Staying In for New Year’s Eve? Here Are 15 Ideas for At-Home Fun

There are countless ways to ring in the New Year. You can get dressed up and go out for a night with the gang. You can book an enviable spot at one of your city’s best restaurants. Or, if you’re like me and don’t want to change out of your sweats (your stylish sweats, mind you), you’re staying home this NYE. To help all of us homebodies celebrate the countdown to midnight, I’ve rounded up the best New Year’s Eve party ideas for an unforgettable night at home.

While the night-in option may have once brought on feelings of FOMO, I haven’t worried about missing out since before March 2020. Sure, a few minutes scrolling through social media might make me wish I had a big trip or night out planned. But I’ve been working hard to cultivate a sense of confidence in my decisions to do what’s best for me. That means releasing the pressure for my New Year’s Eve to be *amazing.* Instead, I’m celebrating exactly how I want to: at home and inspired by one of these ideas below. 

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

15 New Year’s Eve Party Ideas at Home That Are Just as Good as Going Out

Because staying in for the night doesn’t have to feel like a consolation prize. If anything, spending what’s arguably the most celebrated night of the year chez toi, is a testament to how we’ve learned to get creative and have fun in the comfort of our homes. Whether you’re wanting to get in the kitchen, spend all night marathoning must-watch movies, or getting cozy with friends, let the following ideas remind you that there’s no such thing as being bored at home. Especially on New Year’s Eve.

Image by Michelle Nash

Throw an Elegant Dinner Party

Never a bad idea for New Year’s Eve. This is a great option if you still want to get dressed up but don’t want to deal with the hassle of going out (too cold, too expensive, too… not my house). And just because it’s elegant doesn’t mean that the preparation has to be hard. DIY a few arrangements (Trader Joe’s is my go-to for florals on the fly), scatter some tea lights throughout your space and set your dream tablescape. And while you’re welcome to make a three-course meal on your own, it’s also totally fine if you want to order in from your favorite fancy restaurant.

Settle in for a Spa Night With Your Girls

A different sort of indulgence. In 2023, I’m focused on consistent self-care, and there’s no better way to set that intention in motion than with a dedicated spa night. Ask everyone to bring their favorite nail polish colors and gather all your supplies for manicures, pedicures, and more. An easy way to step (literally) into the New Year feeling your best.

Image by Michelle Nash

Make All Your Favorite Comfort Foods

New Year’s Eve is about indulgence, and it’s not a party without your favorite foods. Hosting a couple of friends for the evening? Settle on a few recipes in advance (the cheesier, the better, in my opinion) and get in the kitchen together. If it’s a larger fête you’re after, make it a potluck! Ask guests to bring their ride-or-die comfort food (mine’s mashed potatoes) and add to the feast. You might want to include a pre-midnight nap in your party plans

Set Up a Campsite Indoors

Make the most of the great indoors! Gather your camping equipment (tent, sleeping bags, etc.) and settle in for the coziest evening ever. Short a tent or two? Make like The Holiday and set your imagination to work with pillows, blankets, and cushions from around the house. And remember: An indoor camping experience isn’t complete without the movies, games, and snacks.

Image by Michelle Nash

Make It All About the Bubbly

Cheering to the New Year with something fun and fizzy in your glass? My kind of party. Make it a midnight toast to remember by setting up a DIY champagne bar or try one of these champagne-forward cocktails. All that’s really left is to make your celebration’s décor as glitzy and glam as your drinks.

Host a Desserts-Only Feast

This is a great party option if you’re wanting to start the celebrations a little later on in the evening. Set out a buffet of all the best treats and ask guests to contribute their favorites to the spread. Nothing like a strategic sugar rush to keep you up until midnight. Here’s how to create a dessert charcuterie board for a crowd.

Image by Michelle Nash

Indulge in a Midnight Brunch

While we’re all for a New Year’s Day brunch, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying your favorite breakfast foods the night before as well. Celebrate with carbs galore—I’m talking about waffles, pancakes, a bagel bar, sweet baked treats—and your favorite fruity cocktails. Your party will still feel elevated while being wonderfully cozy, laidback, and casual. No fuss necessary.

Throw a Fondue Party

Retro in all the right ways. Fondue is easy to prepare and a great way to wrap dinner and dessert all into one. Cheese and chocolate is the best combo my taste buds know, and by setting out a variety of bites for dipping, you’ll ensure everyone’s satisfied.

Image by Michelle Nash

Marathon All the Best Movies of the Year

Because I’m normally in bed by 9 p.m. (hey, all the cool kids are doing it), I usually only make it through one post-dinner movie before I’m out cold. But because our bedtimes get extended on New Year’s Eve, you have plenty of time to make it through a million (okay, maybe three or four) movies before the clock strikes midnight. Round up a list of all the year’s best movies and start your binge-watching.

Try a Wine Tasting With Friends

Sipping on new wines is enough of a reason to have a party, but it’s also a fun way to whet your palate (haha!) for the year to come. Put together a cheese board, supply a few bottles, and ask your guests to bring one or two wines that they’ve been dying to try. Compare notes or just sip and party away. New year, meet your new go-to glass.

Image by Michelle Nash

Celebrate Cuisines From Around the World

This is one of my favorite takes on the traditional potluck party. Have all your guests sign up for a cuisine they want to showcase and celebrate on the evening’s menu. You’ll learn more about other cultures and get to sample an array of foods and dishes you might not otherwise have. Check “expanding your horizons off your resolutions list.

Karaoke Your Heart Out

Not a singer? Doesn’t matter. Belting out your favorite songs from the past twelve months will make anyone sentimental about 2022 and is bound to be a good time. You can even host a mini awards ceremony at the end for Best Voice, Most Heart, Greatest Impersonation, and so on.

Set and Share Your Intentions with Friends

While intention-setting can be a solitary activity, it can also feel supportive and motivating to share your goals with your friends. Practically, this can look like creating vision boards together. Gather up magazines and ask your guests to bring inspiring images or words they might want to include in their vision board. As you craft and create together, you can reflect on what you want to bring into your life in 2023. If people feel comfortable, try sharing and speaking to what you each included in your vision board. After all, sharing our dreams is a key part of making them happen.

Let Everyone Play Bartender for the Night

Looking for a new signature drink in 2023? Sign up for an online mixology class with your pals and gather up everything you’ll need to create your own professionally-made cocktails. I wouldn’t mind toasting the new year with an expertly-crafted drink.

Image by Michelle Nash

Hang Out By the Fire

Tempted to take things outside? Even if it’s chilly where you live, gathering around the fire is a great way to keep warm and cozy up with your closest friends. Be sure to have plenty of blankets on hand and brew up a pot of mulled cider or wine. Don’t forget the marshmallows—it’s not a party without the gooeist s’mores you can make.

This post was originally published on December 26, 2021, and has since been updated.