Like Christmas, New Years is one of the only times a year that family and friends come together to celebrate and indulge. A new year’s party can be slightly trickier to plan because unlike Christmas, which has a strong theme, new years is essentially based around a 10 second countdown at midnight.
If you are hosting a new year’s party this festive period but are struggling for inspiration, here are 5 great party ideas to help you keep your family and friends entertained up until the countdown and into the first hours of the new year.
Depending on how many guests you are catering for, new years’ eve can allow you to be extremely flexible with how much food you prepare. If you are having a small gathering it can be great to put together a full meal for your guests because unlike Christmas day, you can be as creative as you like with your menu. If you are welcoming plenty of guests, then it might be better to opt for a range of sweet and savoury bites to allow your guests to eat as much as they like. For some great inspiration check out the Food Network’s New Years Eve recipes.
It is easier than ever to put together an eclectic mix of tunes for any occasion with the various streaming services now available to us. This is extra helpful because it allows you to alter what music you play for the range of guests at your party. If most of the guests at your party are friends of a similar age, then of course it is hard not to resist cramming the playlist full of nostalgic tunes from your younger days. If there are parents and/or teenagers attending, then at least you have an almost endless library of music at your disposal to keep everyone happy.
Music like creating a playlist, planning party games is very much dependent on your range of guests. Speaking to Peter, one of our main party planners, he explained how new years is the best time of year for party games because you can do almost anything. “Similarly to Christmas there are certain themed ideas you can have fun with, however unlike Christmas you can stray away from the festive theme. Often it might be better to keep closer to the festive theme when entertaining a younger set of guests, however you can get much more inventive with a more adult crowd.
A more festive idea is to create cards for everyone to fill in which are a more creative take on the new year’s resolution. Make it as silly as you like, but a good start might be “The bad habit I want to kick this year is —-. The person I want to be more like this year is —-, etc”. Once they have all been completed, anonymously, read them all out and play a game of guess who. If you are having quite a small affair, why not make an end of year quiz pitting your guest’s wits against one another.
For less traditional evening why not try a a lip-syncing contest (see Jimmy Fallon for inspiration), The press conference game (essentially “who am I” but one person at a time) or even the acapella introduction game, where teams take it in turns humming the intro to tracks without singing words, to which everyone else has to guess.
This is great for bot adults and children alike because it allows everyone to get a taste of the countdown whilst creating opportunities for us to find out how other countries celebrate new years. Begin by planning out which other New Years you would like to celebrate, for example India is 6:30pm London time, Moscow Russia 9pm is and Germany (amongst many other European countries) is 11:00pm.
Not only does celebrating these earlier new years give children that are too young to stay up until midnight chance to celebrate, it also gives you plenty of room to be created. Try making food and drink for your guests from these countries to nibble on as their new year roles around. For example why not wash a schnitzel down with a hearty beer as the German new year roles in, or chanting “S Novim Godom!” as the clock strikes 9pm, or midnight in Russia.
If you aren’t interested in the standard procedure of new years’ eve parties why not try something a bit more alternative. If you want a lower key affair why not take our food advice to the next level by hosting a dinner party. If cooking isn’t your thing then why not have a movie marathon with friends and family. Put together a get list of your favourite movies and make sure the crisps, dips popcorn and drinks are a plenty. If it’s a truly adult affair why not play drinking games along side. For some inspiration check out Drinking Cinema.
Along similar lines, try putting your smart phones and tablets aside for an evening and spend the evening playing classic board games. If you love dressing up why not have a fancy dress party with any theme you want. Why not have a Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey party, its your alternative new year’s party, do whatever you like.
Whether you keep things traditional or not, whether you are hosting 100 people or 5, these tips can make sure you have a great new year’s eve.