Here’s your guide to celebrating New Year’s Eve at home and ringing in 2021

Courtesy of Jan Antonin Kolar

By Brooke Thompson

2021 is almost here and we are looking forward to welcoming the new year! While you may not be throwing a big bash or attending any parties, you can still ring in 2021 with your family. Try out these ideas on how to create a spectacular New Year’s Eve party at your house.

Ideas on How to Create an Amazing New Year’s Eve Party

In terms of parties, there are three main things you need: decorations, food, and entertainment. If you are unsure where to start, the following list should give you some ideas on how to throw an amazing New Year’s Eve party that will dazzle your family.

Decorations You Will Need

You can’t have a party without some decorations! Even if the celebration is just with your family, liven up your living room or dining room with these must-have New Year’s Eve essentials.

New Year’s Banners

Add some festivity to your house with the 4ct Sparkling New Year’s Banners from Party City for $7.99. The foil fringe banner will make an excellent table decoration while the three other banners will add some pizazz to your party room. If you plan on making a photo booth, the banners could also be used as part of a backdrop.

Gold and Black Streamers

Gold Crepe Paper
Crepe Streamer by Celebrate It™

Grab some gold and black streamers from Michael’s for only $3.99. These will brighten up the room and make it feel a little festive for New Year’s Eve. Take some scissors and curl the edges to add some flair to your streamers. Also, any leftover streamers can be used to create a nice backdrop for a photo booth.


Noise Makers
Metallic Fringe Squawkers 8ct for $2.49

What better way to ring in 2021 than with noisemakers. Whether you choose Party City’s Metallic Fringe Squawkers or their Black and Gold New Year’s Eve Noisemakers, both make great accessories for a New Year’s selfie or as a photo booth prop.

New Year's Eve Noisemaker
Black & Gold New Year’s Eve Noisemaker for $0.99

Black and Gold Plates & Cutlery

Black New Year Plate
Disco New Year’s Eve Lunch Plates 8ct

Add some pizazz to your table with these Disco New Year’s Eve plates from Party City for $3.49. These plates come in a pack of eight and will match the decorations you hung up earlier while tying the room together. Be sure to throw in some matching napkins and silverware for the occasion.

Champagne Flutes

Four Champagne Glasses
4ct Gold Champagne Flute – Spritz™

You can’t properly celebrate the New Year without making a New Year’s toast. Grab a pack of the Gold Champagne Flutes from Target for only $4. Their glittery design is perfect for your favorite beverage and celebrating a year of new beginnings.

If you already have some flutes but want to give them a festive look, get some Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Gloss, gold or silver glitter, and a paintbrush. Take your paintbrush and coat the outside of the flutes with the mod podge. (Make sure the coat is even to ensure the glitter stays on). While the mod podge is still wet, sprinkle the glitter over the cup. Next, let your glasses dry for at least two hours. Once the glasses are dry, add another layer of the mod podge to ensure the glitter stays on. Allow them to dry again before using them.

Headband or Party Hat

New's Year Eve Essentials
Box of 5 New Year’s Eve Party Kit – Spritz™

Accessorize your New Year’s Eve outfit with party hats or a headband. You can pick up a box of five New Year’s Eve hats and tiaras from Target for only $10. Be sure to use these for your photo booth later!

Or, if you are feeling extra creative, make some for your loved ones. To make a New Year’s Eve headband, what you’ll need is some cardboard, silver or gold spray paint, glue, silver/gold wire, a glue gun, a spool of gold/silver rick rack, a headband, and a paintbrush.

First, cut your design out of the cardboard. This could be a 2021 sign, a “Happy New Year” sign, or simply some stars. Take your paintbrush to spread the glue over the top of your design before applying the glitter. Next, cut a 10 in. and a 12 in. piece of wire. Then, wrap the rick rack over the top and bottom of the headband before gluing in the two wires with your glue gun. Continue wrapping the rick rack around the headband to secure the wires before attaching your design to them.

What Types of Food You Could Serve

What’s even more important than decorations is food. But with so many options for a New Year’s Eve feast, where do you even begin? No worries! We got you covered. If you’re looking for ideas or a starting point on what food to make for your New Year’s Eve celebration, look no further than the list below.

