New Year’s Eve Bucket List: 30 Fun Things to Do on NYE

And just like that, another year has once again flown by and it’s time to celebrate and think about all those New Year’s Resolution ideas! Even if it is not possible to celebrate NYE exactly in the way you may have envisioned, there are still so many great things to do on New Year’s Eve that the night will assuredly not pass by in waste. You wouldn’t want it to, either, as it marks letting go of whatever this year has been like, and welcoming with open arms the New Year and all the new opportunities it’s got in store for us.

Whether you want to send the year off with a bang, or take in the fresh year from the comfort of your home, there are great ways for all of us  to make the best of this one last day of this year before starting anew again on the 1st of January.

New Year's Eve Bucket List: 30 Fun Things to Do on NYE

New Year’s Eve Bucket List Ideas: Fun Things to Do on NYE

1. Book Your Favorite Restaurant

What a magnificent way to end a year and ring in the new one would be to celebrate by having your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant, coupled with some bubbly? Doesn’t matter if it’s fine dining or a pizzeria, or something in between, as long as it’s a place and food that makes you happy. Just remember to check their opening times and book your table early, so you won’t miss the opportunity!

For an extra bucket list worthy experience, have a progressive dinner at all your favorite restaurants where each course is at a different place. It gives you the opportunity to celebrate all over the city and experience a variety of different options for every course. 

2. Create a Cocktail

A lovely alternative to ringing in the New Year with some bubbly is to come up with your own new signature cocktail. You can enjoy it by yourself, or have your house full of guests to serve it to. Make it one that’s delicious and perfectly describes, in liquid form, what your hopes and dreams for the next year are. That way you can make it your regular go-to drink for the whole upcoming year!

You can use a drink from our Classic Cocktail Bucket List as a starting point or design your own from scratch with these helpful sites:

Create a Cocktail

3. Declutter Your House

Perhaps more out of the box thinking things to do on New Year’s Eve is to declutter your house. It may not sound like the most exciting thing to do, but here are some tricks you can employ to make it fun. Not to mention, you’ll feel quite accomplished and proud after! It also rings true that your mind will feel more peaceful and clear once you’re surrounded by a clean home, and wouldn’t that be the best way to start a new year?

4. Do Brunch

Nowadays going to brunch is very fashionable. And the truth is that there are a lot of very beautiful places where you can enjoy the food, the ambiance and maybe even bottomless mimosas! 

Starting off the New Year with an epic brunch – especially after all those cocktails and bubbly you probably had the night before – will feel like magic for your soul and tummy. But why wait until the change of the year, when you can already throw together or go out for a delicious brunch on New Year’s Eve? Especially if eating healthier or the equivalent is in your resolutions for the year to come, squeezing in one last brunch where the only thing you count is how many bites of deliciousness you’ve managed to achieve sounds like a must do!

You don’t even have to leave the house to “do brunch”, you can make your own at home. These websites will help:

5. Drink an Expensive Bottle of Champagne

Speaking of bubbly to celebrate New Year’s Eve, which is a special occasion for sure, why not switch up from your usual sparkling wine and splurge on an expensive bottle of champagne for once? It doesn’t have to be Dom levels of expensive, but you won’t regret one bit for going for real classy champagne on this night. Even better if your plans include a loved one to share the joy and lush taste of the champagne!

Don’t know which champagne to choose? See Town and Country’s best picks for champagne bottles to pop this New Year.

Drink an Expensive Bottle of Champagne

6. Escape to a Hotel for a Romantic Night Away

Although some years we may love to party it up until sunrise, other years we prefer the things to do on NYE to be more of the mellow kind. In these instances, escaping your home to an out-of-town hotel, even if it’s just one town over, may be the key. There are so many cute hotels out there that are affordable, all you have to do is choose one that best serves your interests at this time. This way, you get to celebrate NYE in a special way, by going on a small little holiday!

You can search for some great deals on hotels of your choice at If you’re looking for more of a homey atmosphere, head over to VRBO that has houses, apartments and even just a room for rent in every price range. 

