How to Plan a New Years Eve Party for Families

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Our plans for a New Years Eve party for our family go’s something like this: My husband and I struggle to keep our eyes open as we sit on our cozy sofa awaiting the fall of the iconic NYC Ball to slowly spiral down in Time Square. As the clock hands move near midnight and the New Year approaching our eyes snap open to the sounds of cheers and toot’s of blowing horns.  Another year has passed and our attempt to have a New Years Eve party for our small family has been less than exciting.

This year I am hoping that it might be different because my last homeschooler, the last child, is 14 years old and although he is the ultimate introvert, he is interested in having family friends over for the evening.  The need for a New Years Eve Party plan has arisen.

I am confronted with the challenge with creating a New Year’s Eve Party that is fun for teens and pleasant enough for the moms and dads. If your New Year’s Eve party is for your family than you can scale down but it is all applicable and will help you have a lot of fun. 

  1. The Family Meeting
  2. Your Budget
  3. The Guest List
  4. Your Party Theme
  5. The Arrival Time
  6. Send Invitations or Tweets?
  7. How to Decorate
  8. The Snacks and Drinks
  9. Party Games

The Family Meeting

In the beginning stages of  planning the party you are going to sit down and listen to what he, in our case, has in mind for his New Years Party.   This is where you mindfully listen without interrupting. In our case my son had no idea what he might want to do so I was able to make suggestions that he liked.  It was that easy.

The fundamentals of your party:

What is your budget?

Who are you going to invite?  Your guest list and invitations.

What will be your theme? Black and gold, Gamer Night, colorful, whatever you can imagine.

What games and activities will you have?  

When will the party start and end?

How are you going to decorate?

What will you serve for snacks and drinks?


The Budget

You need to decide on how much you want to spend on your New Year’s Eve party.  Knowing your budget will be the guide for everything on your list.

The Guest List

Using your budget will help you decide on how many friends to invite. The bigger the invite list the more food and paper supplies might be needed. It will also help to ensure that you don’t forget someone that you would not want to leave out.

Your Party Theme

You can go the traditional route with black and gold but why not change it up a little. For an example of a party theme I will use “Gaming into the New Year”. Using that example the balloons could be pearl red and white and when you laid the party favors on a coordinating table cloth, they would be eye catching. Use games from the year that were popular and lay the game boards down as the base for your center piece. You get the idea.

The Arrival Time

This largely depends on what type of party you and your family decided to have. Even if it is you, your spouse and your kids. A good time is 8:30 pm or 9:00 pm.

Send Invitations or Tweets

Right away I thought “phone calls” but I remembered that today we send Facebook Invites, Instagram, Twitter and the list goes on.  If there is time a nice mailed invitation makes your party special. Evite and Greenvelope are online invite options that I am familiar with.

How to Decorate

This is my favorite part of having parties.  I am going to continue to use the “Gaming into the New Year” theme as our example.

I always do what I call “a walk through” of the space to get ideas of what my guests are going to see and how much space do we need.  Let’s start with the entrance.

Think about how you can convey the theme you have decided on. You definitely want to have New Year’s “fun” look. Using party favors to decorate with is also a nice addition for the overall look.

Balloons in bunches or arches at your entrance. For our theme I see red and gold colored balloons.

Cardboard cutouts for the “Gaming into the New Year” theme I was thinking of Rich Uncle Pennybags inviting the guests in.

Lights wrapped around pillars and strung in the windows.

What will your guests see and smell when walk into your home?  The smell of cookies and peppermint? A table set for snacks and treats? Balloons floating on the ceiling?

It is important that your home is inviting and comfortable.  You can add colorful pillows. Clear flat surface space so guests can put their snacks and drinks down. You might need to move furniture around or take furniture pieces out and bring other pieces of furniture in to create the space you want.  Throw sitting pillows on the floor to make it comfortable for children to sit if they want to.

The Snacks and Drinks

Everyone’s favorite at my house. Snacks and drinks can be as simple or complicated as you choose.  From chips and salsa to hummus and vegetables whatever puts a smile on your face.

If you want to make some fun sugary treats check out The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook.  My son watches Youtube cooking shows and that’s how he found Rosanna Pansino. In her cookbook she has cleaver ideas for Italian cream Sodas, cheese cake and the simple sugar cookie.

Nerdy Nummies making The Best Gingerbread Cookies Recipe Ever!

Once you have your New Years Eve snacks and drinks displayed you want to place your food at the end of the room to create space for the families to play games and hang out.  This also directs your guest to mingle first before grabbing goodies to eat.

Party Games

These family friendly games make it easier for your friends to get to know each other. There is no need for people to try and make conversation. Just a need for laughter.

Charades This link is a charade generator and gives great ideas for your game!


Giants,Wizards, Elves is like Rock, Paper, Scissors but sounds like tons of laughing and fun!

Musical Chairs with a twist.

I hope this helps you in having a fun evening with enough to keep those eyes open long enough to watch watch the ball drop in Time Square. 

Tell everyone what your family does for New Years Eve in the comment section below.


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