Once the excitement of Christmas has passed, it can be tempting to sit back and just let the rest of the festive period happen by itself. But don’t let the final night of the year go by without a little celebration!

Discover our New Year’s Eve party ideas to help you say goodbye to the year in style. From selecting your party theme to choosing the perfect games and activities, as well as some perfect mood-setting fragrance alongside the latest home décor trends that will make your venue stand out from the rest, we’ve got it all. Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know to make your New Year’s Eve one to remember.

Drinks bottles and glasses

Setting a Theme (or Not)

The first big decision is whether or not to have an overarching theme.

Themes tend to work best for busy parties with plenty of guests, especially if it’s a wide mixture of people who don’t already know each other. The novelty and the fancy-dress element can help to break down the awkwardness and start conversations.

If your party is going to be a more intimate affair – with just a handful of relatives and/or a few friends – it might be better to ditch the idea of a ‘theme’ and instead just focus on giving everyone a good time.

People celebrating at a party

December is an expensive time for everyone as it is, so any theme that lends itself well to cheap or homemade costumes is a winner. But if your friends are adventurous, you could try going all-out with one of our fun party fancy-dress themes:

  • General fancy-dress (anything and everything – which can sometimes be the most fun)
  • Decades and eras (e.g. 1920s speakeasy, swinging sixties, 90s pop groups, 70s glam rock, etc.)
  • Superheroes and supervillains
  • Movies (e.g. Grease, Twilight, Harry Potter, etc. – or a free-for-all on movie characters)
  • Animals
  • Monsters and mythical creatures
  • Historical civilisations (Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, etc.)
  • Masquerade ball

The theme you choose should be largely influenced by who your intended guests are. If children will be coming along, you’ll want a theme that is suitable for all ages, whereas an adults-only party doesn’t have to play it so safely.

Also bear in mind that the easier the theme is for your guests to get involved with, the better.

Don’t forget to dress your home as well! Get stuck into finding the appropriate decorations to make your home the perfect setting for a themed party. Making your own accessories and styling pieces like bunting, table runners and banners can be super effective (and affordable) for capturing your theme.

Why not go all out and cater your food and drink to match your theme too? Whip up your best batch of novelty to cupcakes, shake up some themed cocktails and dish out your best glassware and crockery to really transform the feel of your party.

Choosing Activities & Games

Whether you’re setting a theme or not, you’ll need to keep your guests entertained one way or another. Having Jools Holland on in the background doesn’t quite cut it.

That said, you also want to avoid ‘organised fun’ territory, because nobody enjoys that

The best approach is to just have your full range of fun at the ready, without making a concrete schedule of what to do or when. Just see what the vibe is like on the night, and go with the flow.

People playing a boardgame

If you’re having a small gathering with close family and friends, don’t forget a deck of cards, and Uno is another essential, so have both of those at the ready. Maybe dust off the Jenga, while you’re at it...

Then there are board games, if you want to take it up a level. You’ve got almost too much choice here, but you can’t go wrong with classics such as...

  • Articulate!
  • Bananagrams
  • Cluedo
  • Scrabble
  • Monopol
  • Jumanji

Most of those have ‘junior’ versions too, which will be perfect if children are joining you for the evening! And if you know there are lots of children coming along, you could even set up an area with a selection of younger games such as Mousetrap, Screwball, Pop Up Pirate and so on.

The key is to make sure that any games you choose are broadly suited to your guests’ collective tastes (although it is difficult to please everyone). Also, try to stick to games that are faster-moving and straightforward, because complex rules can slow everything down and stifle the fun.

Picking the Music

Music at a party

Every good party needs a soundtrack, especially if you’ve got a bigger group in attendance, and getting yours sorted in advance means it’s one less thing to stress over on the night.

Streaming services like Spotify are your best friend here, because it’s totally zero-maintenance: just plug in and play. There are plenty of pre-made playlists ready and waiting on there, but spending 10 or 20 minutes creating your own is much more worthwhile and adds a personal touch. 

If you’re going for a Christmassy NYE vibe for your party, you can’t go wrong with the festive favourites. If you don’t want a yuletide angle, you can keep the music simple with a mix of out-and-out bangers from here, there and everywhere. Or intersperse the Christmas songs with general hits. It isn’t rocket science – just pick what feels right!

A themed party is easy to soundtrack, because there will definitely be a playlist (probably several) dedicated to whatever it is your theme is – from 1920s speakeasy jazz to chart-toppers from the 90s. Just choose one and pop it on shuffle.

When you’ve got your theme, music and drinks sorted, the dancing will take care of itself.

Taking New Year’s Eve Inspiration from Other Countries

Most people stick to long-standing traditions when it comes to New Year’s Eve. But that might be part of the reason why NYE can be a non-event: we’ve been there and done it all before.

But who says we have to follow tradition?

Different countries and cultures celebrate the dawning of the new year in different ways, and we can all take inspiration from each other. Even if it’s just a little touch here or there, something new might be just what your party needs.

People at a party

For example, the French custom of sitting down to a proper, civilised meal earlier on in the evening – before the real party begins – could be a lovely way to kick off the proceedings.

Or you could take a leaf out of Germany’s book by presenting each guest with a lucky charm upon arrival – basically, just a small and inexpensive gift. The items you give can be genuine keepsake-style items, or simply jokey throwaway trinkets; it’s up to you entirely.

In the UK and across the English-speaking world, many practise the (originally) Scottish tradition of linking arms and singing “Auld Lang Syne” as the clock strikes midnight, whereas in other countries, this custom is not so well-known.

Selecting the Right New Year’s Eve Party Decorations

Unless you’re going all-out on a particular theme, your NYE party decorations needn’t be anything too complicated – just a few tasteful touches here and there. Take a look at our products and special offers for the perfect décor inspiration.

Balloons and bunting are two simple yet effective ways to set a celebratory scene.

Fragrance is an important – yet often overlooked aspect – part of creating the right mood. Nothing enhances a glamorous setting more than the romance of a perfectly selected fragrance, ensuring you create the right ambience with the perfect blend of lighting and aroma. Position scented candles around the party room(s), and perhaps apply Christmas scents to your hallway, bathroom and any other spaces that your guests will occupy during the party. 

PartyLite decor

If you do want to squeeze the last bit of Christmas in, keep your decorations up and maybe even go for a full-on festive theme. On the other hand, you could opt for a classy combination of gold and silver, or even if a specific scheme isn’t your thing, you could add a splash of mystical colour. You’ll know what looks best in your home.

Lighting is of course key, so you should spend some time thinking about the sort of mood you want to create. Lanterns will foster a more ambient effect than ceiling light-fixtures (the latter of which will probably be too bright), and adding candle holders that emit flickering light to the mixture will help you achieve a warm and cosy atmosphere. Perfect for both the cold winter night and the ringing-in of a new year.

Happy New Year from everyone at PartyLite. If you’ve followed any of our New Year’s Eve party ideas, we’d love to see. Share your pictures on Instagram and use the hashtag #MyStyle

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