New Year's Eve plans are stressful — so stressful that a lot of my friends chose to hibernate rather than try to maximize their New Year's Eve into the best night ever— and I don't blame them. It can be tempting to avoid the whole thing and go to bed at 11 p.m. rather than try to make sure that it's a life-changing night. In fact, all the pressure means that a lot of us don't solidify our New Year's Eve plans until the last minute. So if you're still figuring out how you should spend the big night, you are definitely not alone.
If you're in a couple, there are plenty of ways you can turn it into an awesome date night. There are always massive club nights and things to do, but if you want it to have more of a date-y feel, there's no reason you can't take things into your own hands a bit. You can go the full romantic route and find something just the two of you, or embrace the party atmosphere and team up with some friends. No matter what you're looking for, there are plenty of last-minute New Year's Eve date ideas.
Here are some ideas to celebrate New Year's with your partner — without breaking the bank:
1Go To The Movies
Your favorite date night still works on New Year's Eve. Double check to make sure they're open, but a lot of movie theaters are. If you're not feeling New Year's Eve-y, it's a great way to have a classic date but avoid the crowds and the nonsense. Sneak in some champagne for a festive twist and cuddle up.
2Find Your Friends
A date doesn't have to be just the two of year. And New Year's is one of those holidays where everyone has half a dozen tentative plans but no confirmed plans. Ask around and find out which of your friends are at a loose end and combine your nights into something low-key but satisfying.
3Order Takeout And Break Out The Bubbly
STAYING IN IS THE NEW GOING OUT. But, seriously — staying in on New Year's Eve is the best. Buy a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine, like Santa Margherita Prosecco, light some candles, order from your favorite restaurant, curl up with a blanket, and enjoy not having to find your way home at 3 a.m.. Romantic and cozy.
4Watch Fireworks Or DIY
There are always fireworks. If you don't know where to go, look up fireworks in your area. And, even better than going right to the heart of where they're happening, try to work out a further away location where you can still see them— my friend has a great rooftop in London where we can see everything but not deal with any crowds. No fireworks nearby? DIY with sparklers.
5Visit A Holiday Market
You know the little holiday markets that magically pop up to sell delicious food and gifts around the holiday season? A lot of them stay open through the end of the month. It's your last chance to have some festive cheer, so spend the late afternoon wandering around with some hot cocoa before an early dinner with your partner. Then find a party... or don't.
6Go Ice Skating
Like the villages, any ice skating rinks that popped up for the holidays will be closing soon, so make the most of them while you can. Plus, going on an ice skating date is basically a rom-com storyline, so it's about as cutesy as it gets.
7Go To A House Party
There's always a house party. Always. I know, it doesn't sound very date-y, but you can make it work. Last year, my girlfriend and I had an early dinner, just the two of us, before joining a bunch of friends for a party. Or reverse it — head to a party, but sneak home with a bottle of bubbly before midnight to give the countdown a romantic twist. You can really have the best of both worlds.
It's hard for New Year's Eve to live up to expectations, so my best advice is that you and your partner just do whatever makes you feel happiest. Ignore the social pressures, ignore the urge to make it the best night ever, and just make it as crazy or as chilled out as you want it. There's definitely an option that's right for you.