Right now, attending wild parties or dancing round the pub to ring in the new year seems like quite a distant memory. At the end of 2020, we found ourselves thrown back into lockdown, and while 2021 is hopefully ending on a more positive note, plenty of us are still facing cancelled plans or feel wary of large gatherings. So how can you celebrate New Year’s Eve at home and still have a great time?
Creating a sense of occasion is one key factor – after spending so many evenings in our own homes after the past couple of years, the prospect of a cosy night in isn’t particularly novel, so try to add a little sprinkle of excitement to the evening. Here are some ideas for how to make the most of New Year’s Eve when you’re staying in.
7 ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home
Dress to impress
We’re all for wearing comfy old leggings and oversized jumpers when slouching round the house, but if you want to add a frisson of excitement to proceedings, then dressing up for New Year’s Eve is the way forward. That doesn’t have to mean a full-on sequin dress – although if it does, we fully support you (and have plenty of partywear ideas) – it could be as simple as a lovely, matching loungewear set that’s free from crumbs and ketchup stains, teamed with a sparkly pair of showstopper earrings.
Cook up a storm
Hopefully you’ve just about finished up the leftover turkey and Christmas pudding by now, so why not cook something completely different for New Year – an Indian feast, perhaps, or these easy-peasy but delicious Thai recipes? To avoid one person being lumbered with all the cooking, each member of the household could take a dish, or you could outsource some of the legwork by ordering a restaurant meal delivery kit that you whip up at home. M&S has also brought back its brilliant dine-in for £20 deal – which includes a bottle of fizz – for New Year. Never went to set foot in your kitchen again? We fully support a simple cheese and wine night or outsourcing it all and ordering a takeaway (just don’t leave it too late to order!)
If you want to get in the party spirit without actually leaving the house, then Eventbrite has a whole host of online events happening on New Year’s Eve, including music, trivia and dance parties. Some theatres are also still running performances online, including on December 31st. As for fireworks, you can enjoy the London New Year fireworks – which are closed to the public this year – live on BBC One (they’ve also got performances from Years & Years, Kylie and Pet Shop Boys).
Host your own online party
Okay, we know the words ‘Zoom party’ probably send a chill down your spine, but there are ways to give the old format a fresh lick of paint for New Year’s Eve. For example, you could ask each guest to send you their funniest photo from 2021 and make a slideshow, or ask them to send you their New Year’s resolution ahead of the Zoom call, and then play a game where everyone has to guess who’s resolution it is (the more niche the better!). You can also set up a countdown to midnight clock on a separate device, so it appears on the Zoom screen and adds a sense of excitement to proceedings. And, if you’re still up for a quiz, we have quiz round ideas, plus inspiration for picture and music rounds too.
Throw a cocktail night
For most of us, a booze drink at home means cracking open a bottle of wine or beer, so why not mix things up (quite literally) and create your own cocktails? A delicious champagne cocktail, enticing bramble tipple or refreshing raspberry Watkins will definitely make your evening feel more special than usual. Shops such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencer also sell ready-mixed bottles of cocktails now, in which case all you need is a fancy glass and some ice!
Be super self-indulgent
Have you spent the whole festive period – and indeed, the whole of 2021 – working hard to look after everyone else? If so, treat 31st December as your ultimate night of indulgence. We’re talking self-care to the max – a candlelit bath with one of our favourite uplifting novels, or a pampering session in front of the telly with face masks, pedicures, the works. To be extra kind to yourself, have a mini digital detox – the last thing you need is people showing off on social media about their oh-so-fabulous New Year’s plans (which might not even be that wonderful in reality).
Catch up on festive telly
There was so much great TV on this Christmas that it’s unlikely you managed to watch all of it – so now is the time to make a plan and hit BBC iPlayer, All 4 and Netflix with a vengeance. The good thing about Christmas telly is that most of it is family-friendly, so you can watch with the kids or your in-laws without any cringey moments. Click here to see what’s worth catching up on. A movie marathon is also a great shout for New Year – if you’re short of ideas check out A Star Is Born on iPlayer, Little Women on Netflix or, if you’re watching with kids, Paddington 2.
Now you’ve got ideas for how to celebrate New Year at home all that’s left to say is – have a good one!