New Year’s Eve ideas: A group of friends at a New Year’s Eve dinner.

New Year’s Eve party planning: How to plan an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party

To ensure that the New Year’s Eve party is an unforgettable event, it is important to prepare well. Whether you celebrate New Year’s Eve as a couple, as a small family, or with friends – you need to get all the details right, from the food to the New Year’s Eve decorations. To make sure that the party preparation between the Christmas holidays and New Year goes well, we have gathered the most important points for New Year’s Eve party planning and, on top of that, we provide some New Year’s Eve party ideas as well as inspirations for New Year’s Eve theme parties.

Or­gan­is­ing a New Year’s Eve par­ty: Tips and check­lists for New Year’s Eve par­ty plan­ning

To ensure that the period between Christmas and New Year is not too stressful, it is a good idea to start planning the New Year’s Eve party in good time. Our checklist ‘Planning a New Year’s Eve party’ summarises the most important steps to ensure that everything is ready for the big night:

New Year’s Eve par­ty plan­ning: ap­prox. 1 month in ad­vance

  • Send out invitations in good time and ask questions if necessary: Which song should be played? Which drinks should we offer? Do any guests have food intolerances?

  • Decide on the party location that is big enough for all the guests (e.g. living room, party cellar).

  • Decide on how the party will be catered: Will you do all the catering, will there be a catering service, or will the guests contribute something?

  • Give people plenty of notice if it’s a New Year’s Eve theme party.

  • Get your own party outfit.


Bear in mind that...

If you want to organise a larger New Year’s Eve party, e.g. for your club, there is of course more to consider. You should start planning the party two to three months in advance to book a suitable location, take care of the catering, and organise any entertainment if necessary.


New Year’s Eve par­ty plan­ning: 1 to 2 weeks in ad­vance

  • Inform your guests what time the party will start and how long it will last if it is not open-ended.

  • Think about activities for your guests. If there are a lot of children at the New Year’s Eve party, you should have plenty for them to do so that they don’t get bored.

  • Put together a playlist with suitable music – maybe you can find someone in your circle of friends who would be happy to take on the role of ‘DJ’.

  • Plan your New Year’s Eve decorations. Especially if want to make your own handicrafts, you can also get DIY-enthusiastic friends and relatives to help you.

  • Organise fireworks good time and/or find a suitable place nearby to watch the fireworks.

  • Start buying non-perishable drinks and snacks early.

Tip: If you are not sure how many or which drinks to choose for your New Year’s Eve party, it is a good idea to buy drinks on consignment. This means that you can return unopened bottles to the retailer and get your money back – which is an advantage for party planning. Many beverage stores, but also some supermarkets, sell drinks on consignment. You can discuss the exact details with your local supplier.

New Year’s Eve par­ty plan­ning: 2 to 3 days be­fore

  • Do the final shopping (e.g. perishable food).

  • Organise enough crockery, cutlery, and glasses.

  • Make sure that all guests have a place to sit.

  • Clear an area for a dance floor.

  • Decorate the room with your chosen New Year’s Eve decorations.

  • Enlist some volunteers to help clean up the next day.

New Year’s Eve par­ty plan­ning: 1 day be­fore

  • Clear the cloakroom so that guests can take off their coats and jackets.

  • Remove breakable items so that nothing gets damaged during the evening.

  • Prepare the food for the New Year’s Eve party and chill the drinks.


Don't forget...

When planning larger New Year’s Eve parties, it is a good idea to think about the guest list well in advance. Do you only want to celebrate with your closest family or are your friends also welcome? How many guests will fit in your location? Are there vegetarians or vegans among the guests? Which guests will need overnight accommodation?


 New Year’s Eve for two: Couple dancing in a small flat.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve for two: New Year’s Eve ideas for couples

Even without a big New Year’s Eve party with friends and family, you can still have a special start to the new year. New Year’s Eve is also an ideal opportunity to spend time with your partner. If you’re looking for New Year’s Eve for two ideas, then read on:

  • On New Year’s Eve, catch up on the things you haven’t had time to do all year. Have you been wanting to try out a new board game or video game for ages? Have you been meaning to watch a new mini-series for months? The long hours leading up to midnight are a great opportunity to spend valuable time together.

  • Review the year. Look at the most beautiful, romantic, and funny photos and videos you took last year. To top it off, add a few selfies to the photo collection on New Year’s Eve. With a few funny props or in a crazy party outfit, you can create new memories that will stay with you for a long time.

  • New Year’s Eve for two is the perfect opportunity for a romantic candlelight dinner: cook together, buy the treats you don’t usually get, and enjoy the time together to the fullest.

  • In the year, everyone needs a little cheering up. You can also use a quiet moment on New Year’s Eve to write a few little ‘love letters’ to each other that will only be opened later in the year. Store the motivating, comforting, and loving messages in a small box or a jar to be opened later.

  • If you have a little more time and feel like baking, you can also surprise your partner with 

    homemade fortune cookies. They can be filled with personal wishes for the new year and a few words of love.

New Year’s theme party: elegant outfits for a New Year’s Eve theme party.

New Year’s Eve theme party: Ideas & tips

If you’re planning a New Year’s Eve party with friends, a theme party is a great idea – funny, cool, or elegant costumes are a great way to lighten the mood. Especially if you invite a mix of friends, acquaintances, and colleagues to your party who don’t necessarily know each other very well, a theme party can be a good starting point for conversations and a relaxed get-together. You should add a few icebreaker games to get to help everyone get to know each other.

But even if you are celebrating just with your family, a New Year’s Eve theme party can be great fun. After all, children like to take every opportunity to dress up or to be as smartly dressed like adults for once.

Prepar­ing for a New Year’s Eve theme par­ty

Themed parties take longer to organise. After all, your guests must have the opportunity to find a suitable outfit for the theme or dress code. And you (as the host) will probably need a bit more time to decorate your party location.

Think about the following points before you get started:

1.  Choose a theme suitable for the age group: princess or pirate parties are great fun for kids, but probably too silly for adults. Kids, on the other hand, probably can’t do much with the 70s and 80s themes.

2. Send out invitations to your guests at least a month or two in advance and get a firm yes or no answer if possible. If you are still undecided about your party theme, you can also leave room in the invitation for guests’ wishes and suggestions.

3. Once you have decided on a theme, start shopping for the appropriate decorations and party outfits as early as possible. Many New Year’s Eve decorations are sold out by Christmas time.

New Year’s Eve par­ty ideas: Themes for a New Year’s Eve theme par­ty

When planning a theme party, consider who your guests will be. After all, not everyone feels comfortable in crazy outfits or wants to invest money in elaborate costumes. Here are a few New Year’s Eve ideas that are simple and fun:

Simple themes for New Year’s Eve theme parties:

Tip: A ‘Bad Taste Party’ during the cold season is the perfect opportunity to get that Ugly Christmas jumper out of the closet one last time!

Themed New Year’s Eve party ideas for adults:

Themed New Year’s Eve party ideas for children:

  • Fairy-tale worlds

  • Pirate adventure

  • Underwater world

  • Superheroes

  • Witches & Wizards

  • Aliens & Astronauts

  • Dinosaurs


Did you know that...

Of course, the simplest way is to choose a theme that can be styled from everyday clothes. If you want something a little more outlandish or elaborate, a costume rental is a good idea.


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Image sources: Belchenko