Ring out 2020 and welcome the new year with the little ones at home.
The end is near. Of the year, at least. And with COVID vaccines slowly getting approval across the world, perhaps the end of the pandemic is also in sight. That’s reason enough to celebrate and look forward to the new year. Of course, social distancing is still mandated, as are rules on outdoor public gatherings, and so, the NYE party is likely to be at home this year (lifting of restrictions seems unlikely before then). The Government has also announced that there will be no fireworks over Victoria Harbour this New Year’s Eve, but they will be online and you can still have a blast at home and have your children join in for a truly unique celebration (even the young ones who usually aren’t allowed to stay awake). Let’s make a party of it and say goodbye to 2020 in style! Here’s your ultimate guide to New Year’s Eve celebrations at home with the kids.
Eat, Drink & Be Merry
No party is complete without plenty of good food and drink. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home, we’ve lined up some great delivery and takeaway options.
Sassy Mama Tip: More restaurants and caterers are likely to offer NYE specials this year. If you have a favourite, just call them and check what’s on offer. F&B businesses in Hong Kong will be happy to accommodate their loyal customers!
If you haven’t been able to visit your family this year and are craving a simple but delicious home-cooked meal, get in touch with Mama’s Kitchen. This casual takeaway and dine-in restaurant offers homecooked meals from mums from all parts of the world. The New Year’s Eve Feast features one main (there are five favourites from around the world, including Malaysian beef Rendang and Moroccon meatballs tagine) and a mouthwatering abundance of sides, from Indonesian Gado-Gado to the Filipino Adobo bun to Jamaican jerk chicken and more. Orders need to be placed two days in advance via WhatsApp or email. There’s a complimentary bottle of bubbles or soft drinks for orders for four people and above.
How much: From $388 for 2 people to $2,500 for a large group (8 to 12 people)
Mama’s Kitchen, Basement Floor (entrance behind Alley Tsung Wing Lane), 13 Staunton Street, SOHO, Central, Hong Kong, WhatsApp: 5299 8119, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/mamaskitchenhongkong
Why not trust the company that has 15 years of experience catering to the Hong Kong market? Relish is now so much more than a catering company and could even do all your event planning for you (it is also currently offering a luxurious private-chef-at-home experience for six people and more). For now, we are drooling over their NYE At Home party menu. This starts with chicken liver and foie gras parfait, before a mains of New Zealand ribeye, and ends with decadent triple chocolate brownies. It promises to be a feast for the family to remember. A bonus – all dinner sets include party poppers and confetti.
How much: $1,000 for two people, private chef experience for $8,800 for six people
Planning to call another family to celebrate with you? Look at Feather & Bone’s ready-to-serve “Sunday Roast” bundles that are (luckily!) available every day for Hong Kong families. These serve up to six people and come with 10 classic Yorkshire Puddings. You can also opt to build your own roast and choose from a selection of meaty mains. We expect that the bacon-wrapped chicken Cushion will be a real winner. You can also order wines and desserts to add to the festivities. These bundles need to be ordered online five days in advance.
How much: Ribeye Roast Bundle: $2,480, Roast Wagyu Rump Bundle: $1,980, Build-Your-Own-Roast: $298 and up
This international chain is offering holiday set menus at its two Hong Kong cafes that will be perfect for home parties this year. These takeaway sets are tailored for various group sizes (Joy set for 4, Party set for 8 and Deluxe set for 12) and include snacks & salads, ‘puff pizza’, pastas and risottos, dessert crêpes and soft drinks. The party sets can be reserved for pickup by calling either of the branches at Mong Kok or Wan Chai.
How much: $980 for 4, $1,800 for 8, $2,480 for 12
Crêpe Delicious (Urban Café), Shop G26 & F26A, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2617 7800
Other places that we would love to order from to bring in the new year:
Set The Mood
A big part of any celebration has to be the confetti and the decorations. Now we are all about keeping thing eco-friendly, so our advice is to make your own decor items. These could range from DIY pinwheel decorations or glitter vases (a good way to reuse those wine bottles you’ve been collecting) for your table centrepiece.
