Help your t(w)een host an alcohol-free New Year’s Eve party

Where will your teen be when the ball drops? And, more important, who else and what type of substances will be there?

The celebratory air around New Year’s Eve can intensify the temptation for many teens to drink—often resulting in a not-so-fairytale ending.

Here’s a thought: Skip the worry and help your teen plan ahead for a night of fun that you can be certain doesn’t involve alcohol. How?

Throw your own New Year’s Eve bash! Make it a memorable night for your child and their friends—and help keep them safe.

Your child can actually handle a lot of the preparation, so it might be easier than you think. You can get other parents involved, too, to split costs and ensure there are no competing parties within the friend group.

Here are a few things you’ll need to make it legit:

  1. Music. Have your child create a playlist with their favorite hits and holiday songs, plus some throwbacks. There are tons of New Year’s Eve playlists on Spotify to pull from, too.
  2. Snacks. Take it up a notch with fun finger foods, like jalapeño wantonshomemade mozzarella sticksfried tortellini, and strawberry marshmallow kabobs.
  3. Drinks. Consider fizzy apple cider to ring in the new year, and a mix of sodas, waters, and punches like Orange Slush Punch or Mason Jar Shirley Temples.
  4. Decorations. No teen life is complete without selfies, so create a festive photo wall with a sparkly fringe background, balloons or paper lanterns, and props.
  5. Games. Ever play spoons? It will keep anyone laughing, even teens. Also try charades, Taboo, or other games that allow for larger teams.
  6. Flash and glitter. Well, it may not drop, but how about a disco ball to stand under for the midnight toast? Or a wifi disco ball with fabulous spinning lights?
  7. Hello, karaoke! Have the kids divide themselves into teams for a sing-off. Machines are usually available for rent at places like Tate’s Rents, or you can put out a social media SOS to borrow one.
  8. Space. Obviously, you’ll need to hide out somewhere else, with frequent passes through the party to make sure no one has snuck in alcohol.

Note that you could be liable for alcohol-related accidents that occur, so be sure to stress to your child and their friends that the party is alcohol-free. Make partygoers aware of your presence by popping in to top off snacks and take photos. Consider inviting your child’s friends’ parents, so they can take turns being the uncool parent who’s keeping an eye on things.

Sound easy enough? Cheers happy 2020!