I’ve always loved New Year’s Eve.
It has this undeniable sense of excitement; there’s even an urgency to it.
I think this is because, as an eternal optimist, I’ve always looked forward to the coming year with great anticipation. By December 31st, the old year is ready to be put into the scrapbooks; I’m always ready to embrace the sparkly, fresh new year.
My New Year’s celebrations have been varied: family parties in my childhood banging pots and pans at midnight; crazy dance parties with friends in my college years; concerts where we welcomed the arrival of midnight with screams and kisses.
I’ve even worked on New Year’s Eve when I was waiting tables. Everyone got free champagne (myself included).
But being married, or even just being in a relationship, gives New Year’s Eve a special and unique glow. Now it’s not only about your personal, individual expectations and hopes for the year to come, but it is about your hopes and dreams for your partnership.
And of course, it’s wonderful to have someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight.
Perhaps this year you’re celebrating with a spouse, fiance, partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Are you wanting to do something special? Whether you’re planning a chilled out night in together or getting ready for an epic party, we’re here to help you have a terrific NYE.
Read on for a bevy of fabulous New Years Eve ideas for couples.
Traditional New Year’s Eve Date Ideas
Many of us like to get gussied up and go out on the town on NYE. If that sounds like you and your S.O., you’ll love these suggestions.
Attend a Rockin’ Party
One of the go-to New Year plans for couples is to hit up a fabulous party.
Maybe you’ve got a friend who is an excellent host, and they’ve got a fete planned for the evening. That’s your evening set!
But otherwise, you might have to do a little digging. Fortunately, there are usually tons of events happening on New Year’s Eve, so if you’re in search of a party, you shouldn’t have to look too far.
Check out local nightclubs, entertainment venues, and even restaurants to see what’s happening in your area. I also suggest searching New Year’s events on Facebook, as you might find something seriously awesome in a nearby city. The difficult part then will be deciding between the Great Gatsby-themed New Year’s party or the NYE concert by your favorite local band.
Make Plans to Head to Times Square
Okay, if you’re in the USA for New Year’s Eve, there can be nothing more classic than watching the ball drop in NYC’s Times Square.
Are you a couple that likes to be at the heart of the action? You should probably do NYE in NYC once in your life. But be ready for the experience.
Apparently, so many people attend (like 2 million!!) that you have to line up hours before the ball drops. One guide suggests getting there at noon!! You’ll be waiting around for a while in the chilly December temperatures, but you’ll be in good company with millions of fellow revelers and probably lots of confetti.
Is a Times Square New Year’s Eve on the Two Drifters’ bucket list? Probably not.
As much as I love this holiday, this quote from Time Out New York says it all for me: “It takes many layers of clothing, a strong bladder (no bathrooms) and a great attitude to enjoy the experience.”
Find Fireworks (or Make Your Own)
While this title may suggest some romantic innuendo, I am talking about pyrotechnics, I swear!
Fireworks are an essential element of New Year’s Eve, especially in big cities. If there is a fireworks display near you, make plans to head out and see it just before midnight.
You could also set off some at-home fireworks (stay legal and safe, of course) or some simple sparklers.
Crackling sparklers and booming fireworks are a perfect way to ring in a New Year.
Host an Around-the-World New Years Party
Isn’t it amazing that the entire world welcomes the New Year within just hours of each other? I think that’s pretty cool.
If experiencing global traditions sounds like fun to you, host a party that encompasses some of the other New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.
This party involves a lot of food, games, and delicious drinks. If you’re up for hosting a NYE party, why not put a cool twist on it? This “around-the-world theme” is super fun and you can customize the food and decor to match.
See a Film at Midnight
You know where isn’t crowded at midnight on New Year’s Eve: the movies.
You and your partner can splurge on popcorn, soda, and all the snacks, and enjoy a movie together. You might be lucky enough to have a nearly empty theatre.
While this New Year’s date idea means you might miss out on the countdown to midnight, you’ll be happy knowing you were spending that time doing something relaxing and fun with the one you love.
Absolutely Classy New Years Date Night Out
New Year’s Eve is a wonderful excuse to get dressed up. Gold, silver, glitter: nearly anything goes on the last night of the year.
If you love dressing up, seek out an uber-fancy party for New Year’s Eve. These types of events can often be pricey, sometimes topping $200 or more per couple, but if you want classy dancing, champagne, and a swinging soiree, this might be the way to go.
Plus, you can get a second date out of it by shopping for your outfits together.
Be of Service Together
In our post on Christmas traditions for couples, we include the suggestion of volunteering together during the holidays. Well, New Year’s Eve is as good a night as any.
In this season of giving, taking time to be selfless and give back to your community is kind and meaningful. Doing it alongside your partner is incredibly special, bonding you in new ways as you do something together to help others.
Celebrate Somewhere Amazing
We’re a couples travel blog, so OF COURSE we have to recommend something travel related for New Year’s Eve!
Listen to your wanderlust calling and go somewhere epic this year! Need ideas for ideas for a New Years Eve getaway? Check out these New Year’s Eve getaways suggested by an array of travel experts on our friend Gemma’s blog.
