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How to Throw The Best New Year’s Eve Party: 5 Key Essentials

Dec 19, 2012 11:28PM ● By Erin Frisch

How to Throw The Best New Year’s Eve Party: 5 Key Essentials

Going out for New Year’s Eve can be kind of pricey. Most restaurants charge around $100 per person for the night, and sometimes all that gets you are some appetizers passed around and a champagne toast at midnight. Hosting a New Year’s Eve party will not only save you and your friends money but also offer a level of intimacy that a bar or restaurant can’t provide. Read on for five necessities for throwing the best New Year’s Eve party ever, plus some recommendations to keep it easy on the wallet.

Hors d'oeuvres

Since most people will have had dinner hours before the party starts, it’s a good idea to have some nibbles around to keep them satisfied until the ball drops. Consider bite-sized goodies that are easy to hold and eat over a cocktail napkin. This way, you won’t have to worry about plates and serving spoons. Try meat or vegetable skewers with a dipping sauce. Cheese and crackers are a quick, easy choice as well. Or whip up a batch of “pigs in blankets” with cocktail hot dogs and premade pastry crust. If you want to spend less on appetizers, make it a BYO favorite appetizer event. Ask each guest to bring a small appetizer like the ones above, a fruit and nut plate, or veggies and hummus.

Champagne Flutes

No New Year’s Eve shindig is complete without a midnight champagne toast. Don’t drop the ball by having too few flutes to go around. There are a number of options for disposable plastic champagne flutes; you can scoop them up at your local market or retail or party store. If you’re willing to spend a little more, buy inexpensive champagne glasses and use a gold or silver marker from a craft store to stencil each guest’s initials onto a glass for an easy party favor to take home.


When it comes to the champagne, there are lots of options. If you don’t want to provide all the bubbly yourself, set a price point and ask each guest to bring a bottle within that range. If you want an even more economical option, and your guests are open-minded, consider serving champagne sangria. When it’s time for the toast, use a large punch bowl to combine a 32-ounce bottle of apple juice, a 12-ounce can of frozen cranberry juice concentrate, a cup of orange juice, and some slices of fruit (apples, oranges, kiwis–whatever looks good to you). Then stir and pour one and a half liters of champagne over the mixture. This will serve 12 people so scale up or down as needed!

Party Favors and Noisemakers

Ring, rattle, or blow out the old year and welcome in the new with traditional party items. They might seem unnecessary, but everyone still loves New Year’s Eve party items such as noisemakers, hats, tiaras, boas, and horns. Pick some up inexpensively from a local party store (or order online if you have time) and put them in a big decorative bowl for guests to take as they wish. You could even have a craziest noisemaker contest. Guests who want to participate each bring a noisemaker that they made at home or purchased somewhere. Stop the music and conversation shortly before midnight and have each guest play their noisemaker. Everyone votes and the winner gets a small prize.

A Playlist

No get-together—let alone a New Year’s Eve party—is complete without some background music. Use a music streaming program like Spotify to put together a playlist for the evening. Ask each guest beforehand to send you their three top songs (either from 2012 or their all-time favorites, depending on your theme), and use the program to search for each song and compile a playlist. Don’t forget to add “Auld Lang Syne” so you’re ready when the clock strikes twelve! If your guests have the same music streaming program as you have, offer to “share” the playlist with everyone for a memorable favor from the evening.

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