2021 has been a volatile year, with more ups and downs than a Disneyland rollercoaster ride. How to do it justice? Throw the best New Years party ever to say goodbye!
If you’re a little rusty on the entertaining front, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with our tips and tricks for the best party yet.
1. Make sure you’re COVID safe
It’s not as much fun as planning the cocktails, but far more important. Before you put your party plans in place, check your local restrictions. Are you within the current gathering and density limits?
Take advantage of our glorious Australian summer weather and hold your party outdoors, if you can. It’s far less risky for transmission. Encourage liberal use of hand sanitiser and make sure people feel encouraged to stay home if they’re unwell.
2. Keep the food fuss-free
Plan ahead and keep things simple so that the focus is on the reason you’re all there: company. Nobody wants to sit on their own at the dining table while their hosts spend hours concocting something elaborate in the kitchen.
Consider grazing platters. which allow guests to help themselves to as much or as little food as they like. There are several professional companies who will create a beautiful spread for you, but you can get the same effect with some long serving boards and armfuls of bounty from your local delicatessen.
A buffet-style dinner or barbecue is another option. Toss some burgers, mushrooms and strips of halloumi on the grill and let people construct their own meal from the toppings and extras you’ve already laid out.
3. Have a party game or two handy
You don’t want to make the event too structured, but a party game is a great way to break the ice and get people talking.
• Two Resolutions and a Lie: a twist on the classic Two Truths and a Lie, where people have to guess which the real resolutions are and which one the person has just made up.
• Charades: an oldie that never gets old
• Scavenger Hunt: this one’s great to keep the kids occupied while you catch up. Hide clues around the house and garden that lead your lucky children to the grand prize.
• Who am I? Write the name of a famous person and attach it to someone’s forehead. They get to ask questions of the rest of you to try and work out who they are.
• Cards against Humanity: for those who have a dark sense of humour, although several family-friendly versions also exist
4. Get creative with cocktails
There’s something about New Years’ Eve that demands a fancy cocktail – or a mocktail if you prefer. A signature drink elevates a party and makes it extra memorable, so grab a recipe book, a cocktail shaker and a few mixers and come up with something a little bit special. Bonus points if it comes with a little umbrella and some floating fruit!
5. Set up a photo wall
For a lot of us, this will be the first time we’re reunited with family and friends in a long time. Make sure you capture the memories with plenty of photos.
A photo wall is simple to set up and adds a lot of pizza to a party. String a fringe backdrop between two trees (or affix it to a wall if your party is indoors), add some helium balloons and make sure there’s plenty of light. You can add some New Year’s props to encourage a bit of silliness, like oversized glasses and hats etc.
If you like, you can even provide some cheap disposable cameras. But in the age of mobile phones, it’s definitely not necessary.
6. Make a New Years’ Resolution jar
Put out a sheaf of small pieces of paper and plenty of pens to encourage everyone to write down a New Years’ Resolution. They can pop it in the jar if they’re happy for it to be shared (and of course, it can be anonymous) or just take it home. The point is to get people thinking – and talking – about their goals for the next year.
Whatever you do, remember to crank up the music and have a good time. Bring on 2022!