Easy, Low-Key New Year's Eve Party Ideas

by Kaitlyn Wylde

I don't know about you, but New Year's Eve stresses me out. There's always pressure to find the perfect party, or to find the perfect dress — and then on top of that, there's the pressure of feeling like you have to find someone to kiss at midnight. Personally, I've always found that the best New Year's Eves were the low-key ones I spent with my friends. So, if you're having a hard time figuring out what to do or where to go, consider this suggestion: have your own party.

It's not as crazy as it sounds. Having a simple get together on New Year's actually makes everything a lot easier. First of all, your friends will be coming to you, so you don't have to brave the cold. Second of all, you can set the dress code, so if you don't feel like finding that perfect sparkly dress, you can easily make it a onesie or pajama party. And third, you're helping your friends out, because even if they have fancy party plans, they probably all secretly want an excuse to cancel for a low-key hang instead. Basically, you're doing everyone a favor.

Convinced? Good. Here's how to have an easy peasy New Year's Eve party without breaking the bank or stressing out:

Order In

No one said you have to cook to be a host. Pick a restaurant with the help of your guests and put in a big order for everyone to share. Serve it on real plates with proper utensils, because adulting.


If you want homemade cooking but don't want to cook for a whole group of people, assign each person a dish and make your party a potluck. It'll be delicious and simple!

Pizza Party

Making pizza from scratch is a lot of fun, and a great group activity. Get enough pizza dough so that everyone can make their own personal pizza, and make sure you get enough toppings for personalization. You could even have a contest for the best pizza!

Indoor Picnic

If you don't have seating accommodations for all of your guests, push back your furniture, throw some blankets on the floor, and call it a picnic. Light some candles, scatter some pillows — it will look like a music video set from the late '80s and feel really cozy.

Family-Style It

Pick a few recipes and head to the grocery store to buy ingredients before your guests arrive. Once everyone's there, prepare a feast — together! You can assign different dishes to everyone, or let people follow their heart/stomach.

Midnight Supper

If dinner is the main event at your party, save it for midnight. When the ball drops, dig in to your the meal instead of each other's faces. That's one way to avoid the award "who should I kiss?" conundrum!

Game Night

Get your friends together for a super low-key game night! Round up a few of your favorite group games, split into teams, and have fun with it.

Trilogy Party

Pick your favorite trilogy — or one you haven't yet seen — and watch all of them, back-to-back. Make sure you have enough snacks, pillows, and blankets to go around. Pajama theme strongly suggested!

DIY DJ Party

Instead of making a master playlist or leaving it up to shuffle, give each guest a turn at picking a few songs and adding them the playlist. It's the closest thing you'll get to a jukebox experience, and it's a great way to get people dancing.

Pick A Theme — Any Theme

The Great Gatsby, masquerade, onesie, decades, whatever — pick a theme and run with it. While thematic parties might sound complicated, they actually make things easier. For example, if you pick a '90s theme, you know what to get at the grocery store: Twinkies, Gushers, Lunchables.

Want to have an awesome 2017? Then check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for tips on how to have the most empowering year yet.

Image: Universal Pictures