As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to firm up your New Year’s Eve plans. After all, there’s no better way to end the past 12 months than with a fun gathering of close family and friends! As you begin planning champagne toasts and shrimp cocktail snacks, consider taking a different approach to your traditions this year. If you’re ready to get those creative entertaining juices flowing, scroll down for 5 unique ideas that’ll make this a New Year’s Eve you won’t forget!
- Curate a champagne bar. A bottle — or bottles — of bubbly is pretty much mandatory on this night. Instead of having flutes ready by the door as guests arrive, give them the option to pour themselves drinks with a self-serve bar! To achieve this, station several varieties of prosecco on a decorated bar cart or table. Arrange mixers (think flavored juices and liqueurs, or even a sangria base) and fruit on the table, alongside drink skewers, glasses and napkins. You can really lean into the idea by draping NYE-themed garlands and glittery serveware around the space. Consider freezing raspberries or other produce in lieu of ice to keep the champagne chilled for the night ahead. Then let guests sip and enjoy. Cheers!
- Host an appetizer swap. Rather than spend the last day of the year working away in the kitchen, make the meal an interactive affair. With your invite, include a callout to bring a dish to share along with several recipe cards for their appetizer. Once people arrive, designate an area to line up their dishes, with card holders (Amazon $2.50) to hold their recipes next to each one. Then, as guests eat and mingle, they can scoop up instructions for how to make their favorite bites of the night. Who knows — it may even just encourage them to become a better chef in the new year! Note: If you’re looking for food and presentation ideas, check out our recipes.
- Create a resolution wall photobooth. A festive photobooth is a great way to capture the evening — and let your guests have some fun in the process! Take your traditional garland or wrapping paper display up a notch by tying it back to the occasion. Keep some markers, tape and New Year’s Eve Resolution Cards (Amazon $12.99) handy by the booth. Then, encourage family and friends to jot down their goals for 2018 and fix them to the photobooth wall. By the end of the night, you’ll have a full showcase of sentiments for the New Year to backdrop each snapshot taken.
- Celebrate each hour. Instead of making the night about a single stroke of midnight, continue the festivities throughout the evening by ringing in the New Year in different time zones. Station a few affordable alarm clocks (Amazon $8.99) on a central mantel for all to see, then set each one to go off once midnight hits in each time zone. With each respective “ring,” bring out a celebratory item. This could be as simple as a new plate of sweets (we love the idea of distributing Hershey’s Kisses!), a freshly opened bottle of champagne or a new party favor to use for the main celebration ahead!
- Send them into the New Year. Once the fanfare has died down, don’t let the feelings of elation depart as the guests do. Instead, send them home with a take-home gift that’ll bring good tidings in the new year. Options could include fortune cookies (wrapped in homemade bags), mini bottles of bubbly or pampering products (like bath bombs or DIY lotions.) Either way you play it, it’s all about sharing the love as you send them into 2018!