December 31st. The day to close out the year and ring in another, often celebrated in a crowd of friendly faces.
However, New Year's Eve 2021 had different plans in store and 2022 might, too... The good news is, so do we!
Read on for New Year's safety tips, event ideas, and more!
Safe New Year's Eve Event Ideas
While New Year's Eve events might not be as they once looked like, they can still feel special. Consider these fun, yet safe ideas, including a variety of virtual and socially-distanced events.
1. Watch the Iconic NYE Ball Drop
The New Year's Eve Ball Drop in New York City has been around for over a century, making its first descent in 1907. And not even COVID-19 can drop the ball and cancel this New Year's longstanding tradition!
According to Times Square, "Enjoy commercial-free, webcast coverage of the festivities leading up to the Ball Drop at midnight, including backstage access, behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with revelers, performers and other celebrities."
2. Explore Your Town
While guidelines vary by region, local festivities are still popping up in a safe manner. This includes touring lights from the comfort of your own car or watching fireworks in a local neighborhood.
3. Play a Game with Others
In-house or virtually, ring in the New Year with some friendly competition! Fun virtual games to play when you can't be together include Mario Kart, Monopoly, and Pictionary.
4. Learn About Other Cultures
The year 2020 has impacted everyone across the world and, in a way, that has brought a sense of unity. To commemorate this togetherness from afar, gain a better understanding of how other cultures ring in the New Year.
Fun New Year's traditions from around the world include the following regions and their respective way to celebrate:
• Spain: Eat a dozen green grapes at midnight - one grape for each chime of the clock.
• Switzerland: Drop dollops of whipped cream on the floor to symbolize the richness of the year to come.
• Holland: Toast the New Year with hot, spiced wine.
If celebrating virtually with different households, have each choose a region or country and research the respective tradition. Come New Year's Eve, livesteam together and share each tradition!
5. Get Creative in the Kitchen
The kitchen is a great space for a New Year's Eve celebration, allowing people of all ages to get creative and hands-on. And not to mention, there are so many ways to have fun in the kitchen!
Gather loved ones to try a new dinner recipe or have a food feud on who can make the tastiest concoction using a selective ingredient list. Really, be as creative, festive, and simple as you wish with any dish!
Hosting a Safe New Years Gathering
First and foremost, follow local and national guidelines set regarding gatherings. If preparing for a New Year's Eve celebration, use these tips to host a party post-covid.
Practice Good Hygiene
Good hygiene helps fend off germs and keep everyone protected. Ways to practice good hygiene include placing hand sanitizer and soap in plain sight, including in the kitchen, bathroom, and serving table.
Also, forego the communal cotton hand towel that can collect germs quickly and offer disposable, individual hand towels instead.
Host in Outdoors or a Large Area
Hosting in a large, open space allows guests to distance themselves confidently and comfortably. The great outdoors is a great place to do so (and perhaps play a friendly game of kickball)!
However, winter weather on New Year's Eve might not be conducive to hosting an outdoor gathering. Consider outdoor space heaters or gather guests in a large open area indoors as needed.
Offer Safe Food Ideas
Hosting a post-COVID New Year's Eve party may seem overwhelming, though there are general guidelines to ease your mind when hosting.
Ideas to spark inspiration include delicious crockpot use and baking recipes all guests are sure to love!
• Individual snack bags, including storebought or homemade pretzels and trail mixes. Ration out servings into disposable bags or cups for guests to quickly grab.
• Single-serve desserts such as cupcakes and yogurt parfaits.
All in all, try to implement best hygiene practices and serve foods requiring little to no direct contact. And, most importantly, live in the moment and enjoy these real-time (virtual or not) connections with loved ones!