New Year’s Eve parties are a celebration of everything you’ve accomplished in the past year and a way to foster excitement for what’s to come in the next one. In essence, it’s a holiday for you to have as much fun as you possibly can. What do we mean by fun? That’s entirely your call—not everyone wants to be in Time’s Square on New Year’s Eve, after all. Can’t think of what to do? Presented by Discover and Mental Floss, here are seven New Year’s Eve celebration ideas to help you kick off 2020 with a bang.
1. Host a New Year’s Eve movie marathon.
We’re at the doorstep of a new decade this New Year’s Eve, and a unique way to look back at the last 10 years is by having a marathon of some of its best movies. So pick up a handful of your favorite films from the 2010s, invite some friends over, and say goodbye to the decade with a bit of cinematic flare. And of course, you can cap it off by ordering some takeout and making some homemade popcorn.
2. Enjoy a night away.
Get away from the responsibilities of cleaning and cooking at home by finding a nice hotel to stay at for New Year’s Eve. You can even turn it into a mini-vacation—some hiking hotspots like the Grand Canyon host special trips for New Year’s Eve so you can ring in 2020 under the stars. And if you are planning a getaway, make the most of it by paying for it with the Discover it card, which will automatically match your cash back rewards, dollar for dollar, at the end of your first year, making it a breeze to claim your benefits.
3. Write a letter to yourself.
Reflecting on the last year and identifying your hopes, dreams, and resolutions for the new one can help you step into 2020 with your best foot forward. Take some time to jot down your thoughts, seal the letter, and put it in a place where you’ll be able to find it exactly one year later. Then, on the following New Year’s Eve in 2020, you can open your letter and see how the year compared to your expectations. (To make sure you remember where you hid the letter, you can always set a calendar reminder to jog your memory.)
4. Organize a Potluck Party.
Gather the best cooks you know and give them free rein in your kitchen for a flavor-filled night of friendly competition. How exactly your potluck works is entirely up to you. You could require all participants to concoct a specific dish, have them stick to a larger category like dinner or dessert, or stipulate that their recipes must all contain the same “secret” ingredient. And it wouldn’t hurt to buy a gift for the winner—something as simple as a small kitchen appliance or bottle of wine would go a long way. Best of all, the real fun comes when it’s time to eat everything in sight.
5. Plan a scavenger hunt.
Having a New Year’s “night on the town” can mean deciphering clues that lead you from your elementary school parking lot to the nearest 24-hour convenience store and beyond. Just like the potluck night, a scavenger hunt leaves you lots of room for customization. You can plan out clues that lead participants from one place to the next, or you can compile a list of items that players have to collect. And, if little kids are involved (or you’re just looking for a more low-key New Year’s Eve celebration), you can always hide clues or choose items that can all be found inside the house.
6. Host a game night with prizes.
Start the New Year off right by inviting some friends over, buying some food, and playing some classic board games until the ball drops. And you can raise the stakes of a typical game night by buying prizes so people have something to compete for—gift cards, gadgets, clothes, whatever. The best part is that all of the prizes you buy, no matter how big or small, help to build up your Discover cashback rewards, so you can buy yourself a prize down the road as well.
7. Go off the grid.
Just as things slow down around the holidays, they tend to pick up once New Year’s Day is in the rearview mirror. Before you return to the busy world of answering emails and writing to-do lists, let New Year’s Eve be a chance to completely unplug: Power down your devices and bask in the bliss of quiet solitude. Feel free to make it your own personal version of being “off the grid,” whether that means inviting a few close friends over, luxuriating in a bubble bath, or just partaking in some quiet reflection on your own or with a loved one.
When you’re planning the perfect New Year’s celebration, make sure you’re paying for it by using the Discover it card, which automatically matches all of the cashback rewards you earn, dollar for dollar, at the end of your first year. Learn more at Discover.com/match.