The Joy of an Intimate, At-Home NYE Celebration

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

Parents celebrating New Years Eve at home with kids, sitting by the Christmas tree, holding illuminative numbers 2021.
Traditionally, New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. People love to dress up, go out to dinner or to parties, and stay up until midnight to watch a New Year’s ball drop with family and friends. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic means more people will be staying in and planning smaller, more intimate celebrations as couples or with family.
But hosting a small NYE party doesn’t mean it has to be less festive. There are lots of ways to mark this momentous flipping of the calendar, no matter how many people will be ringing in the new year with you.
NYE for couples. If you are planning a couple’s night in, you can choose a few romantic – and fun – gestures to make the evening feel like something special. Try ordering a to-go gourmet dinner from your favorite fancy restaurant. Add some candles and have your favorite cocktails or bottle of bubbly on standby. If you are going for a more casual vibe, why not cook something fun together? Draw up a small menu and each person can be responsible for making one or two dishes.
Your television or laptop can be a secret ingredient to your NYE lineup. If you have a favorite movie as a couple, this can be a fun time to settle in and enjoy it together. Or maybe there’s a new movie you both want to see. Pick one in advance from your favorite streaming service and make a “date” to watch it together, complete with movie theater-style popcorn and big boxes of candy for sharing.
NYE with older children. This might be the first New Year’s Eve in a while when parents have their college-age or adult children at home. Don’t miss the chance for some fun bonding moments. If they’re handy in the kitchen, try letting them plan items for an appetizer-style buffet. Here are some other ways to celebrate together:
  • Party favor package: Personalize gift bags with everyone’s favorite snacks. Drop in a NYE mask and party favors, or other special touches to keep the evening fun.
  • Reconnect with game time: Whether your family likes being competitive over cards, board games, charades, Xbox or PlayStation battles, set aside some game time as part of the evening.
  • Don’t forget the dancing. Push back the furniture to make your own private dance club. NYE is a great time to try new dance steps as a family. Streaming services and YouTube all offer lots of online learn-to-dance options. You can learn a basic tango or two-step together. Are you and your partner already seasoned dancers? Then you can show off your moves while instructing the kids.
NYE with little kids. Have pint-sized partiers at home this NYE? There are plenty of ways to make it feel special.
Pick a theme. If you typically mark the end of the year by dressing up and going out to a party, think about how you can keep outfits at the forefront of your stay-at-home celebration. If you have young children, they’ll especially like an evening with a theme.
  • Pajama party: Whether you’ve got flannel pants or footie pajamas, put your best foot forward by inviting everyone in the house to wear their favorite night-time outfit to your in-house party. Bonus: When the kids get tired, they will already be ready for bed.
  • Indoor camping: Have some kid-sized pop up tents or beach shelters? Now is the time to put those up inside. Children can roll out their sleeping bags or arrange blankets and pillows for a comfy nest. You can serve hotdogs, hamburgers and s’mores inside, and then dim the lights for story time or a family movie night.
Photo credit: Getty

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