New Year's Eve is the greatest excuse all year to dress your best, pay too much for drinks and splurge on a night out. But with temperatures on Wednesday night projected to be in the low 30s and pouring rain becoming more and more likely, staying home for New Year's Eve is becoming a very attractive alternative.
Before you put on the fuzzy socks that Grandma got you for Christmas and start binging on Netflix and holiday candy, consider how easy it is to throw a last-minute New Year's Eve party. Just invite some friends over (and save them from a night of freezing temps and pricey cocktails) and we'll help take care of the rest.
Food is a must-have for any New Year's Eve party. Don't feel like cooking or defaulting to Bagel Bites and a bowl of Doritos? Takeout is always an option. Titaya's Thai Cuisine has an extensive to-go menu with tons of delicious Thai appetizers, while Milto's can provide Mediterranean snacks either via pick up or delivery. If the impending new year has you feeling adventurous, order some "chicken lollypops" from Chicken Lollypop, an Indian-inspired version of chicken wings that make for tasty (if a little bit messy) finger food.
For sweet treats, cupcakes are a perfect last-minute party dessert. Sugar Mama's Bakeshop is offering three different confetti and Champagne-soaked cupcake specials. Each flavor is $33 a dozen and are only available on New Year's Eve. Don't feel like driving? Hey Cupcake! will deliver some sweet treats right to your front door — just make sure to place the order before noon.
While Champagne is always the go-to for New Year's, consider drinking outside of the flute with simple, homemade, cold-weather cocktails. Irish coffee is the easiest to make — just add a splash of whiskey to a cup of joe. Embrace the wintry weather and heat up a few bottles of nonalcoholic apple cider or apple juice in a large pot along with cinnamon sticks, orange peels, winter spices and (most importantly) spiced rum. Put out some festive mugs and let guests serve themselves.
Spiked hot chocolate is another quick fix. Turn this childhood favorite into an adult beverage by adding everything from vodka and tequila to peppermint schnapps or your favorite flavored liqueur. Stop by Twin Liquors before 9 pm on New Year's Eve to pick up the necessary alcohol — and a few bottles of Champagne for good measure.
The festive decorations
For last-minute decorations, head over to Paper Source for tassel garland, glitter banners, tissue rosettes and confetti. If you're the crafty type, pick up supplies from Paper Place and create your own glitzy garland.
However, the most important flair you can add to any party is sparklers (no New Year's Eve celebration would be complete without them). Lucky for all of us, Terra Toys is stocked with a variety of different colors and options for all our sparkler needs.
There are several options for evening entertainment that will guarantee the party lasts way beyond midnight. Rock N Roll Rentals offers three different karaoke weekend packages ranging from $37 to $59, all of which include the karaoke system, a TV monitor, two microphones and the necessary cables.
If you need to stock up on board games, Great Hall Games on North Lamar Boulevard has everything from the classics (chess, backgammon and dominoes) to old favorites (Clue, Scrabble and Jenga) to the more party-centric (Apples to Apples, Smarty Party and Would You Rather).
Movies are always a great backup option to avoid that mid-party lull. Create a NYE-themed movie lineup and turn them on in the background while you celebrate. I Luv Video's Wednesday special is rent two movies and get a third one for only $1. A few suggestions for films set around New Year's include Boogie Nights, Ghostbusters II, About a Boy, When Harry Met Sally, The Poseidon Adventure, Assault on Precinct 13 and Doctor Who. I Luv Video also has an expansive collection of television shows, so plan to re-watch your favorite NYE episode from That '70s Show, The Office, How I Met Your Mother or others.
The morning after
If the weather conditions are so gross that your friends don't want to go out this New Year's Eve, they probably shouldn't be driving home after a night of spiked hot chocolate and intense rounds of Jenga. Head to H-E-B the day before and stock up on eggs, tortillas, bacon, cheese and all the breakfast taco fixings you may need. Then tell everyone to pack their jammies, blow up the air mattresses and entice them to stay over with promises of breakfast in the morning. And make sure to stock up on orange juice so you can make mimosas with leftover Champagne (if there is any).