If you don’t have the time to make things (or have had enough of arts and crafts projects with the kids after homeschooling this year), perhaps consider getting some fun and reusable items from any of the party supply stores in Hong Kong.
Take a look at the New Year’s themed partyware from Swoon Soirees and pick the ones that you are likely to reuse for many celebrations to come (New Year’s, birthday parties and maybe even baby showers). You can also get piñatas, like this Gold Star from Simply Love, and do your own version of a ball drop, with everyone in the family taking a swing at it as you count down to the New Year (if timed perfectly, it should burst open right at midnight!). A big part of the celebration will be the photos that you take with the family, so make sure you get some fun props and backdrops such as these from Party Time.
Another way to set the mood is to give your party a theme. What about setting up teepees at home and enjoying a sleepover party with your kids? We love how Teepee Tribe sets up and creates the ultimate sleepover atmosphere. Look out for the BOHO and Tropical themed tents and you will have very happy campers at home!
Let The Games Begin
No party is complete without games, so we have some easy ideas to have fun at home this New Year’s Eve. This celebration is all about watching the clock, so we have some party games that are perfect for this occasion.
Place paper cups in a circle (representing the 12 hours on a clock). Get 12 small candies and try to throw one into each of the cups. The one who gets most into the cups wins and gets the whole stash of candies (if you can fight off your kids!).
Conduct a quiz about countries, continents and cultures. New Year’s eve is a good time to give the kids a little geography lesson, so talk to them about how it is a different time in different parts of the world. After you have explained things to them, make sure they were listening by asking them questions. Make sure that the quiz is equally easy or difficult for kids and adults (or pair them up evenly). Here’s a quiz favourite that should be on your list- in which country is it the new year first?
Play New Year’s Bingo. You can use this free downloadable or make your own version of “What I Did In Hong Kong This Year”. Each player’s individual board can have points with “Hiked up to the Peak”, “Went Pink Dolphin-Watching” and more such local activities. Draw up chits and players strike these off their boards. Given that it’s a family party, you will know everyone in the room, and you will also know if they didn’t actually do the activity mentioned on their board. In that case, throw in a dare as an extra challenge to make them earn the point (the person who didn’t join the family hike to the Peak can do 30 star jumps!).
In Virtual Attendance
Since you can’t be with friends and family all over the world in person, try to be with them in spirit. Fill your evening up with Zoom and WhatApp video calls. On New Year’s Eve, the Hong Kong Tourism Board website and social media platforms will begin showing a live countdown clock at 11pm and 11:30pm respectively. Once the clock strikes midnight, you can watch a two-minute video showing Victoria Harbour and iconic Hong Kong landmarks. Get friends and family who’ve had to cancel their plans to visit you join in the virtual celebrations. Similarly, you can watch the Times Square ball drop with those in the US and celebrate as they move into 2021 (though we will be a day ahead).
One of the easiest ways to celebrate together, despite the distance is to throw a Teleparty (as Netflix Party is now called). Pick a movie that you are all keen to watch, synchronise your watches and settle down with the popcorn.
One of the events we are most excited about is taking a flight to meet Santa. While this is not actually on New Year’s Eve (flights stop on Wednesday, 30 December), it is definitely one for our virtual calendar in the week leading up to the big day. Finnair is organising these virtual holiday flights, to be accessed through VR headsets or mobile phones. Your family will fly from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, where you and the kids can meet Santa and enjoy the festive atmosphere of Lapland. At €10 per person, all profits will go to UNICEF’s fund to support children impacted by COVID. It will be a nice way to give back as the year draws to a close.
Every NYE celebration is about ringing out the old and celebrating a new (and hopefully, better) year. While no one could have predicted the turn that 2020 took, it shouldn’t prevent us from working towards a brighter 2021. Teach your kids about resolutions and what it means to make and keep them. Encourage them to review their year, be proud of their accomplishments and learn from their mistakes. Last but not least, encourage everyone in your family to say a little prayer for loved ones for the year ahead.