New Years Eve can be a time to gather with friends, relax and remember the good times and the bad times of the past year. Planning ahead for that perfect last party of the year will ensure a safe and fun time for everyone.
You know your date, December 31st. Pick a time. You must decide if you want an early start, and spend a long time with everyone, or a later start. I prefer a later start simply because it gives me more time to prepare the day of the party. Invitations should be sent out approximately 10-14 days in advance with a request for response no later than three days prior to the party.
Next, make your invitation list. At this point, you must decide if this can be a family event or adult only. Include this information on your invitation. Also be explicit about what time the party ends and whether or not guests may “crash” at your place or are expected to leave. Don’t be afraid to be open about this. Most people like to be “in the know” so that they can make their arrangements in advance. Ask for an rsvp so that you can be prepared and have activities for the children and/or teens expected. They like to have fun too, and it’s a great way to keep an eye on them, no matter what their age. If you are planning on serving alcohol at your New Years Eve party, be sure to include a request for volunteers to be designated drivers. This can be listed on your invitation as a second rsvp. Example: Please rsvp for attendance including ages of any children. Then right under that: Please rsvp yes or no as a designated driver.
When including the family, try to keep in mind the ages of the children. You should have a room designated as the toddler room where they can play, watch kiddie movies, have treats, a place to sleep and most importantly a baby sitter. If it is a large party with many families bringing their toddlers, try not to have more than 5 toddlers to a baby sitter. They can be challenging! Have plenty of blankets and pillows available for them lay down and sleep.
A teen room should include tv with dvd or vhs and appropriate titles on hand. It should also have a cd player available and room for them to dance and chairs for them to sit on. Include a table with snacks and a variety of beverages. All non-alcoholic of course. We all know teens can eat! Again, teens like to have fun too. Teens still need supervision. It’s best to ask the parents to take turns looking in on them.
For the grownups…a cd player with a variety of music, room to dance, plenty of chairs set around and snacks set out in one location, preferably away from the dance floor.
Have party favors for all the ages. Hats, shakers, blow horns etc.
Make sure you have plenty of ice, beverages, snacks, plates, flatware, cups and napkins set out. You as the host and/or hostess will want to be free most of the night to have fun too.
Things You’ll Need
Pen and Paper *
Plenty of Finger Food *
Plenty of Beverages *
Designated Drivers *
Baby Sitter and Child Play Room
Tips and Warnings
Have plenty of snacks prepared in advance so that all you have to do is replenish them every so often.
Have extra ice on hand.
If serving alcoholic beverages, know when to cut off the flow and don’t be afraid to cut them off. You want safety first!
When selecting a babysitter for the toddlers, be sure you know the babysitter and still periodically check on them too. Again, safety first!