20 Fun Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve at Home This Year
Board games and boozy cocktails at home has always trumped big parties and expensive champagne on New Year’s Eve for me. Why go out when staying in is more fun, more affordable, and closer to your bed at the end of the night? Exactly. And since staying home is the safest option for celebrating this year, there are plenty of ways to get creative and have the best time ringing in 2021 (just saying goodbye to 2020 should be good enough!).
Since I consider myself somewhat of a NYE-at-home expert (meaning, I’ve spent the past 27 years doing just that), I’ve rounded up a few tips to ensure that your night is still fun and special. Whether you’re celebrating alone, with roommates, or with your partner, there are plenty of ways to make this countdown to midnight one to remember! Keep reading for 20 tips on celebrating New Year’s Eve at home this year.
Prepare the Perfect Cocktails
You’ll be at home this year, which means you won’t have to wait in line for an overpriced drink (a major win)! Stock up on all your favorite spirits, beer, wine, and mixers so you’ll have plenty of options when the day rolls around. Then whip up some festive cocktails (this Sparkling Christmas Party Punch looks so good!) or mix your go-to drink. If you aren’t drinking, make a tasty mocktail instead. Bottom line: always have a delicious drink on hand for the night.
Get a Sparkly New Outfit
Your home is now your runway. If you feel better in sweatpants, go for it! But if you want to get in the holiday spirit, you can’t go wrong with a sparkly new outfit. Who cares if you’re alone? Your party selfies are forever, you know! While you’re at it, get a New Year’s Eve party crown or poppers to really get in the spirit.
Pull Out All the Board Games
An at-home New Year’s Eve celebration is not complete without board games. Everything from Monopoly to Medium to Twister should be on the table here. Nothing is too childish, too silly, or too long to play on New Year’s Eve. Plus, it’s the fastest way to get the laughs rolling with your roommates or partner.
Watch Funny Movies or TV Shows
Watching funny movies or TV shows is one of the best ways to spend New Year’s Eve. Laughter is the best medicine, and the voices of your favorite characters from classics like Friends, Sister, Sister, The Office, or Girlfriends will keep you company long into the night.
Use Teleparty to Watch Something Funny with Faraway Friends
Missing loved ones this time of year? Use Netflix’s Teleparty to watch something with faraway friends or family. Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party) is a Google Chrome extension that will allow you to watch Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Disney+ together with friends who also have an account. It synchronizes the video playback for you, allows you to chat, and makes it easy to watch shows and movies together even when you’re apart. (Admit it: this sounds like way more fun than the barhopping you did last year.)
Have a Dance Party
Turn up the music, turn down the lights, and have a dance party right in your living room! Sure, it’s not like a club, but you have space to have fun, let loose, and sing at the top of your lungs with no one around to care. It’s fun, and it relieves stress, so there’s no excuse not to do it!
Play Video Games
Mario Kart and Among Us might be the only video games you’re good at, but that’s OK! Challenging your partner or your friends virtually to a video game will be your new favorite tradition. There are plenty of options on your phone or laptop if you don’t have a game console. It’s a fun way to feel connected to others and help pass the time.
Have a Virtual Murder Mystery Party
I love going to murder mystery parties in normal times, which is why I’m so glad I don’t have to miss out this year. Virtual murder mystery parties are a thing, and they’re perfect for New Year’s Eve. For example, My Mystery Party hosts many virtual adult mystery parties, including a New Year’s Eve party, a masquerade ball, a 1985 party, and more.
Journal About the Past Year
This past year was tough, and making it through is not a small accomplishment. Celebrate it! Spend some quiet time this New Year’s Eve journaling, meditating, and reflecting on all that happened in 2020. It’s therapeutic, plus it’ll be a good way to keep a record for you to look back on someday.
Write New Year’s Resolutions For 2021 (But Keep It Flexible)
If you want, go through your New Year’s resolutions for 2020 and have a good laugh. Now, set your resolutions, goals, or intentions for 2021, making sure to be flexible. If there’s anything we learned this year, it’s the importance of giving yourself grace.
Call Friends and Family Members to Check In
New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to call your loved ones like you’ve been meaning to do. Check in with family members and friends (who are probably also celebrating alone), and wish them well in the new year. It’ll bring them some cheer and help you to feel less lonely, too.
Donate to a Good Cause
Start off 2021 right by donating to a cause you’re passionate about. It’s a good way to help those in need (especially those struggling due to COVID-19) and feel good about the new year.
Bake and Decorate a Cake
Baking sweets can make everything better, so spend some time on New Year’s Eve trying out a new recipe for cookies, brownies, pie, or cake. Then decorate it and eat it! It’s calming, fun, and totally delicious.
Make a TikTok
Remember when everyone was making TikToks back in April? Yeah, go for that energy this New Year’s Eve by dancing, improvising, or lip-synching on camera. You can also create a highlight reel of your best moments from 2020 to share with all your followers.
Have a Sleepover in the Living Room
You may not be at a glamorous hotel this New Year’s Eve, but you can still sleep somewhere new. Bring all your coziest pillows and blankets to the living room to have a sleepover with your roommates, partner, or pet. You can stay up late watching a movie and drinking, then simply pass out wherever you are. Or, if you’re really feeling adventurous, set up camp in the backyard.
Watch the NYC Virtual Ball Drop
The Times Square ball drop will be virtual this year, meaning you can watch it from the comfort of your own couch without the FOMO that normally comes from missing the celebration. Count down to midnight with millions of your closest friends online to get in the holiday spirit.
Share New Year’s Eve Kiss or Kiss Emoji
When the clock strikes midnight, it’s time to get kissing! Blow your roommates a kiss, give your partner or pet a smooch, or send virtual kisses to friends and loved ones. It’s a tradition that can’t – and shouldn’t! – be skipped, even if it looks a little differently this year.
Get a Bottle of Champagne to Pop at Midnight
The ending of 2020 is definitely a cause for celebration! Make sure you have at least one bottle of bubbly on hand to pop at midnight, even if you are celebrating solo this year.
Keep the Party Going . . . Then Wake Up and Enjoy a Quiet Brunch
The best part about celebrating New Year’s Eve at home is that there’s no end time. Want to go to sleep at 12:01 a.m.? Go for it! Want to stay up drinking, playing games, and watching movies until 5 a.m.? Totally OK, too! No matter how late you stay up, you can sleep in, then make yourself pancakes for brunch the next morning (and maybe some mimosas, too?). It’s cozy, with no frenzied Uber rides to have to worry about. Happy New Year!