There is a reason New Years Eve has been such a celebration for couples young and old for years… the thrill of getting dressed to the nines and hitting the town with just the two of you or the whole gang of friends is something many look forward to all year.
This year we can just blame Covid, but realistically we have all been looking for more relaxing ways to celebrate as we get older. Throw kids and babysitters into the mix and we all need more creative, quick, and flexible ideas for celebrating. Here are 50 ways adults can celebrate New Year’s Eve:
Raise the Bar
Set up flights of champagne and experiment with a variety of juices or liqueur. Add tangerine juice or Chambord to change up old standards and garnish with festive berries or herbs.
A sangria bar would be just as fun! Taste different flavors when you mix your red wine with citrus fruits like lemons and oranges or spices like cinnamon and ginger. The possibilities are endless, really. Have fun and drink responsibly.
Grab some Halloween wigs and hats, funny glasses and fake mustaches, then snap some silly pictures. No props? No worries! Snap chat, Facebook or another app will have plenty of filters and stickers to jazz up your pics.
Romantic Dinner for Two
Spending the evening alone as a couple but not ready to hit the town? An intimate dinner for two picnic-style could be perfect for you. New Years Eve usually involves some fancy restaurant and getting dressed up which you can still do within the comforts of your own home; dress up and cook or order in a fancy feast for two. Spread out a blanket and light some candles. Soft music and sweet treats cap the year off right.
See Your Reflection
Reflect together on the past 12 months. Make a gratitude jar for the ending year and include something you’re grateful for each month. It may have been a year of heartache and sorrow, or one filled with joy and happiness. Either way we’re sure you’ll find things to be grateful for. A job loss can open new doors, a promotion can lead to new experiences. A pandemic may force you to be creative and discover new talents you didn’t know you had.
Time capsules are great ways to capture the past. Gather cards, letters, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings and anything else that fits into your “capsule”. No need to bury it; place everything on a shoebox and hide it up in the attic to be opened in a year or ten.
Reach Your Goals
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” -A. De Saint-Exupery. Make goals and set a plan in place to achieve them. It’s great to know what you want to do but without an action plan how will you reach your goals? Want a career change? Research classes or workshops to beef up your resume and register for them. What better way to kick off a brand new year than with an action plan for a better future?
Interested in an art medium, glass blowing, martial arts, sewing, or car mechanics? Maybe you want a hobby to share with your spouse. Make the decision and sign up, pay, and commit for the upcoming year. Many adults wistfully think they’d love to do blah blah blah someday… make that day today. There’s no better time than now to try something new. You will never know until you try.
Harmonize Your Home
Stay home and redecorate your living space… Balance the elements, maximize natural light, and remove the negatives to Feng Shui in your home. You will feel more at peace and what a feeling to kick off a new year.
Does it Bring Joy?
While you’re at it Marie Kondo your house. Work together to declutter and clear out unneeded items around the house. Toss or donate items you haven’t touched in forever and don’t foresee needing.
Couples retreats are popping up all over the globe. Book a spa, get spiritual, find a foodie or nature retreat and connect with your significant other on a deeper level.
Hire a Masseuse or borrow a library book on massage technique and take turns. Light candles, play soft music and pamper yourselves. Ring on the new year relaxed.
Gather your pals and party together virtually. With or without a pandemic, sometimes staying in is just as fun! And it’s become so easy to hang out with friends across the country. Check out our list of fun activities to do during virtual calls.
Wouldn’t you like to watch a movie without kids asking 200,000 questions? Yes please. It never fails that no matter how many times the kids have watched an Avenger movie they still ask questions. A movie or six without interruption would be a nice change. Binge a grown up series you’ve been meaning to watch or the entire saga of a family favorite like Star wars or Harry Potter. Stock up on popcorn; it’s gonna be a long night. Need a new popcorn recipe? Try one of these palate pleasers.
Book a cabin and snuggle up with a bonfire and a cozy blanket. Or, pull out the blankets and camp in your living room! Unplug and escape from this crazy world.
