Mountain Lake PBS is honored to create the Tristan Fund, celebrating the life of Tristan Carlton Hallock.

Family-Friendly Activities & Resolutions for a Happy New Year

People around the globe celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one on different dates based on lunar or seasonal calendars and cultural or religious systems. In the United States, we celebrate the year’s end on December 31st, also known as New Year’s Eve, and at the stroke of midnight as it officially changes to New Year’s Day.

The holiday we know as New Year’s Day began thousands of years ago with the ancient Babylonians and has evolved with the traditions and customs of each time and place. Today, many people across the United States have parties, watch celebratory firework displays or annual events like the lighted “ball drop” in New York City’s Times Square, and sing the traditional Scottish song “Auld Lang Syne” just after the clock strikes midnight. The tradition of writing New Year’s resolutions, or promises to ourselves for personal improvement in the coming year, is also popular.

Learn all about how we measure a year—in minutes, rotations of the Earth, cups of coffee, or new experiences—and plan your own New Years celebrations with the activities and ideas for family-friendly festivities below!

All About the Holidays | New Year’s Day

3, 2, 1, Happy New Year! On January 1, people around the world celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next. How did you celebrate this year?

Posted by PBS KIDS on Wednesday, December 18, 2019

How Do You Measure, Measure a Year?

Olive’s New Year’s Resolutions | The Odd Squad

Grades K-2
Learn about counting down in this fun clip from the Odd Squad. Olive completes the last of her New Year’s resolutions as time winds down and the countdown to the New Year begins!

One Year in the Life of Earth

Grades 3-5
Watch a year in the life of Earth from 1 million miles away in this narrated video that captures images taken by NASA’s EPIC camera. Stimulate curiosity, thinking, and questions about the distribution of land, water, and cloud coverage on the planet. 

How Science Defines a Year | It’s Okay to Be Smart

Grades 6-12
Join Joe Hanson, host of It’s Okay to Be Smart, as he explores different ways to mark the passage of a year’s worth of time.

Activities, Crafts & Recipes

New Year’s Eve, Family Style

Grades PreK-5
New Year’s Eve celebrations are often adult-only events, but kids get excited about the big night as well. Make it a New Year’s Eve to remember with these tips for a kid-friendly celebration.

Write Your Own New Year Reflections

Grades K-3
Look back on last year, and set goals for the next year, with your children using this downloadable New Year Reflections activity from PBS KIDS!

New Year’s Eve Origami Popper

Grades K-5
To close out the year and welcome a new one, celebrate with some paper poppers! They’re super easy to make — but that’s not all — you and your child will learn how to say “Happy New Year” in different languages.

Celebrate Japan’s Oshogatsu Holiday with Ozoni

Grades 6-12
Japan’s New Year celebration is known as Oshogatsu. Learn more about Oshogatsu with this recipe for Ozoni, a one-bowl meal that defines the New Years’ experience for most Japanese people!

Write a New Year Poem Inspired by Amanda Gorman’s ‘New Day’s Lyric’ | PBS NewsHour

Grades 6-12
Poet Amanda Gorman ended an extraordinary year on a hopeful note with a new poem about the difficulties of 2021 and the promise of a new year. Read and watch her perform her poem, then try one out yourself to express your feelings on the promise of a new year.