New Year’s Eve is always a time to reflect on the past year. It’s a hopeful time to spend with loved ones and share in the year’s memories. There are so many ways to rock the NYE party—out at your favorite bar or bundled up at your neighborhood bonfire. But this year, why not bring things inside. Invite over a few of your nearest and dearest, fire up the hot apple cider, and plan a whole evening of games. A game-themed NYE party makes for a perfect end to the year. There’s no pressure to get all dolled up (but we’re not stopping you!), and a series of games gives the evening a purpose.
Hosting a party at home can sound daunting, but you can keep everyone feeling festive and cozy without too much work with a few easy snacks and board games. Don’t have a fireplace? No problem — just set up a crackling fire video on your laptop. Not into NYE decorations? Burn a few tea lights in every room to give that magical glow. So how do you step up game night for NYE besides throwing a delectable cashmere cardigan? Read on for a few ideas on how to make the end of 2021 the most fun you might have had all year.
There’s nothing like a classic night of charades. It’s ideal for so many reasons. Everyone already knows how to play, so there are no pesky rules and regulations arguments. Teams can be as little or as big as you’d like. Imagination is the limit. One of the best features of charades is that wardrobe doesn’t matter. Throw on some of our comfiest in women’s loungewear and let the games begin. The fleece cowl neck pullover is sure to be a hit. It’s structured enough but mega wearable, and when you pair it with your favorite leggings, you’ll be ready for charades in no time.
Now let’s talk rules. When each player is throwing ideas into the hat, put some restrictions on the themes to reflect the year, like 2021’s funniest memes, movies about the holidays, or celebrity breakups. That way, there’s a common thread between rounds. And you can add some quirks to the game, too. For instance, each time a team misses, they have to wear the Santa hat or Rudolph’s nose through the next round. Or when a team successfully guesses each entry in a round, top off their eggnog or pass around the delectable chocolate bonbons or candy canes. And if your kids are playing, this is a great time to let them have some sparkling apple juice or their favorite holiday candy.
The classic scavenger hunt takes a bit more prep but is well worth it. Plus, you can source the help of your guests on the days before the party. You can assign your guests the snacks and drinks portion of the evening so you can focus on making and hiding clues. Some of our stylish seagrass baskets make for excellent hiding spots, especially when they’re filled with some of our luxurious cashmere or Sherpa fleece throw blankets.
Write up the clues on decorative wrapping paper in gold and silver patterns. When you’re done, laminate them so they will stand the test of spilled drinks. Prep 4 to 5 clues that are ordered so that the players have to go all over the house (or even outside) into several different spaces. Start when your guests arrive by handing them a riddle that takes them to the drink table so they can load up on a hot toddy or other special holiday beverage.
The next clue can lead them to your kids’ room, where festive headwear, pins, or silly costumes await to make it more festive. The following clues should direct them to the hors d’oevres and perhaps even the bathroom (everyone needs a pit stop). And perhaps the last clue can be found tied to a personalized monogrammed tote bag, one for each of your guests. That way, you’re the hostess with the fabulous NYE party and the gift to prove it.
These games are great for anyone who loves to shout answers and get into the competitive spirit. (We’re looking at you, cough cough.) Really though, word games are great for everyone: kids and grandparents, bookish types, sports fans, you name it. With everyone gathered around the dining table or living room, it’s easy to serve snacks and drinks because the players are all staying put. You can even prep appetizers with festive puns like “New Year, New Pigs in a Blanket” or “Auld Lang Skewers” or even “Popcorn Ball Drop” and drinks like “Champagne Killers.” Those are just a few ideas—we know you’ll come up with even craftier names.
In terms of games, we love Scattegories or Pictionary. Another option is to create ten different themes based on the year’s best and worst events. Think along the lines of: best/worst movies, new songs, new trendy local restaurants, headlines from your newspaper, famous celebrity scandals. Write each category down and throw them into a bowl for about 20 total categories. The first round is when a player from team 1 pulls a clue out and has only 5 words to use to try to get their teammates to guess it correctly. Teams alternate until round 2 where each team only gets 2 words. This game is sure to be a hoot and a half and is as funny as it is difficult.
An at-home NYE party serves up homey vibes with a festive atmosphere. Planning a few fun games ensures your loved ones will soar into the new year with happy memories.