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How to Host a New Year's Eve Party

When it comes to ringing in the new year, forgo huge crowds, impossible-to-get reservations and expensive bar packages, and host a party at home instead. To ensure a successful event, here are a few New Year's Eve party ideas that will make your night fun, stress-free and memorable—and keep things going after the clock strikes midnight.

Bar Cart Set Up for New Years

The Bar

The idea of mixing a craft cocktail for every guest sounds like a lively party trick, but in reality it can prevent mingling and keeps people standing around waiting. From spirits to water to wine, have beverages easily accessible at your New Year’s Eve party so guests can help themselves.

Ice Bucket, Cocktail Shaker and Drinks

Create a DIY signature cocktail for the evening. Set up a bar area with the necessary spirits and mixers, placed in decanters for added elegance, and display the recipe on a chalkboard so guests can mix it themselves. Don't forget a mocktail option for designated drivers, moms-to-be and other non-drinkers.

Put beer, wine, champagne and soda in an ice-filled tub, and set champagne flutes, wine glasses and other glassware nearby for self-service.

Hydration is essential for New Year’s Eve party stamina. Set up a water station with a dispenser and glasses. Toss in a cucumber, orange or other fruits and herbs for added color and taste.

The Food

Nothing makes hosting a party less fun than being trapped in the kitchen. With a little pre-planning and a table filled with easy-to-eat finger foods, you can stay social and keep the spread stocked with minimal maintenance.

New Years Eve Party Buffet

Think appetizers, not entrees. Fill a long table with delicious small bites and stack small plates, cocktail napkins and forks so guests can help themselves and continue mingling.

Make the food table more festive by layering textiles and table linens. Top with a variety of serving bowls, trays and other vessels for added texture.

For dessert, continue the DIY approach—and infuse a bit of nostalgia—by setting up a sundae bar, s'mores bar, or other hands-on sweets station.

Our most important tip? Prepare as much food as possible beforehand. It will eliminate stress and ensure you're in party mode when the first guest arrives.

The Entertainment

Good food and drinks, great conversation and an upbeat soundtrack help ensure event success. But institute an activity or two and your party becomes more memorable—and may even provide some luck in the New Year.

Planning a kid-friendly party? Craft a special table for young ones with treats, activities and special New Year's Eve touches, such as plastic champagne flutes filled with sparkling juice or kiddie cocktails. Pro tip: Keep bedtime on schedule by playing last year's ball drop on YouTube and holding the kids’ countdown early in the evening.

Set up a table with paper and pens and have guests write down their wishes for the new year. Share them with the group if you're feeling gutsy, or tie them to balloons and release them into the sky at midnight.

Bring out the games. It will keep the party lively and energetic, encourage interaction with guests who don't know each other, and most likely provide a lot of laughs, ensuring you ring the new year in on the right note.

Hosting your own bash? Share your New Year’s Eve party ideas with us by using the hashtag #CrateHoliday.

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