Drinking cheap champagne, wearing goofy hats and driving in winter weather. Does that sound like a good time to you? This year, say “no” to the crowds, high prices and driving. Start a new tradition and celebrate New Year’s Eve in the comfort of your own home. Just in time for December 31st, here’s our list of ideas and tips for celebrating New Year’s Eve without leaving home. Whether you’re spending the evening alone, with your sweetheart, family or a few close friends, we guarantee it will be a fun, safe and memorable evening. Goofy hats, optional.
New Year’s Party of One
So you’re alone. So make New Year’s Eve a special night all about you. Create a spa experience with a relaxing bubble bath in the garden tub of your new Taylor Morrison home at Tallgrass at Lake Barrington, IL. Make up your bed with your most luxurious sheets and break out the brand new jammies. Order your favorite take-out dish and give the delivery guy an extra big tip; he’s all alone, too. Binge watch a whole season of your favorite series. Count your blessings. After all, there are lots worse things than being alone on New Year’s Eve. Call up far-away friends and have a few long Skype sessions. Bingo, you’re not alone anymore.
A Romantic Celebration for Two
Just the two of you? Sounds like the makings of a romantic evening to us. No snow where you live? No problem. You can turn your home into a New Year’s Eve wintery wonderland whether you live at Estero Pointe in Fort Myers, Florida or Travisso in Austin, Texas.
- Splurge on little luxuries. You can buy a really good bottle of champagne for less than what you’d pay for a New Year’s Eve night on the town. Choose a local meal delivery service and let someone else do the cooking or visit a gourmet grocery store early in the day and load up on fancy fixing, ideally those that don’t require cooking.
- Set the mood with music and be sure to include some slow dance tunes.
- If you live at Terrain Ravenwood in Castle Rock, Colorado this is why you chose the optional fireplace and now is definitely the time to light it.
- Have a picnic dinner in front of the fire. Use the good china, silver and crystal if you have it. Moments like this are why you own that stuff.
- Watch a romantic movie both of you enjoy. If you’re not sure, have a selection of choices planned ahead of time. This is not the time to insist he watch “Love Actually” again.
- Start a tradition that’s just for the two of you. For instance, write down your resolutions or wishes for the new year, date them and save them unread in a special box. Same time next year, open the box and read them. Repeat, repeat, repeat. 50 years from now, you’ll have a box full of New Year’s memories.
Family Fun Even Your Teenagers Will Like (Maybe)
With a little planning and some compromise, you can have a fun family night.
Start with the compromises:
- Let older children invite a friend or two to spend the night.
- Let your kids choose the menu. It’ll probably be pizza, but you might also suggest a taco bar or take-out Chinese.
- Let your kids pick the film from a list of family-friendly selections.
- Play team games like charades or Pictionary with prizes for the winning team.
- Include a few traditions from around the world. In Spain, for example, they count down to midnight by eating one grape for each strike of the clock; in Denmark, people stand on chairs and jump off when the clock strikes 12; and in Wales they open and immediately shut the back door on the first clock tower bell strike of midnight to let out the old year and all its bad luck, then on the 12th bell strike the door is reopened to let in New Year’s good luck and prosperity.
- Make cookies or fudge together.
- Make your own silly hats.
- Have countdown bags with fun ideas, little gifts, noise makers, confetti bombs or silly tasks to open each hour from 6 p.m. to midnight.
- Build a blanket fort on the family room floor, crawl inside and tell ghost stories.
- Rent a karaoke machine and sing your hearts out.
- Instead of resolutions, have each family member create a vision board using that supply of magazines and catalogs you haven’t gotten around to recycling.
- Spend part of the evening creating noisemakers. Some ideas include dried beans inside an empty water bottle, pennies inside an empty soda can, and aluminum pie plate tambourines. Then have a parade around the block to welcome the new year.
A Few Close Friends
- Host a pajama party for two or three friends.
- Assign a dish for each guest to bring or involve them in making a special meal like stir-fry or lasagna.
- Play classic board games like Monopoly, Clue or Risk.
- Have each guest bring a bottle of favorite wine and a cheese that complements it.
- If it’s a gal-pals only party, make it a spa night: paint your nails, give yourselves facials and try on make-up.
- Snuggle up on the sofa and watch the Rockin’ New Year’s Eve on TV. You know you love the big ball drop, so give in to that guilty pleasure.
- Toast the New Year with champagne and hugs.
- Have the fixings on hand for a special New Year’s Day breakfast and invite your friends to stay over to watch the Rose Parade.
Need Some More Ideas?
Check out this Second House on the Right blog post for fun ways to warm a winter night.
New Year’s Eve is just a few hours but with a little planning, some imagination and a lot of love you can make it a fun occasion without going out in the cold or the crowds.
From all of us to you, Happy New Year!