In just a few short days, 2016 will be gracing us with her presence, and if you’re still trying to figure out what you’ll be doing on New Year’s Eve, know that it’s actually not too late—or too difficult!—to throw together a casual affair of your own.
Those living in or around New York know that all you could possibly want is basically just a call, click, or an app away. Take advantage of the city’s resources and some of our quick tips to take the pressure off of yourself and treat Dec. 31 as if it were just another date on the calendar (well, maybe with a touch more bubbly). Sometimes, the most spontaneous gatherings are the most memorable.
1. Send Out a Paperless Post Invite
2. Outsource the Nibbles
There’s no shortage of amazing prepared food options in this great town. Consider calling up your favorite neighborhood restaurant for a small-scale, meal-centered catering order, or hit up one-stop-shop wonderlands like Eataly or Brookfield Place’s Le District for an assortment of gourmand-pleasing comestibles. Pick up some cured meats and a nice pâté for the charcuterie plate; a variety of cheeses from La Fromagerie; some artisan loaves; drink-friendly snacks like nuts and olives; easy sweets like amaretti cookies and a couple of bars of quality chocolates—and call it a day!
3. Have Guests Bring the Bubbly
Your friends will likely ask what they can bring to the party. Make it easy for yourself and suggest they BYOB (Bring Your Own Bubbly—check out our list of affordable champagnes under $25) for all the toast-worthy moments before midnight. Also be sure to check your neighborhood liquor stores, as most will make deliveries directly to your door. If you’ve already stocked your holiday bar, let guests mix their own drinks; otherwise, consider prepping a big batch of festive punch, like this tequila-spiked version, that people can serve themselves.
4. Fuss-Free Decor
No need to get fancy for a last-minute bash. Pick up some fresh flowers, repurpose any neutral holiday decorations that don’t scream Christmas, and stock up on a variety of candles to create that universally-flattering, social media-friendly glow.
5. Prep the Tunes
Line up any of these killer InStyle-approved playlists to set the mood and keep the party going well after the clock strikes midnight:
14 Songs to Get Your New Year's Eve Party Started, Courtesy of DJ Ruckus
The Ultimate Holiday Party Playlist, Courtesy of DJ Brendan Fallis
The Ultimate Playlist for Your Boozy New Year's Day Brunch, Courtesy of Hannah Bronfman
Keep the drinks flowing, switch on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, and toast to another year on the books, as well as a smooth, stress-free entry into 2016.