How To Plan a Last-Minute New Year’s Eve Party

New Year's Party
Learn how to plan a last-minute New Year’s Eve party!

Even though there are so many hot New Year’s Eve parties happening on Tuesday, Dec. 31, it’s not a bad idea to throw an end of year shindig at your place. And though it may seem like it’s too late to plan a stellar bash, you still have plenty of time to prepare for a fun fest.

Here are four simple steps you can take to plan a last-minute New Year’s Eve party. Get ready to host an amazing party where you, your close friends and family can ring in 2014 in celebratory glee.

Plan and Contact

To start, it’s best to organize your thoughts and draw out a simple party plan. How many people do you expect to show up? Will this be a low-key affair or high-energy dance party? Do you want to mess with balloons, streamers and confetti? These are just some simple questions you should consider in order to plan and prepare your home for a party.

For party décor and favors, consider visiting Target or Michael’s. If you want some cool party lights or need to rent extra chairs or tables, contact Big D Party Rentals. Also, don’t forget to pick up paper plates and plastic ware if you don’t want a pile of dishes to take care of afterward.

Next, contact all friends, family and acquaintances you want to invite to your last-minute New Year’s Eve party. Make sure to keep a tally on the number of confirmed guests to help you with the next step.

Prepare Food and Snacks

A party isn’t complete without snacks and beverages. First, think about how big of a group you’re expecting and plan a food and snack game plan.

If it’s a small get together, maybe chips and salsa and a simple fruit, cheese and meat spread will do. If you’re expecting more than 10 guests, you may want to provide a snack tray and more fulfilling bites, such as bacon-wrapped shrimp, stuffed quesadillas and flatbread bites—all of which can be prepared with ingredients found at your favorite grocer. Also, don’t forget to provide plenty of sweet treats. Easy-to-handle cupcakes, chocolate-covered fruits and cookies are always great party delights.

If you’re strapped on time, you can always stop by Whole Foods Addison for delicious prepared food and bites and Polk-A-Dot Bakery for awesome desserts and pastries. You can also get snacks catered by your favorite local restaurant—but make sure to place your order today. You can pick up prepared or frozen foods tonight or during your lunch break tomorrow and fix them up after work tomorrow.

Also, if you’re expecting a bigger group, it may be helpful to ask guests to bring a snack so you don’t have to provide all of the sustenance by yourself.

Stock Up on Beverages

This will be a New Year’s Eve party, so you know you have to have champagne or sparkling wine in the fridge! If you’re not sure what wines or bubbly to purchase, we reached out to local wine experts at Whole Foods Addison who provided excellent picks. One bottle of wine or bubbly yields about four glasses. You should plan on having one bottle of champagne, prosecco, cava or sparkling wine per four guests for the midnight toast.

Now, don’t forget about your beer-loving buddies. Here are some winter brew picks from local bartenders you may want to enjoy tomorrow night.

If you have some cocktail-lovers on your guest list, make sure to stop by Spec’s, Sigel’s or Goody Goody to pick up bar basics—gin, vodka, whiskey/Scotch, rum, tequila and mixers. If you’ll be preparing old-fashioned cocktails, make sure you have bitters, certain liqueurs, sugar cubes, maraschino cherries, lemons, limes and oranges on hand.

And you have to stock up on non-alcoholic beverages, as well. Have plenty of water, sparkling water, tea and soda for the unsung heroes of the night—the designated drivers.

Quick Clean Up

After you’ve planned and picked up all the necessary items for your party, you should have a quick clean up session to prepare your home. If you have some close friends who are willing to show up tonight or early tomorrow to help you prepare, take them up on their offer.

Start by organizing the living room and kitchen. Put all unnecessary—or breakable—décor in a guest room or storage closet. Move furniture and side tables around to provide an easy-to-navigate space.  Vacuum, sweep and/or mop (or Swiffer) the living room, hallway and kitchen floors.

Wash all bar equipment, glasses, entertaining ware and coolers. Start setting up lights, décor and party favor displays. Clear off, clean and set up the table or kitchen island where you’ll layout all party food and snacks.

If you’re not getting prepared snacks, start cooking or fixing your snacks tonight. Salads, dips, spreads and veggies can be prepared tonight. Meats can be prepped in marinade ready to be put on a hot grill tomorrow.

Not only will you save some time before your party, you’ll also burn some calories during this quick clean up session!

After doing some quick planning, shopping and preparation, your New Year’s Eve party is sure to rock and become one more memorable night for the books.

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