New Year’s Eve 101

Home, Home & Family
on December 5, 2011

Whether you prefer large parties, intimate gatherings or family fun on New Year’s Eve, there are almost as many ways to celebrate as there are people on the planet. When considering how to ring in the new year, remember this special night only comes once a year. Here are five fun ways to celebrate.

1. Times Square party. If you have the means and desire, splurge on a Times Square All Access Pass. Single passes start at $250. The party starts at 7 p.m. and carries on until 3 a.m. You will be in the heart of one of the world’s largest Dec. 31 parties and will be able to see the famous New Year’s Eve ball drop live at midnight. The All Access Pass also includes free admission to multiple clubs, restaurants and bars in the Times Square area.

2. Fireworks. Many cities, including San Francisco, Orlando, Las Vegas, Denver and New Orleans host spectacular fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve. To find out if a city in your area hosts a New Year’s Eve fireworks display, visit the city’s website or call the local tourism bureau. Some fireworks shows may have admission fees and limited parking in the immediate area.

[MORE: Create great New Year's Eve Appetizers!]

3. "Best of" party. Host your own "Best of" the year party, focusing on what was best in the current, soon-to-expire year. Encourage guests to come dressed as their favorite celebrity personality of the year and then award a prize for best costume. Prepare a playlist of the year’s top songs to get the party moving and your guests dancing. Be sure to include the top five songs from a variety of genres. Print clips of the year's famous news stories, frame and hang for “best of” décor. On your invitations, list five movies from the year and have guests vote for their favorite when they RSVP. Have a screening of the winning movie during the party.

4. Slumber party. New Year’s Eve is an ideal night for parents to allow the kids to host a slumber party with friends, but slumber parties are not just for kids. No date for New Year’s Eve? Invite several of your girlfriends over for gourmet goodies, cocktails and your favorite “girl” movies.

5. Movie madness. New Year’s Eve is a perfect night to host a movie marathon with your friends. This is the time to plan to watch all the movies in a series, consecutively. Pick a movie series with several sequels. Consider series like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, X-Men and Transformers. Stock up with plenty of snacks and drinks, and don’t forget to hit the pause button at midnight.

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