7. Face a Fear

It can be facing your fear of flying or the fear of big groups, or it can be something entirely else. Whatever your fears are, choose one of them this New Year’s Eve to face (and hopefully get over). Yes, this is a scary one to complete, but you will immensely thank yourself for trying – and hopefully succeeding!

One of the best ways to get over your fear is to have someone special by your side to encourage and support you while you are facing it head on. So, hike up that mountain peak, go on that roller coaster or swim in the ocean.

8. Get Dressed Up in a Fancy Outfit

Undoubtedly one of the most fun aspects among things to do on New Year’s Eve is figuring out what to wear. As it’s one of the biggest nights of the year, putting on your A game with your outfit is an encouraging action to take. So if you’ve got any outfits or dresses in your wardrobe that feel too fancy or sparkly for other occasions, NYE is the best time to take them on a night out.

Looking for the perfect party dress? I LOVE the ones at Revolve, and Windsor has some really cute ones too!

9. Go to a Killer Party

Once you’ve donned on said fancy outfit, go show it off at a killer party in town! In addition to some of your friends likely hosting their own parties, many places will also have a variety of parties for you to choose from. We all have our own preferences in what kind of festivities we enjoy attending, so choose your party to attend accordingly. You may even hop through multiple parties if you feel up to it.

Go to a Killer Party

10. Have a Movie Marathon

One of my favorite things to do on New Year’s Eve is to have an all day and all night movie marathon! Pick which movies released that same year you’d like to watch during your marathon, and then press play. This is such a chill and wonderfully lazy way to end a year, and you can also combine it easily with that expensive bottle of bubbly or that new signature cocktail.

You can even combine it together with a homely brunch with some friends, and who’s to say you won’t have people to share the whole marathon with!

If you are at a loss for the best movie ideas, see these articles:

11. Have a Pajama Party

Together with the homely brunch and especially the above mentioned movie marathon, why not celebrate the end of the year in a chill way together with your favorite people, and throw together a pajama party? Yes, pajamas may not be our fanciest outfits, but the older we get, the more appreciative of comfort we grow, and there’s nothing comfier than a cute, warm pajama. Combining a pajama party with a movie marathon rings to my ears like the perfect way to end a year! 

Don’t have a comfy and cute pair of PJ’s? Try Pretty Garden’s cheetah print pajama set or  the dreamy cloud set that can be monogrammed.

Have a Pajama Party

12. Indulge in Some “Me Time”

Alternatively, it’s not always a bad idea to finish off the year by yourself, either. The perfect way to spend some Me Time may look different to each of us, but I bet there’s a couple of ways in which you love to divulge in it. NYE could be an opportune time to combine a few of them together, like doing some post-Christmas sales shopping and then getting a massage or a manicure, before finishing off your evening with some bubbly and a delicious dinner in candlelight. Or it may look like something completely different for you, and that’s pretty much what Me Time is all about! 

Indulge in Some Me Time

13. Kiss Someone Special at Midnight

If you do go out to a party, or on a date, make it a fun mission for yourself to kiss someone right as the clock rings for midnight. But not just anyone will do, it’s best if it’s someone who you actually find special. It may be your long time significant other, it may be a new date you’re finding yourself head over heels for, or it could be someone else. If you’ve got someone in your sights and they don’t know about it yet, kiss them at midnight to confess!

Just in case you are wondering why people actually kiss at midnight, Your Tango explains it well.  

Kiss Someone Special at Midnight

14. Make a Festive Dinner

So, apparently, even New Year’s Eve holds in store some superstitions, this time in relation to food. Which I guess makes sense since it’s the change of one year into another, and we’re busy spending the night planning on all the resolutions and hopes we have for the year. Depending on your preferences in terms of food and aspirations for the year, pick a couple of foods off of Delish’s good luck foods list, and turn them into one last festive dinner of the year. You can enjoy the meal by yourself, with your significant other or family, or with some friends.

15. Make a Scrapbook or The Year’s Memories

If you’d like to get crafty, turn your photos, ticket stubs, and whatever other memorabilia you’ve got of the year into a cute scrapbook. Unless the year has been one that you’d simply like to forget, you’ll probably want to remember it for years to come. And actually, even if it wasn’t the greatest year, making a scrapbook with the year’s positive memories will lead you to end the year on a high note regardless. 

