Three tips for entertaining with kids over the holidays

Before we had kids, Matt and I had at least two dinner parties a month. We had regular old parties, we hosted brunches and lunches and we generally always had people over at least one time over each weekend and during the week.

It’s taken us nearly four years of parenting to figure out how to do that with the kids.

We’ve had a few birthday parties and such, but nothing to crazy. Last year, despite my desire to entertain over the holidays, we’d moved nine days before Christmas, so we didn’t do anything with anyone.

This year will be different. We’re hosting a casual Christmas Eve dinner inspired by my Lucky Peach Magazine (Lobster Rolls and chips and fancy coleslaw!) for about 10. And now, I’ve decided to host New Year’s for all our friends with kids.

We never were big fans of going out on New Years Eve and often hosted house parties in the past, but this year, we’re going to be hosting for friends both with kids and without, and here’s how I’m doing it:

The party starts early

This NYE party starts at 4pm! Friends with babies can drop in or stay for as long as the kids will handle it. We have loads of toys, snacks and maybe even a movie for the little guys so that the grownups can have some adult conversation.

Our friend’s kids range in age from baby to seven, so the big kids always instinctively look after the little kids and generally, everyone just really enjoys themselves until the kids get really pooped.

There are no expectations

I certainly don’t expect everyone to stay until midnight, and have invited friends without kids to come by after 9pm and hang out for the countdown if they are so inclined. I suspect kids will all be pretty exhausted by then, and especially the younger babes will be ready for sleep time.

Take it easy

I’ll probably do some crazy food (in past years, I’ve done homemade jalapeno poppers, Beef Bourginion and others), but mostly, I’ll be putting out some cheese and crackers and asking everyone to bring a snack that they or their kids love. Also, if they are so inclined, please BYOB.

Yes, there will be paper plates, and yes I might buy a bag of ice but it’s a great excuse for those of us as parents to get out of the house on the “biggest” party night of the year and still share a fun evening with our kids.

What about you? Do you entertain with your kids in mind, or do you put them to bed/send them away?

  • Natalie Romero

    We always plan our entertaining around our kids. Last year on NYE we hosted a PJ party, played some games, had some snacks and had a fantastic time! Once the kids were done we could just pop them up to bed! It worked fantastically and I think that might be our go to NYE party for the next few years :)

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