Escaping the Average

How to Throw an Amazing New Year’s Eve Party

Throwing amazing parties is just one of my many passions. New Year’s Eve is one of the many times throughout a year where a party is borderline mandatory. Whether you are planning on throwing a party for your family, friends, work, or a larger group of people, keep reading for tips on throwing a well-rounded super fun New Year’s Eve Party to ring in the new year.

*Disclaimer – this post contains some affiliate links, but I promise I only show things I actually believe in*


It is essentially a universal fact that the most important part of a party is its food. Okay, maybe not universal, because I cannot even begin to tell you all of the parties that I have been to where someone didn’t get the memo to have good food. Nothing makes me more disappointed than getting all hyped for a party, showing up, and realizing the food is either wretched or non-existent. If you’re going to have a New Year’s Eve Party, please do everyone planning on showing up a favor and supply good food. If you’re looking for some ideas, here are some must have/requested dishes at my New  Year’s Eve Party.

Pork and Sauerkraut


Little Smoky Sausages

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Hash Brown Casserole

Pickled Eggs

Meat and Cheese Tray

Veggie Tray


Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Rolls


Foodstirs Galaxy Donuts – These are super cool for parties. I won’t be having them at mine, but they are definitely a crowd pleaser!

Rainbow Pancakes

Hot Chocolate




Food and Party games are the like wings of a good party. If you don’t have good games or food, then the who party crashes. Maybe my soul is a little too young, or personality a little too competitive, but for me, party games are necessary components of a good party. Since NYE parties literally last all evening and night, the best and most logical way to keep guests entertained is with games. There are a lot of variations of games to play, some take longer prep times than others. These are some of my absolute favorite party games to play with my friends and family.

Board Games


Trust me that this is one of the most fun games you will ever play. It combines 5 different categories of things to do. Of all of the people I know that have played this game (which is a lot) everyone LOVES it!


I really like this game. It’s a board game with cards where you get to choose from different categories like dates in history, definitions, and names. The card category has a picked has some random and somewhat interesting fact that goes along with it. Everyone has to anonymously write down their best guess. Then someone reads the guesses along with the unknown right answer everyone votes for which best guess sounds like the correct answer. This is a really great game for learning new things, which is probably why I like it so much.

Family Feud

This game is the popular game seen on TV. I don’t think it needs a description because it’s so popular.

Apples to Apples

This is a really famous party game where everyone gets a hand full of cards with a random concept on it. Then a different card is drawn with a definition on it. Everyone must pass in one of their cards that most likely deals with the concept of the card drawn. The person who drew the card gets to judge who’s card most relates to the drawn card and that person will get to keep the drawn card. The person with the most cards at the end wins.


This is a family favorite where a large oddly shaped dice is used. A list of random categories is given to each player. The dice which contains all the letters of the alphabet is rolled. The letter the dice lands upon must be the first letter of the answer to the question in the categories. So if the letter is K and the categories are like 1. Wild Animal, 2. Girl’s Name, 3. Appliance, the answers would be something like 1. Kangaroo, 2. Kristin, 3. Keurig. There are 12 categories per round and the person who comes up with the most legitimate answers throughout the rounds win.


I’m including this game because my grandfather absolutely loves it. It is 5×5 dice container with 25 dice filled with various letters. A timer is set for 3 minutes and you write down as many words as possible. The first person to get 50 points wins. This game is great for older people who want to keep their minds sharp. I can usually play a game or two of it, and that’s about it. But my grandfather can literally play for hours and not lose interest.

