You can have just as much fun counting down in your pajamas!

By Linley Sanders and Emily VanSchmus
Updated December 11, 2020
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Forget bustling New Year's Eve crowds and over-priced New Year's specials. This year, the safest way to celebrate is to stay home—and luckily, it's easy to plan a fun celebration from the comfort of your couch. Whether you opt for a full-on party with just the members of your household or a casual movie night with the kids, these festive ideas will help you count down to 2021 in style.

No matter who surrounds you, they will enjoy our ideas for a New Year's Eve best spent at home, including our top suggestions for how to celebrate virtually.

1

Fun party games are typically part of our New Year's Eve celebrations, and just because you won't be gathering in person doesn't mean you can't all play along together! Set up a virtual game night for your crew and set a time and virtual platform for each person to log on. If you start later in the evening, you'll be able to ring in the new year together on the Zoom screen when the games are over.

2

In normal years, you'd likely be counting down with friends and sipping a glass of bubbly. 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 your family 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!

Get the Recipe: Champagne Cupcakes

3

One perk of being home for New Year's Eve is that you can skip the pricey dinner in a noisy restaurant and cook a special meal at home instead. If you're looking for festive dinner ideas, incorporate lucky New Year's traditions when planning the menu. Consider making delicious Chinese food, where noodles represent long life and soup 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.

Related: 14 Lucky Foods You Should Eat for a Prosperous New Year

4

If there are a few hours to burn before the New Year's ball drops, consider popping in a movie and making popcorn. You can host a family movie night with the kids or plan a virtual watch party with your friends. Make sure you time your movie correctly if you want to tune into the festivities as the clock strikes midnight!

Related: How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

5

Since you won't be going out this year, take this opportunity to prepare a New Year's Day brunch for the next morning. 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.

6

Take the time to learn a new cocktail recipe that you can enjoy throughout the year. Our New Year's Eve cocktail recipes are dressed up with fun garnishes like sweet cotton candy or rosemary sprigs. If you don't feel like drinking this year, we've got plenty of delicious mocktail recipes you can mix up instead.

7

Writing New Year's resolutions before midnight is the perfect activity for a close-knit group. Turn this into a fun family activity by asking each person to come up with an encouraging mantra or kind words for every other person. Whether you decide to take up gardening or you want to exercise more this year, make sure your 2021 resolutions are something that'll bring you joy in the year ahead.

Related: The 5 Gardening Resolutions You Need to Make This Year

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