Fun nature based New Year’s Eve activities for kids and families to do together for New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day. Whether you’re looking for nature crafts, outdoor New Year’s Day activities for kids, or simple nature ideas for family to ring in the new year, you’ll find something on this unique and fun TO DO list (even fun ideas for an eco-friendly New Year’s Eve party!).
Easy Nature Based New Year’s Eve Activities For Kids Or Fun Things For Family To Do Together On New Year’s Day
These are great DIY ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve at home with kids and ways to get your family outside on New Year’s Day – ideas for teens to tots, older kids to younger kids! Who know! One of these may become a New Year annual tradition for your family!
Best New Year’s Ideas For Kids
- Make A Wishing Pinecone
- Make New Year’s Ice Lanterns
- Have A Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Make Nature Confetti
- Host A Stargazing Party
- Have A Midnight Garden Countdown
- Do A Reflective Nature Walk
- Make Wishing Stones
- Make A New Year’s Bird Feeder Craft
- Start A Family Nature Journal
- Have A Moonlight Picnic
- Host A Gratitude Sunset Reflection Moment
- Do A Sunrise New Year’s Day Hike
Keep scrolling for the best nature crafts and activities for kids to celebrate the New Year together as a family or celebrating New Year’s Eve at home with kids with eco-friendly ideas and nature-based activities. Creative ways to have fun with your family at the beginning of the year!
Simple Nature Activities For Kids on New Year’s Eve and DIY Eco-Friendly New Year’s Day Family Ideas
Make Nature Confetti
Go on a nature hike and collect leaves (of all kinds and colors).
Using small paper punches with shapes or small hole punch, let kids cut confetti from the leaves.
Then, at midnight on New Year’s Eve, head outside with your homemade party poppers and throw your nature confetti / leaf confetti, that’s biodegradable and will return to the earth.
This is a great idea for an ecofriendly New Year’s Eve party. It’s like your own nature ball drop (party hats not required)!
Make A Wishing Pinecone
Go on a New Year’s Eve hike and collect pinecones.
Write wishes and goals for the new year on small slips of paper (one wish per piece of paper) and place them in the pinecones. (Or, write things you want to let go of from the old year.)
Then, burn the pinecones in a backyard campfire and send your wishes up as part of New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day bonfire.
It’s a great family activity to talk about family goals (instead of New Year’s resolutions) and things you want to accomplish in the New Year, too.
Don’t have a place to burn pine cones?
Make pinecone ornaments instead. Whisper your “invisible” New Year wishes on them and hang them outside (or on your Christmas tree) so your wishes can float up into the new year. My daughter really enjoyed making those as a nature activity last year.
Have A New Year’s Nature Scavenger Hunt
Create a list of items for a scavenger hunt in your backyard or a nearby park.
Include things like pinecones, rocks, leaves, or anything else relevant to your location.
Kids can explore and collect items, and you can discuss the different things they find.
Make Wishing Stones
Collect smooth stones and provide markers or paint.
Have the kids write their wishes or resolutions for the new year on the stones.
Place the stones in a garden, in a planter, or by a tree in your own yard at midnight as a symbol of hope for the coming year.
Fun idea for teens, younger children, and New Year’s ideas for adults!
Make New Year’s Ice Lanterns
These ice candles (or ice luminaries / lanterns) are one of our all-time favorite nature crafts to do for the holidays.
These also make really beautiful outside lights if you’re having a New Year’s Eve party.
Go on a winter nature hike and collect items. We gathered pinecones, evergreen tree stems and leaves, and sticks. We also used cranberries.
Freeze them into ice lights and then use mini votive candles to create beautiful lights for New Year’s Eve.
Host A Stargazing Party
If the weather is clear, spend the evening stargazing.
You can use a simple star chart or a stargazing app to identify constellations.
Bring blankets (and set up those patio heaters) and add hot cocoa to make it a cozy and educational experience as a great way to ring in the new year.
Have younger kids? Be sure to check out how to have a noon year’s eve party!
Have A Storytelling Campfire
Have a small campfire in your backyard (yes, even if there’s snow!).
Roast marshmallows, bring this hot cocoa recipe, and enjoy the warmth of the fire.
Tell family stories and memories from the past year and let kids make up their own story time.
Do Some Nature Crafts
Collect natural materials like pinecones, twigs, fruit, and leaves to create New Year’s Eve crafts.
New Year’s Crafts Ideas:
- Nature Garland
- Beeswax Ornaments
- Dried Orange Decorations
- Popcorn And Cranberry Garland To Hang Outside For Wildlife
Midnight Garden Countdown
Set up a small garden area with fairy lights, mason jars with candles, or ice lanterns (see above).
As midnight approaches, have a countdown with the kids in the garden.
Reflective Nature Walk
Take a peaceful nature walk with the whole family.
Encourage kids to reflect on the past year and share their thoughts. Give younger kids examples of things to share.
This can be a great opportunity to talk about nature and the changing seasons.
Make A New Year’s Bird Feeder Craft
Create simple bird feeders using pinecones or cardboard, peanut butter or lard, and birdseed.
Hang them in the backyard and watch the birds enjoy their New Year’s treats.
It’s a fun and educational activity that connects kids with local wildlife.
Start Nature Journaling
Give each child a new nature journal as a gift for the New Year.
Encourage them to sketch or write about their experiences in nature, like drawings of plants, animals, or even their feelings about the changing year.
Keep the nature journal up for the rest of the year.
It’s a fun way to get the kids outside all year long.
TIP: Great idea to do with a New Year’s Day hike!
YOU’LL ALSO ENJOY THESE NYE IDEAS: Fun New Year’s Eve Countdown Ideas For Kids
Have A Moonlight Picnic
Pack a picnic basket with kid-friendly snacks and head to a nearby park or your backyard (yes, even in the snow or cold!).
Enjoy a picnic under the moonlight, and encourage the kids to share their favorite moments from the past year.
Sunset Reflection Time
On New Years Eve, find a serene spot to watch the last sunset of the year together as a family.
Take a few moments of reflection, discussing what each family member is grateful for from the past year.
It’s a peaceful way to transition into the new year and a great thing to do with little kids for the new year (who might not make it to midnight).
New Year’s Sunrise Hike (aka: First Day Hike)
The start of the new year is a perfect time to connect with family and a great time for quality time.
If your family is made up of early risers (or even if they aren’t, it’s a great time to new things!), consider starting the new year with a sunrise hike.
Choose a scenic trail for an easy family walk or a state park you haven’t visited and hike and watch the sunrise together.
Bring snacks, some of your nature confetti, and celebrate the start of a new day and a new year and talk about fun ideas for the upcoming year and how to get a fresh start.
FAMILY ACTIVITY TIP: If you’re new to hiking, check out these best beginner hiking with family tips.
Not a hiking family? Head out to a local skating rink for New Year ice skating or other local outdoor fun activities / family-friendly event.
If you have any creative New Year’s Eve crafts & activities for kids that are great for our nature list, let us know and we’ll add them!
MORE NATURE IDEAS FOR KIDS: Winter Solstice Craft Projects
No matter what you decide to do, we hope you enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebration.
Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year!