What you need to throw a New Year’s Eve party

New Year’s Eve is a time to take stock of the year just gone and look forward to the one ahead and the possibilities it brings. If you want to host New Year’s Eve, you might be wondering what you need and how to go about it.

When it comes to your shopping list, the type of New Year’s Eve event you want to throw will make a big difference. For instance, you might want a few basic supplies for a small gathering or elaborate decorations and serving platters for a fancy event.

How to host a New Year’s Eve event

Before you consider everything you need to host New Year’s Eve, it’s a good idea to think about how to throw an event of this kind. New Year’s Eve parties or gatherings can be as simple or extravagant as you want them to be.

Define your event

Start by thinking about the type of gathering you want to throw. It could be anything from a casual get-together for a handful of select friends to an out-and-out rager. What kind of event you’re hosting will dictate what you need. If it’s a casual affair, Solo cups and board games might be the order of the day. For fancier parties, you’ll want serving platters and Champagne glasses.

Consider your guest list

Once you’ve thought about what type of event you want to host, it’s time to consider your guest list. You’ll need to decide how many people you want to invite, from one or two best friends or family members to everyone you know and then some.

Think about whether it’ll be a child-friendly party or for adults only and make this clear to anyone you’re inviting who has kids. Unless you’re planning an extremely fancy affair, a call, text or email will suffice as an invite — there’s no need to send out paper invitations. If you want RSVPs, let people know and be prepared to chase a few stragglers.

Think about food and drink

You’ll need to provide refreshments of some kind if you’re hosting New Year’s Eve. You might choose to throw a dinner party with a three-course sit-down meal or simply put out a few chips and dips. If you’ll only be providing snacks, let people know so they can eat before they arrive.

For many people, New Year’s is a time to let loose, so guests might expect the booze to be flowing. However, if you want to throw a dry event, that’s fine, just let people know what to expect.

Decorate your space

The right decorations make your New Year’s Eve event look special. Silver and gold are popular color schemes, but you can choose decorations in any hue you prefer. You might want decorations that look intentionally fun and cheesy or you may prefer to keep it classy.

Decide on entertainment

Entertainment doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you’re throwing a small gathering, playing games can be a fun way to see in the new year. For larger parties, you might simply want to curate the perfect playlist and blast music for people to dance to.

Best serveware and tableware

Best Royal Craft Wood Bamboo Cheese Board, Charcuterie Platter and Serving Tray

Royal Craft Wood Bamboo Cheese Board, Charcuterie Platter and Serving Tray

If you’re planning on serving a charcuterie board, cheese platter or similar, this bamboo is perfect. The recessed serving compartments are great for grapes or nuts and it comes with all the tools you need.

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Best Mixology and Craft Store Mixology Bartender Kit

Mixology and Craft Store Mixology Bartender Kit

This 10-piece mixology set comes with a cocktail shaker and a range of handy tools, including a muddler and a strainer. It’s ideal if you want to serve cocktails at your party.

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Best Chic Leaf Palm Leaf Plates

Chic Leaf Palm Leaf Plates

Rather than having to choose between plastic or paper plates and being stuck with piles of dishes, consider these palm leaf plates. They’re sturdy and look great, plus they’re biodegradable and compostable, so they’re eco-friendly.

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Best Viski Footed Glass Punch Bowl

Viski Footed Glass Punch Bowl

Serving punch is a low-effort way of providing drinks for your guests, so you can relax and enjoy your night. This simple, elegant punch bowl holds more than 2.5 gallons.

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Best entertainment

Best Bose SoundLink Color II- Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

Bose SoundLink Color II: Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

Loud for its compact size and providing excellent audio quality, this is a great choice for providing music for a small to midsized gathering. It’s loud enough to hear your music well without annoying your neighbors.

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Best Singing Machine Portable Bluetooth Karaoke Machine

Singing Machine Portable Bluetooth Karaoke Machine

If your idea of a good night is belting along to your favorite songs, this compact karaoke machine is a worthwhile investment. It takes CDs or can stream music from your phone or tablet.

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Best Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity

It might not be for the easily shocked, but Cards Against Humanity is great fun at a party. It works for groups of four to 20 plus people and can liven up a gathering.

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Best Pixipy Gold Photo Booth Props

Pixipy Gold Photo Booth Props 

A DIY photo booth is a simple way of entertaining your guests at a party. This set includes a range of hats, masks, glasses and more to help take fun photos and make memories.

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Best decorations

Best Katchon Silver 2023 Balloons

Katchon Silver 2023 Balloons 

These huge 40-inch 2023 balloons are great for seeing in the year ahead and are striking without being cheesy. You’ll need to inflate them with helium if you want them to float.

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Best Katchon Happy New Year Banner

Katchon Happy New Year Banner

Featuring gold letters on a black background, this Happy New Year banner is classy yet eye-catching. It comes pre-assembled but you can adjust the distance between the flags to set it up just how you want it.

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Best Minetom Globe String Lights

Minetom Globe String Lights

With a warm white glow, these globe string lights add ambiance to any New Year’s Eve event. What’s more, you can use them for both Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, so you’ll get plenty of use from them.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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