How to Throw a NYE Party at Home

Staying at home for New Year’s Eve has its perks. You can be as cozy or festive as you want, save money on cocktails and stay off the streets. If you’ve invested in Austin real estate, you’re probably excited to show off your home. Start planning the finale to the holiday season and invite your friends over for a stylish, jovial gala.

Stock the Bar

An open bar gives guests the chance to get innovative and sip on something besides the usual lager or rosé. Set up a table or counter with spirits, juices, sodas and garnishes to provide for endless concoctions.

A New Year’s Eve bar wouldn’t be complete without the following:

• Vodka

• Vermouth

• Gin

• Tequila

• Rum

• Coca-Cola

• Lemon-lime soda

• Tonic water

• Sparkling water

• Grapefruit juice

• Orange juice

• Lemonade

• Iced tea

• Lemon and lime wedges

• Berries

• Olives

• Pearl onions

Ask each guest to contribute by bringing one item for the bar. You could also requests that your invitees write their favorite cocktail recipe on an index card and post it at the bar to get the creative juices flowing.

Serve Heavy Appetizers and Snacks

Unless you have the time and patience to host a sit-down dinner, you might be better off serving a variety of hors d’oeuvres and snacks. You can ask each guest to bring something to eat to cut down on your prep time.

Cold items can sit out all night, letting your loved ones keep their tummies full. Use disposable aluminum trays and chafing fuel to keep warm dishes toasty.

If you do want to serve something more substantial, consider making an easy meal. Soup and toasty bread is comforting on a cold winter’s night. Fondue fills you up and encourages conversation.

Some simple ideas for New Year’s Eve appetizers include:

• Bacon-wrapped dates

• Cheese and meat tray

• Smoked salmon with bagel quarters

• A variety of dips with crackers, pretzels, breadsticks and veggies

• Baked ham and cheese sandwiches on mini Hawaiian rolls

• Sweet and savory snack mixes

• Popcorn

• Deviled eggs

Add Some Entertainment

Most guests will probably stick around until after midnight. Therefore, provide something fun to do while they wait for the ball to drop.

You might want to put together some of the following New Year’s Eve games and activities:

• Prepare and deliver a toast using Mad Libs

• Get props at the dollar store and set up a photo booth

• Put together a scavenger hunt using items with a holiday theme

• Guess the resolution

Your New Year’s Eve party can be as grand or simple as you’d like. No matter what you do, have some plans to help your guests get home. You can encourage them to carpool, set up a designated driver ahead of time or call cars for your friends using a ridesharing app. If you’re a really accommodating host, you can set up a slumber party by having pillows, blankets and sleeping bags available in your guest room for anyone who wants to spend the night.

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