Hosting: Last Minute New Year's Party

At some point between holiday shopping, Hannukah, and Christmas, you lost track of the fact you don't have plans for New Year's Eve. Or maybe you do, but it's come to your attention how terrible the plans are-- a gross, boozy night with a bunch of strangers and basics / a party that is really for your parents and family friends, with you being the only one who outgrew the kids table / a night of hanging out alone at home, watching netflix romcoms, until you suddenly realized that that's not how you wanted to start off the new year-- you know, that kind of thing. We've all been there. So now, here you are, at the eleventh hour, trying to put together something to do for New Year's Eve.

Here's your quick and dirty guide to the most last minute New Year's Eve party ever.


Do you have a location? You need a location. Preferably not a 7-11. Probably your house or the house of a friend who had equally woeful plans until you hatched this party idea.

  • Figure out timing-- when is the venue free?
  • Schedule in time for tidying up.
  • Pick areas of the house that are party locations and which areas will be off limits to guests.

Invite list

A party needs at least 3 people, and no two of those three can be in a relationship-- because that's just awkward. 5 or more people is preferable.
  • Invite people who haven't explicitly made their plans known
  • Make sure to emphasize the chillness of your event-- people don't make big, fancy commitments last minute
  • Don't invite friends who are exes. I hope I shouldn't have to say this, but especially when a get-together is small and has alcohol involved, don't do that stuff. You're just instigating crap at that point.
  • Even though your invitee pool is probably slim, don't forget to try to get a good group of people with decent chemistry together. 


Have something for people to eat. No one wants to sit in a room and starve for New Years. Chips, appetizers, etc. with some drinks-- don't make it complicated. Serving dinner? Consider buying food so cooking is not all in your hands, or make it a potluck.
  • Chips and dips
  • Veggie platters
  • Potluck it up for a dinner
  • Hot appetizers like frozen-then-baked taquitos are great
  • Get enough drinks for everyone


You don't want guests to be bored, and you're probably not just going to sit and watch the broadcast of New Year's Eve in Times Square ALL NIGHT so it's good to have some stuff to do. Here are some ideas.
  • Have a TV show in common? One that you loved, or one that you all missed? Marathon it on Netflix, Hulu, or iTunes. Harper's picks: How To Get Away With Murder, The Spoils of Babylon, Selfie (still salty about its cancellation but the remaining episodes are still going up on hulu!), Broad City, Jane The Virgin, Brooklyn Nine Nine, The Mindy Project, Agents of Shield
  • How about a movie? It's a good way to kill time and maybe even get caught up on the Oscar noms (or just any movie you missed in 2014). Harper's picks: Boyhood, Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, Lego Movie, Grand Budapest Hotel, How To Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street, The Fault In Our Stars, The One I Love
  • Board games! Play yours or ask guest to bring some of theirs!
  • New Year's Themed Party Games! Tinyprints has a really good listing of New Year's Eve Party games.
  • Make a good playlist to run throughout the party or pick a great Pandora station.
That's it, you've done it! Now add some metallic decor, clean up, and get going on your non-lonely, last minute NYE party!


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