New Year’s Eve will be different this year and that is okay. New Year’s Eve is still happening and you can still have fun and enjoy New Year’s Eve.
Perhaps start a new tradition this year or just do something different all together. Either way, here is some inspiration that not all is lost. Here are some ideas for celebrating New Year’s eve this year.
1. Send out digital invitations to a virtual party.
2. Set a “throw-back” pre-quarantine theme for your party.
3. Plan a drive-by celebration. Pass out party gifts or balloons to anyone who drives by to say hello.
4. Decorate your house with quarantine-specific party decorations, which are available on Etsy and Amazon.
5. Host a Netflix Watch Party.
6. Watch the virtual Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.
7. Play a board game via Skype or Zoom, pointing your camera down at the game board.
8. Host a watch party with Amazon Prime.
9. Have gifts of pizza or other party foods delivered to those people that would normally come to your party.
10. Play online video games together.
11. Attend a livestream concert.
12. Get all of your neighbors to come outside at a certain time to sing or socially distance dance.
13. Have a family pamper party. Take turns with massages, pedicures, manicures, etc.
14. Have an outdoor movie night with a projector.
15. Set up a scavenger hunt in your house with New Year’s Eve clues and small prizes.
16. Do karaoke! It’s even more fun if you live stream it.
17. Host a virtual sleepover. Send each participant a goody bag full of snacks and fun items, like a new set of pajamas.
18. Host a virtual baking session, where everyone follows along baking the same thing at the same time.
19. Decorate the outside of your house with New Year’s Eve decorations to give your neighbors something to smile at.
20. Have a balloon countdown. Put a slip of paper with a different activity inside 12 balloons, carefully draw the time on the outside of the balloon and have your kids pop them to reveal the activity of the hour.
21. An easier version of the balloon countdown can be done by putting the activity strips in bags marked with the times.
22. And an even easier version can be done with a simple interlocking paper chain, like the kind you can make to hang to hang on your Christmas tree.
24. Set up a delicious DIY ice cream sundae bar.
25. Set up a make your own hot chocolate bar.
26. Set up a photo booth in your living room, with a variety of backgrounds, costumes and props.
27. Select a choose-your-own-adventure book and take turns reading aloud and making story choices.
28. Write your own story and act it out. Be sure to use costumes.
29. Interview each other. The sillier the questions, the better!
30. Set your goals for the new year! In addition to setting goals, commit to ways you can encourage each other in your goals.
31. Heads outside with some kid-friendly sparklers.
32. Make a set of holiday presents to open at midnight.
33. Make a fortune telling cootie catcher.
34. Tell jokes! To make it even more fun, make a joke cootie catcher.
35. Play charades.
36. Play The Floor is Lava, where you can only walk on furniture and if any part of your body touches the floor, you are out!
37. Make a fort using every blanket you can find.
38. Create a New Year’s Eve word search or crossword puzzle.
39. Pretend you are clowns and do face painting.
40. Have a hula hoop contest.
41. Have a jump roping contest.
42. Learn some simple magic tricks on YouTube.
43. Challenge each other to the card game War. Keep going until winner takes all.
44. Start a 500-piece puzzle!
45. Play the game Freeze! Take turns being in charge of the music. Turn on the music and dance until the leader stops.
46. Make family awards. The sillier, the better. Make sure everyone gets one!
47. Play Guess What’s in the Bag. Place any item from around your house into a bag and make your family members take turns guessing what it is just by touching it.
48. Play Guess the Smell. Place any item with a strong smell into a bag and take turns guessing what it is. Be sure to use items with pleasant and unpleasant smells!
49. Play Guess the Food. This not for the faint of heart! Have your family members close their eyes and take turns guessing what a certain food is, by taste alone.
50. Set up a hopscotch challenge by sticking squares of tape on your floor.
51. Try having kid-friendly planking challenges. Be careful though!
52. Play hide and seek around your house. You could even make it harder by turning out the lights and using flashlights.
53. Play hot potato.
54. Play a spoken memory game. The first person starts out by saying “I brought ____ to the New Year’s Eve party.” The next person repeats that and adds their own item. When a person messes up, they are out of the game.
