New Year's Eve Party Themes to Kick Off the New Year (In Style)

Updated October 20, 2021
Friends celebrating New Year's Eve

Ring in the New Year in style with a creative party theme that will inspire your guests to set new resolutions and make them look forward to the new year ahead. Whether you are hosting an adult or kids New Year's Eve party, there are plenty of exciting ideas to choose from to kick off the new year with a bang.

Creative New Year's Eve Themes and Ideas

New Year's Eve is the perfect time to send festive party invitations and to gather loved ones for fun night. Ring in the new year with fun themes certain to be a hit among guests of all ages.

Going Green

Appetizers on a table at outdoor party

The newest and hottest idea for ringing in the new year is hosting a green New Year's Eve party. Eco-friendly parties are good for the planet and they motivate guests to set some green resolutions for the year ahead. One goal of a green New Year's Eve is to eliminate waste, so skip the pads of paper for writing down resolutions. Encourage friends to share their resolutions on a whiteboard or chalkboard. Some ideas to get your guests brainstorming include:

  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room
  • Unplug appliances when they're not in use
  • Reduce driving by biking or carpooling to work or school
  • Stop buying plastic water bottles

To liven up the party, serve organic champagne and locally-grown organic foods. To make the theme work, remember to avoid disposable plates and only use cloth napkins.

Casino Night

Friends having fun at a glamourous casino's party

Casino night is a popular New Year's Eve party theme. Think Monte Carlo instead of Atlantic City when planning a casino-themed party. Guests can dress in full black tie and go for all out glamor while they play craps, blackjack, and roulette. Set up tables with different games for your guests to enjoy and pass out fake money for them to use.

To expand on this theme, set up an elegant midnight buffet filled with a variety of foods such as pasta, salad, beef tenderloin and more. You can also set up a full bar and have someone serve drinks to your guests.

Consider incorporating a casino inspired dessert, such as a "dice" brownie. Simply bake your favorite brownie recipe in a square pan. Once it's cooled, frost it with white icing and decorate it with chocolate oreo cookies to mimic the dots.

New York, New York

12 o'clock on clock decorated with confetti and streamer

For another fun dress up party, plan a New York, New York themed holiday. Not everyone can get to Times Square for the midnight countdown, but they can channel the Big Apple wherever they are. Have guests dress in creative black tie and set the mood with Frank Sinatra and show tunes.

Serve Manhattans as well as Champagne and decorate with images of sparkling cityscapes and glittery disco balls. Since your guests will be mingling and having fun, all you need to serve is a variety of hors d'oeuvres. Guests can help themselves while socializing. Set up platters filled with items such as cheese, crackers, fruits, vegetables and dip. Other ideas to serve your guests, include stuffed mushroom, mini pizzas, and anything apple.

Be sure to have one of the many countdowns on the television so you can watch the ball drop in Times Square.

Game Night

Friends playing cards at garden party

For a low key, kid-friendly party, plan a game night. What better way to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new than spending time with the whole family? Although this theme may be more mellow than others, it still requires careful planning. To make this evening work, set up stations throughout the house with different types of games. Aim for a mix of quieter games like chess and checkers with more active games like Twister and Operation.

The key to a game night theme is to serve up a variety of games and a variety of snacks. Some snack options include, chips and dip, popcorn, deli platter, cheese and crackers, cookies, and cupcakes.

Masquerade Ball

Woman in masks

You can use a masquerade theme for your New Year's celebration by asking your guests to come in masks and dresses and suits. You can also purchase masks to give guests as they arrive if they happen to forget their own. To decorate with this theme, use dark colors such as black, purple and red. Masquerade masks can be hung on the walls along with streamers.

Ask everyone to keep their face covered until midnight when they can take off their masks to reveal who they are.

Since the masks will be the center for this theme, you can keep food and drink simple. Serve a big bowl of punch and have food pre-made for your guests to eat once they arrive. You will want to serve finger foods that can be eaten with a mask on.

Western Cowboy

Woman with cowboy hat at new year's eve party

A western theme is perfect for a New Year's celebration. You can ask everyone to dress in western wear complete with cowboy hats and boots.

Jazz up this theme by using a red and black color scheme with plenty of silver accents. You can set up a western buffet that includes barbeque meats, baked beans, cornbread and chili.

Be sure to play country music and let your guests take part in a line or square dance as well.

Around the World

Around the world

Transport your guests to locations around the world this New Year's. You can set clocks to reflect the various time zones and celebrate each time the clock strikes twelve. Set up areas that represent different destinations around the world. Choose destinations, such as Italy, France, China, or Australia.

For each area, have decorations that match and food and drink options as well. For example, set up a table in the colors of Italy and serve Italian wine and a pasta dish. Other decorations to consider for this theme are globes, maps, and flags.

Alternative Themes

To take a different twist on New Year's Eve, try alternative themes.

Psychic Party

Magic crystals for rituals

Give your guests a glimpse into the new year with a psychic party. These parties are a fun way to celebrate a new year. You can find psychics online and hire them to read palms, tarot cards, and tea leaves for your guests. Set the mood with crystal balls, dry ice (avoid touching, breathing, or consuming it), and glittery star decorations.

You can set up a light buffet and serve a festive punch so guests can have a bite to eat while waiting for their reading.

Spa Party

Organic spa cosmetic on marble background

If peeking into the future isn't your thing, then perhaps pampering is. Instead of hiring fortune tellers to entertain your guests, you can hire a masseuse and manicurist to pamper them instead. Spa parties are a great way to relax after a long year and a hectic holiday season. Plus, they set guests up to start the new year relaxed and renewed.

To complement your spa party, serve your guests a variety of herbal teas, bottled water, fresh fruit and a variety of healthy appetizers, such as fresh vegetables and hummus, endive filled with goat cheese and bruschetta topped with tomatoes and basil.

Give Back

Collecting food in a food drive

Gather a group of family and friends and do a project to benefit the community. Some ways to give back include, volunteer at a soup kitchen, give money to a charity of your choice, donate food to the local food bank, help clean up an area of the community and visit residents in a nursing home.

Countdown to the New Year

No matter what theme and size you decide for your New Year's party, gathering with family and friends to ring in the new year is a way to strengthen relationships and inspire each other to set goals for the future while creating everlasting memories.

New Year's Eve Party Themes to Kick Off the New Year (In Style)