14 Ways to Celebrate a Virtual New Year’s Eve Party During COVID-19

It’s been a long year. At Connecticut Children’s, we’re excited to ring in 2021 and all that the new year promises – like the COVID-19 vaccine, and brighter days ahead.

If your family is planning your own celebration, here are ideas for a virtual New Year’s Eve party.


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Go virtual for your 2021 New Year’s Rockin’ (Quarantine) Eve.

Mother and son hold up 2021 balloons

With COVID-19 infection rates at their highest since spring, a virtual party is the way to go this New Year’s Eve. (Plus, it gives everyone the perfect excuse to celebrate in their PJs.)

Pick your favorite video chat platform, invite your loved ones and a few of your child’s friends, and try a few of these kid-friendly conversation starters and activities to keep your virtual celebration moving.

> Related: Happy Holidays During COVID! Virtual Cookie Decorating With Kids

New Year’s Eve Conversation Starters

  1. Theme music for the new year: Have everyone come prepared with one song recommendation for a “Rock Out in 2021” mix. Use a free platform like Spotify to create a shared playlist, and send the link around after the event.
  2. Thankful in 2020: The past year has had more than its fair share of losses and challenges. But inviting everyone to say one thing they’re thankful for in 2020 will teach your child positive thinking, which can help them cope with stress.
  3. Roses, thorns and buds from 2020: This prompt helps kids reflect on the past and move forward to what’s ahead. Have each guest share a highlight of 2020 (rose), a challenging or sad moment (thorn), and one thing they’re looking forward to (bud) in 2021.
  4. Predictions for 2021: These can be silly, serious or sweet – but we recommend silly. Have each guest make a prediction about one or more guests for 2021. Write them down and next Near Year’s Eve, when you’re ringing in 2022, revisit the list to see if any predictions came true.
  5. Resolutions for 2021: Ask everyone to reveal one personal goal for 2021. Bonus: Sharing goals has been shown to help us achieve them!
  6. Toast to 2021: Invite each guest to share their well wishes for the group in the new year. You can even plug these into an online word cloud generator, then print and post in your home for inspiration all year long.

> Related: 23 Ideas for Video Chat Activities During COVID-19

Kid-Friendly Activities for Your Virtual New Year’s Eve Party

Two boys and a girl pose in a photobooth with New Years Eve props for 2021

  1. Backdrop challenge: Get tweens and teens to be creative and help with this one. If you’re creating a real backdrop at home, go oversized and bright to make sure it shows up – like a foil fringe curtain, balloons, and big paper cut-outs of the numbers “2021.” If you want to go high-tech, you can also create or find a New Year’s Eve-themed virtual backdrop.
  2. Photo booth montage, minus the booth: If your child loves playing dress-up, this activity’s for you. Ask everyone to come prepared with three or four different costume props, either from their closet or cut out of cardboard with popsicle stick handles – like wigs, silly hats, giant bows or a fake mustache. Take a screenshot of the whole group wearing one accessory, then switch to the next. By the end, you’ll have a collection of laugh-out-loud photos.
  3. Dance break! Let your child pick a couple upbeat songs in advance, and build several dance breaks into your agenda to get everyone moving! This also works well as transitional music for the previous activity, while guests are changing out props.
  4. New Year’s Eve treat: Sharing food has a way of making us feel connected, even over video chat. You can encourage guests to set up an ice cream bar at home or prepare a favorite mocktail (hot cocoa, anyone?) – or with a little advance notice, you can even coordinate a common treat, like mulled cider, for everyone to enjoy during your New Year’s Eve virtual party.
  5. Game night: If you’re hosting just one other household, almost any board game is an option if both households have a set. But for a bigger group, stick to timeless games that don’t require any supplies, like “20 Questions,” a scavenger hunt at home for New Year’s Eve-themed items (for example, something to make lots of noise with), or charades.
  6. Show and tell: Have each guest reveal one special (or funny) item that no one outside their household knows they have. For instance, your child can show a favorite toy… and you can show off that faded T shirt from your very first concert.
  7. Themed dress-up (or -down) party: Have your child help you pick the theme. The possibilities are endless: Disco, ‘80s, Roaring ‘20s, luau, around-the-world, your child’s favorite fictional characters… or pajamas.
  8. Count down to the ball drop: Kids love counting. Adults love it too, especially when it’s leading to a bright new year. Whether you’re waiting up till midnight or planning a fake New Year’s countdown a little earlier in the evening, have pots, pans and other noisemakers ready.

From our Connecticut Children’s family to yours, happy New Year!

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