New Year's fun for kids


New Year in South Africa is celebrated with extreme fun and enjoyment. It is one of the best places to plan for a perfect New Year celebration. New Year's Eve celebrations are a big deal for everyone but sometimes one tends to overlook the young ones. They want to ring in the New Year in style just as much as the adults do. These celebrations didn't happen overnight, mind you. They go back a long way...

Origin of New Year's celebrations

New Year is the world's most popularly celebrated festival. Origins of New Year's dates back to the era of emperors. They thought of celebrating a special day which should mark the beginning and end of the year.

First New Year celebrations were noticed in Mesopotamia around 2000 years ago. It was celebrated at the time of Equinox in mid-March by the Egyptians, Persians and Phoenicians while Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

The idea behind New Year's Eve celebration is to bid adieu to the year gone by and give a warm welcome to the coming year. As we all know, the popular way of celebrating New Year's Eve is to party until the moment of the transition of the year at midnight.

Read more: New Year's Day family traditions around the world

Need to celebrate with the family?

There are various events around the country that cater to the whole family when it comes to ringing in the new year. 

Cape Town:

  • The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town offers a popular New Year's Eve Bash! Live music, street performers and other entertainers are a part of the party. The also will feature a display of fireworks when the clock strikes midnight. It's free and will keep the entire family entertained. 
  • The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival is an event noted for its colourful parades. Entertainers in fancy dresses dance on the beats given by the marching bands.This popular New Year Parade moves through the city streets on New Year's day entertaining people of various localities.
  • What better way to celebrate a new year than by having a family picnic on the beach? While the party goers will be nursing their hangovers, you and the family can enjoy the waves, and build sandcastles. 
    There has been a lot of safety measures put in place by the cities' lifeguards and police will be patrolling the beaches in full force.


  • Why not take the whole family to a show? Montecasino will be showing Cinderella on Ice at the Teatro. Tickets range from R150- R425. The children and you will be blown away by the ice skating and the classic fairytale performed live. 
  • Be dazzled by the breathtaking display of lights at the Garden of Lights at the Emperors Palace’s 5-star D’oreale Grande hotel. Tickets cost R25 per person. 


  • The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Resort’s five-star restaurants will have a spectacular dining affair for the whole family. You can enjoy a scrumptious dinner while the kids enjoy their own dining experience in the ballroom for only R250. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. 
  • The Smoking Dragon New Year’s Eve Festival is made for everyone! This family-friendly three-day affair boasts a variety of bands appealing to all music lovers. All tickets, including the one-day passes, allow you to camp on the festival grounds. Included are also activities for small children, the faint-hearted and your daredevil extreme sports junkies.

Also read: 6 ways to celebrate New Year's Eve with kids

Staying in?

If you can't make it to any of these events, don't fret, staying home can be a great option for you and the family as well. Why not throw your very own NYE party?

You could have a small party or go all out with a theme, complete with decor! And what would a party be without food? The children could help you prepare all the party snacks and even plan the menu with you. 

Don't forget the tunes, try to mix the old with the new. Ask the children to make a playlist of their favourite songs from the year so they too will stay entertained during the night's festivities. 

A theme party: This is especially fun for the whole family and so much more so for the kids. To inspire the little ones and even the adults why not give prizes to the best dressed? Themes could range from casino to Disney characters, or even characters from their favourite movie. Just remember it has to be family friendly!

Plan indoor friendly games and don't forget to pick out prizes for the winners. Lastly, set up a DIY station so the children can design party favours that your guests will leave the party with, a great way to immortalise the epic night.

How are you and your family ringing in the New Year? Tell us by commenting below.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox.

Read more:

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24