How to Celebrate New Year's Eve at Home

Want to celebrate New Year's Eve at home? You can have just as much fun counting down to midnight in your pajamas.

If bustling New Year's Eve crowds and over-priced specials aren't your thing, consider staying in this year. While staying home was a necessity during the pandemic, it made us realize how much fun an at-home celebration can be—and luckily, it's easy to plan a 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 midnight in style. No matter who surrounds you, they'll enjoy our ideas for a New Year's Eve 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
Marley Kate
01 of 08

Watch the Ball Drop

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

Related: The History of the Times Square Ball Drop

02 of 08

Bake Boozy Treats

Pop the champagne and count down the seconds to the new year with spiked cupcakes, which are sure to add a shot of fun to any 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 version. Make these New Year's desserts early in the day so there's time to cool and frost them before the countdown begins.

03 of 08

Play Virtual Games

Fun party games are typically part of our New Year's Eve celebrations, and even if your family and friends live far away, you can all play together. Set up a virtual game night for your crew and set a time and virtual platform for each person to log on to. 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.

04 of 08

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 dinners in a noisy restaurant and prepare your own special meal instead. If you're looking for festive dinner ideas, incorporate lucky New Year's traditions into the menu. Consider a delicious Chinese dinner, where noodles represent long life and soup dumplings are said to bring prosperity. Other options for good fortune are southern classics, like black-eyed peas or savory collard greens.

05 of 08

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.

06 of 08

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. While you're home, whip together a tasty make-ahead breakfast to enjoy with family. We recommend a savory breakfast egg pie or chocolate caramel monkey bread to start the first day of the new year on its best note, but all of these make-ahead breakfast recipes are tried-and-true family favorites.

07 of 08

Master a New Cocktail (or Mocktail)

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

08 of 08

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 simply want to exercise more, make sure your resolutions will bring you joy in the year ahead.

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

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