Last Updated: Jan 30, 2018
Choosing a theme for your New Year’s Eve party can set the tone for the entire night. New Year’s Eve is a fun and exciting time all about reflecting on the past year while looking forward to crafting new memories with loved ones. Your party’s style should match this special sentiment from start to finish with a theme that spreads good cheer. Whether you’re looking to plan a casual gathering or go all out with a formal celebration, these New Year’s Eve party themes will help you ring in the New Year the right way.
New Year’s Eve Party Checklist
In order to avoid stress and save some time, there are a few items to keep in mind when mapping out your party theme. Everything from choosing a concept and setting a budget, to finding those unforgettable New Year’s Eve party invitations can be found below.
- Choose a New Year’s Eve party theme that you feel excited about. Make sure you absolutely love the theme you’re choosing since you’ll be the host or hostess. Being enthusiastic about your theme will drastically increase the party in your planning.
- Decide who you want to invite. Write down who you’d like to invite so you can get an idea of the size of your party, along with how many invites you’ll need to order. This tip will keep you organized and on track with what you’ll need to buy for your party down the road.
- Choose a space to host your party and accommodate your guests. Now that you’ve got your mind made up on a theme and you have a guest list set, you can decide if you want to host your party at home or at a venue. If you’re looking for a more intimate party with family and friends, opt for a celebration at home so you can save money. If you’re hosting more than 50 guests, you should look into affordable venues that are local and easy to access.
- Send party invitations three weeks in advance. Choose New Year’s Eve party invitations that match your theme and send them early so guests can RSVP during the busy holiday season. Don’t forget to include pertinent information or details about themed dress codes or costume requirements on your invites. Consider a similar card style to your New Years cards for consistency.
- Decide on a budget for food and drinks. Now that you’ve got your theme, guest list, and invitations squared away, you can set a budget that covers all your party needs and wants. Since this is New Year’s Eve, you’ll want to offer a nice selection of drinks and serve foods that are easy to eat.
- Find themed decorations that are unique to your party style. Since New Year’s Eve parties are all about making your theme as entertaining as possible, you should begin looking for themed decorations and planning out DIY projects in early December. You may have to browse the web a bit to find the decorations that are specific to your theme so an early start isn’t a bad idea.
- Host games or activities that are entertaining or fulfilling. Don’t forget to host 1-2 games or activities that keep your guests in good spirits. Whether you’re looking to have attendees guess each others’ New Year’s resolutions or play a game of pictionary, games are always a win at any party.
If you’re looking for in-depth tips about decorations, food, and party favors, visit our article on New Year’s Eve party ideas to improve your party planning process. Now that you’re ready to get the party started, we’ve provided a unique list of New Year’s Eve party themes below that will guide you in the right direction for your celebration.
Add some mystery to your New Year’s Eve party with an enchanting masquerade ball party theme. Masquerade parties never go out of style and are usually quite formal. You can supply attendees with masks or encourage them to create their own. Make sure you have ample room for a dance floor and use a black, gold, and green color scheme to make this theme come alive.
Rest and Relaxation
Ditch the glitz and glam for a relaxing spa party with your favorite girls. This is an intimate and non-traditional way to celebrate the New Year that most attendees end up loving. You can set up stations for massages, mani-pedis, and facials to pamper your guests for a fresh New Year’s start. Guests can also create their own facial scrubs to take home as a party favor.
First We Feast
If your New Year’s Resolution involves avoiding carbs and exercising more often, throw one last showdown with some of your favorite dishes. You can turn this idea into a full-fledged theme by asking attendees to bring their favorite guilty pleasure food to contribute to the party. Try setting up food-inspired decorations to make your last feast of the year comical, such as cardboard donuts, food-shaped balloons, and signs with funny quotes. Lastly, send guests off with party favors focused on their health such as a yoga mat, a healthy list of recipes, or a custom water bottle.
Who doesn’t love a flashback party? Add a fun factor to your New Year’s countdown by throwing a decade party, dedicated to the 70s, 80s, or 90s. This is a fun costume-oriented idea that encourages attendees to get creative and reminisce on some of their favorite moments in pop culture and history. Your decorations and music selections should align with the decade you’ve chosen, along with a photo booth full of humorous props from the glory days. This is also the perfect theme for a few rounds of karaoke.
All That Glitters
You can never go wrong with a bit of shine and sparkle for your New Year’s Eve party theme. Host a celebration with decorations and tableware inspired by glitter, in addition to making a lasting impression with a glitter invitation. You can decorate champagne and wine glasses with glitter, along with creating your own banners to match. You can also get creative with your desserts and use edible glitter to enhance your bites.
