6 New Year’s Traditions That Are Safe And Healthy

By:    Published: December 21, 2011

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Many people are guilty of ushering in the New Year with overindulgence on decadent foods and binge drinking. While people often make the excuse that it’s their one time of the year where they let loose their inhibitions and party as hard as they possibly can, a night of heavy drinking and debauchery can not only lead to regrets later, but can also put their health and safety at risk. Drunk driving and alcohol poisoning are just a few of the consequences that accompany a wild New Year’s Eve bash.

If you’re considering a safer and healthier way to spend New Year’s Eve, here are 5 traditions you can start this year:

1. Go For A Run

While streets, highways and intersections are sure to be congested as the clock ticks down towards midnight, you can take your New Year’s Eve celebration on foot with some running or jogging. Invite some friends and make it a healthy gathering to work up a sweat. Plan out your final destination at a local gathering spot where crowds are sure to be in attendance for the end of the year countdown. If you don’t feel like setting up your own event, look for local running groups online that are planning similar events. An example would be the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in New York, where the run begins on December 31 at 10pm and ends just before midnight in Central Park.

2. Host An Alcohol-Free Party

If you love nothing more than throwing a house party for your friends and family for New Year’s, then create a new tradition this year by making it an alcohol-free party. While some people might be a little put off by the lack of libations, entice them by offering a delicious tasting menu of New Year’s dishes used to celebrate the New Year in other countries. Since most New Year’s Eve parties typically involve one activity for the entire night – a lot of binge drinking – persuade people to come to your alcohol-free event with a fun-filled night of activities they’ll enjoy. Also, be sure to look up some tasty and exotic non-alcoholic beverages to keep things fun.

3. Do Some Charitable Work

End the year feeling good about yourself by spending New Year’s Eve doing volunteer work. A quick search online will lead you to charitable organizations in need of volunteer workers to help with New Year’s Eve festivities. You can also do some volunteer work in your local city by helping with the New Year’s Eve events that are planned for the evening. Many cities that offer family events and fairs will need volunteers to help with admissions, guest services and parking. If you’re looking to do something charitable as a way to give thanks for a good year, New Year’s Eve is your last chance to do so.

4. Hit The Slopes

One of the benefits of a winter New Year’s Eve is the powdery slopes of mountain ski resorts. Check your local ski resorts for New Year’s Eve events, where guests can ski or snowboard to celebrate the New Year. These events typically begin in the early evening of December 31, and end well after the New Year’s Eve countdown. Not only is this a safer and healthier alternative to boozing it up on New Year’s Eve, it’s also an event that the entire family can enjoy.

5. Attend An Alcohol-Free Event

Many cities host drug and alcohol-free events as a safer alternative for those looking for a fun way to spend New Year’s without having to party and binge drink to do so. The First Night Buffalo event in Buffalo, New York is one of the largest drug and alcohol-free events in the United States. Here, guests can enjoy numerous festivities and attractions like amusement rides, live performances, scavenger hunts, laser tag and even free health screenings.

6. Spend A Night In With Your Family

There’s nothing safer than spending a quiet night indoors with your family to celebrate the coming of a New Year. At home, you won’t have to worry about large crowds of people or navigating the busy roads where you might encounter a drunk driver. Spend time with your family reminiscing about the events of the past year, and making plans for the year to come. You can even help one another come up with New Year’s resolutions.

These are only a few examples of safe and healthy traditions you can start this year to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to feel pressured into spending New Year’s Eve doing something that can be unhealthy and even dangerous like binge drinking. Make the last night of the year a memorable one, not one filled with regret.

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