or years they have had the same tradition.

The Ghent family of Franklin and their four children invite their friends with children and ring in the New Year together.

Youngsters sip on dyed apple juice in cups adorned with pipe cleaners. Both adults and children wear

hats and blow on noisemakers when the

ball drops.

While youngsters won’t attend the latest trendy party or sip on champagne for the new year, families have plenty of options to celebrate ringing in 2015 together.

“I feel like on that night, I want to be

home celebrating with my children,” Kati Ghent said.

Ghent said she is famous for her family-friendly New Year’s Eve parties. Friends pitch in food, and Ghent makes a special beverage for the kids to enjoy, usually involving putting food coloring in juice.

The idea is to keep families together,

she said.

“We just sit and watch the ball drop, all dressed up,” she said. “We get to do our adult thing and still include the kids.”

Including kids in New Year’s Eve parties can be simple or themed, said Kim King Smith, an event planner based in Edinburgh. Parents can throw themed parties for their children so they feel included in the big holiday, she said.

“It can be holiday themed, or it can be something that is a favorite for them,” she said.

Smith suggests allowing the kids to dress up in the same way that an adult might dress for a New Year’s Eve party.

“It’s fun for them to have glitz, a big-person’s party for little people,” she said. “Kids don’t get to dress up to go to parties. It’s a great social experience for them.”

A busy food table is a must to keep kids interested, and flashy drink cups, glasses and other New Year’s Eve accessories would help keep the party festive, Smith said.

Adult partygoers can plan dance parties and watch the ball drop right along with the youngsters, she said.

“A New Year’s Eve party would be a time for a great social experience,” she said. “It can be something they can look forward to and something they will remember.”

New Year’s Eve parties can be lower key for kids, too.

Leti Pickett of Franklin and her three children plan to spend the evening at home. They will bang pots and pans at midnight and drink grape juice in lieu of champagne when the ball drops. They plan to watch movies and play with new Christmas toys until the big moment.

“It is to enjoy our time with them and allow them to experience it with us,” she said.

Parents who don’t want to plan parties for their youngsters or want to go out for the new year have family-friendly options, too.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis also will have a countdown-to-noon party. Families can ring in the new year together a bit early at a family-friendly party at the Indiana State Museum.

Three branches of the Johnson County Public Library will have countdown-to-noon parties, where kids can watch balloon drops, participate in a time capsule and have a dance party.

The Franklin branch will have its first such party this year, said Kaylen Jones, children and teen services librarian. Other branches have had parties in the past.

New Year’s Eve festivities often go past the youngest children’s bedtimes, and countdown-to-noon parties ensure younger kids get to celebrate the holiday, too, Jones said.

“I thought it would be a good way for the kids to celebrate a little bit,” she said. “I wanted to have something so they felt included.”

If you go

Looking to take your kids out on New Year’s Eve?

Here are some kid-friendly events that celebrate ringing in the New Year with youngsters.

The Franklin, Trafalgar and Clark-Pleasant branches of the Johnson County Public Library are all having countdown-to-noon parties. Clark Pleasant and the Franklin branch parties are geared toward all ages. Preschool aged children are invited to Trafalgar’s event.

Franklin starts its bash at 10:30 a.m. Trafalgar’s starts at 11:15 a.m., and Clark Pleasant’s starts at 11:30 a.m.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis also will have a countdown-to-noon party from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum’s water clock will countdown the noon hour. Admission is $14.50 for kids and $19.50 for adults.

A family-friendly New Year’s Eve party at the Indiana State Museum will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. An 8 p.m. balloon drop will allow the youngest guests to experience the phenomenal without having to stay up until midnight. Admission is $7 for members and $13 for nonmembers. Reservations can be made by calling 232-1637.

Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.