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20 Fun New Year’s Eve Party Ideas to Ring in 2022

No matter who is on your guest list, we've got a fun New Year's Eve party theme for you. You'll host the fete everyone will be talking about for years to come.

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It’s time to start planning your New Year’s Eve party

The holiday season—starting in early November and lasting through January 1—is so busy, you wouldn’t be blamed for wondering when New Year’s is. And you definitely won’t be blamed for not having your New Year’s Eve party planned just yet. But the holiday will be here before you know it, and we’re here with the best New Year’s decorations and New Year’s Eve games to help you make this celebration your best one yet.

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Tee Off 2022 New Year’s Eve Party

Have fun together and send your guests home with a memento they can wear all year by hosting a custom T-shirt party. Provide plain white cotton tees in a variety of sizes, plus fabric markers and puffy paint. Have a list of funny or inspirational New Year’s quotes, like “This is my party dress,” “Hello, 2022!” or “Happy New Beers.” Encourage guests to get creative decorating their shirts, then wear them in a group photo. Post with one of these New Year’s captions.

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Masquerade party Mask On Purple BackgroundMagdalena Galindo/Getty Images

Mysterious Masquerade New Year’s Eve Party

The New Year is the perfect time to transform yourself, so let your guests channel this energy with a masquerade party. Ask guests to dress up with a masquerade mask of their choosing. It can be elegant, silly, or even painted on. (You may also want to have a few extras on hand for forgetful friends.) If you’re feeling adventurous, have the traditional New Year’s Eve kiss at midnight and then ask guests to remove their masks.

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two young children celebrating on new year's eveJose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Happy “Noon” Year’s Eve Party

Small children, the elderly, people who have to work the next day, or those who just really love their sleep—there are plenty of folks who don’t feel like partying till midnight and beyond. So instead of celebrating at 12 a.m., move the festivities to 12 p.m. Have snacks, fun games, and a countdown with an enthusiastic cheer.

close up of young girls wearing slippers and pajamasReggie Casagrande/Getty Images

New Year’s Eve Party in Your PJs

Stay comfy and cozy while still having fun by hosting a party in your PJs! Tell guests to wear their favorite jammies and slippers, and have them bring a pillow or supply a bunch of your own. You can have a pillow fight, snuggle up for storytelling or a movie, and snack on a breakfast buffet. Hand out festive fuzzy socks as party favors. The best part: When everyone goes home after midnight, you can fall straight into bed.

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Close-Up Of Cropped Hands Holding Adhesive Notes Against Gray BackgroundNontawat Thongsibsong/Getty Images

New Beginnings New Year’s Eve Party

Let’s be honest: It’s been a tough year for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. Help your loved ones start this new year fresh with a party focused on bringing good things into their lives. Ask guests to bring a note, picture, or another memento that reminds them of something painful. Then have fun destroying it. Burn it, paint it, tear it to pieces, or smash it—whatever feels good and helps them let go! Then read some of these positive affirmations and toast to a better New Year while leaving the past in the past.

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Happy Quarantine New Year’s Eve Party

The pandemic is still serious news, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it. Give guests funny face masks at the door, serve Coronas or COVID-19 cocktails, play viral tag, and watch Pandemic. When you count down, say “10, 9, 8, 7, 6 feet apart, 5…” Then take lots of funny, socially distanced pictures with humorous photo booth props. No, COVID-19 is nothing to laugh about. And yes, it’s altered lives across the globe. But you can acknowledge that while letting yourself have a happy holiday.

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Black and Gold Glitter New Year’s Eve Party

Black, gold, and anything sparkly are the colors of New Year’s Eve. They are sophisticated and elegant while still being fun. Indulge your love for sparkly things by decorating with metallic foil curtains, gold plastic dishes, metallic glitter balloons, and tiaras or crowns. Tell guests to dress up in black, gold, or sequins aplenty. When the clock strikes midnight, raise your voices and sing “Auld Lang Syne”—it’s tradition!

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Neon Glow Blacklight Disco Party NightMelanieMaya/Getty Images

Glow in the Dark New Year’s Eve Rave

Long winter nights provide the perfect opportunity to light up the dark. Ask guests to wear neon outfits, and when they arrive, hand out glow sticks, body paint, and temporary tattoos. Set up one dark room with black lights and watch everyone glow. Play some fun techno or electronic music and host your own mini rave. You could also do a fun New Year’s nail design that glows in the dark!

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Woman Holding Rollerskates and Disco Ball for 70s themed partyJena Ardell/Getty Images

Disco Ball Drop New Year’s Eve Party

Cue up your favorite ’70s playlist and pull out your bell-bottoms! This fun party will have your guests laughing, dancing, and reminiscing (if they’re old enough), in no time. Turn on the Saturday Night Fever movie soundtrack, hang a sparkly disco ball in the middle of the dance floor, and get your groove on. At midnight, use the disco ball to do your own ball-drop countdown.

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Fire and Ice New Year’s Eve Party

Hot and cold make for a dramatic party. If you are lucky enough to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a snowy clime, make the white stuff part of the festivities. Light up your backyard with twinkly lights. Start with sledding, snowball fights, and snow angels. As temperatures drop, invite everyone to gather around a bonfire for roasting s’mores and snuggling. Warm up with cider and hot toddies—and a hot tub if you have one!

