Forget bustling New Year's Eve crowds and over-priced New Year's specials. You can plan a perfectly fun (and relaxed!) New Year's celebration from your couch. Invite a few friends to join your celebration, or ring in the New Year at home with family. No matter who surrounds you, they will enjoy our ideas for a New Year's Eve best spent at home, including our best suggestions for delicious appetizer bites, a lucky dinner, and family-friendly ice breaker games. Remember to write New Year's resolutions and make an end-of-year playlist, and you are sure to start next year off right!

By Linley A Sanders

1. Bake Boozy Cupcakes

Countdown to New Year's by baking spiked cupcakes that will add a shot of fun to any New Year's Eve celebration. Our alcohol-infused cupcake recipes are sweet and rich, so guests may have a hard time waiting until midnight to devour them! Chocolate-lovers should try our salted caramel-chocolate-bourbon cupcakes, while classic vanilla fans will love our champagne cupcakes. Make these New Year's desserts early in the evening so there's time to cool and frost before the countdown begins!

2. Crowdsource Your New Year's Resolutions

Writing New Year's resolutions before midnight is the perfect activity for a close-knit group. Help friends and family brainstorm ideas. If your group knows each other especially well, ask each person to come up with an encouraging mantra or kind words for every other person in the group. At the end, each guest will have new resolutions and the encouragement to accomplish (and keep!) them throughout the new year.

3. Play a New Year's Eve Ice Breaker Game

For a New Year's Eve icebreaker game, write down a few end-of-year-themed prompts on cardstock to get people reflecting on their year. Funny options could include the "most embarrassing moment" from the year or the "song they danced to the most," while other questions could be based on "the one moment you wish you could relive" or the "kindest thing someone did for you this year." Encourage guests to submit their own prompts at the beginning of the night! People will love learning more about each other and sharing the highlights of their year.

4. Make-Ahead New Year's Day Breakfast

Don't settle for cereal when starting a new year. While you're home, whip together a tasty make-ahead breakfast to enjoy with family on New Year's Day. We recommend a savory breakfast egg pie or ooey gooey monkey bread to start New Year's Day out on the best note, but all of these make-ahead breakfast recipes are tried-and-true family favorites.

5. Make Glittered Popcorn and Watch a Movie

If there are a few hours to burn before the New Year's ball drops, consider popping in a movie and making glittery popcorn to match the New Year's theme. To make our no-mess popcorn, just combine your favorite popped kernels with shimmery edible glitter. Make sure you time your movie correctly if you want to tune into the festivities as the clock strikes midnight!

6. Master a New Cocktail (or Mocktail!)

Take the time to learn a new cocktail recipe that you can enjoy throughout the year! Our bubbly beverages are dressed up with sweet cotton candy or an elegant garnish of rosemary sprig. Which one will become your new signature champagne sip?

7. Make a "Lucky" New Year's Eve Dinner

This make-ahead dumpling recipe kicks off your meal and shows off your bamboo steamer to Thanksgiving guests alongside your other Chinese side dishes.

Incorporate lucky New Year's traditions when planning your dinner. Consider making delicious Chinese food, where noodles represent long life and dumplings are said to bring prosperity. Other options are to cook up Southern American classics, like black-eyed peas or savory collard greens, for extra good fortune.

8. Bake a Tasty New Year's Dessert

Don't be fooled by these fancy New Year's desserts—they are all easy-to-make, fork-free sweets. We love these customized sweet dessert pizza recipes (toffee crunch and caramel-coconut? Yes, please).

9. Make an End-of-Year Playlist

Who doesn't love reminiscing about their favorite songs from childhood or college? Resolve to make a New Year's Eve playlist that you believe defines your year—it can include your favorite new artists, classic anthems you belted in the shower, and that one song you could never get out of your head. You will enjoy dancing to the playlist on New Year's Eve, and you'll smile about it in the years that follow.

10. Cook Together

Spend New Year's at home cooking a festive dinner. It's the perfect occasion for families to cook together! Try whipping up a dinner made of appetizers or make breakfast for dinner complete with pajamas. You'll make memories that will last all year and get to enjoy homemade dishes. Feeling adventurous? Start the New Year with something new like making a crab boil or souffle.


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