Five Low-Key New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

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The ball begins to drop. The people around you start shouting the countdown. Everyone shouts “Happy New Year!” It’s an all too familiar setting on New Year’s Eve, but if you’re the kind of person who can’t stand big parties or just doesn’t like going out in the dead cold of winter, you might be looking for more low-key celebrations instead. Whether hosting duties fall to you or a friend, try these five low-key New Year’s Eve party ideas to rein in the new year without going wild.

1. Head to the roof

If your objection to going out for New Year’s is less about the cold and more about the crowds, enjoy a rooftop party with a select few friends. Bundle up and gather your hot beverages, then head to your rooftop to watch the midnight New Year’s Eve fireworks. Just keep in mind that many apartment leases ban tenants from going on rooftops, so as chill (and chilly) as your party might be, it could also be illegal.

2. Host a potluck

New Year’s Eve is all about gathering with friends to celebrate the arrival of a new time. You don’t need to be part of a massive crowd to accomplish this goal – inviting friends over for a potluck dinner gets the job done. Have everybody bring a homemade appetizer, side dish, main course, or dessert, and keep the drinks flowing from dinner until midnight when the new year begins. Just remember that if people are drinking, they shouldn’t be driving upon leaving.

3. Marathon some movies

You don’t have to look very hard to find movies either directly about New Year’s Eve or at least related to the beginning of a new time in someone’s life. Marathon these movies with friends as the new year rolls in, but don’t forget to pause the movie about a minute before the ball drops – the movie can wait, but properly counting down to a new year can’t! After all, you’ll already be seated in front of a screen, so changing course to a live broadcast of the ball drop should be a piece of cake.

4. Enjoy game night

What better way is there to forget about all your worries than diving headfirst into a competitive board game? When you’re deep in a strategy-heavy, teamwork-focused board game, it’s hard to think about much else, and the competitive spirit will likely have you feeling upbeat and cheerful. There are few better mindstates to occupy as you enter a new year, and there are few easier ways to achieve this mentality without leaving the house. 

5. Alternatively, avoid the parties entirely

If you’re already sweating your New Year’s Eve plans, maybe you’re less worried about missing out on what everyone else is up to and more worried about another New Year’s Eve spent in crowded environments. Ask yourself whether your anxiety is based on FOMO or a need to avoid all the humdrum of the holiday, and if it’s the latter, consider just staying in and treating yourself to a relaxing night alone while everyone else goes out and gets crazy. You’ll wake up on New Year’s Day feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready for any challenges the new year can bring.

How do you plan to spend New Year’s Day? Sound off in the comments!

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