Super Last Minute New Year's Eve Party Ideas

by Kaitlyn Wylde

So, you weren't planning on having a New Year's Eve party, but now it's down to the wire and it doesn't seem like anyone else in your friend group has stepped up. It's up to you to bring your friends together on this holiday now, but — well, you have no clue how to go about it because you literally have one dway left and how does one even throw a New Year's Eve party at the last minute like that?

You could join some friends at a prix-fixe dinner... but, $240 for some lamb ragu and champagne sounds insane to you. You could bite the bullet and get in on that deal at the club for an $150 open bar, but the truth is, you just want to hang at home and is it even physically possible to drink $150 worth of alcohol in a few hours?!

You can feel the idea coming up like a sneeze; you know it'll be a relief, but you're trying to avoid it for as long as possible. Finally, you brave up and text your group chat: "NYE party at my house." Then it's out there, in the ether, destined to materialize. Your friends are stoked, you're massively relieved — but there's still a problem: you're completely unprepared.

Before you revoke your invitation, check out some of these super easy, last minute New Year's Eve party ideas that you can manage to pull off on any time constraint. I promise, it will be better than any prix-fixe dinner or open bar club there is.

Send An E-Vite

Text messages get buried easily — if you've committed to having a party, make it official by sending out an e-vite. It only takes a few minutes and it will make it easier for your guests to access the party info.

Pick A Theme

If you're feeling really festive, pick a theme! It will help people get a sense of what your party is going to be like, and it will help give you some direction while planning. Maybe you want to try a decades theme, or a colors theme, or even a film theme. It's a fun way to make a last minute plan seem well considered.

Get The Games Out

There's nothing childish about playing games. They're the perfect ice-breaker, and a great vessel for any mid-party slump. Consider Cards Against Humanity and Heads Up.

Order In

Cooking for a party is a big undertaking, and if you're doing a last minute shindig, the last thing you need is to burden yourself with a massive grocery list and messy kitchen. Pick a restaurant you know and trust and make life easy for yourself by ordering in.

Make A Playlist

A quiet party is an awkward party. At the very least, make sure you make time for yourself to put together a massive playlist that's upbeat and lasts for hours. Add some classics, add some pop dance music, and make sure it's diverse and fun. Having music playing when people walk in will set a good vibe.

Get Basic Decorations

You don't need to order a ice swan sculpture, but if you could grab a few metallic balloons or a few flowers, it will go a long way in impressing your guests and making them feel festive.

Put The TV On — But Make Sure It's Muted

Whether you choose a crackling fire log, a NYE countdown, or a classic movie on mute, have something on the TV so that people have something to focus on as they arrive. Avoid sports, TV shows, or news — you're only looking for ambient visuals and festive vibes.

Make A Photo Booth

Tape some decorations to the wall and deem it a photo booth. Have your guests pose in front of it using their phones to take photos. You can add props like glasses, hats, scarves, gloves or mustaches if you like. This way, people who leave your party will take a physical memory home with them.

Go Candle Crazy

If you don't have time to decorate your apartment, simply go for a candlelit vibe. Turn the lights off and light tons of candles. Just, you know, make sure you don't burn down your house.

Don't Forget Dessert

Bake a batch of pre-made cookies, pour some candy into a bowl, or get some ice cream from the store — just make sure you have some sugary treats to offer at the end of the night. It's the last thing people will remember as they leave your party, so make sure they leave sweet-tooth-satisfied.

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.