Planning a New Year’s Eve Alternative

The past three New Year’s Eves, I have stayed in with my parents and watched the ball drop. It’s been great because I save money, don’t stress about my outfit (I rock some killer PJs) and my mom cooks for me (#noshame). Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good party! There is just a lot of unnecessary pressure, stress and money involved in NYE events now. To still get my partying in and celebrate the new year, my friends and I have started a tradition of doing brunch and then a bar crawl New Year’s Day. We go to the same bars, with the same crowds, but do it for FREE the next day. Essentially saving ourselves $100+.

If you’re an old soul like me that still wants to celebrate the new year, but save a little money doing it, here are a few alternative suggestions. The most important thing for any good NYE celebration is to ensure you’re surrounded by good people with good energy. If you have those things, everything else will fall into place.


This is my now go-to tradition. To make it more fun, I bring a few party favors for everyone. I usually pick up $1 koozies from Target. You can also get yours customized for your group via Etsy. We don’t have a set attire, but you can always do a fun group outfit such as holiday sweaters or matching necklaces from Party City. New Year’s Day is an extra busy brunch time so be sure to block your reservation a few weeks or days in advance. If not, you could be in for a long wait with a lot of hungover people (we learned this the hard way the first year).



One of the best things about NYE is getting dolled up. If you still want to do that, but not go out, host a dinner party at your place. Target has great decorations and party favors in its NYE section. Be sure to include a photo section and get props for your guests. If you have a tablet or iPad, you can download a free photobooth app to easily share the pictures. If you really want to be the host with the most, cook a killer buffet style dinner for everyone. To make things simple on yourself, make it a potluck dinner party and provide the main meat dish and champagne.



If you’re looking for a more casual night in, host a NYE adult sleepover with your closest friends. This is a very cheap alternative. You just need sleepover essentials which include movies, popcorn, pizza, soda and games. To be extra festive, have everyone get matching pajamas or onesies. The below 2 piece set is only $10 at Target. The morning after, you all can make a New Year’s Day brunch together. To split the costs have everyone chip in a few bucks or you can assign items for everyone to bring.



Head to the great outdoors or your backyard for a NYE camping trip. If you’re close to the city, you can view the fireworks without the crowds. If you venture more into the woods you can substitute man-made fireworks for the starry sky. A group of 4-6 is ideal for this. Usually large groups and camping don’t mix. You can grab everything you need from the Wal-Mart camping section. My camping gear is Ozark. It’s affordable, yet durable and trusty. I take it on actual camping trips as well as music festivals and it’s still going strong.


Another awesome option is the good ole watch the Times Square celebration, sip champagne at home and be in bed before the ball drops. What your plans for NYE 2018? Are you planning a traditional or alternative NYE? Let me know in the comments section below. I will be with my parents again this year, enjoying our traditional greens for money and black eyed peas for luck. I think it’s a Southern thing. Whatever you do, I hope you’re safe and have a ball.


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