16. Make a Toast

For many of us, the year may end in the company of multiple people, whether we’re attending a club party or hosting a dinner at home. Especially if it’s a party you are hosting yourself, making a toast that highlights all the year’s successes and humorous failures, including of course remembering to thank your loved ones, may be a good addition to the evening. Your guests will also love to hear your toast, whether you planned your words ahead of time or choose to say what you’re feeling in the moment like saying. 

Make a Toast

17. Make a Vision Board

Much like writing a list of resolutions, a vision board is a way to plan and envision the year to come. Only in this case your goals may not be as specific as they’d have to be for resolutions, it’s more a board of hopes and dreams and wishes for the upcoming year, filled with pretty pictures and texts and however you prefer to visualize it. Sort of like eating particular foods on the day in hopes of those wishes turning into reality next year, in a way by sending out those dreams and wishes out into the world with the vision board, you’ve started manifesting for them to happen.

18. Make It Meaningful

Whichever way you choose to spend your New Year’s Eve, whether it’s one or more things off this bucket list, an old tradition for NYE that you’ve got, or something new you’d like to try, perhaps the most important thing you could do is to make the day and night meaningful. It may look different for each of us, as we’ve all got our own priorities and preferences, but make the night one that you won’t ever want to forget and that’s not just one night among many. 

19. Make Some Noise at Midnight

Regardless of where or how you’re spending your New Year’s Eve, you better howl like a wolf at a moon once it rings for midnight. Better yet, at each number of the countdown, say it a little louder, before shouting from the bottom of your heart at midnight. It’s not only fun, but it can be oddly cathartic, too. Invite the new year in with some noise and force, and who knows what great things you may attract towards you by it.

Need some noisemakers? Amazon has tons of them, check them out here!

20. Make Your Bucket List

The change of the year may also be an opportune moment for making your very own bucket list. It can be a resolution-like list of things you wish to accomplish that specific year, or it can be a life long bucket list, too. My bucket list has more than 1000 items in it to get you started on creating yours (this article will also help: How to Make a Bucket List: 5 Easy Steps to Create a Great One)! Bucket lists an amazing way to give some direction and ideas for life, events, travel, and even relationships. And they also allow you to dream bigger!

Make Your Bucket List

21. Party All Night

Especially when we were young, partying it up until the sunrise felt like the way to go about celebrating New Year’s Eve. Truly, no matter what your age, it’s a great way even today to celebrate the end of one year and welcoming in the new one. You can do the partying at a club, of which many will probably keep their doors open until dawn, or you may even find yourself at a house party that just won’t let down.

Party All Night

22. Play Your Favorite Board Games

Some people may think board games are boring (I’m not one of them!), but they can actually be a lot of fun especially if you have the perfect game and people to play with. Board games have definitely evolved over the years, but there are both classics and modern games that would make for a fantastic game night with adults, families and couples alike.

If instead you’d prefer more chill things to do on NYE this time around, inviting over some folks and having a board game marathon with your favorite games will definitely make it one that’s chill but filled with laughter and fun. There are different games for all ages, but Bingo and Scrabble are favorites for almost friends and everyone in the family (this bingo set comes with everything you need!). You can make it even more fun by adding prizes for the winner, like store gift cards, candies or extra TV time for the kids.

My favorite adult game night involves a few fierce rounds of Cards Against Humanity, but Smart Ass and Drink-A-Palooza will also make it a lively night. If you want to make your game night more family friendly for the kids then look at these family games. Still unsure of which games to play? Check out this list: Board Games Bucket List: 50 of the All Time Best Ones to Play

Play Your Favorite Board Games

23. Rent a Limo

No matter where you’re going – perhaps to a fancy party in that fancy outfit or to club hop until the morning – if there’s one night in your life, besides maybe prom, where renting a limo is totally a brilliant option, then New Year’s Eve would be it! Hopping in an out of a limo for the night is such a stylish and even enviable way to celebrate the change of two years. Bring along some friends to make it the most fun possible.

