How to Throw a Great At-Home New Year’s Eve Party

Sometimes the crowds, parking and $20 cocktails aren’t worth the epic picture at midnight. Sometimes, your best New Year’s Eve is at home. More and more, smart and social millennials are opting to stay home for the big night and make more affordable and intimate memories. Here’s a guide to your stay-at-home New Year’s Eve, so you can ring in 2016 with the ones you love.

Game On

Whether you’re throwing a millennial bash or an old-timers get together, the right Wii games or a few PS4 and Xbox One titles will certainly deliver the desired amusement, with laughs to boot. Here are the best Nintendo Wii options, to get you inspired.

  • “Mario Party” – A classic for past Nintendo 64 owners, it combines the board game theme with video game technology as players take turns rolling dice and progress through a board collecting coins and stars. The game launches into a different mini-game after each turn. You can run practice sessions of the mini-games, so there’s no excuse not to be ready for each.
  • “Fortune Street” – For the more traditional folks, “Fortune Street” is an enhanced version of Monopoly with advanced computing replacing basic calculations. Things can get tricky — players can buy shares in properties, for instance — however, there’s a simple mode that scratches that if it’s too complicated for your guests. And if you’re looking to play after the party has died down and the ball has dropped, you can play online with others looking to reclaim their Monopoly glory of yesteryear.

If you own the more popular devices, such as the PS4 or Xbox One, bust a move with these games for guaranteed fun.

  • “Dance Dance Revolution” or “Just Dance” – It may take a few drinks, but exposing the horrible dancing skills of friends (or their secret talent) is quite amusing. DDR requires a dance mat that has corresponding arrows to what flashes on the screen. “Just Dance” uses the Xbox Kinect or PS4 Camera to track your movements, so the dance mat isn’t required. Both games have different variations, but they both supply hilarious moments.

Rotating DJ

Instead of spending the taxing hours building a playlist for the party, or relying on a Pandora station that may irk some of your guests, make it a collaborative effort. Let guests sign up for scheduled time slots to take over as DJ. Or, pass around a tablet and let people add songs to a created playlist on Spotify. Expect a random mix of genres based on the crowd and use it as a way to give people something fun to discuss and connect over.

Big Screen Apps

If you were lucky enough to score a Touchjet Pond for Christmas, it’ll be a standout addition for your NYE party. The Pond turns any surface into an 80-inch projector touch screen. It runs all Android apps with Bluetooth connectivity, so people can take turns running their favorite mobile games on the big screen. It’s a natural fit for parties as four people can participate at the same time and the device itself doesn’t take up much space.

Watch and Don’t Wait

Games require involvement, so make sure a TV is on in the background for constant entertainment. Sports fans will want to keep an eye on the college football playoff games, especially Michigan State vs. Alabama, which starts 8pm ET. Others partake in the tradition of seeing the ball drop live in Times Square. If you’ll need extra seating around the TV, you can always rent chairs ahead of time. Or, enlist a guest or two to bring a few folding chairs.

Eat Your Heart Out

Gluten allergies, expanding waistlines and holiday hangovers, oh my! Keep it light, healthy and allergy-aware with Pinterest recipes and some culinary ambition. Pinterest makes it easy to find recipes that are friendly to the palate and diet restrictions, such as diabetic-friendly desserts and a slew of gluten-free side dishes.

Hors d’oeuvres are great to facilitate mingling, but they can also be dangerous to your carpet. Plus, they’re tough to fill up on, leaving guests tipsy and hungry by the end of the night. Buffet-style meals will keep them filled up all night. We love the idea of a baked potato or pasta bar that is both yummy and filling.

Spread the Love

Don’t let the pressure to get everything done ruin your night. If you already know that party-throwing anxiety gets to you, ease some of the stress by making it a potluck. Invite guests to bring a dish — you’ll save money and a headache.