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Purple Sunrise
4 ounces pomegranate juice
2 ounces orange juice
Ginger ale
Directions: Pour chilled juices into champagne flute. Top with ginger ale. Serve with orange slice if desired. Makes 1 serving.
– Kimberly Dupps Truesdell, The Journal Gazette Tootie Fruity
2 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 cup strawberries, sliced (set aside 6 whole berries for garnish)
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup coconut cream
Directions: Place all ingredients in blender with 2 cups ice; puree until smooth. Garnish each glass with a strawberry. Makes 6 servings.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Table decorations for holiday gatherings are available for rental at A Party Apart.
New Year’s Eve

Get the party started

Involve kids, boost atmosphere for successful event

Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Hosts can rent complete place settings to help carry the color theme throughout the party.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Small props help bring a theme together.
Kimberly Dupps Truesdell | The Journal Gazette
Try a Purple Sunrise mocktail for your party.

So you decided that going out for New Year’s Eve this year is too much of a pain.

Clubs are crowded, drinks are pricey and most importantly, your baby sitter bailed on you.

Don’t fret. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to bring an all-ages celebration to your home.

Keep kids in mind

Before your soirée, establish with all guests that children will be involved in your plans for the evening; consider it a warning shot for guests who may not be kid-friendly.

If you plan to serve a meal, Cheryl Brockman, owner of A Party Apart, says to dazzle adults with fun, winter-inspired table settings while children are designated to a different table for snacks or crafting their own decorations. For older children and teenagers who may be eyeing the bubbly, make virgin mocktails using fruit juices and sparkling beverages. Don’t forget the cherry on top.

“I think if you’re going to have families over, then children should be included in everything you do,” Brockman says.

Designate decorations

Party Planning 101: Pick a theme and let it define the entire atmosphere.

Alishya Pena, event specialist for Bob Mutton Rentals, says if you’re going to have a younger crowd, then maybe switch out black-tie themes for a fun, Jimmy Buffet-themed party.

You can swap out champagne flutes for a margarita machine to make adult drinks and virgin slushies.

“Atmosphere is key. Make sure you carry your theme throughout the space by using the same colors and small props,” she says.

You can also make a quick photo booth in a spare room, using wrapping paper as the backdrop and inexpensive props.

Make midnight magical

If you’re looking to wow guests of all ages, Brock and Pena suggest constructing a balloon drop for midnight.

All it takes is a fishing net, craft putty, string and lots of lung power to hang balloons over the heads of your guests. Party retailers also sell balloon drop kits (Party City, $7.99) that come with a rip cord for the same effect.

“Party poppers, confetti are a nightmare to clean up, but you could use bubbles,” Pena says.

Brockman also suggests heading outdoors to light sparklers or floating lanterns when the clock strikes 12.