever their specialty was. The dish was supposed to be something party-worthy (basically finger foods that weren’t known for their healthy qualities), so we could really just cut loose.
Every couple, or single person, brought an adult beverage of some sort to contribute also. Some people just brought beer or wine, but a few people brought different liquors and mixers to make some really tasty beverages.
One of my favorite things about potluck parties is you just never know what people are going to bring. You don’t know what new foods or drinks you may get introduced to. I love trying new things, so this was a huge bonus for me!
The other part of the party that made things a bit different, was that each couple/single was supposed to bring one of their favorite board games. This was really cool because board games tell you a lot about a person and their likes. Just when you think you know somebody, you get to learn even more about them, while having a party at the same time.
Celebrating without children gives you a few more options. Around here, there are a few places that have started offering all-inclusive ring in the New Year parties. What I mean by all inclusive is that the entrance ticket price includes:
- non-alcoholic beverages
- alcoholic beverages (some have a limit on how many and some are unlimited)
- live music
- coat check
- champagne toast at midnight
Even though I haven’t technically been a guest at any of these parties, I have catered a few as a side hustle. I know that the party guests LOVE this option!
Not only is it indoors, where it is warm, but there are bathrooms at your disposal. I don’t know about you, but I happen to like that aspect. Plus, you get all of the aforementioned items all for just one price. It might be worth it to look around your city to see who might be offering this type of all-inclusive option on New Year’s Eve.
So Many Choices
If you have kids, then these can all be pretty great options to keep your New Year’s Eve frugal. Checking out what your city or town has to offer is one of the best ways to find the perfect fit for you. But I can tell you that there are a plethora of cheap family options out there, so the time to start looking is now.
If you are single or don’t have kids, then there are still quite a few options for you to celebrate that won’t break the bank either.
No matter which category you fall into, checking your city’s website is one of the best ways to find the most offerings. And there is no better time to get started than now because some of the events have a guest limit. So here’s to ringing in the New Year right without breaking the bank!
What are some of the best ways you have found to ring in the New Year without breaking the bank?