Throughout history, there have been numerous momentous New Year’s Eve celebrations. The first ball drop celebration in New York Times Square was held on December 31, 1907. Then the world partied like it was 1999, in 1999 (thank you, Prince!). Also in 1999, we collectively held our breath because no one knew with certainty what the year 2000 would do to the world’s computer systems. This New Year’s marks the 20th year of the third millennium, the 20th year of the twentieth century, and the first year of the 2020s decade.
This decade is predicted to bring the first complete synthetic human brain, moon mining, and autonomous car; innovative technology is coming our way and what is my reaction to these predictions? Go back in time to simpler times! 2020 seems like the perfect time to go back in time 100 years (wow!) and create a roaring ‘20s theme party to ring in the New Year!
A 1920s theme for New Year’s Eve gives you so many options to keep your family busy - from costumes to crafts, games and activities. If you want to do the whole meal deal, start with costumes. For costumes, anything pin-striped as well as fringe and bling are easy ways to create a 1920s vibe. Your little gangsters and flappers can add to their costumes by creating custom head gear. Setting up a craft station with feathers and sequins for the kids is a great activity to get their creative juices flowing. Have fedora hats and head bands available to decorate and your kids can customize their own special head piece to wear for the rest of the evening.
Prohibition was a huge part of the ‘20s and perfectly suited for a family New Year’s Eve celebration. Set up your own ‘speakeasy’ with mocktails your kids can create themselves. For example, set up a station of apple or pineapple juice, sparkling water, ice, pomegranate seeds and slices of lime to top their mocktail. (A healthy choice for kids is always better than pop.)
Party foods served in the ‘20s included deviled eggs, cream-based dishes, shrimp cocktail, cheese platters, mixed nuts, and olives. If these foods aren’t your kids’ top picks, I’m sure a serving of good ‘ol mac and cheese will keep them happy and will fit in nicely with the theme because it is cream-based. Gelatin molds, fruit cocktail, upside down cake, and ice cream were popular desserts of the decade and kid-friendly, too. But if you want to serve something different that’s still delicious and fits in with the theme, try a flapper pie! A flapper pie consists of a graham cracker crust, vanilla custard filling, and toasted meringue on top. What’s not to like?! I think most kids would add this treat to their ‘favorites’ list.
1920s family entertainment consisted of listening to your favorite radio show and playing card games, croquet, and dominos. A 21 st century version of a radio show could be listening to a favorite family podcast together. In the ‘20s, Yahtzee, dominos, and Bunco were popular games that are readily available to purchase today. An indoor croquet course could be set up with nerf balls and wooden spoons. Some kids may not be allowed to stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year, so create a false midnight at 8 or 9pm with a special countdown.
Since it’s a ‘20s theme, why not do a big band countdown? Give each child a noise maker to play along with big band music while you conduct the ‘orchestra,’ pointing at each child to make a noise as you count down from 10. It’s an interactive way to ring in the New year, even if it is a couple of hours early.
2020 is sure to bring more technology our way at an even more rapid pace, so I encourage you to put in the effort to slow down and enjoy family time together this New Year’s Eve, 1920s-style! You and your children will create memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. Happy New Year!
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