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Margaritas at Midnight New Year’s Eve Party

Host a south-of-the-border party with tacos, salsa music, and a piñata. Spice up the traditional New Year’s Eve toast with this fun champagne margarita cocktail: Mix three ounces of champagne, one ounce of tequila, and one ounce of triple sec. Stir in an ounce of fresh lime juice, and garnish with a slice of lime on a festive toothpick.

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Vegas, Baby! New Year’s Eve Party

The New Year is a lucky time, and luck makes for a fun theme. Set up your own gaming tables with all your favorite casino games—think poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette. When guests arrive, give them tickets to play games and win fake money. Have a casino-style buffet for when people get hungry. Then dim the lights, turn up the Elvis tunes, and roll the dice!

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Bubbly New Year’s Eve Party

Host a very bubbly celebration that will be fun and uplifting. Decorate with iridescent balloons and streamers. Serve food on crystal dinnerware. Have a bubble maker going by the entrance (just aim away from the sidewalk so it doesn’t get slippery). Serve bubble tea, Bubly water, and a bubbly champagne bar. Hand out bubblegum and have a bubble-blowing contest. You can even hand out bubble wrap for guests to hop on and pop. Hand out fizzy bubble bath bombs as party favors.

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Confetti and Confections New Year’s Eve Party

Nothing screams “Happy New Year!” quite like confetti. Decorate with glitter, load up a confetti cannon, and hand out confetti poppers. Kids can make confetti slime. Have a dessert buffet featuring funfetti cupcakes or confetti cake alongside other festive party foods: cotton candy, pop rocks, and confetti ice cream, for instance. At midnight, drop confetti-filled balloons from the ceiling. (Just be sure to keep confetti contained and away from pets.)

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New Year’s Eve Board Game Party

For a more chill evening, invite a few friends and family over to play board games. They can bring one of their favorites, and you can have a few sitting out. This is the perfect opportunity to break out a longer strategy game, like Settlers of Cataan or Risk. If you’re looking for a little more laughter and interaction, try a party game like Apples to Apples, Jackbox, or Cards Against Humanity (for adults only!).

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New Year’s Eve Bunco Bash

If your crowd loves some fun competition, host a Bunco tournament. The dice game is fast paced, easy to learn, quick to set up, and works well for large groups. It’s a favorite game to play year-round, but using custom scorecards, seating cards, and tally sheets will amp up the New Year’s Eve party vibe. You may even want to turn Bunco night into a monthly activity. After all, spending more time with loved ones is one of the best New Year’s resolutions you can make.

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Friends dancing together in front of television at homeFG Trade/Getty Images

Dance Dance New Year’s Eve Party

Have fun and get a head start on your fitness resolutions by hosting an energetic dance party. You can set up Dance Dance Revolution or Just Dance on a gaming console and have competitions. You could also encourage guests to freestyle, learn a line dance from YouTube, or have a professional—like a belly dancer—come and teach a lesson. Provide fruit smoothies, protein shakes, and some healthy finger foods. Tell guests to wear comfy clothes or, for extra fun, have guests dress up in funny dance costumes. No matter which party idea you go with, these New Year’s makeup ideas will help you sparkle into 2022.

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Winter White New Year’s Eve Party

White symbolizes newness, fresh starts, peace, and of course, winter, making it the perfect theme for a New Year’s Eve party. Start the celebration with white-on-white invitations, then decorate with sparkling white lights and crisp, clean decorations. Ask guests to dress in white. Serve winter-themed food and drinks, like a creamy soup served in shot glasses and white Russians.

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Times Square NYC New Year’s Eve Party

Watching the ball drop in Times Square is a favorite New Year’s Eve tradition. If you can’t be there, bring New York City to you. Make the most of this event by having the festivities playing live on TV. Give guests an iconic “I Heart NYC” T-shirt with the invitations. Set up a food cart and serve New York–style pizza, hot dogs, and hot pretzels. Decorate with street signs, Broadway lights, and a cityscape background. Sing Broadway karaoke. Play the Ticket To Ride New York board game. And when it gets close to midnight, watch the ball drop and cheer and celebrate along with the NYC crowd. If permitted in your city and state, light your own fireworks, right in your driveway.

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New Year’s Eve Countdown Party

Kids and adults alike get a kick out of counting down the final hours, minutes, and then seconds of the old year. Make it a party by putting together countdown activity bags. Gather four to ten paper bags and label each one to be opened at different times before midnight. Fill each bag with an activity appropriate for your guests. Kids will enjoy bubbles, small toys, confetti poppers, and slime ingredients. Adults might like card games, a polaroid camera, movie tickets, or cocktail ingredients. The last bag should be the final countdown to midnight. Fill it with Hershey’s kisses so everyone gets a kiss at midnight.

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Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, BS, MS, has been covering health, fitness, parenting, and culture for many major outlets, both in print and online, for 15 years. She's the author of two books, co-host of the Self Help Obsession podcast, and also does freelance editing and ghostwriting. She has appeared in television news segments for CBS, FOX, and NBC.