Despite how deeply engrained the New Year’s Eve party is on our collective pop-culture psyches, not everyone plans in advance for Dec. 31. (In New York City, our only collective goal is to avoid Times Square at all costs.) But even if you’re the type who likes to entertain at home, it’s not too late to pull out all the stops and make your New Year’s Eve party one to remember.
At the stroke of midnight, when everyone busts into a round of “Auld Lang Syne,” the last thing you want is to be caught sitting in a corner trying to figure out what the lyrics mean. (More on that here if you’re curious.) All it takes is a few different thematic party concepts to choose from, and that’s where we come in. IBTimes has scoured the Internet for the best NYE party ideas on the Web -- for kids and adults. Just try not to confuse the two.
Parties For Kids
‘Fabulous’ NYE Party Ideas From Spoonful.com
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Traffic for Disney’s Spoonfool.com has exploded over the last year and a half, and it’s not hard to see why. The parenting website packs in a wealth of arts-and-crafty information for all types of occasions, and once you can get past the annoying tie-ins (do we really need the “Brave” party tips?), the site is a great resource for parents looking to throw kid-friendly soirees. For New Year’s Eve, the noted party guru Jillian Tohber Leslie has cobbled together 18 distinct ideas, from an ornament-laced centerpiece and backdrop to a plate of black-and-gold countdown cupcakes. Our favorite? “Lucky Penny,” the coin-headed doll who brings good fortune throughout the year. Lord knows we need it. Full party.
Printable New Year’s Resolutions
Yes, even the youngsters make New Year’s resolutions -- or so says Thirty Handmade Days, a website devoted to creative projects. For the last few years, the site has posted printable activity sheets for kids to write their highlights from the preceding year and share their goals for the upcoming one. Kids enjoy the activities and parents get to save the memories for posterity. It’s one of those “Mom book type of things,” as the site’s creator, Mique, says. Download the sheets here.
Easy Kid-Friendly Parties From CatchMyParty.com
If you’re still scrapped for ides to keep the kids entertained until midnight, CatchMyParty.com offers several easy-to-execute party tips, courtesy of the Laura’s Little Party blog. OK, so cookies and milk is not the most exciting way to spend New Year’s Eve, but the tips here also include pulling out the karaoke machine and decorating your cupcakes with mini disco balls. Nice recovery, Laura. Full party.
Parties For Adults
Thrifty Party Ideas From MoneyCrashers.com
Who says entertaining for New Year’s Eve has to cost a fortune? The frugal farceurs at MoneyCrashers.com have come up with 11 party ideas for NYE hosts on a budget. Writer Clara Edd’s comprehensive list includes thrifty ideas for food, drinks, decorations and games. It’s the perfect quick-and-easy cheat sheet for anyone throwing a last minute bash -- or in this case, maybe a last-minute potluck. Either way, Edd has you covered. The champagne sangria for midnight toasting is sure to keep things hopping at least until after the ball drops. Full party.
Bubbly Beverages From Delish.com
And speaking of champagne, if you can’t get enough this NYE, you might want to stop by Delish.com, a collaboration between Hearst Corp. and Microsoft’s MSN. This year, the website has rounded up 15 champagne-based cocktails to help you ring in 2014 with an appropriate buzz. The list includes cocktail recipes provided by Hearst titles such as Woman’s Day (Sparkling Julep), Martha Stewart Living (Grapefruit Sparkler) and Cosmo (Champagne Dream) among others. Start the New Year off the right way, with lots of bubbles. Full list.
‘Special’ NYE Cocktails From Parade
Finally, if champagne isn’t your thing, the folks at Parade magazine have compiled some great alternatives. Lori Lange, aka the Recipe Girl, posted five cocktails “special enough” for New Year’s Eve, which is to say pretty damn special. Each one comes courtesy of a different food blog, and Lange provides a direct link to each drink recipe. We haven’t tried them yet, but the most promising of the bunch is definitely the cranberry-orange gin fizz with thyme from the blog “Messy Baker.” It’s a mouthful to say, but they had us at gin. Full list.