In fact, a lot of these global locations definitely rival New York City for New Year’s Eve. Just look at the celebrations in Sydney and Edinburgh!
At-Home New Years Date Ideas
There are many romantic things to do on New Year’s Eve that don’t require an expensive night out. Maybe you and your partner can’t stand the thought of spending your evening in a rowdy, likely drunken crowd?
Your couch awaits.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying home for New Year’s Eve, and it can be absolutely just as special and romantic. In fact, it might even be more romantic.
Pajama Party for Two
Slip into something more comfortable (aka your flannel PJs) and get ready for a fun evening. You can play board games, have a movie marathon, cook something epic together, or just spend a couple hours between the sheets—the choice is yours.
One thing we love doing during an at-home date night is creating a special, non-traditional meal. Why not pretend you’re at a big party and have plates of your favorite hors-d’oeuvres? Pigs in a blanket and mini quiche, here we come.
Pssst! Don’t forget the champagne so you can toast properly at midnight.
Around the World New Year’s Eve for Two
This is the low-key version of the party we suggested above. Not in the mood to host a gaggle of guests? No problem. You can do this party on a much smaller scale for just the two of you.
The same basic rules apply (food and traditions from around the world) but you can add various other elements into the night. Plus, you can incorporate the actual cooking and preparation of the food as part of your evening, which is often half the fun!
Do a Year-End Review (and Share)
One thing I love to do at the end of the year is a Year End Review or Year End Ritual. I first got the idea from the book The Not So Big Life by Sarah Susanka. It has since evolved beyond the questions in the book to include some of my own.
While I don’t always manage to do a full year-end review (it can take hours or even days) it’s something I absolutely ADORE and which I really just need to make time for it annually.
If you do plan to a do a review, one of the perfect things for couples to do on New Year’s Eve is to share these. Now, they are quite personal, so you might not be comfortable sharing the entire thing with your partner, but it can be a brilliant way to speak aloud some of your goals and wishes for the New Year. Sharing with your partner can be truly bonding, too.
Make Resolutions Together
New Year’s is the time for making resolutions, is it not?
So it makes sense that one of the best New Years Eve things to do for couples would be creating resolutions together.
While you should absolutely set your own personal goals, a relationship or marriage deserves its own resolutions, too.
Our friends at Happily Ever Adventures have a great list of 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Couples, all of which will strengthen your bond and grow your love.
After you make your individual and couples resolutions, you might consider a different approach, as well. Sometimes resolutions are a challenge because the goals we set can seem too big. Resolutions can feel like “all or nothing.”
You may want to set “intentions” for your year instead. You can choose a guiding principle or word for the coming year, too.
Relive Your Childhood New Year’s Eve Traditions
Need to create new traditions as a couple? We are fans of bringing old traditions back to life!
What did you do on New Year’s when you were a kid? Bring that back! As I mentioned at the start of this post, my family was big into banging pots and pans at midnight.
We would head outside with all manner of wooden spoons, stainless steel pots, and shiny lids and strike them together most forcefully! How we never bothered anyone in my grandparent’s residential neighborhood I’ll never know.
If you don’t have any NYE traditions from childhood, you can incorporate brand new ones or include some from the Christmas season. In fact, get creative and start something new and even a bit weird. It will surely make your New Year’s celebrations memorable.
Read Your 2019 Horoscopes
Whip out those yearly horoscopes and read each others’. Whether you believe in astrology or not, it is always fun to see what the “stars” have in mind for you for the year.
A fun bonus idea for couples is to research the compatibility of your signs. Luckily for us, Virgo and Cancer go together very well! Phew!
Make Predictions for One Another
One New Year’s Eve, my family and I all made predictions for one another for the coming year.
These predictions were sort of general, sort of specific, but they were all positive and a whole lot of fun. Because we knew each other so well, it added a really personal element. And wouldn’t you know it, some of the predictions really did come true.
This is one of our favorite NYE ideas for couples because it is a happy and sweet activity. Make a prediction for your partner for the New Year. Think hard about it and make it something both realistic and encouraging.
You can also make up funny predictions, too. (I predict you will watch a lot of Netflix in the coming year).
Whatever you predict, we recommend writing it down and keeping it handy (your smartphone’s Notes app is good for this) so you can check back during the year and see how accurate the predictions have been!
Dress Up and Dance – At Home
Finally, you can combine the fun of a New Year’s Eve party atmosphere with the comforts of home. Have your own fancy dance party!
This is a great idea for all couples, but is especially convenient if you do have kids and don’t have a babysitter/prefer staying home. As a family, stay up and prepare for the arrival of midnight together. For younger kids, host a “faux” midnight countdown at their normal bedtime.
The evening should include special snacks, the making of wishes and resolutions, and plenty of dancing. While a pajama party is always a nice choice, you can also dress up in your finery as if you were going out for a night on the town.
This makes everyone—kids included—feel extra excitement, and it definitely helps to mark the occasion as special.