Anyone can throw a New Year’s Eve party filled with streamers, noisemakers, and wacky 2017 glasses. But, it takes some true creativity and planning to host a party that will wow your guests. That’s why I’ve found some of the best New Year’s Eve entertaining tips and hacks that will make your NYE party the talk of the town.
1. Make inexpensive decorations that look like a million bucks
Don’t make the holiday entertaining mistake of spending tons of money on new décor that you won’t enjoy looking at after the last guest leaves. You can wow your guests with DIY decorations that far surpass any you’d find in a tired party store. The most important tip is to make sure that your décor matches or fits into a theme because you don’t want to confuse your guests. It’s also easier for you to choose a theme and stick to it when choosing and making your décor.
2. Prepare fancy food without the fuss
The best way to wow your guests is to serve them food that they will think is fancy but that you know doesn’t take much time at all.
- Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres - Consider broiled mussels, chili served in large dinner rolls or small bread bowls, Vidalia onion tarts, or Cipollini onion hummus to get your party started.
- Main courses – If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner with a main course, you should choose one that everyone will love even though it won’t take you hours of preparation. Some of my favorites include glazed ham with coriander and fennel, bacon-wrapped pork loin with cherries, and roast beef with slow-cooked tomatoes and garlic. And of course, you can always serve black-eyed peas and greens, traditional good luck foods for the new year.
- Desserts – Of course, no NYE host can entertain without having some amazing desserts for the guests. Again, that doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours baking show-stopping desserts from scratch. Chances are your guests won’t be fully out of holiday-mode quite yet so desserts that fit the merry season are still appropriate.
Order a white layer cake from a local bakery and cover the top with crushed peppermint and candy canes. Or bake cupcakes and decorate with holiday candy like M&Ms and Laffy Taffy leaves. Another option is to bake brownies and cover them with holiday nuts, peppermint, or marshmallows. The key is to have delicious desserts that look festive, even if you cut a few corners and don’t know how to use a piping bag.
3. Don’t forget the music
There is nothing worse than a New Year’s Eve party with a clunky playlist. To truly wow your guests, carefully choose your background music. If you need a little help, streaming services like Spotify and Pandora can be useful in a pinch, and of course, you can always take requests from your guests. Our phones and tablets make DJing easier than ever so be sure to use the tech available to you to keep your guests dancing late into the night.
4. Steer clear of boring NYE cocktails
You and your guests will want to pass around the bubbly on New Year’s Eve, but champagne shouldn’t be the only beverage your bartender is slinging. Updated drinks like creamsicle fizzes, pomegranate Moscow mules, and vodka espresso cocktails are fun ways to spice things up.
To take your drink game up another notch, remember to have mocktails available for your designated drivers and guests that do not drink, or have had substance abuse problems in the past. Some people struggle especially around the holidays so they’ll appreciate the extra thought you put into including them in the drinks, even if they are free of alcohol.
Of course, spending time with friends and family is the best part of this time of year. But, if you really want to wow your guests, these tips are a good place to start.
Image by Covi
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