10 Ways To Celebrate New Year’s Eve Without A Massive Party
For a lot of people out there, New Year’s Eve is synonymous with one thing: a party.
Much like the rest of 2020, however, this new year will not be made up of usual proceedings. Late nights in pubs have been replaced by evenings in front of the TV, large get-togethers have been restricted to much smaller numbers, and the annual rendition of Auld Lang Syne will have to be done without the circle of people holding hands.
Still, just because we can’t end the year with a bang doesn’t mean we have to end it with a whimper. When it comes to having fun inside our houses, we couldn’t be better prepared! We’ve basically had a whole year of training all leading to this moment, so it’s time to put our newfound, socially distanced, safe skills to use.
The UK ‘Christmas Bubble’ rules come to an end today, December 27, meaning residents will have to go back to following local guidelines However, there’s still plenty of ways to have fun with friends and loved ones while making sure everyone stays safe, so check out some ideas below.
1. Go on a bar crawl around your own house
Turn the lounge into a cosy country pub, the kitchen into a classy bar and the bedroom into a dance club and make your way around the house as you wait for the new year to roll in.
Each room could have a specialty such as a fancy cocktail or a craft beer, and you can even spend the next few days preparing by creating pub-style names and logos for your newly-transformed haunts – think the Kitch-Inn, or The King’s Bed.
You could assign a family member as the landlord of each room and surprise each other with your ideas, or work together to transform your home into the hottest new spot on your street.
2. Indulge in an extravagant, multiple-course meal
Celebrating New Year’s Eve requires a late night, so what better way to pass the time than by eating a whole host of great food? Round up your family for a luxurious tasting menu consisting of a range of dishes that you could serve throughout the night, before ending with a decadent dessert or after-dinner drink just before midnight.
This is another great way to involve everyone in your household as you could take on a Come Dine With Me-esque format, encouraging everyone to serve up an impressive course of their own, or you could all pitch in ideas to come up with a menu full of everyone’s favourite dishes.
Multiple-course menus in restaurants can often burn a hole in your wallet, but the best part about this plan is that you can set your own budget and make it work for you. Don’t fancy a miniscule bite of salmon recommended by a Michelin star chef? Opt for sliders, pizza and sausage rolls, instead.
3. Stock up on epic props for when the clock strikes midnight
I’m talking party poppers, novelty glasses, balloons, party cannons, hats, champagne, party blowers, cake, music – the works. Bring the metaphorical fireworks inside by showering your home with confetti and glitter, and make sure to kick the new year off right.
You can enjoy a good old song and dance with the people in your household, and still feel connected with your neighbours by making sure the whole street can hear your enthusiasm.
4. Enjoy a virtual live concert with friends
After nine months of social distancing, it’s probably fair to assume that just chatting to your friends through a screen is wearing thin. On New Year’s Eve, why not mix things up a bit by organising some entertainment you can enjoy together, from a distance?
The company Encore offers virtual experiences you can all enjoy online in the form of musical, live-streamed appearances from professional artists.
You could surprise your friends with a ‘musical Zoom bomb’, having a performer pop up unexpectedly, book a ‘Christmas #1’ or ‘Chart Topper’ workshop, where a musician will help you rewrite lyrics with stories from 2020, or enjoy a 45-minute set of Christmas songs live on Zoom with state-of-the art music streaming technology.
5. Deliver a celebration hamper to nearby loved ones
You might not be able to get everyone together in the same room, but you can be there in spirit – or spirits. Put together a hamper with miniature drinks, party poppers, snacks and a hangover cure to deliver to those you can’t be with on the big night to ensure that everyone can still enjoy a celebration.
Dropping off the hamper will give you chance to catch up – from a distance – with your loved ones, plus it’ll give you an excuse to bring out the old ‘see you next year!’ when you say goodbye.
6. Organise a huge Zoom countdown
Though a Zoom party might not be how you’d anticipated 2020 to end, it’s the best way to share the celebrations while ensuring everyone involved stays safe. The good thing about Zoom is you can involve people from far and wide without having to worry about long journeys, horrendous traffic or finding a place for everyone to sleep.
Organise a call for all the members of your family, long-distance friends or simply the besties you miss seeing every day and ring in the new year together. Depending on how much you like to chat you could schedule long calls and games throughout the evening, or simply have a quick chat ahead of the actual countdown to midnight.
Along with the other participants, plan how you’re going to celebrate – you could choose to hit play on the same song at the same time so you can all have a dance, prepare bottles of champagne to pop open when the clock strikes twelve, or send out party poppers so you can all kick things off with a bang.
7. Take part in a virtual cocktail party
If you’ve considered a career in mixology in the new year then you might as well kick things off on New Year’s Eve with a cocktail party. Ditch the boring old bottles of wine and experiment with some new creations courtesy of Lu Ban Kitchen, which can send cocktail packages to you and your friends’ homes to allow everyone to share the fun.
You can pick the cocktails you want to make beforehand, then everyone joins in on the evening with an ‘expert cocktail maker’ who walks you through the steps to create delicious drinks.
8. Make a time capsule
Needless to say, 2020 has been an unforgettable year – albeit not for very good reasons. Still, future generations might find it hard to believe that we stayed inside for weeks on end, that we had to go without pubs and retail stores, and that we had to re-learn how to wash our hands.
We might not feel like reflecting on the last year right now, but over time it could be interesting to look back and remember all the things that made 2020 so unique. Creating a time capsule to open in the future will allow you to reflect on what life was like, and hopefully allow the future you to recognise how much better things have become since.
You could throw in a banana bread recipe if you’re one of the people who took up baking over lockdown, and add a face mask or some sanitiser in honour of the products we’ve become so accustomed to. Write a letter reflecting on what this year has taught you, and make goals about where you hope to be when you re-open the capsule in a few years’ time.
9. Set up your own cinema for a feel-good film night
Have a look online for a cheap projector, or arrange comfy seats and mood lighting around the TV to create a cinema-like feel. Stock up on popcorn, nachos, fizzy drinks and everything else the cinema has to offer, and spend the evening with your favourite actors.
You could tailor your film night around those in your household by asking everyone to select a film for the screening, or mix things up a bit by pulling film names out of a hat and enjoying something new together. Alternatively, stick with the theme by watching films that feature new year, including When Harry Met Sally, About Time, The Holiday and, of course, New Year’s Eve.
10. Create countdown bags to open every hour
Celebrate the final hours of 2020 with little treats and gifts separated out into a series of bags, each labelled with a different hour. Think of it of a long-lasting party bag, if you will.
Take charge of the contents yourself, or assign everyone in your household with different hours to prepare for, meaning you’ll each get a few surprises when everyone else’s hours roll around.
You could attempt to associate the item with the time, for example by providing a pack of cards for entertainment early in the evening, followed by miniature drinks and snacks as the hours wear on, or get creative with your ideas, perhaps including recipe cards and an increasing collection of ingredients for people to create dishes or drinks throughout the night.
When it’s time to crack open the ‘midnight’ bag, include things that will aid the celebration or mark the start of a new year, like party poppers or a 2021 calendar.
This year hasn’t offered us a lot of great things, but on New Year’s Eve we can start as we mean to go on by making the best of the situation and making sure we go out on a high.
Hopefully we won’t have to forego parties and gatherings for much longer, but until then we might as well put our social-distancing skills to use, show 2020 who’s boss and have as much fun as possible.
Have a happy, safe new year, everyone!
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