New Year's Date Ideas
Host a PartyWhy fork over your entire paycheck to spend New Year's Eve dealing with crowds of strangers when you could celebrate with your friends instead? Try a traditional party with hats, balloons, and noisemakers for midnight. Or, go a bit more creative and host a costume party where everyone dresses as an interesting character from the past year, or a enjoy a quirky summer day at the beach theme party. For a more low-key affair, invite a few couples over for a game night. Ask everyone bring one of their favorite holiday foods or drinks and play board games, card games or charades. End the evening with a round of Resolutions: each person writes down five New Year's resolutions on pieces of paper and places them into a bowl or hat; draw the resolutions from the hat and read them aloud as your guests write down their guess for who wrote them. The player with the most correct guesses wins!
Rent ItHead out of town for the night by renting a nearby beach house, cabin or houseboat with friends for New Year's. Not only will this cut down on drunk driving, but it will also eliminate the post-party mess. Check out the local bars and then head back up for a Jacuzzi and champagne at midnight! Or, enjoy the outdoors on a cold winter night with a big bonfire. Pull together a group of friends and find a secluded spot where you can burn pallets and ring in the New Year around a toasty fire. Try a remote beach or desert for some hassle-free fun, but make sure there are plenty of designated drivers and that fires (and drinking) are allowed at your destination of choice.
Drinking without the DrivingNot only are there tons of police waiting to haul intoxicated revelers downtown, but starting the New Year by plowing your Toyota into a crowd of people is really bad karma. Instead, think about signing up for a party bus that will take you around to the night's hotspots or splitting the cost of a limo with friends. There are generally tons of promotions this time of year, so check online to find the best deal!
Theme ParkTheme parks usually ring in the New Year with fireworks, shows, and all kinds of other celebratory activities. If you have a problem with crowds, this is not for you - these places get packed - but if you like the energy of huge gatherings, have a ball!
Party without the Booze at First NightFirst Night started back in 1976 in Boston as an alcohol-free event celebrating local culture through music and dance performances, gallery showings and fireworks. These events have spread to cities throughout the country and many are free or low cost (a wristband will get you into events all across your city). Check online to see if there's a First Night planned in your area.
Road TripPack up the car and get away from the local scene with a road trip to one of our most popular New Year's destinations: Vegas, New York, New Orleans, or Orlando. Make your reservations right away. Most hotels get booked up weeks or even months in advance so plan ahead to avoid disappointment. Pack warm clothes if you're heading to Time Square and be patient: the ball drop at midnight is well worth the wait.
Resolutions ListForget about your list of personal goals for the next year and instead focus on things you'd like to do together. If your boyfriend has talked about skydiving or your girlfriend really wants to visit Europe, put them on the list. This can be a fun activity by a fire, while out stargazing, or even down at the beach during a midnight walk. For a creative keepsake, paint your ideas on a large canvas using acrylics and a few brushes. You can paint yourselves surfing in Hawaii, flying kites at the beach, decorating your first apartment together or any of the other things you've talked about. Hang your "list" on the wall as a year-long reminder.
Ice SkatingThe open-air holiday ice rinks will be closing soon, so take advantage while you can and go for a spin on New Year's Eve! When you're finished, treat your date to a mug of hot cocoa as you watch the other skaters or head home for champagne by the fire.
A Romantic Journey for TwoDrive out to a secluded beach, meadow or park where you can view the city lights and fireworks at midnight. Or book a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh ride for a romantic jaunt through your local park or historic district. Pack some champagne, a thermos of hot cocoa, dessert and a warm blanket so you'll have the perfect excuse to cuddle up.
A Nice DinnerInstead of fighting the crowds for a standard night out, commemorate the New Year with a romantic dinner for two. Stay home and try something creative like making sushi from scratch at in your very own kitchen (tips here), pack a basket for a sunset picnic at the beach, or even try our In the Dark date idea. See A Dinner to Remember for more hints to get your creative juices flowing.
AlternatesSome of our other great ideas that work well for New Year's are the Moonlight Cruise, Cozy Fire under the Stars, Hot Stone Massage, Blackout, and City Lights.
If nothing on this list strikes your fancy, check out local blogs, community guides, and newspapers for events. Be sure to make reservations for public events and accommodations right away and drink responsibly. Happy New Year!
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