When I was little, we often went to a family-friend’s house and ate until we popped, listened to great music, played some games (foozball and some arcade games were always a favorite), and it was fun to get some sparkling grape juice and ring in the year with hugs and kisses. For maybe 1 or 2 years we raced lobsters, I use the term “race” loosely, as I recall they were very slow. I recommend just eating them, or letting them chill out in their natural habitat, but it is a fond memory of mine.
I’ve never been one for going some place on New Years Eve. My husband, his buddy, and I went out once, maybe 8 years ago, to a party at a concert venue. It was loud, obnoxious people, long lines for beverages, and zero food. All I really remember is that I didn’t use the bathroom at the venue (I greatly dislike public bathrooms and will do all I can, without using adult diapers, to avoid them) but I failed miserably and had to have my husband pull over and I had to use a gas station bathroom. Ugh. We swore that night that never again would we go out for NYE. We already had a kiddo, and really, we were over all that partying. So now we stay in and make our own fun.
This year, we hopped on over to my sister-in-law’s house and played with their family. Lots of food, games, a movie, some bubbly when it got late, and the best part of all: we wore our pajamas! If every party I went to (or outing, in general) would allow me to wear pajamas, I would be absolutely on board. And it just so happens that I got new pajama pants from the husband, hooray!
The games were a good time and made for some good, leisurely fun. The littlest kiddos played in the tent, had a super great time with the party blowers (I highly recommend investing a $1 in these, the kids seriously loved them). And they are still little enough to wear it doesn’t make the sound, you just have to watch out for a pop in the face! Some board games, and eventually dominos was brought out once the grandparents got there to play. Also, my newest favorite game that the oldest got for Christmas, Story Cubes. Such a fun game! Stretch the imagination and tell a short story using the pictures on each cube. Rev up the fun by sharing the cubes and making a multi-player story!
My sister bought a couple pizzas, made some lit’l weenies, and had a variety of chips and dip. I brought some homemade cheese crackers, soft pretzels, and a variety of dips and dippers.
I’ve made the cheese crackers before, this time I was mildly distracted by simultaneously prepping the pretzels, and having the littles help me. But they turned out yummy. I had to quickly bag them up so we wouldn’t eat them all before heading over to the pajama party.
The soft pretzels was a new recipe for me. But it was easy to follow. Make sure your yeast is still good before making it! I worried that mine wasn’t, but it turned out everything was working. The littles were able to help me roll out the pretzel sticks, we got mildly ambitious with a couple stick twist pretzels, but the sticks were easy and delicious. I’ve never done a baking soda and water bath for anything before, they mention to go slowly…believe them! Who knew it was so fizzy? I had a straggler pretzel left behind in the bath when I turned the stove off. I put him in the oven… I recommend pitching it if it happens to you. 30 seconds in the pretzel bath is all they need. These were a big hit at the party. Zap them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and it’s like you just took them out of the oven! I brushed on some butter at the very end, so good. I will be making these again!
I also made 2 dips, a peanut butter dip and a brownie peanut butter dip. Both delicious. The peanut butter dip is best with apples. The brownie dip is best with…anything. My favorite dipper was raspberries. If you like chocolate and raspberry, this is your thing. But we also brought graham crackers, strawberries, and apples. My kids have eaten 3 giant apples between them today (I may have taken a couple slices) and it’s only 3:30pm. they’re not picky, they like either the peanut butter or brownie dip. I will definitely be making these again. The peanut butter dip only requires 3 ingredients that I normally keep on hand so that’s a bonus. But the brownie dip also led me to make homemade brownie mix. This stuff…is so good. And so easy! And from the link, you can go straight to the directions for the brownies! You’re welcome. I may make brownies later. It’s still early to decide.
At about 8:00 we brought out the sparkly grape juice and taught the kids to *clink clink* their glasses. Everything’s better when you clink.
We got home and put the kiddos in bed, they were asleep by 9, it was a fun evening. The oldest managed to stay up to midnight. A little Yahtzee, more story cubes, a made-up game, video games, and a TV show. I made it until 11:45. I just couldn’t hold on.
A very Happy New Year to you and yours, I hope you all have a lovely year, and many more!