Quelf Game Escaping the Average NYE Party


Free Games/DIY Games

Mafia – 

Everyone I know loves Mafia. There are three different types of people in Mafia. There is one Mafia, one Detective, and everyone else are Citizens. M, D, and C’s are written on slips of paper and tossed in a hat. There should be a slip of paper for everyone playing. Everyone picks a slip and keeps it a secret what they draw. There is a moderator who tells everyone to close their eyes and then tells the mafia to open his eyes. The mafia looks up and points to who he wants to eliminate. Then the Mafia closes his eyes and the Detective opens his eyes. The detective points to who he thinks the Mafia is and the moderator nods if the detective is right or not. Then everyone opens their eyes and the moderator announces who the mafia eliminated. Afterwards, everyone (except the eliminated person) votes on who the mafia is. The person with the most votes against him gets eliminated. The game keeps going until the citizens eliminate the mafia, or the mafia eliminates all of the citizens, in which case the mafia wins.


This is a fun game I liked playing when I was younger. Everyone playing writes down 3 of 4 of the craziest challenges they can think of (do 50 situps, eat a spoon of mustard, run outside in the winter without shoes and shirt, etc). The challenges go on slips of paper that are then folded and placed into a hat. Everyone takes a turn at picking a paper and they can decide whether or not to do what the paper says. If a person refuses to do the task on the paper picked, they are out. The last person standing wins.

Minute to Win it Games

There are a plethora of Free Minute to Win it games online. Do some research on Pinterest and you might hit a goldmine of ideas. Some of these might cause some money for prompts, but there are lots of games that use things probably laying around your house already.


Music can be an important part of any party depending on the guests. While usually, my family doesn’t listen to music at our New Year’s Eve Party I have friends that I know would never go to a party if it didn’t have good music. The important thing about music is knowing what the guests like. If the guests like more conservative music, don’t play anything super offensive. If the guests like contemporary music, play that. Or, if you have guests that have all different tastes in music, make sure you switch the music every so often to keep all the guests contented. One way to avoid music drama is to create a theme and play music that goes along with that theme. Make sure the guests know the theme prior to the party. If worst comes to worst, you can avoid playing music by playing games or watching a movie.

Miscellaneous Things to Do

There are a lot of traditions and miscellaneous things that can be done at NYE parties. You could give out hats to wear, or party favors for the guests to celebrate. Another idea is allowing everyone to write their resolutions down on a piece of paper, or better yet, the back of a Polaroid photo of themselves so that they can keep it in their wallet and remember. Another idea is writing down bad things of the past on a piece of paper and burning the papers before the new year to signify leaving the bad things in the past. One of my family’s favorite things to do is ring in the New Year by using spoons to smack pots and pans to make noise. It seems kind of silly, but it’s a tradition and something that makes NYE unique for my family.

Instax Camera Escaping the Average

If you’re looking for New Year’s Resolutions ideas, check out these two posts:

How to Make Good New Year’s Resolutions and 10 Habits You Should Start Today

Holidays are all about finding ways to craft unique traditions to make them special. Share with me in the comments your family’s traditions, or if there is something you would like to make a tradition. Also, please share the food and games you use to celebrate NYE, I’m always looking for new ideas! Have a nice New Year’s Eve Party!

Happy New Years

XOXO, Gabriella

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  • Reply
    Shawn Jones
    December 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Gabriella,
    You have some great party suggestions! I am always at a loss for games to play at a party. I’m a big fan of all of the games you suggested however, I’ve never thought of incorporating them into my parties. My family absolutely loves playing Mafia at family gatherings.
    I also love the Polaroid photo idea. I think take home photos would be an awesome way to remember any party. Especially a New Years party.

    • Reply
      December 30, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Shawn, I’m glad you liked all of the ideas! Hopefully, you find some games to enjoy. I’m also glad you liked the photo idea! It’s a great way to remember the night and the resolutions!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Those donuts are amazing 😍😍😍

  • Reply
    December 31, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    love these ideas! thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Laurie Brooks
    December 31, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Great ideas!
    For the first time ever for NYE, I’m curling up in front of the fireplace and watching movies! lol

  • Reply
    Neha Tambe
    January 1, 2018 at 11:06 am

    You have some wonderful party suggestions! Parties usually means great food and fun games at my place. I haven’t tried some of the board games that you have mentioned, will definitely check them out.

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