How to Have an New Years Eve Staycation

By Carolyn Stine December 27, 2018 

If you’re not climbing Machu Picchu or fist-pumping in Miami, these are 7 ways you can feel festive at home for New Years Eve 2018.

We know how New Years Eve in NYC goes. Rush to buy tickets at a “cool” bar. Spend way too much money on said tickets. Wear shoes you can’t stand up in after 25 minutes. Have to fight your way to the bar all night to “get your money’s worth.” As a result, get very over-served. Spend 45 minutes trying to get a cab home because the Uber surge pricing is highway robbery. Eat pizza alone in the wee hours of January 1st. And don’t even get us started on those attempting to brave the fiasco that is the Times Square ball drop.

If glamming it up at Tao is no longer your thing (or, let’s be serious, never was), our absolute favorite alternative is having our crew over on New Years Eve. You get to be in charge of the food, the drinks, the music, and most importantly, the vibe surrounding your entrance into the new year ahead. Here is our game plan for the food, drinks, dress code, and more for the perfect NYE night in.

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

One of the biggest perks of hosting at home? You can literally wear whatever you want. That could mean the vintage kimono from the back of your closet that you never quite know what to pair with, those devilish stilettos that you’ll have the luxury of kicking off after an hour, or… your pajamas. Have a bit of fun with the dress code - you can fully embrace high or low here. It can be an all-out glam fete, or you can let guests know to show up in their coziest pj’s and slippers. We’re taking inspiration from SATC: The Movie and channeling SJP’s glam sweats and heels combo for ringing in 2019...

Cook up a storm.

We have a bolognese recipe that has 25 ingredients and takes hours to make, and every year we conveniently never find the time to actually make it. Use New Years Eve day as an excuse to make that recipe. Get it started in the morning, putter around in your pajamas all day, and serve your guests the dish of a lifetime (well, at least of 2018). You wouldn’t normally have time after work or on a too-short weekend to craft it, so why not go for it on NYE?

We also love the idea of going fancy-schmancy on New Years Eve. Think: the souffle. Of the chocolate variety. Nothing seems more decadent, more delicious, or more well-earned at the close of the year.

Alternatively… cook nothing.

If all you want to do it sit back and relax on NYE, that is 100% your prerogative. We love the idea of getting ahead of the curve with Postmates and ordering Prince Street Pizza’s spicy squares by the full pie. Your friends will (literally) flip.

Alternately, make it a sweet tooth-satisfying soiree. Go wild at Milk Bar and put out bowls of birthday cake truffles, slices of crack pie, and stacks of your favorite cookie flavors (our fave is the compost cookie). Who needs caffeine when you can have a Christina Tosi-induced sugar high?

Imbibing down memory lane.

Pay homage to the year coming to a close by having everyone bring the favorite thing that they drank in 2018. That could mean this insanely delicious Austrian red that we discovered in Copenhagen, or your newly minted love of sour beers (this Briney Melon Gose is fantastic). Who knows, your guests may even discover their soon-to-be favorite drink of 2019 at your NYE party.

Have a roast of 2018.

The good, the bad, the delicious, the ugly. Instead of toasting to 2019, how about roasting 2018? Have everyone come armed with their best, worst, and funniest moments of 2018 and share over a bottle of champagne (or the aforementioned sour beers). It’s a great way to pause, take stock, and send 2018 on its merry way, while still paying lipservice to all of the moments that made it unique.

Is pregame a dirty word?

The trick to going out to a bar on NYE? Doing it after midnight, when the ticketed events end and excess people begin to clear out. Host a dinner and/or cocktail party at your place, then make your way to your favorite neighborhood watering hole after the ball has already dropped. You’ll be able to walk in the door for free, and it’s an easy way to keep the party going for a subset of the group that isn’t quite ready for bedtime yet. Bonus points if the bar has a dance floor and 90s tunes.

You Do YOU.

At the end of the day, you may decide that all you really want to do on New Years Eve is to draw a bubble bath, order in, and Netflix and Chill… solo. It is a 100% incredible idea to do so, in whatever way, shape, or form best serves you. If that means opening that bottle of red you’ve been saving “for a special occasion” and watching the ball drop in sweats, do it. If that means reading in bed and hitting the hay by 10pm, do it. We can’t think of a better way to enter a new year than honoring yourself in whatever way makes you happy.

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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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