17 New Year’s Party Ideas to Usher In 2023
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.
The holiday season is in full swing, meaning you’ve likely enjoyed weeks of food, festivities and family gatherings by now…but don’t worry, the end is in sight. Yep, we’re talking about New Year’s Eve—the final stop on the party train. And considering all the fun that happens beforehand, it’s easy to leave planning for this last hurrah to the last minute. But don’t panic—our list of New Year’s party ideas has something for everyone, whether you want to host a Pinterest-worthy event, a cozy and casual gathering, or a swanky soiree.
1. Host a Pajama Party
Expensive party dresses and sky-high heels are so overrated. Make it a cozy and casual New Year celebration by throwing a pajama party, so friends can watch the ball drop, play games and drink as much Champagne as they want without having to change out of their favorite pair of sweats.
2. Throw a Glitter Disco Party
If a loungewear-only shindig isn’t your speed, we suggest you go all in on glam with an extra glittery bash instead. Match the sparkle in your guests’ Champagne glasses with this DIY disco ball from the Crafted Sparrow, plus a boatload of glitter filled balloons and confetti poppers for decor. Oh, and be sure to make the theme clear on the invites so partygoers can dress accordingly. (Hello, sequins!)
3. Have a Countdown Wall
No need to shell out for a photo booth rental, friends, because this DIY party idea, courtesy of The House That Lars Built, promises to reward all persons in attendance with a reel of Insta-worthy shots…every hour on the hour (and anytime in between). Best of all, the New Year’s themed backdrop is a breeze to craft with just a few basic materials (think: cardboard, card stock and gold spray paint).
5. Gather Around a Backyard Fire Pit
If you’ve got an outdoor space at your disposal, New Year’s Eve is the perfect occasion to string up some fairy lights and cozy up around the fire pit. Plus, when the guests have dispersed, you’ll be able to retreat into a confetti-free living room and save the backyard clean-up for the morning (‘cause let’s be honest, there’s a good chance you’ll feel like slacking after that last glass of bubbly).
6. Host a Game Night Party
Why force your guests to awkwardly mill about looking for someone to make small talk with when you can make it a game night bash that has icebreakers built into the itinerary? Poker, Cards Against Humanity…there are countless adult party games to choose from, and if you prefer to keep things a little more casual—you know, so as to not get stuck being cruise director for the night—you can always set up game stations that folks can rotate through at their leisure. Either way, fun is guaranteed.
7. Throw a Winter Wonderland Party
Yep, the weather outside is still frightful…so why not keep the holiday vibes alive whilst capitalizing on the aesthetic appeal of the season with a winter wonderland themed party? To set the scene, simply deck the halls with white Christmas lights, silver and blue party decorations, hanging snowflakes and fake snow. Then, serve guests a mug of spiked hot chocolate at the door and you’re good to go.
8. Serve Fancy Finger Foods
A sit-down meal is a major undertaking when you’re entertaining a larger group; it’s also a tad stuffy for such a festive occasion. Opt for a self-serve buffet of elevated hors d’oeuvres and fancy finger foods so your guests can enjoy bite-sized, gourmet fare while working the crowd, and you can actually hang out with your chosen company, instead of just clearing their plates. (Psst: You can find some of our favorite finger food recipes here.)
9. Set Up a New Year’s Resolution Jar
Set out a mason jar and a stack of blank paper scraps so guests can anonymously write down their goals, resolutions and wishes for the coming year. It’s an inspiring and fun activity that, unlike sharing resolutions round table-style, doesn’t require anyone to lay themselves bare before a group. (Your coworker might not want to advertise his resolution to attend marriage counseling, for example.)
10. Have a Spa Party
If you’re feeling low key this New Year, forgo the party poppers and the packed bars and unwind with an at-home spa party instead. You can melt away the stress of the previous year by hosting a small spa-themed get-together with your closest friends, complete with plush robes and slippers, and an assortment of luxe skincare products. Ah, we’re feeling more relaxed already.
11. Make DIY Noisemakers
Dollar store party favors are snoozy. Make your own instead, and you’re sure to impress your guests and boost your Pinterest following in the process. These sparkly and oh-so festive noisemakers from A Night Owl do just what they promise to do, and they look darn good doing it too. (And maybe it’s just us, but we’d take the sweet sound of jingling bells over the harsh bray of a kazoo any day.)
12. Host a Fancy Ball
That’s right—Halloween isn’t the only holiday for dressing up. Host a dress-up party where all guests must arrive wearing their finest garb and your New Year’s costume party is sure to be the talk of the town. Take things up a notch by making the soirée themed (Great Gatsby, masquerade or Hollywood glamor are all fun ideas.)
13. Make a Montage
There’s no better time to wax nostalgic than the New Year and when it comes to chronicling the highs and lows of the past year, a photo or video montage leaves plenty of room for sentimentality and creativity alike. That said, be sure to consider the crowd when determining the content of your poignant display (i.e., some of the more personal stuff might be better suited to an audience of close girlfriends, and not your brand new boss).
14. Have a Movie Marathon Party
Attention, homebodies: A chill night spent binge-watching movies with your besties from the comfort of your couch is a perfectly cozy way to ring in the New Year. Pick a genre that floats your boat—be it horror movies, foreign films or sappy rom coms—score some take-out and whip up a big batch of cocktails before you kick back and run out the clock with a movie marathon.
15. Make It a Blacklight Party
The raver scene might not be what it once was (and if you remember it, you’re probably too old for this idea), but body paint and neon glow sticks are timeless. Just cover the windows with black construction paper, swap your regular light bulbs with the blacklight variety, and you have the makings of a truly electric dance party.
16. Go Glamping
Turn the festivities into a veritable vacation by taking an intimate glamping trip with a few of your closest friends. You can ring in the New Year under the stars, retreat to the comfort of a luxury yurt and wake up for a New Year’s Day brunch with the same good company.
17. Bring Your Own Record Party
If you own a record player, a BYOR party is a creative and fun way to get everyone in the mood to dance. As the name suggests, everyone shows up with an LP to (temporarily) contribute to the music selection for the night; guests can then put on their own or other people’s records throughout the evening. The end result is a collaborative playlist that pleases everyone and requires no pre-party collaboration. Easy peasy.