If you are a 20 plus something like me then chances are you are getting sick of New Years. The typical over crowded bars, being up charged for drinks, paying extra for food, etc. New Years Eve has become so over hyped that I truly can say I am over doing anything HUGE for it. That is why I am presenting you with 15 different NYE Options other than the typical “clubbing”.
Do a NYE Dinner:
LOTS of places do a dinner special on New Years and a little party, however if you don’t want to pay an insane amount for dinner and drinks that would normally be a fraction of the price try looking at restaurants that DON’T do a New Years Eve event. It could be a great group event or a romantic date night. Before the ball drops you can do a nice dinner. You still get to get dressed up and have some cocktails but you can leave before the place gets crowded. When you are done with dinner you can continue with some crafty cocktails back at home and watch the New Years, whatever drop. This saves you the money of buying drinks all night and the pain of being out in public on New Years.
Check hotel sites and get a hotel room near by for cheap:
My top favorite hotel booking site is www.booking.com but a quick google search can yield you a few great websites for booking a hotel room at a fraction of the cost. However, if you are willing to risk it for the cheapest rates check out Hotel Tonight . This app puts up hotels that are looking to fill up the last of their rooms and usually is the cheapest the night of the booking, Most popular hotels have SOMETHING going on in some part of their hotel for a portion of the night. However, personally I much prefer (and have done with my boyfriend) just getting a hotel room and having an intimate night together. You can also have some friends in the hotel room, which makes it cheaper, but be aware of throwing huge parties especially on New Years as hotels look out for that.
Go on a trip/cruise:
Going into 2013 I spent NYE on a cruise and it was one of the MOST FUN vacations of my life! I know that taking a trip or a cruise is a bit of a more pricey option but if you have the money saved up for a trip around the holidays I highly suggest one of these two options. Sure you may be surrounded by people (or stuck with them if you are on a boat) but you will be somewhere new and not just a normal club that you can go to on any day of the year. This surpasses the normal New Year experience and gives you a chance to travel and see places you have never seen before, which if you ask me is an AMAZING way to go into the New Year.
Check Groupon for alternative NYE events:
Groupon is great for seeing what events are going on for New Years and its also good if you are trying to get a discount on certain events. Eventbrite is another option but does not offer discounts usually. Going on Groupon means you can find a fun New Years event that can be different and cheap! Just by typing in New Years Chicago I get many results of bar events, hotel parties, light shows, concerts, etc. If you are unsure what to do for New Years or looking for some cheap options see what is going on with Groupon.
Host a NYE Party at your own place:
This is by far the most simple alternative. If you want to save money and only be around the people you care about then this is the answer! Buy some alcohol order some food and be among good company. Do I really need to explain any more?
A fun way to spend NYE would be listening to an awesome band, artist, cover-band, etc. Concerts are always a great time and ringing in the New Year while listening to music you enjoy and having a few drinks is a totally fun idea. Sure you probably will have to deal with crowds of people like you would at a bar but again this is a unique alternative.
Check out a hole in the wall bar:
In my opinion hole in the wall spots usually turn out to be the best spots. Do a quick google search of unique and less known places near you. Maybe they will be hosting a New Years event but if they fly pretty under the radar chances are its low-key. This could be perfect for someone who wants to go out on New Years but doesn’t want to do the fancy, clubbing, and typical NYE party.
Throw your own fancy party:
I know this is close to holding your own NYE party but this idea is a LITTLE different. If you want to act high-class but on a budget then this is the PERFECT way to do so. In place of a casual NYE party you can throw your own fancy dinner/cocktail party. Let your guests know that is a black tie event and to dress up! Then google or pinterest fancy cocktails and horderves and boom you’re in business.
Search alternative community events near you:
If you are looking for something family-oriented, free or cheap, etc then google the town and park district calendars for your town and towns near you. You can also just do a broad search of “Community New Years Events”. A lot of places like churches, rec centers, etc throw something a little earlier in the day for New Years. Again, if you cannot find anything in your town make sure you check towns near you!
Romantic night in with your loved one:
Now that I am 24 (25 in 2019) this by far sounds like the best option. Spending a night in drinking champagne and cocktails with Elliot while its just me and him sounds perfect. Now that I’ve talked about my boyfriend I will present this option. If you are in a relationship then spend New Years with that person that you love and stop worrying about making some big elaborate plans. You two are starting another year together as a couple and you can use the time to celebrate your relationship over the previous year and the new beginnings to come in the coming years. I know this sounds sappy but its just an option!
A great idea if you don’t want to foot the whole bill of feeding an entire party is having a potluck. Have each of your friend bring a dish and then host a giant feast for all to enjoy. This way you don’t have to do a ton of cooking, foot the bill on catering, and you get to be just with the people you care about.
This is kind of an extension of the romantic night but it can also be between friends if thats what you wish. Have a night in to pamper yourself. Whatever you can get to have a make-shift at home spa day do it! Go into the new year pampering yourself to the point where you are relaxed and ready to take on the world.
Make creative cocktails:
I have mentioned this a few times now because well I love the idea of it. I think looking at ways to create a fun cocktail is awesome and there is no better time to try it out then New Years! Pinterest and google searches are probably the easiest and greatest way to find ideas. You can make champagne mixtures, martinis, sangria, fun shots etc there is literally no limit to what you can do. You can have a competition with your friends or you can do this with a small group or yourself (either way prepare for the hangover). If you are looking to be drinking this New Years but not going out this would be one of my suggestions mixed in with throwing your own party.
Find a local bar and event place (Gameworks,, TopGolf, Bowling, etc):
I think adult arcades, top golf, and all that fun stuff is totally a cool idea on any day of the year. However, I do think that this is also a great alternative to going “out out” for NYE. Usually places like this have NYE packages and again you can check places like Groupon to see if there are any discounts. The more you get in a group usually the cheaper it gets. So if you and your friends are trying to avoid the clubs/bars this new years and just casually grab some drinks and have some fun check this option out!
Celebrate the next day:
The final option is to not celebrate on New Years at all. Celebrate the first day of 2019! You can do it however you like, whether it be a fun brunch or even a party! Either way you can avoid the New Years crowd all together by just not celebrating on the actual day. If you think about it its really not that big of a deal and kind of a fun idea!
There you have it. My 15 alternative ways to celebrate New Years that aren’t clubbing. I hope you all have enjoyed 2018 and go into 2019 with an amazing start. If you choose to do any of these activities please let me know or you can tag me in them on Instagram at alisonschulthesz
HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL