Remember when you were a teenager and you had a friend with out-of-town parents? It meant one thing, party! Who knew then that adults wanted kids out of the way for a party just as much as kids want adults gone? If your friends have young kids this can be a challenge, especially around the holidays.
A babysitter on New Year's Eve costs double, if you can find one. Couple that with some new parents' anxiety about leaving their children, you may find yourself with rugrats at what used to be an all night grown up fun fest. If that's you, we have some suggestions. If your parent-guests have babies, you're off the hook for planning anything. The parent will probably bring one of those odd baby-carrier things and walk around all night with the little one strapped to his or her chest. If possible, providing a spare bedroom not covered in coats or couples looking for alone time where the parent can put the baby down would be nice.
If you're expecting older kids, a few steps can make them and their parents feel welcome. Label drinks for alcohol, and food for nuts so that parents can avoid giving them to their children. If possible, provide a room with a TV and craft or coloring supplies. Consider putting juice boxes or snacks in there and let the kids have their own party. If you're having entertainment, make sure the entertainer knows that kids will be present and to keep things clean.
You can also consider hiring special entertainment for the kids, but remember that entertaining is a separate job from babysitting. Hiring a babysitter may be a surprisingly affordable option. Since parents and other adults are present at the party, you could consider hiring two or three twelve to thirteen-year-olds to watch younger kids.
Finally, keep in mind that those with kids may leave the party earlier than you'd like, even on New Year's Eve. So be flexible and relaxed in your party plans.