24. Say Goodbye To the Last Year

However you are choosing to spend the last day of the year, and however the year has been like for you, don’t forget to actually say goodbye to the year we’re about to exit. It can be a tears of joy –kind of a goodbye if it’s been a painful year, or it can be one that gives thanks to the excellent year that it was. You can make a toast for it, you can pick and choose your favorite memories off it, or you can party it up in celebration of it. 

25. See an Epic Fireworks Display

In many countries, the change of the year is celebrated by some epic fireworks showdowns. They may be arranged by professionals, or it may be shot by individuals themselves. Lighting up the sky in patterns and colors and popping sounds right on the dot at midnight is a way of celebration that brings together everyone in your vicinity – even in your whole country! – for that moment where the year has changed into a new one. Not to mention it’s often oh so pretty to look at!

Fireworks in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam

26. Sing Karaoke

If you’re brave enough and there’s some equipment available, or you happen to be at a karaoke bar, singing your lungs away to your favorite tunes, alone and together with your friends, is another fun way to spend New Year’s Eve. Choose your favorite tunes released in the year, and make them yours. Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a great voice or not, so long as you are having fun!

There’s plenty of great songs to choose from, but for some help see these epic 150+ Best Karaoke Songs of All Time

27. Watch the Ball Drop In New York City

Where in some countries setting off fireworks at midnight is the number one way to celebrate, in the United States, and especially in NYC, the ball drop at Times Square is the way to go. Best way to watch it is of course by being on location for it, but even if you can’t make it to New York City this time, you can always watch it on the telly. If you’re watching it from home, don’t forget to pop open that bubbly and toast in unison with that ball dropping. 

28. Wish a Happy New Year to a Loved One

As soon as the year changes, go around your loved ones to wish them a heartwarming Happy New Year! And those who are not physically present with you at the moment, you can remember by sending out some individual texts, maybe even coupled with some fun emojis and gifs. It’s such a simple act, but it’ll make everyone’s nights a tad bit better to be remembered like that by you, even amid all the other celebrations.

29. Write a Letter to Your Future Self

It can be for your future self on the next New Year’s Eve to read, or it can be to your future self to open even a couple of years later. Tell them about where you are in life right now, and what kind of hopes and dreams you have for the life of that future self. It may sound corny, but it is a sweet way to reflect upon yourself and to talk with an older version of yourself. It may even work as a great reminder to get back to working on those dreams your younger self dared to dream. It would also be a little kick in the butt to make sure that she was heading in that direction and in order to limit life’s biggest regrets.

If you don’t know how to get started, here’s my article about my letter: How to Write a Letter to your Future Self. Make your letter even more special by picking some pretty paper (like this Japanese Stationary) and handwriting it.

30. Write Down Your Resolutions

Lastly, write down a list of resolutions, as is custom for so many of us to do. Sure a lot of us may forget what those resolutions were by the end of the next year, but it’s always such a fun moment to plan out what we want from that year, and put it in our subconscious to try and achieve them. Our big list of New Year’s Eve resolution ideas will help you pick the perfect one!

Write Down Your Resolutions

Do you recognize any familiar things to do on New Year’s Eve on that list? Are you excited to finish off the year like that again, or are you perhaps keen to take on a new way to celebrate? Do you want to go crazy this year or keep it chill and simple? Different people and different countries have such different customs and ideas for what an ideal NYE is like, and if you’re yet to do it, it’s time to make this year’s NYE the ideal kind for YOU.

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18 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Bucket List: 30 Fun Things to Do on NYE”

  1. Hi Annette,

    It’s an amazing post! I had no plans for New Year’s eve, and I was looking for something to do. After reading your article I have plenty of options to choose from. So, thanks a lot for taking the time to curate this resource. I am celebrating with my sister and family this year, and I think my niece will appreciate a great restaurant or a killer party. So, I may choose between these two options. Thanks for sharing this. It has been a great help.

  2. It was so good to read your thing’s to do for new years Eve, they bought breath a lot of memories it was like a walk back into the Past for me, coming from a young fella to the present day, so I’m happy to say I will be seeing the New Year in with a big smile glue to my face, Thank you and happy new year.


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Hey Bucket Listers!
I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!

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