23 Fun and Relaxing Ways to Celebrate a Warm and Cozy New Year's Eve at Home This Year
New Year’s Eve has earned itself quite the reputation over the years. There’s giant parties, long lines to get into bars, and crowds gathered every way you turn eager to celebrate the passage of time. But just because New Year’s is known as a major night to hit the town doesn’t mean you have to buy into all the hype.
In fact, staying in on New Year’s Eve is oftentimes way more fun than going out. There are a ton of fun things you can do at home on New Year’s from trying new recipes to playing games with friends to watching all your favourite seasonal movies. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the super expensive bar tabs, the challenge of keeping track of your friends in a crowd, or the misery of trying to get ahold of an overpriced Uber ride home after the Times Square ball has dropped. Whether you’re celebrating alone, with roommates or friends, or with your partner, there are plenty of ways to make this countdown to midnight one to remember! Keep reading for tips on celebrating New Year’s Eve at home this year.
– Additional reporting by Kelsey Hurwitz
Prepare the Perfect Cocktails
Celebrating at home 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 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.
Have Lots of Snacks
Tasty food is a must on New Year’s Eve, even if you aren’t cooking for a lot of people. Make party appetizers to last all night or serve holiday appetizers for two. One thing you can never go wrong with? A charcuterie board, either sweet or savory.
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
Whether you’ve had an amazing or challenging year (or more likely a combination of both), it’s no small feat that you made it through the year. Celebrate it! Spend some quiet time this New Year’s Eve journaling, meditating, and reflecting on all that happened in 2021. 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 2022 (But Keep Them 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 2022, 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 2022 right by donating to a cause you’re passionate about. It’s a good way to help those in need 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
There’s a reason TikTok is so popular – it’s fun! Even if you usually only watch videos instead of making them, why not spend your night inside trying something new. Do your own spin on a recent trend, or tell a story that only you could tell. Who knows, maybe this next year is your year to shine.
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 Ball Drop
Every New Year’s Eve, there are celebrations around the world, but one major celebration worth tuning into is seeing the Times Square ball drop. You’ll feel pretty warm and cozy as you’re snuggled up inside watching the revelers on TV endure the chilly temps, and you’ll feel just like you’re there, but with a closer view of the exciting performances.
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.
Pop Bottle of Champagne at Midnight
The beginning of a new year 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.
Create a Scrapbook
You know all those photos you take and promptly forget about? Give them the display they deserve by creating a scrapbook to commemorate your year. You’ll be amazed how good you feel seeing all the highlights of your 2021 spread out in front of you, plus this is a fun, creative project that will have you feeling inspired.
Read Through Your Journals From the Past Year
The new year is always an important time of self reflection. See how far you’ve come and how your life has changed and evolved over the last year by taking the time to read through your journals. This isn’t a time to judge your past self, but rather to appreciate how every small step you took over the course of the year led you to where you are.
Take a Relaxing Bath
Few things are as wonderfully relaxing as a long, hot bath. Sync your music to a Bluetooth speaker, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, and of course don’t forget the bubbles! Allow yourself to leave the stress of 2021 in the past as you relax your way into the new 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!