The Guide to Throwing A Successful New Years Eve Party

New Year’s Eve always gets a bad rap. People’s expectations of the last and biggest celebration night of the year has a lot to live up to. How many times does somebody ask you about your new years plans? Probably almost as many times as years you are old! Last year we decided to throw our own New Years party and do a nicer sit-down dinner for close friends and family. I think it really was a fun night, and we definitely learned a lot about how to celebrate the new year at home. I was also more than happy not to be driving around on a night known for reckless drivers.

Get Festive

Because people will probably be hungry again after dinner on New Year’s (unless you eat very late), we made sure to have plenty of New Year’s party foods such as appetizers and other things to snack on. We also have vegan family members and I like to put out extra fruit and veggies whenever possible. Since people may be consuming alcohol, it’s a common courtesy when hosting a party to ensure there is enough sustenance to counteract that. Scattering goodies from room to room will make snacking more tempting while watching television or watching the ball drop in Times Square. 

A fruit and vegetable tray on a kitchen island.
A decorative fruit tray can serve as an excellent, edible addition to a fun New Year’s party

Cater To All Guests

We also set-up a bar table with plenty of alcohol and non-alcohol options. We had plenty of garnishes, so people could have fun creating their own special recipe. Be sure to have champagne ready to pour at midnight for a special toast, and for those underage sparkling white grape juice makes the ideal substitute.  You can even include an assortment of juices, so the champagne isn’t as strong. Cranberry, orange, mango, or even raspberry puree are great options. Include both sparkling and still water, so everyone stayed hydrated.

A table full of drinks.
Having a plentiful drink table set up with a variety of options keeps the festivities going strong

I love to have the table already set because as soon as guests start arriving, they can tell you prepared for the event and it looks inviting and festive. For maximum effectiveness, you should set the table up in a room of the home near the front door, a trick that starts the party spirit off right and is especially effective in homes with grand front entryways. Party horns, hats and other noisemakers not only are fun for all ages, they really add some fun to the table-scape. Ring in the New year right, and bring out the formal china and crystal if you want the event to feel a little more special. I like everyone to feel special and dressing up the table with nice linens and beautiful place settings makes everything more memorable. 

Preparing for The Dinner

The key to having a successful New Years party is definitely planning! About a week before, once you know who will be attending, plan your menu for the perfect new years party foods. You should wait until you have your guest list finalized before choosing a menu in case any guests have dietary restrictions or allergies. Seeing that we almost always have a few vegans attending, I take that into account and make sure to offer plenty of vegan options, so they don’t have an empty plate in comparison to the other guests.

Although the table is set, I usually leave seating assignments to the individual. Sometimes people get wrapped up in conversation with each other and want to continue during dinner. I feel it should be the guests’ decision, which I think makes everyone feel more comfortable. 

A table full of Fine China.
A well set and decorated table brings an air of class of significance to your New Year’s party dinner

Once the meal is ready, I like everyone to grab a plate and we serve buffet-style. That way, people can go back as often as they like, and they can choose how much or little they want to eat. Plating the meal and serving it to guests at the table is nice, but if a guest is watching their calories, or doesn’t like a certain food, it’s harder to avoid ending up with things on your plate that you don’t want if someone else puts it on there for you. Let the guest determine how much, and what type of food they want prevents wasting food, too. 

Once the meal is over, get the dishes off the tables and areas where guests are lingering. You don’t want anything too nice being broken and the mess will be an eyesore. 

Bringing in The New Year

Then, set the stage for a fun game suitable for all ages. Play a game where you draw a name from a hat and then the person has to “act out” or give clues so people can guess who the person is.  Surprisingly, this is quite fun, and everyone has a ton of laughs. And, it seems to make the time until midnight go by much quicker than just sitting around watching television or carrying on conversation.

Having your favorite playlist going in the background instead of keeping the television on also promotes all will play. Then, about 30 minutes before midnight, open the champagne and start pouring into glasses. It’s nice to have a glass in hand for a toast when the clock strikes midnight. Have a bunch of champagne poppers and other noisemakers that everyone can enjoy at the big moment. Then, we ended the night with a group photo so we could always remember who we celebrated with.  With this guide on how to celebrate New Year’s, you’re all set for a fun, safe evening that will be filled with memories! These are just some of the fun ideas and tips from Pinterest.