5 Fun Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve

New Years 2024

Last Updated on December 29, 2023

Forget online quizzes. The ultimate personality test is New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve can look different depending on where you are in life. If you still love getting dolled up and staying out until dawn, there are plenty of parties with prix-fixe menus and complimentary toasts of (probably cheap) champagne at midnight. If you’re more settled, New Year’s might mean the whole family falling asleep in front of the TV.

Right now, I’m somewhere in between. For me, raging on New Year’s Eve feels kinda “been-there-done-that,” (serious partiers call it amateur night for a reason), but I want to welcome good energy into 2024 with a fun celebration.

If you’re like me and want a memorable New Year’s Eve low on stress but high on enjoyment, here are five of my favorite ideas you can do on almost any budget!

Hit the beach

Why wouldn’t you plan your New Year’s Eve at the beach when you’re someplace warm? If you’re on holiday, check with the hotel or resort to find out who’s hosting the best beachside celebrations. Or rally a group of friends and spread out on any public beach with a bunch of cozy blankets. Bring flashlights, wine, music, munchies, and ta-da, it’s a party. Bonus idea: check ahead to see if bonfires are legal at your designated beach. If they are, get permission in advance and make it a fiery fiesta complete with s’mores. You can even invite that guy who plays the guitar if he promises not to go full Ken.

Throw a (Real) Dinner Party

new years party

I’m not talking about everyone bringing something over in plastic like it’s another night of watching “The Bachelor.” I mean planning a menu and having a proper dinner party with appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Get ambitious with an opening round of hors d’oeuvres, themed cocktails (the ball-dropper?), and table place cards. Playing hostess is fun and makes you feel like a proper grownup. And whether you do all the cooking yourself, have others help, or bring in a caterer, don’t pressure yourself to make things perfect. Even a deflated soufflé is still delicious!

 Ring It In with Live Music

Concerts make great, full-package New Year’s Eve parties because they’ve got everything you need: a hyped crowd, good music, and a stocked bar. New Year’s Eve concert-goers are always wildly energetic, so when the band or singer does the countdown, everyone usually makes new friends by hugging, dancing, or kissing at midnight. One of the best things about choosing a concert for New Year’s is that you can do it on almost any budget: splash out on expensive tickets for a major star or pay a small cover charge at your local bar to listen to a band. Either way, you’ll be ringing the new year in with good vibes.

Find a (Hassle-Free) Way to Watch the Festivities 

This one requires a little creativity. Almost every city has a major New Year’s Eve spectacle, but the last thing you want to deal with is enormous crowds and long waiting times on your feet. Instead, find a way to enjoy it from a distance and without all the bother, whether that means figuring out which friend’s rooftop has the best views of the local fireworks or whose office window might overlook Times Square. New Year’s Eve is an exercise in ingenuity. Those who figure out how to work around the craziness win!

Host a Spa Night

spa night

Here’s an idea. Instead of waking up with a hangover and last night’s makeup still caked on, what about starting January 1st exfoliated, moisturized, and glowing? Gather all your gal pals and spend the night in your robes doing facemasks, scrubs, mani-pedis – the works. Make each treatment its own station so everyone can rotate. Light candles, play soft music, and dim the lights to give it that authentic spa energy. Splurge on a nice bottle of champagne for a midnight toast before everyone departs for a full night of beauty sleep. Your face will thank you for it!

At the end of the day…

New Year’s is what you make it. Whether it’s a formal evening out or a casual gathering at home, the important thing is to keep it easy and do something you enjoy. Got it? Good, now, onto those New Year’s resolutions. I’m starting my list. What are some of yours?

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