55. Play Simon Says.
56. Have a taste test. Before New Year’s purchase as many different flavors of a certain item (like potato chips or gummy bears) as you can find. Keep a chart of who likes what.
57. Play BINGO.
58. Make (or buy) a pinata to crack open at midnight.
59. Set all of your alarm clocks and phones to go off at exactly midnight.
60. Hang a large world map on the wall and track which countries have hit midnight.
61. Create a time capsule to open on the next New Year’s Eve.
62. Buy a huge LEGO set and spend hours building.
63. Put paper plates on your head and try to draw certain items without looking. Your family has to guess the item.
64. Play virtual Pictionary.
65. Play Two Truths and a Lie.
66. Set an alarm clock to go off at a certain time, then hide it someplace in the house. Challenge your kids to find it before it goes off.
67. Have a family dance party in the living room.
68. Host a neighborhood floating sky lantern release at midnight from each family’s own driveway.
69. Enjoy a family fondue party leading up to midnight.
70. Enjoy a fun ice cream bar for the family.
71. Host a glow in the dark block party, where each family celebrates in front of their home with glow sticks and music.
72. Host a socially distant New Year’s street parade for your neighbors with sparklers.
73. Host a video call scavenger hunt for all your kid’s friends.
74. Book a food truck for your neighborhood for the evening.
75. Have neighbors set an item on their front porches and have everyone hop from one house to the next taking selfies with the item. Then post photos to your neighborhood HOA group.
76. Host a movie marathon for your own family and include cousins and friends doing online video.
77. Do a New Year’s card exchange with long or short distance family and friends.
78. Enjoy late night scary movies after the clock strikes midnight.
79. Have your teen or preteen build a new year’s Minecraft world and invite all their friends to celebrate inside the game.
80. Is there hidden talent in your neighborhood? Invite musically inclined neighbors to step onto their deck or driveway to play a musical piece at midnight. Before the night, let everyone agree on what to play so they can play, sing, and harmonize together.
81. Hire an amateur pyrotechnic club to perform a small firework show for your HOA.
82. Surprise others with a delivery of cookies, pizza, or another late-night treat at their door.
83. Play virtual never have I ever with friends.
84. Keep it small and host a progressive dinner with your closest friends.
85. Host a glow in the dark scavenger hunt through the neighborhood.
86. Have a fun family masquerade ball since everyone should be wearing masks anyway.
87. Do a laser tag rental for the evening.
88. Have a fancy dress up virtual party.
89. Enjoy a virtual escape room with friends.
90. Play pass the board game with your nearest neighbors. Choose a few neighbors to participate, start playing a game in each household, set a timer and when the hour is up rotate games from one house to the next. Continue this every hour until midnight.
91. Party like it’s 1999! Virtually meet up in a group video call. Everyone dresses like it’s the 90’s, listen to 90’s music and enjoy some 90’s style food.
92. Have a party hat competition. Everyone makes their own party hat and then votes on which one is the best. Have an award for the winner.
93. Place glow sticks in balloons for a cool party lighting effect and pop one each hour to countdown to midnight.
94. Build a mega K’Nex project.
95. Binge watch a favorite TV series.
96. Play a minute to win it games through the night.
97. Play Who Is It in a virtual meet-up. Show baby pictures of friends or family and everyone has to guess who it is.
98. Play “I went to the shop and I bought…” the first person adds what they bought. The next person repeats what the first person bought and adds an item. Play continues until someone forgets what all has been bought.
99. Play the Hot Seat game. Prepare some questions ahead of time and take turns being interviewed.
100. Play virtual chopped. Pre-arrange with 3 or 4 households to have a basket of ingredients ready to go. The cook/chef isn’t allowed to know what’s in the basket. On go each cook/chef has 30 minutes to make a recipe. While you can’t enjoy each other’s food, you can see what was made and determine who was most creative and used all the ingredients.