New Year’s Eve Party Games and Ideas 2018

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2018

New Year’s Eve parties are always full of good cheer, festive foods, and most importantly family and friends. If you’re hosting a celebration for the last major holiday of the season, you’ll want to not only keep your guests fed, but also entertained. New Year’s Eve party games are a must if you’re looking for ideas to keep the party going. Whether you’re focused on guessing games or a few rounds of karaoke, a great selection of New Year’s Eve party games and activities can help your attendees create more memories and share laughter. Find a variety of game ideas below that will keep your soiree in good spirits.

confetti new years eve party invitation

Looking for a specific type of New year’s game? Jump to these game categories to find exactly what you’re looking for:

Guessing Games

If you want to keep your guests on their feet, select a few guessing games that are sure to bring out the competitive spirit at your New Year’s Eve party. Guessing games render plenty of energy as guests share enthusiasm and laughs during these activities. Remember to specify on your New Year’s Eve party invitations if guests will need to bring anything to participate in your game.

  • Guess Whose Resolution: As guests arrive, have them write down three different New Year’s resolutions on pieces of paper and throw them in a hat. Once everyone has put their resolutions in the hat, the game host will then read a resolution from the hat at random, outloud, and guests will write down who they think made the resolution. The player with the most correct guesses wins the game.
  • Guess Which Guest: Create a list of statements and facts about all of your guests, such as “had a baby this year” or “graduated from college”, and leave the corresponding names blank next to each fact. You can then print your list out and give participants the list to fill out. Participants have 15-20 minutes to ask guests questions and match names with facts on the paper. The individual with the most names matched at the end of the 15-20 minute time frame wins the game.
  • Past Charades: Play charades at your New Year’s Eve party but with a twist. Use newspapers, online publications, and magazines to compile a hat full of major events from the past year. You can focus on pop culture, politics, or both to create your slips of paper with events. Team representatives will then choose a piece of paper and do their best to act out the event for their team without saying a word or making a noise. Players on a team will then proceed to guess the correct event.

Relay Races

Add some energy to your party with a relay race that’s interactive and exciting for your attendees. Relay races are known to get competitive so adding prizes for the second place and third place winners can be a good idea.

  • Costume Relay: Divide your guests into three to four teams and host a costume relay like no other. In order to host this game, you’ll have to buy the same costume for each team. Ensure that the costume you’re buying is loose fitting and large. Each player will proceed to race to the one side of the room and put on their costume, returning back to their team to take off their costume. The next player in line on the team will then put on the same costume until the entire team has gone. The team that gets all of their players in and out of the costume first wins.
  • Champagne Relay: Test your attendees’ balance by hosting a relay race involving some New Year’s Eve bubbly. Split your guests into two to three teams first. Then give each team one champagne glass filled up halfway. Guests will engage in a relay by racing across the room while holding the champagne glass, flat in their hands. Any team that spills too much champagne is disqualified. You can play this game outdoors if your party set-up has carpet and you want to avoid the clean-up.

Trivia Games

Test your attendees with trivia games that challenge them to recall all of their favorite pop culture moments, family facts, or classic movie quotes. Trivia is a great way to have your guests remain active and doesn’t involve many supplies.

  • New Year’s Trivia: Before you ring in the New Year, celebrate the past with a trivia game based on all of the milestones that have happened over the past year. New additions to the family, graduations, weddings, jobs, and travel are all easy topics to pull inspiration from.
  • Movie Trivia: Do your guests have an affinity for movies and classic films? If so, plan a game of trivia that involves a variety of classic films and movie genres. Since this game will likely be played by adults, don’t be afraid to make this a challenging trivia game.
  • Pop Culture Trivia: Test your guests with a game of trivia based on all of the pop culture moments from the past year. You can find inspiration using magazines, blogs, and social media to draft the perfect pop culture trivia game.
  • Play It By Ear: While this game doesn’t involve much pen or paper, you can still play a game of trivia by having your guests write down their answers to snippets of songs. You can play snippets of television theme songs, movie soundtracks, or popular songs from the past year to keep the game interesting.

Icebreaker Games

If you’re inviting a lot of guests to your party who don’t know one another, plan out a few icebreaker games that will get rid of any awkwardness. Creating a smooth environment where your guests feel comfortable is key to throwing a successful party. These icebreaker games will clear the air as long as you initiate them in the first half of the party.

  • Who Am I: Start your party with this fun and exciting icebreaker game meant for mingling. Have the game coordinator stick on labels, marked with a celebrity name, on the backs of each guest. Guest will have no idea which celebrity name is attached to their back but they can ask other guests up to twenty questions to figure out which celebrity they’ve been designated. After 20 yes or no questions, the game is over and participants will take their best guess about who they are.
  • Childhood Photo Guessing Game: Have you ever wondered what your uncle or high school best friend looked like as a kid? If so, this game will solve all of your questions. Have each guest bring a childhood photo and pin it onto a communal board. Guests then do their best to match the child photo with the guest who brought it. They’ll have to talk to one another and identify who is who, inevitably breaking the ice.
  • People Bingo: Break the ice with a simple game of People Bingo. You can create bingo cards from scratch based on how many guests plan on attending your New Year’s Eve party. Write fun facts or milestones about each of your guests and watch as your family and friends get to know each other while scrambling to call bingo.
  • Two Truths and a Lie: Find out who’s being dishonest with this classic icebreaker game. In order to play this game, you gather all of the players involved and have everyone sit in a circle. Each person will then say two truths and one lie about themselves, one by one. It’s up to the players in the game to say which of the three statements they believe is the lie. Each player ends up revealing their two truths and a lie at the end of their turn once the other players have made their guess.

White Elephant

Gifting games aren’t just for Christmas. You can organize a game of White Elephant if you’re looking for a fun gifting game to play with family and friends. White Elephant is a game in which each guest brings a wrapped gift and places their gift on a communal table. One by one, each player proceeds to choose a gift from the table or steal another player’s gift. This is a fun-spirited game that stirs up just about any crowd. Find more tips and rules about this game using our guide on White Elephant gift ideas.

Saying goodbye to the past year and looking forward to what the New Year brings is always a memorable moment. Between Happy New Year’s messages, New Years cards, and sweet wishes from those who matter most, your New Year’s Eve party is a great way to both end the holiday season and start anew.  You’ll often hear friends and co-workers ask, “What did you do last New Year’s?” You can ensure your answer to this question is one-of-a-kind by finding special New Year’s Eve party ideas and games that have an unforgettable feel for both you and your loved ones.