I almost can’t take the pressure of finding just the right thing to do on New Year’s Eve. While freezing my patootie off at Times Square does not present itself as a desirable option for me, I always feel that I am supposed to supply my family with a night to remember. That’s a pretty tall order.
Here are some ideas you can look into if you plan on having your brood with you on New Year’s Eve. Be sure to find some time that night to discuss the concept of resolutions. This is a great time to make kids aware of the control they have over their own habits and decisions, and to come up with a plan for the coming year.
Family Friendly Options:
- Consider spending the night at a hotel. It doesn’t even have to be far away, or at any particular location. It will be equally fun and exciting if it’s in your own neighborhood. Maybe get some other family members or friends to join you at the same hotel. Choose one that has a pool and a game room, and you can start a family tradition for every New Year’s Eve to come.
- Head to the water. How about a cruise to nowhere? That’s a lot of fun, and offers a beautiful view. Just be careful about which one you choose. If the kids are with you, the booze cruise is probably NOT the way to go. Find a more family friendly one, such as the Family Fireworks Gala and New York Water Taxi’s Family Cruise. That’s a truly enjoyable option for all ages.
- Want to go out to dinner with the kids? Remember that for them, it’s not about the stroke of midnight. It’s about doing something fun and memorable. So bump New Year’s up a few hours. Rainforest Café (Menlo Park Mall), Benihana’s or a similar hibatchi restaurant, or one of the dine-in movie theaters in our area(Menlo Park Mall, or Dunellen) are great options, and often have added extras for the kids on New Year’s Eve. And even if the kids then get to bed earlier than midnight, leaving the adults to enjoy that moment ALONE, they won’t feel as though they missed anything.
- Host or attend a house party. That’s the most economical, all-inclusive, laid back fun kind of celebration. And if it is with friends, guests, and hosts that also have children, then EVERYONE will have a great time in a family-friendly atmosphere without great pressure, money, or travelling. And if the kids fall asleep on the playroom floor . . . . bonus!!! Perhaps you can even coordinate it among friends so that everyone take turns hosting each year.
If you are lucky enough to have a babysitter for the night, and are looking for a bit more “adult” entertainment, you’ve got local options for that, too:
- Check back into that cruise option . . . . but now you CAN focus on a booze cruise! Still a beautiful view, still a lot of fun . . . . just child free fun. Much more romantic.
- Re-check the house party option. If it is one for adults, you can get a little louder and more boisterous at the midnight count.
- Find a local place that will combine food, music, and a New Year countdown. Try nearby Shackamaon in Scotch Plains (1607 Shackamaxon Drive in Scotch Plains, http://shackamaxoncc.com/upcoming-events/ ), for example.
- Check out the many local restaurants have special New Year’s Eve menus
- Pairings Palate+Plate in Cranford http://pairingscranford.com
- Cervantes of Spain 24 North Avenue E. , Cranford , http://www.cervantesofspain.com/
- For GREAT Cuban Food, head to Lidia’s Cuban Kitchen at 117 North Union Ave in Cranford, http://www.lidiascubankitchen.com/
- or brand new 100 Steps (215 Centennial Avenue in Cranford, http://www.atouteheure.com/php_uploads/NYE%202013%20-%20OHS.pdf ), owned by the same folks who own A Teute Heure, (232 Centennial Avenue, http://www.atouteheure.com/php_uploads/NYE%202013%20-%20ATH.pdf ). And there’s ALWAYS a party going on at Kilkenny House (112 South Avenue, http://www.thekilkennyhouse.com . Aw, heck . . . . virtually ALL local restaurants offer something special on new Year’s Eve! It’s a great night for a great dinner.
- Oh’ Brian’s on the Green in Clark is hosting several options for New Year’s Eve. Choose from: (1) A delicious pre fixe menu; (2) Pre fixe dinner plus premium open bar including music, late night buffet, hats/noisemakers and fun until 1am; or (3) Simply come from 10pm – 1am for the premium open bar, music, late night buffet, and hats/noisemakers. Check out their Facebook page orwww.OhBriansOnTheGreen.com for details, and make your reservations today!
It bears saying . . . no matter WHAT you choose to do on New Year’s Eve, take every precaution to ensure that you will be alive and well to enjoy 2014. Plan ahead, use a designated driver, or plan for public transportation. Hospital stays are no fun, and no way to begin a new year! Start the year out the right way!