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Ideas for New Year's Eve Parties

Updated on December 10, 2009

New Year’s Eve is probably the biggest party night of the year in the U.S. – maybe in the entire world! For years, my husband and I attended a huge dance and party at a club we belong to. Now, however, we prefer something a little more intimate - a get-together with less than the 200 or so revelers at the club. This year, for example, we’re having an oyster roast/low country boil at my daughter’s house. My daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, and closest friends will be in attendance.

My daughter, Shannon, has a large playroom filled with all kinds of toys. One of my best friends has a 13-year-old daughter who will help entertain the younger children. The adults will do most of their partying on the patio and in the living room.

Below are some of the other New Year’s parties we’ve held in the past. They might give you some ideas for hosting your own celebration!

Covered dish supper: For this, my husband cooked all the meat on the smoker. Guests brought appetizers, vegetables, bread, salad, and desserts. I coordinated the dishes to make sure we didn’t have all of one kind and not enough of the others. When the meat came off the smoker, we were ready to eat. No one had to miss any party time cooking.

Buffet breakfast: This is a great way to get everyone together after a night of celebrating elsewhere. Even if the guests don’t attend the same party, they can all meet at your place afterwards – like at one a.m. There are lots of make-ahead breakfast casseroles that can be refrigerated and then popped into the oven for 30 minutes. Serve these, along with pastries, fresh fruits, rolls, and biscuits. Offer coffee, hot tea, and champagne mimosas to drink.

Camp out: This was an awesome party! Fellow hubber Randy Godwin and his wife used to have these at their big farm pond every year. Everyone would bring their campers or tents, and we’d set up a porta-potty. We’d cook out, roast marshmallows over an open fire, and play guitars and sing. Some of the guests would do a little night fishing for catfish. One year, we had the party in our horse pasture. It was much the same as Randy’s party, except that we added fireworks. No one had to worry about driving home because they spent the night!

Dining out: If you have just a few couples you’d like to spend time with on New Year’s Eve, agree to meet at a restaurant for dinner. After the meal, invite everyone back to your house for coffee, dessert, and after-dinner drinks. You could have everything ready before you leave for the restaurant. When you get back home, turn on the coffee maker. Be sure to have some Bailey’s to go with the coffee!

More tips:

If your guests will be bringing their kids, hire a babysitter to entertain the children in another part of the house. Have some DVDs on hand for the kids to watch, along with some snacks and drinks.

Leave your Christmas decorations up until New Year’s Day. That way, your house will be all decorated for the party without any extra work.

If you’re planning a sit-down dinner party, choose dishes that don’t have to be watched closely so that you can spend time with your guests instead of in the kitchen. A great menu for this is a crown roast of pork, a tossed green salad, roasted potatoes, broccoli casserole, and rolls. All these cooked dishes can be placed in the oven and forgotten until the timer goes off, and they’re practically fool proof. Buy rolls that are pre-baked so that you can warm them in the microwave.

For a buffet, keep everything warm in chafing dishes. To keep cold foods cold, place dishes in a larger dish of crushed ice.

Meats cooked on a smoker don't have to be watched, and they ALWAYS turn out delicious! These include cured hams, Boston butts, crown roasts of pork, turkeys, and pork loins.

Oyster roasts and low-country boils are also great ideas for parties. I devoted an entire article to each. You'll find the links below.

Make sure you have a sober driver on hand. You might need to drive a guest or two home after the party.


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    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks a bunch for reading, Juliette!

    • Juliette Morgan profile image

      Juliette Morgan 7 years ago

      Hi I'm planning for this year as I am hosting for 10 family members, so unfortunately I can't get away with the covered supper dishes!! I like your idea of smoked meat and accompaniments though and possibly the electric smoker, thanks good info.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Congrats to you on a great party! Ours was fun, also.

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 8 years ago

      Just a follow up...Our party went well but congrats on the 2009 hubber of the year...See AEvans hub...Well done

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Chimmy!

