Are you planning to celebrate the New Year with a party? Whether planning a small intimate get-together, or the party to end all parties, here are a few New Years Eve Party Tips to keep your celebration merry and bright…
Plan Your Party Menu
Are you having a dinner party, BBQ, or appetizers only?
- If you are planning a dinner party, will it be sit-down, buffet, or pot-luck?
- If you are planning a dinner party, still plan to have hors d’oeuvres, approximately six per person, per hour.
- If you are having an appetizer-only party, plan approximately 8-10 hors d’oeuvres per person, per hour.
- If planning a pot-luck, make sure you assign courses (appetizer, main dish, dessert) with your guests in advance, so you don’t have duplicates.
- Find out guest food allergies in advance, and plan accordingly.
- Have several non-alcoholic beverage choices available for children and designated drivers.
- Plan on 3-4 different dessert choices. Bite-size desserts such as cream puffs, cookies, and mini pies work best.
- If planning a BBQ, cook the food in advance and re-heat in the oven a few moments, so you are not a slave to the grill while your guests are there.
Plan your Theme
How about instead of a traditional New Year’s Party, you have a a disco flashback, or a casino night?
- A disco flashback is always a good time, so be sure to showcase fashions and music popular from New Year’s in the 1970’s.
- Some great 1970’s appetizers include: mini quiche (because real men do in fact eat quiche), stuffed mushrooms, fondue, and cocktail weenies.
- 1970’s cocktails include Gin and Tonics, Bloody Mary’s, and Whiskey Sours.
- Make sure to have decks of cards, dice, and poker chips ready!
- Serve elegant appetizers, such as shrimp cocktail, clams casino, and sweet-and-sour meatballs in a chafing dish.
- Cocktails are a big part of the casino theme, so have champagne punch, martinis, and daiquiris ready.
Keep It Family Friendly
- If you have guests with small children, plan a sleep-over for them in another section of your house, with a babysitter on-hand. When our son was little, we had a two-story house, so the babysitter and kids had use of the whole upstairs. We let them come down to make their own plates of food and drinks, and had movies and popcorn ready in the guest room upstairs.
- Now that our son is older, we have a family game night on New Year’s Eve, including everyone’s kids. We play cards in the dining room, while the kids play Monopoly or Wii in the family room, or we get the whole gang together and form teams to play Cranium. Everyone has a good time, and there are lots of laughs!
Keep it Simple!
- Every year the ball drops in Time Square, New York. Have your own “ball” drop to coincide with the Time Square drop–no elaborate planning or preparation, and everyone loves the count-down!
- Set up a self-service bar, so guests can help themselves. Have a variety of wine, beer, and mixers available. Plus, most guests love to chip and and create fun new cocktails for everyone to try.
- Make appetizers and desserts in advance, freeze, and then de-frost and heat before the party.
- A crock pot is your best friend for a party. Serve warm dips, hot spiced cider, and even fondue in a crock pot!
- Follow local laws for fireworks. Even in the winter, severe drought areas such a Arizona and Texas are susceptible to accidental fire from fireworks.
- Watch how long you keep food out on the table. You don’t want guests to get food poisoning from spoiled food, so keep cold foods cold, and hot foods warm.
- Every year there are accidental deaths caused by someone shooting their gun into the air on New Year’s Eve. Keep your guns at home. Guns and alcohol do not mix, and there are laws in place in many cities, to prevent guns from being shot into the air.
- The #1 thing to remember about your New Year’s party….do not allow your guests to drink and drive! The roads are a dangerous place on New Year’s Eve, so have a designated driver, or have guests plan to spend the night!