Black Light Party
Black light parties, also known as “glow” parties, are great for kids and teenagers. In order to make this party a success, cover your windows with black construction paper and then swap your regular light bulbs out for black light bulbs. You can hang neon decorations near the black lights around your party set-up to make this theme cool and colorful.
Around the World
The New Year doesn’t just occur stateside. Honor New Year’s traditions from other countries by hosting an ‘Around the World’ party that highlights how other cultures ring in the New Year. In Spain, it is tradition to eat 12 grapes in the last 12 seconds of the countdown to midnight. In Brazil, friends and family gather to eat lentils which are supposed to bring good fortune and wealth. In Denmark, loved ones break dishes in front of their friends’ doors in order to show how fortunate they are to have so many friends.
Western New Year’s Eve Party
Break out the cowboy boots, barbecue, and country music for a Western-inspired New Year’s Eve celebration. This is an alternative theme that’s family-friendly and gives attendees a chance to do something new for New Year’s Eve. Encourage guests to wear their favorite cowboy boots and get ready for a night of traditional country food, games, and dancing.
Black and White Ball
If you’re looking for a formal New Year’s Eve party theme, this is the perfect idea for you. Throw a chic and elegant black and white ball at a small to medium sized venue and set a dress code. You can send formal party invitations and use black and white decor throughout your party to keep this theme cohesive.
Casino Night Party
Host an entertaining casino night for your attendees with plenty of casino games! You won’t have to worry about keeping your guests entertained with this party theme. You can set up areas for common casino games such as poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, or bingo. If you’re looking for a DIY project, you can also create your own big six wheel.
Hollywood Themed New Year’s Eve Party
Bring Hollywood to your home with a glamorous Hollywood themed New Year’s Eve celebration. You can host a red carpet with photo opportunities, along with a fancy cocktail hour before the big countdown. Remind guests to dress their best and don’t forget to send each attendee off with their own Hollywood movie star. This theme includes plenty of black, white, gold, and red decor.
Times Square Party
Recreate the eclectic energy and vibes of New York City with this Times Square inspired party. NYC is notorious for their New Year’s Eve countdown in Times Square. You can mirror this annual famed moment by setting up decor inspired by the big apple throughout your party, along with NYC-inspired street food to stay true to the theme. Most importantly, don’t forget to emulate the epic “ball drop” at midnight in Times Square by creating your own colorful and shiny ball to hang from the ceiling.
Pop, Fizz, Clink!
Turn your classic New Year’s Eve love for bubbly into a Champagne-inspired party. You can decorate your party set-up with champagne colored decor and create a bar with different types of Champagne cocktails. Attendees can also decorate their own Champagne glasses if you’re looking to add a charming activity to your party. You can find more ideas just like this one in our guide on cocktail party ideas.
End the year by getting a head start with your New Year’s resolution to be more eco-friendly. Host a party with eco-friendly decorations and tableware, along with organic and locally grown foods. You can also purchase champagne and wine from a local vendor, in addition to sending guests off with party favors from a local shop. When it comes to games, get creative by making a quiz with questions about going green and give a prize to the winner with the most correct answers.
Giving Back for New Year’s Eve
If you’re looking to try a different route this New Year’s Eve, host a party all about giving back. Whether you’re looking to do a silent auction night and give the proceeds to charity or make blankets with friends for a local non-profit organization, this is more than just a party theme. You can use this time frame when loved ones get together the most to help improve the lives of others.
A Night in Paris
Enjoy New Year’s Eve with a Parisian inspired party theme characterized by French cuisine, Eiffel tower decorations, and plenty of floral accents. This is an intimate and fun theme that can be used for a couples-only party or a gathering with friends.
New Year Resolution Costume Party
This theme is all about New Year’s resolutions. Have your guests come dressed as their actual New Year’s resolution for the ultimate costume party. Let your guests know the specific details when you send out New Year’s Eve party invitations and be sure to encourage recipients to think outside the box when it comes to creating their costume. You’ll want to decorate your party with positive and funny Happy New Year wishes and signage, too.
New Year’s Eve is the only time of the year besides Christmas Eve where it’s acceptable to host a midnight brunch! Invite family and friends over for a midnight supper completed by your favorite breakfast and lunch foods. Create a mimosa bar with champagne, fresh squeezed juice, and fruit for guests to make their own mimosas. When it comes to decor, you can stick to a blush, white, and gold color palette. This is a fun and alternative idea that includes plenty of good food and laughter.
This New Year’s Eve will be a memorable one as long as you commit to your theme. Once you find the party theme that fits your vision the most, your planning process won’t feel like work at all. Remember to always ask for help from a friend or two so you can create as many New Year’s Eve memories as your loved ones this holiday season.