      Your kind words are appreciated, JAne!

      Well, come on over, Happy!

    • profile image

      Happy 8 years ago

      Hi Habee....thankyou so much for the tips....i was in search of such ideas and there you go...... i am sure it would be wonderful at your plac...wish i could join in....

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 8 years ago from Texas

      Boy that food looks good, you made me hungry. Good ideas and a well written hub.

    • chimmychan profile image

      chimmychan 8 years ago

      So yummy!Your ideas are fun, I'll share it with the rest of the family, they might want to try one of those.Happy New Year!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Citrus. I bet you're a hoot at a party!

    • profile image

      Citrus000 8 years ago

      Yummy! I bet you make some pretty amazing meals. Thank you. Have fun and be safe this New Years!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Well, we're lucky here in that it's not usually freezing on New Year's. Come on down!

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl


      Count me in-oh it's so cold here;the food sounds delicious-I'm fascinated by the idea of eating outdoors at new years!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      ME, too, Beth! So Glad you stopped by for a visit!

    • beth811 profile image

      beth811 8 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas

      Hi, habee. Food pics made me drool here. How I wish I had that kind of preparation...

      Thanks for the tips.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Jen! Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a kind comment!

    • jenniferhughs profile image

      jenniferhughs 8 years ago

      Nice party ideas. Thanks.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      The more the merrier! Come on down! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Dao Hoa profile image

      Dao Hoa 8 years ago

      The foods on your table look soooo delicious. Do you have room for one more guest?

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Cosette, come on down. I'll show you some Southern hospitality!

      Hi, Cags! Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for reading!

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 8 years ago from USA or America

      Very nicely written Hub Habee. Thank you for the ideas. :)

    • profile image

      cosette 8 years ago

      can i hang out at your house? :) great hub!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Maita! Thanks for the good tidings and for reading. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      oh I am hungry now, nice ideas and great picture, hope you enjoy it with your husband, And heres my feng shui good luck for you and your family in 2010, Maita

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Zsuzsy, you're welcome any time! We're just a block off the interstate. It's supposed to be 77 here today, too. We have a spare bedroom - come on down!

      Hubber-09, I'm glad you got some ideas from the hub.Thanks for reading!

      Truth, thanks for stopping by!

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 8 years ago from Michigan

      Great tips for the holidays, thanks.

    • hubber-2009 profile image

      hubber-2009 8 years ago from India

      this year i can celeberate new year differently with your tips...

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      When's the party Habee? If it's warm out at your place I can be packed all within an hour or two. I can bring the ice:):):).

      I think I need to go make myself some lunch because I drooled all over the keyboard once I saw your final pics.

      As always great hub

      regards Zsuzsy

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Carolina. It's a real hoot!

      Thanks for reading, Mtsi! Hope your party is a success!

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 8 years ago

      habee - These are indeed great ideas...Your timing for this hub is incredible since we are hosting a NYears eve party this year...We elected to have everyone bring their favorite starter food...thanks

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I love that camp ground party idea!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Actually, we're having this year's party at the home of my daughter, the nurse. She works in a doctor's office, so she gets holidays off. Good to see you, Tammy!

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 8 years ago

      Great Ideas...but you know us Nurses we always seem to have to work holidays. Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Dohn. We have had a couple of cold New Year's when it got down into the upper 20s or 30s. We had a big bonfire and generators to provide heat. Good to see you!

      HH, you are always welcome to attend my parties! We even have a spare bedroom, and you can choose which dog you want to sleep with! lol.

      Howdy, Ethel. You and HH should get together and fly over! Thanks for reading.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I would love the camping idea but it is so cold here at that time of year

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Hello, habee, and thank you for a very nice hub. Can I come?

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Great ideas habee. I especially liked the camping-out idea. If any of us camped out now, we'll be frozen fish sticks come breakfast time :D (Tomorrow's temperature is 1 degree at sunrise)

      I've been to the Southwest this time of the year and I must say, it is amazing. Thanks again!


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