Photo: wilpunt via

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to get friends and loved ones together. Instead of spending a fortune on NYE event tickets, why not opt to stay in and host the celebration yourself? Here are a few tips for hosting an epic New Year’s Eve bash to remember. 

Pick a theme. 

If you’re hosting a large group of people, consider choosing a theme in advance. Having a theme will help you create a plan for decorations, music, and food. Plus, costumes make for great memories. Possible NYE party theme ideas include Disco, Winter Wonderland, Roaring ‘20s, and Masquerade. 

Make a budget, and stick to it. 

Hosting a party of any kind can be a huge undertaking. Before you get too excited about decorations and potential menu items, decide how much you can afford to spend. If your guest list includes more than five people, you may want to create a spreadsheet to help you budget. 

Set a timeline. 

Once you know who’s coming, set a timeline to keep your guests happy and entertained before the ball drops. Scheduling 30 minutes for cocktails, an hour for dinner, and 1-2 hours of after-dinner activities and games leading up to the big moment is one way to keep the party going smoothly.      

Get festive. 

Whether you decide to go black-tie or host a pajama party, decorations are a must. This could include party hats, streamers, balloons and signage, and noisemakers or tiny bells to ring in the new year. You could also pass out disposable cameras or polaroid cameras so your guests can treasure memories of this NYE celebration forever.  

Photo: Todor Tsvetkov via

Put up a DIY photo booth. 

Speaking of photos, why not add a bit of glitz and glamour to your party with a DIY photo booth. All you need is a backdrop, lighting, and an (optional) box of props. You may want to provide guests with a selfie stick or a smartphone tripod

Create a signature cocktail. 

In addition to offering guests both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverage options, consider serving a signature cocktail. To prevent crowds, set up self-serve stations with pre-poured flutes or cocktail glasses. This way, guests can refill as they please. Be sure to provide plenty of water, too! Pro tip: Swap ice for frozen grapes and berries. This will keep drinks cool and free up fridge space.  

Serve easily shareable food. 

Unless you’ve decided to go all-out and serve a lavish five-course meal, shareable plates are the easiest way to keep your guests full and the mess to a minimum. Potential NYE party bites include fondue, spinach dip, sliders, chips and salsa, fruit skewers, a charcuterie board or cheese platter, roasted veggie mini-flatbreads, fried ravioli, pigs in a blanket, etc. If you’re hosting close friends and family, you could make it an NYE potluck and ask guests to bring one dish of their own. 

Don’t forget the countdown. 

Keep the Times Square NYE ball-drop event playing on a TV somewhere to ensure your guests don’t lose track of time. You can keep the volume to a minimum until it’s ready to participate in the countdown. 

Send guests off with party favors. 

Keep the NYE spirit alive for years to come by providing your guests with party favors or goodie bags. A few party favor ideas include:

With these tips, you’re ready to throw a memorable New Year’s Eve party sure to leave a fond, lasting impact on everyone who attends!

Baltimore Times
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