27 New Year’s Eve Games to Ring In 2022

This past year wasn’t nearly as harrowing as 2020, (thank goodness for vaccines!) Still, with mask mandates and curfews continually being lifted then reinstated, things weren’t exactly as they were pre-pandemic. So, if you want to spend your New Year’s Eve letting loose at home with your inner circle, we totally understand. That’s why our round-up of New Year’s Eve games is chock full of levity, the likes of which will appeal to partygoers both young and old. From bingo and word search that you can play with grandma to “Two Resolutions and a Lie” and “Glow-in-the-Dark Pong Toss” (which might be better served for just you, your cousins and several rounds of holiday cocktails), we’ve got something for everyone.

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1. Who Made The Resolution?

Though it's the perfect game for people who've known each other for eons, it's also a great game to play as an icebreaker. Simply ask your guests to write a resolution on a piece of paper; it can be one they made in years past or something they're willing to conquer this upcoming year. Place the paper in a mason jar, shake it up, then have each person pull one out and guess who made the resolution. The more obscure and random the resolution is, the better.

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2. New Year's Eve Musical Chairs

Cue up the holiday tunes and get the adrenaline pumping with a merry game of musical chairs. The best part is, this classic party game is suitable for everyone, so both adults and kids can partake. Move, the couches and tables out of the way and give yourselves ample room to really move around.

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Happiness is Homemade

3. Printable New Year’s Eve Word Search

This free and family-friendly printable game features a tame assortment of festive words, so even young kids can get in on the search. This ready-made activity will be a hit with adults, too, once the mellowing effect of that last glass of bubbly kick in and the party winds down.

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The Idea Room

4. Tic-toc-tic-tac

This minute-to-win-it game requires nothing more than a couple of handfuls of the popular breath mints, some paper plates and a pair of tweezers. Here’s how it works: Guests compete to move as many Tic Tacs from one plate to another in 60 seconds using only the tweezers. The play proceeds one at a time, and whoever transfers the most mints wins the prize (of knowing they have superior fine motor skills).

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One Little Project

5. New Year’s Resolution Telephone Pictionary

Sharing New Year’s resolutions at a party can feel like an exercise in tedium—unless, that is, you inject some humor into the ritual with this part telephone, part Pictionary game. Resolutions are written down, rendered as art by another guest, guessed by a third and finally returned to their rightful a ludicrous distortion of the original that’s sure to make everyone laugh.

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Happiness is Homemade

6. New Year’s Eve Mad Libs

Turns out this road trip staple is a surefire form of entertainment as a party game, too. Guests take turns filling in the blank to complete a story so absurd and hilarious that you’re going to want to put your drink down when it comes time to read it aloud. Bonus: This game can easily be adapted to include adult humor or kept clean for family-friendly fun.

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The Idea Room

7. The Countdown Knock Down

Spruce up a college party staple—the good old red Solo cup—with some printable clock faces and arrange each cup in its proper giant clock position, and you have the makings of an incredibly absurd minute-to-win-it game that’s guaranteed to be a hit with kids and merry adult guests alike. Spoiler alert: The knock-down component here has nothing to do with bowling, hence the hilarity. (Think: pantyhose with a tennis ball worn on the head.)

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How Does She

8. New Year’s Eve Balloon Countdown

Give every partygoer something to look forward to whenever the big hand reaches 12 with this countdown spectacle. The game involves a little prep work—namely, coming up with a certain number of game ideas to get from the start of the party to the stroke of midnight—but the brainstorming is well worth it (and if you borrow from the rest of this list, your work is practically done). The end result? A new balloon popped at every hour, with a suggestion for novel fun hidden inside.

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The Idea Room

9. Drop Around The Clock

Here’s another minute-to-win-it with a holiday twist that promises to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. One by one contestants attempt to transfer small candies to a paper plate clockface using only a straw (and the power of suction, of course). Inexpensive and easy to set up, this one serves up a pretty sweet and entertaining challenge. Note: Just make sure the candies you choose are not so small they can actually be sucked up into the straw at any angle.

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A Pumpkin and a Princess

10. Glow-in-the-dark Pong Toss

This glow-in-the-dark spin on the classic college drinking game will inspire oohs and aahs from guests of all ages, while making the feat of hand-eye-coordination considerably harder. You can keep it kid-friendly by filling the cups with non-alcoholic beverages, or simply set up two different stations (one with bubbly, the other fruit punch) so guests of all ages can get in on the play.

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11. Two Resolutions And A Lie

Find out how well your friends really know you with a rousing round of two resolutions and a lie (i.e., two truths and a lie with a New Year’s Eve touch). Gather the guests around and go in a circle: Each partygoer will get a chance to make three statements—two of which are actual resolutions and one a convincing imposter—while the remaining guests try to guess the lie. This game is fun at any point in the evening, but it may prove especially useful as an icebreaker when things haven’t quite kicked off yet.

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Alice and Lois

12. New Year Highlights Game

On the face of it, this game sounds incredibly earnest (“biggest lesson learned this year”) but it all comes down to the way you play. Open-ended prompts allow room for interpretation, so players can introduce just the right degree of irony and humor to suit the mood of the soiree. Hint: The more, the better.

