Entertaining Ideas for a Memorable New Year's Eve

Looking for the perfect way to ring in 2014? Here are some party planning and entertaining ideas to help you have a wonderful time this New Year’s Eve.

First decide what kind of a party you want to have, based on the age group and your budget. If it’s for kids and teens, the theme maybe be less formal than if it’s for a group of adult friends. A casual party can also be appropriate for adults if you are looking not to bust your budget, or if you just want to have a few friends over for pizza and movies.

Deciding what kind of party you want to have also determines what kind of snacks and drinks to serve. Chips and pop or punch will satisfy hungry teens, while you may want to serve fancier hors d'oeuvres and cocktails to adults.

For a formal occasion, you should mail out fancy invitations stating the dress code for the occasion. If you want to have a “Black Tie Affair,” make sure everyone knows to wear suits and dresses. You can decorate for the party with black, white, and silver balloons. You can implement one or two bright colors into the decorating scheme for an artsy feel. Try using gold sashes, teal bows, red roses, or bright purple table runners for a special touch.

Maybe you want more fun in your formal party. Suggest a “Blast from the Past” theme and have guests arrive in costume attire from the decade or period of their choice. Nothing spells fun and makes for great conversation like interesting costumes. You could have Marilyn Monroe, a Roman soldier, a 20’s flapper, and Abraham Lincoln all in the same room this New Year’s Eve!

Or if you want to try something different, host a murder mystery dinner party! Depending on the mystery, costumes could range from simple to elaborate. Plan the meal around the theme of the mystery. If it takes place in Italy, serve Italian entrees and appetizers, along with wine. Even if no one is a professionally-trained actor or entertainer, nothing promotes fun and laughter like a creative activity like this!

For more decorating ideas, try setting up elegant table centerpieces with floating tea lights and glitter. Hang “Happy New Year” banners around the room, and adjust the lighting to set the mood.

Have a banquet table where guest can help themselves to snacks and cocktails. Or if you want to be extra fancy, hire someone to serve guests and refill their drinks. If you want the same effect, minus the expense, have one of the hosts serve guests from a tray they carry around with them.

For a casual party, invite friends over for a pizza and movie night. Now would be a great time to watch all the DVDs people got you at Christmas. Or you can pick a fun theme for movies to watch, like all horror flicks, or all 80’s movies, and hit up your neighborhood video store. You can even have you friends dress up as their favorite movie characters.

For kids and teens, consider a dance party or a sleepover party. You can set up your iPod to play their favorite songs all night, or get a friend or family member to “play deejay” for them. Consider having karaoke to entertain everyone.

As it gets closer to midnight, pass out drinks for a toast. You can even watch the ball drop on TV. Or ring in the New Year in with a big bang! Set off fireworks at midnight. Make sure to have an adult present for safety measures. Or just have confetti and noisemakers on-hand for when the clock strikes 12 a.m.

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