What to Do with Your Family on New Year’s Eve in Champaign-Urbana
When you become a parent, suddenly New Year’s Eve loses most of its social importance. Babysitter available? Maybe if you’re REALLY lucky, and if you haven’t started trying to find one, do so NOW!
But if you’re like most of us and planning on spending New Year’s Eve in Champaign-Urbana with your family, we have a whole bunch of ideas that a) won’t break the bank and b) will be epic in their own way.
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Chambanamoms thanks Travelin’ Toms Coffee Truck for presenting this article.
Take the kids to one of the family-friendly events happening in Champaign-Urbana, or create your own:
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Savoy Recreation Center
402 W. Graham Drive, Savoy
Time: 12:00 pm
Urbana Free Library
210 W. Green Street, Urbana
Time: 10:30 am - 9:00 pm
Big Thorn Farm & Brewery
14274 E 600 North Road, Georgetown
Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
1515 N. Market St., Champaign
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
208 W Curtis Road, Savoy
Time: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
208 W Curtis Road, Savoy
Take the kids out to dinner.
Usually the New Year’s crowds don’t come out until after the younger kids are starting to wind down for bedtime. Head out to an early bird meal at your favorite local restaurant.
Have a family date night.
Typically bowling alleys and other family fun locations are open. (We don’t think the Illini Union, our favorite spot, is going to be open though). Or treat the family to a movie in the theater: lots of family options out there.
Book a hotel room. That’s right, a hotel room, right here in Champaign-Urbana.
Leave home without leaving home. Live it up staycation style — book a hotel with an indoor pool (fun for the kids) where there’s no driving involved (safer for you).
Create Your Own New Year’s Eve Party at Home – with the kids
The great thing about New Year’s Eve is that every hour, it is the New Year … somewhere. Stop at a local party store (or even big box store) and grab party hats, noisemakers — or make your own! Use it as an educational tool to teach children about other countries and cultures as the hours go by. Or, do a family game night or movie night. Use Netflix or YouTube for an authentic early countdown.
Blow up a TON of balloons for a balloon “drop.” If you have a high ceiling in your home, that’s a great way to drop the balloons. But you don’t actually have to “drop” the balloons at all — just make it up as you go along. All we know is that having a ton of balloons means a ton of fun for the kiddos — of all ages. My big kids can’t resist balloon volleyball.
Set a time when you’re going to do a countdown. If you’d like to do your own countdown, that works. Or find a video online — there’s tons of videos of actual ball drops, fireworks and other celebrations. Netflix hasn’t announced yet if it will be another release of content for NYE 2023, but we’ve come to depend on it.
Have a dance party. We’re totally in love with these ridiculous disco lights that only cost $10 and will turn your house into party central. Don’t forget to load up on family friendly music from your favorite streaming service or use YouTube.
Grab some kid “Champagne” at the store. In our house, nothing says important occasion like sparkling grape juice. Plan to have a “midnight toast” at whatever time works for your family. We’ve found sparkling grape juice at Schnucks, Meijer and Aldi.
Get out of the house and take a drive
If you’re not tired of Christmas lights, New Year’s Eve tends to be one of the last days when the major shows are still lit up. Check out our C-U Lights Guide to plan your drive.
Want more ideas for holiday (or everyday) fun? Check out our Events Calendar.
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