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Capturing Joy

13. New Year’s Eve Bingo

As far as party games go, it doesn’t get much tamer than Bingo. That said, time tends to slow to a crawl as midnight draws closer, so this one is a helpful way to keep everyone’s eyes off the clock in the homestretch. But really, this one is just an easy way to entertain little kids while the grown-ups shmooze.

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Happiness is Homemade

14. Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Toss

Like any pong toss, but with a seasonally-appropriate, warm beverage. Spike the hot cocoa for the grown-up crowd, if you wish, or just keep it a dry game. Either way, the reward is a drinkable dessert—and a warm n’ cozy way to ring in the New Year.

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Studio DIY

15. New Year’s Disco Ball Surprise

Why gather around the tube to watch the ball drop when you can make the magic happen at your own New Year’s bash? Craft this super cool and shiny disco ball and fill it with treats for a festive party activity that’s sure to wake everyone up in time for the stroke of midnight.

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16. New Year’s Eve Scavenger Hunt

Try this one out at the beginning of the party as a getting-to-know-you activity for a diverse guest list. Hide various items around the designated party space and pair guests up in teams to search for said items. The scavenger hunt objective is pretty straightforward, but it ensures partygoers from different parts of your life start feeling comfortable with each other right off the bat.

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Organize and Decorate Everything

17. New Year’s Countdown Bags

These countdown bags work in much the same way as the balloon-popping countdown game mentioned above, except that both the prompt and the activity materials await unwrapping. Pluck a new bag and open it up with every passing hour for another novel way to keep partygoers entertained and engaged with one another.

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18. New Year’s Eve Poker Match

Truth: A good poker tournament can last several hours (i.e., the length of your party). But even if the skill level is generally low among your attendees, this game of strategy is a ton of fun and a great way to kill some time before the clock strikes 12.

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Lovely Indeed

19. Diy Instagram Matching Game

Turn the real-life memories of you and your friends into a matching game that celebrates the highs and lows of the last year. (OK, let’s be honest—it’s Instagram, so only the highs.) This is an entertaining and refreshingly personal party game, and since so many of us are addicted to our Insta-feed, it will likely be an instant hit.

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20. New Year’s Eve Champagne Relay Race

Pop the bubbly a little early for this fast-paced, festive game in which players compete in teams to fill a champagne flute with the good stuff as quickly as possible using only a teaspoon. Just be sure to use some cheap bubbles for this one, since all the agitation might result in loss of fizz by the time contestants are ready to drink the prize.

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21. New Year’s Eve Dice Game

This family-friendly dice game is a great way to celebrate happy memories from the outgoing year (because yes, 2021 was rough but surely there were some good things that happened this year). It comes with a free printable and the play includes candy—so the kids in your life will be on board with the trip down memory lane, too.

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22. End Of The Year Charades Game

It’s hard to go wrong with charades, especially when it involves acting out the highs and lows of such an eventful year. Partygoers will laugh, cry and laugh-cry together while playing this straightforward, but endlessly entertaining classic.

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23. New Year’s Eve Twenty Questions

Try your hand at being a mind reader with this classic game that tests you and your partner. All you have to do is think of anything tied to New Year’s Eve (the ball drop, Times Sqaure and “Auld Lang Syne” come to mind). Your partner then has to figure it about by asking 20 questions, to which you can only respond with a “Yes” or “No.” If you have decades-long New Year’s Eve memories at the top of mind, great. If you’re only two New Year’s Eves into your relationship, even better. You can get points by thinking of small details—the delicious cocktail you had on the night you met or the color of the hat you put on right before the countdown began—and see if they’ll get it.

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24. New Year’s Eve Do Or Drink

Like “Truth or Dare,” but boozier. You can always purchase a game of “Do or Drink” online, but why not make your cousins squirm by writing out dares you know they’ll hate? Careful though, they may ask you to literally kiss a frog in return or down five shots of tequila.

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25. The Name Game

This one can be a little tricky, so pay attention. Basically, how this game works is: You and your loved ones sit in a circle. The first player will say the name of a famous person and then the next player has to name a celebrity whose first name starts with the first letter of the previous celebrity’s last name. Use famously mononymous celebs such as Cher, Sting or Madonna to raise the stakes.

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26. New Year’s 'jeopardy'

No other game brings out the vicious competitor in everyone quite like Jeopardy! And with good reason. Clearing a category in this famed trivia game not only means you’re smart, but it also means you clearly have the potential to go on the show and blow everyone out of the water, you just choose not to, obviously. Keep the competition at home with a downloadable, New Year’s version of the game.

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27. New Year’s Name That Tune

End the year on a high note with some holiday music. All you have to do is hum the first notes of a popular New Year’s song (throw in some Christmas tunes in there too) and have your family guess it within 20 seconds. Whoever guesses correctly gets a point and goes up next. To make things really festive, give yourselves permission to fully belt out each correctly guessed tune. (We suggest beginning with Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas to really get the ball rolling.)