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

If bustling New Year's Eve crowds and over-priced New Year's specials aren't your thing, consider staying in this year! Last year staying home was a necessity because of the pandemic, but it made us realize how much fun an at-home celebration can be—and luckily, it's easy to plan a fun gathering from the comfort of your couch.

Whether you opt for a full-on party with friends or a casual movie night with the kids, these festive ideas will help you count down to 2022 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 with out-of-town loved ones.

mother son dressed up celebrating new years eve confetti balloons
Credit: Marley Kate

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1 Watch the Ball Drop

Watching the Times Square celebrations from New York City is a classic New Year's Eve tradition, and this year you can expect to see cheering crowds and midnight kisses alongside the ball drop. While the in-person event was canceled last year due to the pandemic, it's back to normal this year! Here's how to stream the ball drop from wherever you are.

Related: The History of the Times Square Ball Drop

2 Bake Boozy Treats

Pop the champagne and 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!

3 Play Virtual Games

Fun party games are typically part of our New Year's Eve celebrations, and even if your family or friends live far away, it 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.

4 Make a "Lucky" New Year's Eve Dinner

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

5 Have a Virtual Movie Night

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

6 Make-Ahead New Year's Day Breakfast

If you aren't 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.

7 Master a New Cocktail (or Mocktail!)

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.

8 Make New Year's Resolutions

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 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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