We’re almost through the last of the holidays, but before this year comes to an end, there is yet one more special holiday to celebrate: New Year’s Eve.
I love New Year’s Eve. It’s a celebration of the past year — embracing both hardships and happiness — and a warm welcoming of the year to come. Plus, who doesn’t love another excuse to share food, drink and laughter with loved ones.
Here are a few fun ideas to celebrate the big night.
Invite a group of friends over for a special evening. Whether you provide the entire sit-down dinner or have a potluck where everyone contributes, print menus and dress up. No reservations or paid parking required!
The best part of the evening is often when someone gets out the board games, so why not make that the focus of the evening? Be mindful of your audience (family friendly), and if there are children, it’s nice to have a few games for them to play on their own too.
For something elegant that doesn’t require hours of prep in the kitchen, plan a wine tasting. Build a simple cheese plate , and don’t forget to save the sparkling wine for midnight. Check out our favorite wines for the season , and if you need advice on pairings or more, ask one of our Specialty team members for help.
Good Luck Party
Quite a few cultures around the world associate certain foods with bringing fortune and good luck in the new year. Serve your guests some lucky foods like noodles, a whole fish, lentils and greens for a tasty way to celebrate the year to come. This is often done on New Year’s Day, but hey — rules are meant to be broken, right?
Who doesn’t love a big bubbling pot of melted, gooey cheese and a platter of bread, sausage and vegetables to go with it? Fondue is a showstopper, and it requires little prep time. Try this Classic Le Gruyère Fondue recipe or double the dose of bubbly by adding a little extra Champagne to the mix like in this Champagne Cheddar Fondue.
Mystery Box Challenge
Combine games and dinner into a single event. Break your guests into pairs or groups. If the kids are savvy in the kitchen, this can be a really fun activity for the whole family. Each group will be responsible for cooking one course, but another group will select the ingredients they must use. The ingredients aren’t revealed until just before the cooking starts. Just don’t forget that you’ll be eating the foods you choose for the other team, so don’t get too crazy!
Whether your party includes staging a murder mystery, a roaring 20’s speakeasy, or karaoke along with 2014’s biggest hits, no one will balk at a classic New Year’s Eve cocktail party menu including Curried Crab on Crackers, Sweet Potato Bacon Bites and Apple-Pomegranate Fizz. For more cocktail inspiration, check out the collection of our favorite cocktails and punches .
No matter what you do this year, remember New Year’s Eve should be low stress, lots of fun and spent with people you enjoy. Check out more food ideas for your New Years Eve party on Pinterest.
How will you ring in the New Year? Share your ideas below!