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New Year's Party Ideas

December 18th, 2013 - 2:07 PM

Throw the Best New Year's Eve Party with These Fun Ideas!

We've all been there.  It's a week before New Year's Eve and you have no plans—but you don't have to stay home in your pajamas watching the ball drop!

Celebrate the New Year with a big bash and get together with your friends and family. You can throw the party of the year with minimal planning, just check out these party ideas. Instead of spending hours scouring the web for party inspiration, we've compiled some of our favorite ideas so you can host a memorable affair to kick off 2014 in style!

Food and Drinks at your New Year's Party

What's a party without good food? Of course you'll want to have traditional party snacks and finger foods, but you can make your party a standout by adding a New Year's themed item like black-eyed peas. They're thought to bring good luck and prosperity (it’s worth a shot, right?). One of my favorite recipes for black-eyed peas is this one from Tasty Kitchen. They even go so far as to honor the tradition of adding a dime to the pot of beans—whoever finds the dime in their bowl is said to find luck in the New Year!

No New Year's Eve party is complete unless you find a fun way to display the food. How about this Times Square Ball from Spoonful? It’s just cheese cubes surrounded by cupcake wrappers stuck into a head of cabbage, but it looks so festive!

New Year's Party food idea: Cheese cubes transformed into a Times Square ball.

To really go above and beyond, create a signature drink for your party. Make a ‘mocktail’ with soda syrups or create fun concoctions with juices and other mixers. A favorite of mine is vanilla syrup in orange soda, topped with a cherry. I call it "Ring It In Crème Soda" and it's delish! You can also make another of my recipes,"Midnight Punch". It's equal parts grape soda and ginger ale. This is awesome served with lime wedges.

For dessert, a confetti cake is PERFECT for New Year's Eve! Duncan Hines makes a great box mix if you're not up to making one from scratch. Confetti and New Year's do go hand-in-hand, after all.

New Year's Eve party confetti cake

For a food-decoration combination, take your cake mix and make cupcakes. You can decorate them as sparklers using the garland from your Christmas tree!  It's an awesomely easy and cheap party idea from JWS Interiors.

Sparkler cupcakes for New Year's Eve

For some family-friendly snacks at your New Year's party, make the milk and cookies extra festive!  Pour the milk into martini glasses and top each glass with a cookie!  The kids will feel celebratory and special. If you don't have martini glasses, dollar stores sell plastic versions for cheap.

New Year's Party Decorations

New Year’s is known for its glitz and glamor, so how about decorating with metallics, sequins, and glitter? If that's not your thing, try using clocks to decorate—you can focus on the countdown to midnight. Gather up any decorative clocks in your home, or take a trip to the thrift store. Use them as centerpieces or group a bunch together for a chic display. Check out this grouping from Elegant Economies. Love it!

Decorate with clocks at your New Year's Eve Party

Balloons are another great way to decorate for your New Year's Eve party. One awesome way to make the balloons more than just decor is to fill each one with a handwritten countdown task and a paper clock.  At the time on the clock, pop the balloon and complete the countdown task. Tasks can vary from "go outside and make s'mores on the fire pit" to "write out your New Year's resolutions."  For a kid-friendly countdown list along with the printable clocks, check out this post from Inspired by Famila.  Here’s an extra tip: add some confetti inside the balloons, so when you pop them, you’ll have a fun explosion!

Fun activity for your New Year's Eve party, a balloon pop countdown!

New Year's Party Fun

Outside of watching the New Year's countdown, there are plenty of other fun things to do at your party. Have you ever played "Guess the Resolution"? It’s simple--have everyone anonymously write their resolution on a slip of paper. As the night goes on, draw one out for guests to try to guess who the resolution belongs to. Such a fun game when you're partying with lots of different personalities!

Everyone is familiar with charades—but how about event charades? It's perfect for pop culture buffs. Act out big events that happened that year (so for 2013, think things like the birth of the royal baby Prince George, the release of the 2nd Hunger Games movie ‘Catching Fire’, , etc.).

While you're at it, you could also theme your party around trends of the last year. Ask your guest to come representing their favorite headline-making occurrence of the year. So for example, they could come dressed as Beyonce and Destiny’s child (from their comeback performance at the Super Bowl),as a baby wearing a compass (baby North West, Kanye and Kim Kardashian's baby), or in a swimsuit as Diana Nyad (from her record-breaking swim from Cuba to Florida).

Have you heard of the game "Hedbanz" or the app “Heads Up!”? They are both guessing games of "who am I?" played with a partner. You take a celebrity name (that’s secret to you) and place it on your forehead, and your partner shouts clues to you to help you guess who your card says. You’re your partner holds up a card and you shout clues to help them guess their celebrity. You see how many you can guess in a certain time frame (like 60 seconds).  (Watch Ellen play this game on her show in this video). Make a 2013 edition  of the game featuring celebrities who had a big year in 2013 at your New Year's Eve Party! Think Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lawrence, Carrie Underwood, Kate Middleton, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé.

Lastly, if you want to really be the hit of the party, make sure you wear your best ensemble! But don't worry if you want to be comfortable, tuxedo pajamas are a real thing! Ha!

Tuxedo pajamas are perfect for New Year's Eve!

We hope you have fun at your New Year's party with these awesome ideas! We would love to see how people celebrate across the nation. Email your photos to social@upack.com and you may just see them featured on the U-Pack Facebook page.

Have a safe, happy New Year!!