Sex & Relationships

11 At-Home New Year's Eve Date Ideas To Start The Year Strong

You *really* don't need to go out to have fun.

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Usually, New Year's Eve is all about going out and dancing in a crowded club, drinking in a packed bar, or standing shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers while watching a glittery ball descend from the sky. It's fun, no doubt about it. But this year, let's all agree it'll be best to focus on at-home New Year's Eve date ideas, instead.

While it might not sound as exciting to stay in on New Year's Eve, it doesn't mean you'll be bored. It's possible to recreate a lot of the "going out" vibes right in your living room. Only this time you'll be staying safe, spending less money, and sparing yourself the stress of finding a public bathroom five minutes before midnight.

Not to mention, "staying in with your partner [means] you get to have quality time with the one you love,” Nora Dekeyser, a matchmaker at personalized dating and matchmaking service, Three Day Rule, tells Bustle. You can put on pajamas, get cozy, and fully enjoy each other's company. And what could be better than that?

If you aren't sure what to do on NYE, check out this list of 11 at-home date ideas, so you and your partner can officially celebrate the last night of 2020.


Play games

A game night is guaranteed to be a blast, especially if you go for the extra funny ones, "like Cards Against Humanity or Fibbage," Erika Kaplan, a matchmaker at Three Day Rule, tells Bustle. And even more so if you put on music and/or mix a few drinks.


Have lots of sex

That's it. That's the date. Pick out a few new positions — or toys — and spend the night getting busy.

“Not only are you adding some spice to your sex life, but you’re setting up for a night of feeling close and connected,” Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, a relationship expert and founder of Relationup, tells Bustle.


Make a fancy dinner

If you suspect you'll miss dining out this year, recreate the restaurant experience at home. Buy cheese, fruit, and nuts to make a cheese board, or gather a few special ingredients to recreate a favorite dish. And just like that, you'll have yourselves an evening.


Celebrate countdowns around the world

Feel connected to everyone around the globe by tracking the countdowns happening in other countries. To make it extra date-worthy, bring in traditional drinks or snacks from different regions to sample as their clocks strike midnight.


Have a movie marathon

If you aren't feeling particularly energized, opt for a movie night. Pick a theme, or just see whatever's new on Netflix, and hang out on the couch. Before you know it, it'll be 2021.


Order take-out

For another super cozy, and perfectly lazy date night idea, dating coach Lisa Concepcion suggests ordering take-out from a favorite restaurant. Just make sure you call ahead early, since lots of other people will probably be doing the same thing.


Host a party on Zoom

If you're missing your friends — and really, who isn't? — then host a New Year's Eve party via Zoom. Have everyone sign on a few hours before midnight to "mingle," talk, and dance. Then tune into the Time's Square Ball drop and count down together.


Come up with a list of 2021 goals

This time of year is perfect for reflection, so if the mood strikes, sit down and talk about your relationship goals.

You might agree to work on communicating better or arguing more fairly, or simply that you need to spend more time together.Whatever it is, write it on a piece of paper and tape it somewhere prominent.

For a different twist, come up with a bucket list, or fun things you'd like to try as a couple in 2021. Do you want to go on a hike? Start a band? Road trip around the PNW? Scribble it all down and agree to check as many things off the list as possible.


Enjoy a stay-cation

Think about the place you'd most like to go — and all the elements involved — and use that as inspiration for a staycation at home.

For example, if you wish you were in a cabin in the mountains, open the windows for a blast of cold air, brew hot chocolate, and make s'mores in the microwave. Turn the lights down low — heck, you could even find that fireplace video on Netflix — and snuggle under a blanket.


Treat yourselves to a spa night

Eva Carey, a message therapy director, suggests doing a couples message as a romantic way to ring in the new year. "Not only does a massage boost your mood and ease aches and pains, a couples massage is a great bonding experience," she says.

You could also mix up face masks in the kitchen, paint each other's nails, or — if you're really feelin' it — take a bath together. Whatever fits the mood.


Make your own bar

Even though you aren't going out, you can still have all of the boozy fun of New Year's Eve at home. All you need to do is stock up on different alcohols, mixers, and garnishes, and then pull up a few drink recipes.

Go for a fresh mezcalita, Moscow mule, or pomegranate martini. Or experiment with the many non-alcoholic options.

Just make sure you save the bubbly stuff for midnight.


Nora Dekeyser, matchmaker

Erika Kaplan, matchmaker

Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, relationship expert

Lisa Concepcion, dating coach

Eva Carey, message therapy director

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