How to Host a Virtual New Year’s Party

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It's time to bid farewell to 2020, but the usual NYE bash is bound to change this year. Here's how to plan and host a virtual New Year's celebration that's still full of fun!

New Year’s Eve is typically a night to celebrate the closing of a year, and it goes without saying that 2020 was certainly a year we’ll never forget. But it’s time to say goodbye and embrace all that’s possible for 2021.

While large NYE bashes may not be happening this year, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve on a high note. Don your glitziest outfit and host a virtual party from home to ring in the New Year in style!

Choose Your Party Time

As you plan the timing for your virtual New Year’s Eve party, consider your family members and your friends’ schedules. While it’s typical to spend the whole evening out at an in-person NYE party, a virtual soirée is better kept short and sweet. Plan your party at a time that works well for everyone in the group, whether you need to wait for people to get off work or allow time to put the kids to bed. Then, structure your virtual event with an activity on the ideal platform to keep everyone entertained.

Send Your Invitations

Just because the party is going virtual, it doesn’t mean beautiful invitations are out of the question. Make your guests feel extra special. Send out something glitzy in the mail for a personalized touch or opt for a pretty emailed option like this. Either way, include all of the details for your event and the activities you plan to host to ensure your guests show up to the party prepped (and dressed!) for success.

Virtual New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Planning a themed party with an activity or two is a great way to keep the night moving along. Consider focusing on one theme or incorporate multiple activities throughout the night.

Host a Virtual Dinner Party

If getting dolled up and hosting a fancy dinner party is your typical New Year’s tradition, it can still be accomplished virtually. Choose your dazzling outfit and plan a simple dinner menu for everyone to enjoy. Send out dinner recipes ahead of time with your invitations and encourage everyone to whip up their meal before your party’s start time. Celebrate with a nice dinner paired with great wine and conversation as you look back on 2020 and raise a glass to the new year to come.

Plan a Movie Night

‘Tis the season to be super cozy! If you’re not interested in dressing up, a pajama party is the perfect option. Create a great movie lineup for the night and gather friends to watch around their own devices utilizing the GroupWatch feature on Disney+. Don’t forget to bring your own delicious movie snacks, like ranch popcorn or homemade potato chips.

Host a Champagne Tasting

There’s been plenty of virtual wine tastings happening over the course of 2020. Why not take that same concept and add a toast of bubbles for NYE? Choose a few champagne or sparkling wine options to sample and talk through with your friends. Bonus: many producers sell mini bottles or split bottles that are perfect for this very occasion.

Attend an Online Event Together

Going to an in-person event, such as a concert or large party, may be out of the question this year, but plenty of businesses are pivoting for the occasion. Plan to get dressed up and attend an online event with your closest friends.

Host a Game Night

If you’re a game lover, then you know it’s easy to keep a game going well past midnight when you’re having fun. Gather your friends virtually and plan your games and snacks ahead of time. Include virtual game options, or even keep it simple with classics such as trivia or bingo.

Make Signature Cocktails

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to sip something new. Why not host a small party, and allow everyone to teach a new signature cocktail recipe? Plan ahead with a simple list of ingredients for everyone to have on hand, and then share the steps to your recipes for imbibing over video as you chat throughout the evening.

Make Some Noise for When the Ball Drops

Planning to watch the ball drop? It’ll certainly be different, but that’s one tradition that’s not going away this year. Plan a party around the virtual midnight drop in Times Square and be sure you have your noisemakers ready. Host an online craft party leading up to the big drop to create DIY noisemakers for the occasion. Utilize empty paper towel rolls to decorate as horns, or fill them with popcorn seeds or even mini bells and tape them shut for an easy NYE craft.

Take a Cooking Class

Virtual cooking classes became the new norm in 2020, and now you can use that to your advantage. Plan for you and your friends to attend the same class, cooking or baking along from your own kitchens. Once your dishes are prepped and made, hop on a private video call to enjoy the fruits of your labor together.

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Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.