Sparkling Grape Juice

Sparkling Grape Juice is the cornerstone of a New Year’s Eve party. Be sure to stop at your local grocery store and pick up a bottle of Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice or Martinelli’s Sparkling Grape Juice. Be sure to pour it in the glitter champagne flutes you made earlier!


If you’re unable to find some sparkling grape juice, a good substitution is punch. There are great recipes out there for non-alcoholic punches that your family will enjoy. If you need a few ideas, here are a few delicious punches to start with:

Finger Food

Box Set of Food
Mifune New York’s Osechi Box Set

While you wait to ring in the New Year, munch on some finger food. For appetizers, why not make a five-layered bean dip served with chips, some deviled eggs, and boneless wings? For the main course, make a pot of chili or throw some chicken in a crockpot and make barbecue chicken.

If you’re not feeling like cooking, why not order take-out? Select restaurants around New York City are offering New Year’s Eve specials. For example, Mifune New York is offering a Special “Osechi” (Traditional Japanese New Year’s Food) Box Set. This box set serves two to four people and includes 21 dishes, such as Alaskan King Crab-Turnip Ceviche with caviar, Foie Gras Hatcho Miso Terrine, Roasted Rohan Duck Breast, Miyazaki Wagyu A5 Rank with winter truffle and takikomi rice, Gratin of N.E. Whole Lobster, and Chocolate Gâteau.

This box is $270 and can be pre-ordered by December 26th. Mifune also has a delivery and pick-up option on New Year’s Eve. You can pick up your order between 3pm -7pm or have it delivered to your home anywhere below 125th Street between 3pm – 7pm.


What’s a New Year’s feast without some desserts? While you and your family are waiting for the New Year to come, make some tasty treats to snack on. Bake some sugar cookies and decorate them with sprinkles and candy, melt a chocolate bar and dip some pretzels into it before adding sprinkles. Or, bake your favorite flavor of cake.

What Kind of Activities You Could Do

Flute Glasses
Courtesy of VisionPic.net

Watching the Ball Drop

Count down to 2021 by watching the iconic ball drop in Times Square. Due to the Covid-19, the New Year Ball Drop will be looking a little different this year. In years prior, thousands would gather to watch live performances, the iconic ball drop, and confetti spilling all over Times Square. While the New Year Ball Drop will still happen this year, it will be a virtual event that will be broadcasted all over the US.


Grab a microphone and let out your inner Beyoncé or Ariana Grande as you sing your heart out to your favorite tunes. Or, if you want to add some extra excitement for the night, make it a competition to see who sang the best. Be sure to give a prize to the winner!

Make a Photo Booth

Hang up a gold backdrop, put on some oversized black sunglasses, those New Year’s Eve themed headbands you made earlier, and other props to create a photo booth. Take pics with you and your family to commemorate the moment. Like karaoke, you can turn this into a contest to see who can make the silliest photo, the most glamorous photo, and the most creative photo.

Movie Marathon

Pop some popcorn in the microwave and have a movie marathon. While the New Year’s Eve movie genre isn’t near as popular as Halloween/Christmas movies, there are still some great ones to enjoy with the family. There’s the iconic Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown while there’s other surprising New Year’s movie hits, like Ghostbusters 2 and Sleepless in Seattle.

Make a New Year’s Resolution

What’s a New Year’s Eve party without making some New Year’s resolutions? Find some paper and a pen and write down your New Year’s resolution. Then, go around in a circle and share it with your loved ones.

If you want to try and accomplish your New Year’s resolution this year, check out this planner by Day Designer. Unlike most planners, the Artfully Abstracted planner combines a To-Do page format with your daily schedule on to one page. It also includes goal setting worksheets, an annual overview, and monthly calendars that will help you keep up with your progress throughout the year.


Liven up the evening with some party games. Sit in a circle and play charades. Grab a deck of cards and teach your kids some fun card games, like Go Fish, Cheat, or Trash. Or even grab some Apples to Apples and laugh over the hilarious cards your family chooses.

This story first appeared on our sister publication newyorkfamily.com.

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