Hello, 2017!


Who says New Year's Eve is just for grown-ups? This year, get your family and friends in their fanciest clothes for an at-home celebration with serious - and seriously kid-friendly-_ swank. Here are eight ideas to ring in '17 with the sparkliest, bubbliest, funnest fete yet!


Can your kids say croquembouche three times fast? (That's okay, neither can we!) This chic French dessert - often served at celebratory events in Europe - is traditionally made by piling cream-filled pastry balls into a tower and holding them together with honey. Our easy and impressive version is made by decking out store-bought treats with chocolate and fun sprinkles and then serving them around a Styrofoam cone.

Start by thawing about 60 frozen cream puffs. (We used two 13.2-boxes of Patissa Natural Vanilla Cream Puffs.) Melt 8 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate. Dip top of each cream puff and set chocolate-side up on a tray. Decorate with silver and gold sprinkles and chill until set, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, wrap a Styrofoam cone (ours was 3 ~-by-11 ~ inches) tightly with parchment paper; tape to secure. Place on a serving plate. Working with one puff at a time, stick a toothpick through the puff and attach to bottom of cone. Continue this way, working in concentric circles, until the cone is covered. Sprinkle with more decorations, if desired. Chill until set, about 15 minutes. To eat, simply pull a cream puff off a toothpick _ the toothpick will stay attached to the cone.


Roll up the rugs and get down! We asked Spotify to create a playlist of popular New Year's tunes. Search "Family NYE" on to listen!

1. "Happy," by Pharrell Williams

2. "Firework," by Katy Perry

3. "Can't Stop the Feeling!," by Justin Timberlake

4. "Theme from New York, New York," by Frank Sinatra

5. "Everything Is AWESOME!!!," by Tegan and Sara feat. The Lonely Island

6. "All of Me," by John Legend (Tiesto's Birthday Treatment Remix)

7. "The Final Countdown," by Europe

8. "Uptown Funk," by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

9. "I Gotta Feeling," by The Black Eyed Peas

10. "Twist and Shout," by The Beatles

11. "Party in the U.S.A.," by Miley Cyrus

12. "Rather Be," by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne

13. "Auld Lang Syne," by Susan Boyle

14. "Happy New Year," by ABBA

15. "This Will Be Our Year," by The Zombies


Around the world, people believe that certain foods bring good luck for the coming year. For example, people in Greece smash pomegranates on the floor at the stroke of midnight. The more seeds, the more prosperity to come. In Mexico and Spain, folks eat grapes on New Year's, and in the Philippines, they display 12 round fruits on the table. Our twist? Drink your luck! Put out (plastic) champagne coupes with seltzer or sparkling cider and let the kids dress up their bubbly with juice mixers and special garnishes. "Set little place cards next to each one explaining the custom," says Michelle Bachman of Little Miss Party, a party-planning firm in New York City. Here are a few of our favorite combos inspired by these traditions:

GREEK GODDESS - Seltzer + Pomegranate Juice + Colored-Sugar Rim

THE GRAPE GATSBY - Sparkling Cider + Grape Juice + Frozen Berries

ORANGE YOU LUCKY - Lemon-Lime Soda + Tangerine Juice + Maraschino Cherries


The perfect toppers for their New Year's duds: sparkling crowns and fascinators!

Make a crown: Cut an 18-by3 {-inch strip of felt, then cut a zigzag along the top. Hot-glue on rhinestones (an adult's job); let dry. Glue each side of a hair elastic to the outside middle edges of the crown to bring it together; glue a small piece of felt on top of the elastic for extra security.

Make a fascinator: Trim a 4-inch-wide cork coaster into a 2 {-inch-wide almond shape. Paint it; let dry. Hot-glue on pom-poms, tulle, rhinestones, and feathers. Let dry, then glue to a headband.


Three ideas to help keep the kids going way past bedtime.

- Get some fresh air. Bundle up and go outside for a game of flashlight tag. It'll help pass the time, and the cold air will perk them up.

- Encourage mini naps. Around 10 p.m., drag sleeping bags into the living room, turn on a movie, and dim the lights so anyone who's fading can take a snooze. Wake any kids who conk out before midnight so they can still celebrate, even if it's just for a few minutes!

- Feed 'em dessert! Give the kids a sweet snack when their energy starts to flag... and hopefully they'll crash at 12:01. (Try the chocolate-covered cream puffs with sprinkles.)


Ditch the formal dinner for one that they can dip: "Fondue is fun and interactive - plus it feels like such a fancy, special meal that they're guaranteed to look forward to it," notes Cyd Converse, editor of The Sweetest Occasion blog. Serve our bacon-infused version with goodies like tortellini, veggies, and tater tots and they'll be full in no time!


Makes 15 To 20 servings


8 ounces Emmental cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)

8 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)

8 ounces fontina cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)

2{ tablespoons cornstarch

3 cups apple juice

2{ teaspoons dried mustard

2 pinches nutmeg

4 ounces cooked sliced bacon (about 4 slices), crumbled, divided

Pretzel sticks, apple and pear slices, broccoli, bell pepper strips, cooked tater tots, and/or cooked tortellini, for dipping


1. Place cheeses and cornstarch in a zip-top bag and shake until well coated.

2. Bring apple juice to a simmer over medium heat in a heavy 5-quart pot. Whisking constantly, slowly add cheese mixture { cup at a time until smooth and fully incorporated. (Let mixture come to a simmer again after adding each { cup cheese.) Remove pan from heat and whisk in mustard, nutmeg, and three-fourths of bacon.

3. Serve in a small slow cooker on warm or a fondue pot set over a Sterno flame. Garnish with remaining bacon. Serve with desired dippers and a skewer for each guest.


These noisemakers are super easy to craft and just as loud as the store-bought kind - in the best possible way!

What to do: Each kid will need two jumbo wooden craft sticks and two 1-inch pieces of toothpick. Help them cut a piece of paper to slightly smaller than the craft sticks, then sandwich it between the sticks with a toothpick piece under the paper on one side, and over it on the other. Secure with washi tape. To make noise, blow into the space between the sticks!

10, 9, 8 ... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Just because you're not in Times Square doesn't mean you can't have your own ball. Fill a flashy pinata-style globe with candy, trinkets, and confetti - then at midnight have the kids pull the strings to get doused in goodies!

What to do: Fringe about twenty 24-inch strips of holographic bird tape (find it in the garden section). Starting from the bottom, tape each fringed strip to a 16-inch paper lantern, overlapping as you go. Cut a cardstock circle about 1 inch wider than the bottom opening of the lantern. Poke a hole in it, then push a length of ribbon through, tie a knot, and tape it securely to the other side of the cardstock. Place the circle inside the pinata so that it covers the bottom opening, then lightly tape a few more lengths of ribbon to the circle (at least one per kid). Fill it from the top, then hang it up. When the time comes, each kid pulls a string - and one will unleash a surprise!

(c)2016 FamilyFun magazine, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.