Light the Fire
Camping not your thing? Emulate the camping feeling with a backyard Bonfire. Make gourmet s’mores and sip spiked hot cider. Snuggle your sweetie next to the fire and gaze at the stars while ringing in the new year.
Rent a Theatre
A typical night on the town for NYE will likely cost more than renting a theater for a show. Invite friends or keep it to yourselves.
Plan a Vacation
Spend the night planning your next vacation. Sometimes it’s exciting to start planning your next getaway. Choose your destination, dates, research excursions, etc. Think of the money you’re saving by not going out on NYE! While you’re at it…
Learn a New Language
Even if you are not planning to travel soon, learning a new language together is a fun activity to share as a couple. Use New Years even to talk about what language to learn and why. Plan to visit a place where you can both use your new skill, even if it’s just a night at home together.
Countdowns Around the World
Follow the countdown around the world. The first New Years’ celebrations begin in the Pacific Islands around Noon (EST) and last until 7 am on January 1. Add authentic food, music, and drinks … toast at midnight in Sydney, Beijing, Paris, NYC…anywhere!
Around the World Dinner
Try an appetizer at an Irish restaurant. Main course at a Thai restaurant. Dessert at an Italian restaurant. After dinner drinks at a Japanese restaurant. Or, use carryout to create an “Around the World” feast at home! If you’re feeling really adventurous, try making the course yourself.
Book a bay for a fun night of golf for just the two of you or up to 12 people across two heated bays. If you don’t reserve a bay, you can put your name on the waitlist and head to the bar to hang out while you wait.
Head to Koteewi park to enjoy time together hitting fun targets with your bow and arrow. Make your reservations in advance for this is a popular activity and a blast, even for beginners.
Enjoy a romantic ride on horseback. Try a local equestrian trail or book a night at French Lick and visit the stables there.
Commune with nature with a hike or make it your goal to hike 202.1 miles in 2021. Check out all of Indiana’s state parks and local trails. Need inspiration? We love Turkey Run in any season!
Jackbox Game Night
Jackbox is a hilarious adult trivia game that you can now play from your tv via an app. Each person answers through their smartphone. There are all kinds of games including trivia, art, and teamwork games.
Unique Outdoor Dining
Check out an igloo near you for a unique night out. Many are first come first serve so you might have to wait. Or reserve a heated igloo at Vivante French Eatery in the new Hotel Carmichael for lunch or dinner along the Monon Trail. Strange Bird in Irvington offers festive fire tables and chic heated pods for toasty outdoor options.
See the Lights
Drive around to see the last of the holiday lights around town before they come down and without the constant distraction of kids yelling in the back. . Sometimes it’s nice to just drive around in the comfort of your own car. Check out this map and plan your route. Fan favorite, Christmas Nights of Lights at the Indiana State Fairgrounds is open through January 3, 2021.
Do a blind wine tasting game at home. You can purchase a cheap-o wine, a medium priced bottle, and a more expensive one. Put them in paper bags so you don’t know which is which and rank them. One variation is to try three different varietals and see if you can guess which is which. Or, stop by your favorite Indiana Winery and pickup the very best, we recommend Daniel’s Vineyard.
Star gaze from your car. Drive out to a dark, high, quiet place and gaze at the stars. Recline your seats and look up through the moonroof if you have one. There are several apps like SkyView, Star Gazer, and Night Sky to learn about what you’re seeing.
Ride the Brew Bus
The Brew Bus will chauffeur you from brewery to brewery all night so you don’t have to worry about driving. Hit up 3-5 breweries with a group of friends for an exciting night out. Tours are available on the Northside, Southside, Broad Ripple, and Downtown.
Pick a sledding hill and enjoy some fun adult time going up and down on your sleds. You don’t even need snow if the hill is steep enough. Get out and enjoy some fresh crisp air. These are our favorite sledding hills.
