New Year's Eve balloon clock with girl smiling

Want to make New Year’s Eve special this year? Try a New Year’s Eve Balloon Countdown!

Balloons are a fun way to make any event feel a little bit more festive and they are cool to pop too!

After Christmas I’m always looking for the best bang for my buck when it comes to activities for my kids. A creative balloon display along with a few easy activity ideas makes it seem like I spent a lot of time planning, but really, it’s ready in just a few minutes.

The kids love it and I feel like a fun mom without having to do too much. Win-win!

RELATED: Not sure what New Year’s Eve activities to try? We have several awesome ones!

Why do a fun NYE countdown or family New Year’s Eve party?

I believe that “Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated” (quote by Osho) and love to celebrate big and little moments. Childhood is too short and kids are only little for so long, so why not celebrate! Spending time together doing this simple countdown makes so many awesome memories too.

You won’t believe how easy this is to set up! I usually pull it together right before our little family New Year’s Eve party and the kids love helping me.

What you need for your balloon countdown:

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*I have severe asthma, so can’t actually blow up a balloon. This balloon machine has been one of my favorite purchases. It makes birthdays fun too since my big kids like to help using this.

How to set up your New Year’s Eve Balloon Countdown:

  1. Decide on your activities

The first thing you need to do is decide on the twelve activities that you want to do during your party. I like to pick super quick to set up activities that aren’t expensive or hard to put together.

For example, a dance party doesn’t require anything but a phone or a speaker, so that’s easy! We also love doing glowstick hunts and cup towers. Both only require one thing each.

You can read more of our favorite New Year’s Eve party activities here to get more ideas.

  • Draw/Write down your ideas

Next, draw or write down the activities you’re going to do on your slips of paper. If you have younger kids, draw a picture along with anything you write.

  • Put the little paper activity slips inside the balloons.

Before you blow up the balloons, put one activity paper inside each balloon.

  • Blow up the balloons.

Blow up each balloon so it is pretty full, but not overfull. You don’t want them to pop before you even get to start the party! Then tie the balloons closed.

  • Label the balloons.

Write a number 1-12 on the front of each balloon with a Sharpie. #1 will be your first activity and #12 will be your last. You may want to write down which activity is in which balloon so you know what to expect.

  • Stick the balloons on the wall.

Use painter’s tape to stick the balloons on the wall or on a door. We like to put ours in a big circle so that it looks like a countdown clock!

Boy blowing a New Years blower with a colorful balloon clock behind him.

How do you use a balloon countdown?

Once your balloon countdown is set up, you’re ready to play!

First, gather your family and/or party guests. Invite one child to be the first balloon popper. Use a thumbtack or skewer and let the child pop balloon #1.

Balloons can be surprising and loud. Encourage guests to stand back when the balloon is popped and keep their mouths closed to prevent accidental ingestion. Some children don’t love loud sounds, so you can invite them to cover their ears.

Once the balloon is popped, the child can find the paper that will have floated to the floor and read what activity is first on the list!

Now you’re ready to go and do your first activity!

Once you’ve finished the first activity, invite a new child/adult to pop balloon #2. Repeat between popping and doing an activity until all of your balloons are popped!

Girl popping a balloon

At the end we always like to watch a countdown on Netflix and drink some sparkly apple cider to celebrate!

It’s not too late to plan your own New Year’s Eve family party! It only takes a few minutes to set up this easy balloon countdown!.

This is so simple to make that you don’t even need to plan ahead. Other than just making sure you have balloons! Just blow up the balloons on the day of your New Year’s Eve party and you’ll be set to play.

Kids celebrating New Years with a party blower, crowns, and sparkling cider.

What are some other New Year’s Eve countdown ideas?

There are so many cool ideas you can try. I prefer to keep it super simple, so we use balloons, bags, or paper for our countdowns. You can see a few ideas we love in the list below.

Do you have any other ways you like to count down to the New Year? Share below!