We’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve with the kids at my house, because Mama doesn’t want to splurge on a holiday babysitter or wear heels all night long. Instead, we’ll have friends and their kids over to ring in the new year, but that doesn’t mean that we have to order in pizza. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Instead, I’ve found some festive New Year’s Eve dinner ideas for kids that the grown-ups will like, too.

Novel idea, right?  – Kate, with the team

Updated for 2023 

Related: 7 New Year’s Eve mocktails for kids. So fun and colorful, you’ll want a sip too.

10 Fun New Year’s Eve Dinner Ideas for a Night with the Kids

10 fun New Year's Eve dinner ideas for a night home with the kids | cool mom eats

Our best BTDT tip for hosting parties with kids is to keep it simple. I get tempted to make everything over-the-top amazing, but ultimately the kids don’t notice; they just want food that tastes good. And the adults just want the kids to have fun so we can enjoy the party too.  So pick one or two of these recipes to stand out as the star of your spread and, for the rest, go simple and don’t stress yourself out. That would defeat the purpose of a party!

1. New Year’s Eve Charcuterie Board Dinner

Charcuterie board at Katy's Cookin: Inspiration for new year's eve dinners for kidsCharcuterie Board from Katy’s Cookin

Charcuterie Boards are still a favorite with kids (we even have recos for the best boards) and this charcuterie board at Katy’s Cookin is a classic. She focuses on fruit, cheese, crackers, and meat…so much inspiration. If you want to get creative, try creative ideas like chicken nuggets, PB&J sandwiches, or a latke snack tray.

2. New Year’s Eve “Bar Food” Dinner 

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Potato Skins: The perfect apps for dinner recipe on New Year's Eve | Stacie Billis for Cool Mom EatsCreamy Chicken Enchilada Potato Skins by Stacie Billis for Cool Mom Eats

A dinner full of “bar food” style appetizers? Absolutely. Whether you’re heating up your faves from the store, or going homemade withchicken wings, homemade freezer French fries, mini sliders, or these amazing creamy chicken enchilada potato skins, it’s like going out! Only without all the drunk people and overpriced menus!

Related: Easy 3-ingredient appetizer recipes for New Year’s Eve entertaining 

3. New Year’s Eve “Tailgating” Dinner

Tailgate dinner chicken wings at Amy Casey Cooks

Tailgating recipes don’t just have to be for game day.These snackable dinner ideas make New Year’s Eve feel loose and fun and I love this recipes for crispy baked chicken wings by Amy Casey Cooks, because it’s is a bit healthier than fried fare.Just add your favorite dips. No team jerseys required.

4. New Year’s DIY Food Bar Dinner

New Year's Eve with kids: Taco Bar at What's Gaby Cooking?Taco Bar from What’s Gabby Cooking

A food bar is so perfect for kids, because everyone gets to make their own…anything, however they like it. See this list of 5 of the best food bar ideas for easy entertaining, from taco bars to pasta bars to crostini bars. We’re big fans of the family style taco bar from What’s Gaby Cooking, including her amazing guac recipe.

Related: 13 fun, easy DIY dinner ideas for the family

5. New Year’s Eve Appetizer Buffet

Homemade Pigs in a Blanket from Damn Delicious are an easy New Year's Eve dinner ideas for kidsDamn Delicious Pigs in a Blanket Recipe

The ultimate appetizer: Pigs in a Blanket. I make this one from Damn Deliciou sfor the kids all of the time. Serve with spicy gourmet mustards or the Whisky Barbecue Ketchup from Minimalist Baker. Or go crazy and wrap Greek sausage and feta cheese in puff pastry and serve with tzatziki sauce. Or you can use chorizo sausage instead and served them with this Creamy Chipotle Sauce at Laylita’s Recipes. Possibilities!

These crescent dippers (which can be made to read 2016 this year!) are one of our favorite New year's Eve dinner ideas for kids | PillsburyPillsbury Crescent Dippers

Pillsbury crescent rolls don’t last long at my dinner table and their idea for New Year’s  Crescent Dippers is a really fun way to serve bread at your party. Try improving a jarred marinara sauce with these easy ideas, or grown-ups might prefer this Warm Beer and Cheddar Dip. Just, don’t forget it’s 2024 we’re making here.

6. New Year’s Eve Star-Shaped Grilled Cheese or Quesadillas

Make star-shaped grilled cheese as a fun New Year's Eve dinner idea for kids (that grown ups will like, too!) | Oh JoyOh Joy! Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Prep a bunch of grilled cheese sandwiches so that you can grill them quickly when it’s time to eat. Then cut them into these fun Stars and Hearts Shaped Grilled Cheese Sandwiches shared by Oh Joy! If you want to go all out, you serve these with tomato soup shooters. For a shortcut, make cheese quesadillas using star-shaped cookie cutters.

7. New Year’s Eve Lasagna Roll-Ups

Creative DIY New Year's Eve dinner: Make your own lasagna roll-ups, like these at Monster Foodies!Monster Foodie’s Lasagna Roll-Ups

In my post on 13 DIY dinner ideas that are fun for kids, I found this genius recipe for lasagna roll-ups at Monster Foodie. If you don’t want to make them all yourself, do it food bar style, setting out different sauces from béchamel to bolognese, then fillings like ground beef, sausage, spinach, artichoke, sun tried tomato, mozzarella and ricotta cheese, artichokes, peppers…you can’t really miss.

8. New Year’s Eve Sushi on a Stick

We love this Sushi on a Stick as a New Year's Eve dinner idea for kids because maybe they'll try something new. If not, more for us! | Better RecipesBetter Recipes Sushi Lollipops

Is everything better on a stick? Yes! So why not these fun Sushi Lollipops from Better Recipes? I have one adventurous eater who likes sushi, and this might get the others to try something new. I’d go with restaurant or store-bought sushi here; New Year’s Eve isn’t the time to learn how to make sushi from scratch.

9. New Year’s Eve Good Luck Foods

Good-luck foods for new year: Sesame soba noodles from Foodie CrushSesame Soba Noodles: Foodie Crush

In our post on 12 tasty good-luck foods for the New Year’s Christina shared the tradition of slurping whole noodles for good luck. Try this easy-to-make recipe for Sesame Soba Noodles via Foodie Crush. You can also opt for the traditional Toshikoshi Soba dish (like this one from Just One Cookbook) that’s served in Japan on New Year’s Day — but of course it depends on what you can find in your supermarket.

10. New Year’s Eve Pancakes for Dinner

Indulgent pancake hacks forNational Pancake Day: Maple Bacon Pancakes from Almost SupermomMaple Bacon Pancakes from Almost Supermom

As long as you’re up until midnight — technically morning — try one of these 6 Breakfast for Dinner recipes that go beyond pancakes.  Or, just fully embrace pancakes! This recipe for Maple Bacon Pancakes from Almost Supermom is a favorite, plus it includes a secret ingredient to make them a wee bit healthier. If you’d rather go more traditional, check out all of these pancake hacks that make pancakes super indulgent.

Alternately, see our roundup of 5 of the best waffle recipes, which we can eat any time of day, any time of year at all. Especially when we’re celebrating.