Buy, borrow, or bust out the dusty games in the closet for some one-on-one board game competition. Gather with friends across the street or across the county via Zoom for some couple vs couple gaming.
Teach Each Other
Teach your partner a game or skill. Each of you choose something to teach to the other. Learn something new and enjoy the night more about each other too.
Heat Things Up
Go to Penn and Beech for candle making. Book a table and create your very own candles. You choose the scent, color, jar, etc. And there are cocktails to enjoy while you create.
Paint a wall
Start a new tradition and paint one accent wall in a room in your house. It makes a world of a difference and you only have to do one wall! Tying it to a holiday will make it even more special every time you look at it.
Hot Chocolate Bombs
Jump on the bandwagon and spend the evening making hot chocolate bombs. Line an egg mold with melted chocolate, freeze, add hot chocolate mix and mini marshmallows, cover with melted chocolate, freeze, and voila! Just pour hot milk over the bombs and watch them explode into a delicious cup of hot chocolate. Not into making your own? Pick up a couple from these favorite establishments.
Inquire at your local shelter, food bank, church, humane society. If in person duties are not an option, ask if there is anything you can do from your home for them.
If you didn’t have time to do a proper photo shoot this year, take the time to do it on New Year’s. Pick a nice outfit, do your hair and makeup, set up the tripod (or even better, hire a professional photographer), and capture some frame-able moments.
Watch a Concert or Musical
Some of the best concerts and Broadway musicals are available to purchase and view on your own big screen. Plan a night of Queen, Journey, Michael Jackson, or Celine Dion. Dim the lights and sit back to experience the amazing musical Hamilton or Book of Mormon.
Get a jumpstart on New Year’s resolutions and mark the day by attending a fitness class. Try a strength class, cycling, or Pilates, and end the day with yoga. Can’t get out? There are endless virtual classes online!
New Year’s Eve is a great time to send off paper sky lanterns with a wish for the new year. You can send them off from your own backyard or head to a nice clearing where there aren’t many trees they could get stuck in.
Head to Federal Hills Commons in Noblesville for ice skating at their 56×100 foot ice rink
Set up clues for your significant other to find a “midnight kiss”. This will take some planning but will be so much fun for both parties involved. Try clues that use the five senses, your “first” meet, date, kiss or stay-at-home hunts with movement from roon to room.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Search online for an outdoor scavenger hunt or one you can do from the car at night. You could also create a scavenger hunt to exchange with a friend. Urban Air has sponsored a Winter Scavenger Hunt with a new activity posted weekly.
Go on a Walkabout
Bundle up and walk the neighborhood checking out holiday lights and decorations or head to one of these walk thru displays.
Walking City Lights Tour
Enjoy the free Holiday Walking Light Tour throughout the Federal Hills Commons event lawn in Noblesville. Or walk the Monon between Carmel’s Arts & Design District and Carmel’s City Center at night to take in the lights.
Rent a Limousine
Book a limousine for a group of friends or just yourselves. Grab a glass of champagne at a couple different bars downtown or drive by friends’ houses to cheers through the moonroof.
VIP Bottle Service
Book VIP Bottle Service at 3UP Rooftop Bar overlooking the Monon Trail. Reservations include VIP seating for 4 or 8, a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Champagne, a midnight toast, a DJ and party favors.
Book a hotel room for the night! Stay at the Conrad downtown or the new Hotel Carmichael in Carmel. If you’re lucky enough to have family or a trusted babysitter in town, get away for the night. Even if you just stay in the room, it’ll feel special!
Grab a calendar and schedule volunteer dates. Pick a variety of worthy area causes and make a plan to volunteer time or donate goods or funds. Twelve days out of 365 won’t make a dent in your calendar but will help those in need and you’ll feel pretty good too.
Do you think you make a better chili than anyone else? A more creative pizza? Take it to the kitchen and test your recipes on each other.
Netflix & Chill
When all else fails, stream your favorite show or movie then click over to live TV at 11:55 pm to watch the ball drop.