8 ways dads can celebrate New Year’s Eve that don’t suck

When you have kids, NYE blows. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some cheap ways you can survive the fireworks as a new dad.


New Year’s Eve is a very problematic time when you have children. Sure you can drink all night but you will be paying for it for days to come.

My first NYE after having a child, I tried to pretend that nothing had changed. I wasn’t taking no for an answer. I wasn’t even taking ‘maybe slow down a little bit, you’re not young anymore’ for an answer. No, I was going to enjoy New Year’s Eve like I always had done … by getting incredibly drunk.

I went on a bender. I got a case of beer, a bottle of Jack Daniels, some pork crackling and a bottle of bitters. (I don’t know what I was thinking with the bitters). I drank all afternoon and into the evening. I made it to 9.15.

I ended up alone, in my undies, cheering on the big bash. I hate the big bash. I don’t even know how the rules. I went to bed (the lounge) feeling very sorry for myself.

I felt even more sorry for myself the next morning when I was up looking after my daughter. My wife has also been able to use it as ammunition to win every argument we have had since.

But I have learnt from my mistakes. Here’s eight ways you can enjoy NYE and not end up like I did:

1. Get food drunk, not piss drunk

If you can’t overdo it with booze, overdo it with food. Go nuts. Go out for breakfast, then yum cha, and then back it up with a pub lunch. Order the banquet, settle in to a degustation menu or order a full pig on a spit and get it ‘Deliverood’. Even if you don’t end up eating all the pig, watching the backpacker struggle up your steep driveway with a full pig on his back is worth it. PS. Make sure you save room for dessert.

2. Join a chat room (as someone else)

Have bub in the other room and can’t go out? Why not strike up a conversation with other losers (I mean virtual friends). The best thing about being online is that, unlike an actual NYE party, you can pretend to be anyone you want. You can change your name, age, occupation, nationality and sex. Online I’m Alessandra, a 22-year-old Latino girl from the Bronx, my hobbies include riding in fast cars, walks along the beach, and Catfishing old rich men. So welcome.

3. Be an Uber driver for the night

So what if it’s morally corrupt to charge drunk people $500 to get home. The demand is up and the surge is on. It’s capitalism at its best. You can’t have a drink so why should they? Plus, you can put your kids through uni with a couple of NYE runs. I’m currently on my Ps, so I can’t partake in this dirty rort yet, but I hope I can get one year of Uber driving in before driverless cars come in.

4. Make noise complaints to the police

Remember rules are rules and there should be no excess noise after midnight. It is up to you to make sure all your neighbours adhere to these rules. You can even go one step further and move in next door to a pub or music venue, and enjoy the fun of complaining all year round.

5. Go back to the future

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If you are going struggle to make it to midnight, change the clocks. Trick yourself. It’s time itself that is wrong, not you. Put the clocks forward and make the 9pm fireworks, the midnight fireworks. Then go to bed early. You know you will be waking up early the next day anyway.

6. Watch an M. Night Shyamalan movie marathon

Here you will be able to recreate that feeling of regret you get at the end of a NYE night without leaving your couch. I have spent many a post NYE, at around 3am when I can’t find a taxi and am forced to get the night ride bus home. Yuck. I think this is what hell is, a night ride bus that never gets you to your destination. It’s almost as bad as The Happening and Signs back to back. But not quite.

7. Make it board game night with the family

You don’t need copious amounts of alcohol to get into a heated argument with your closest friends and family. All you need is a board game. Any board game. Slowly but meticulously send everyone bankrupt during a game of Monopoly. Or fail to recognise the treaties you set up during Risk. You can even ruin your marriage if you have the time by not reading out your wife’s Balderdash answer seriously enough.

8. Do a New Year’s Day brunch with your childless friends

To make it work, have an early night on New Year’s Eve so you’re annoyingly fresh the next day. Arrive to the venue early and spread your kids evenly around the table. None of your friends should miss out on the joy of your children.

Then order a jug of the sweetest, reddest drink you can find for you kids and watch then explode and then crash. To top off the brunch, add some annoying sayings. Some of my favourites are “my body is a temple” and “we don’t drink anymore because we love our mornings too much”. Throw in the words “blessed” for extra cringe.

Remember, if you stay up late and drink you will pay for it, you always pay for it. So use one of these ideas and you will stay out of trouble. Unless of course, you catfish someone. This can lead to a $250,000 fine and up to five years in gaol. Take it from my ‘friend’ Alessandra, that’s not a good option.


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