New Year's Eve Games and Activities

Looking for a way to liven the party on New Year’s Eve? After all, there’s a lot of down time before the ball drops, the pots and pans get clanging, and the champagne toasts begin. Here are some great games and activities to keep things fresh and fun the whole night through!

The Name Game

Scissors (to cut paper into strips)
Large bowl
Stopwatch or timer

Directions: Give everyone 10-20 small slips of paper and something to write with. Each person writes one name on each slip of paper before folding it up and putting them all in the bowl. The names can be anybody—famous, infamous, people you know, family members—it doesn’t matter who. Next, divide into two teams. A member from each team has one minute to pull as many names from the bowl and get his/her team to guess the name(s) using any clues to get them to guess the name correctly. During each turn the clue-giver can “pass” one name by putting it back into the bowl. If the timer stops before the team has guessed the current name, that name also goes back into the bowl. Teams earn one point for every correctly guessed name.

Memory Boards

Poster or matt board
Permanent markers
Tape and string
Photos from 2010

Directions: Tape favorite photos from 2010 to your poster or matt boards, leaving mostly blank space. Try to feature your guests in as many as possible, or ask them to bring some of their own. Tie a long string around markers for each poster and affix the string to the edge of the poster to keep it handy. Have guests use the markers to write their favorite memories from 2010. When the party is over, you can keep the posters as a memento, or send them home with guests as a party favor.

Photo Booth

Solid colored flat sheet
Thumb tacks
Party hats and silly dress up clothes
Camera and tripod

Directions: Find a spot away from foot traffic to set up a fun photo booth for guests to enjoy. Tack your sheet up to the wall for a back drop and keep a supply of party hats and dress up clothes in a basket or box nearby. Set up your camera and tripod to a standard height and space to capture only the photo booth in the frame. (Mark the floor with masking tape if you need guests to stand in a certain place for best results.) If you don’t want to man the camera the whole time, write up some simple directions for guests to take their own photos. You’ll have great shots to share with party guests later.

How’s Yours?


Directions: Send one person out of the room while everybody else decides on something/anything that the entire group has in common, such as physical features (knees, hair, nose, etc.), possessions, or even abstract things like hobbies or a sense of humor. Once something has been decided by the group, invite the person back in. He or she begins asking everyone, “How’s yours?” to figure out the subject. Players respond with an adjective to describe their own. The trick is to come up with clever answers. You don’t want to give anything away too quickly! Once the person guesses correctly, someone else is sent out and a new subject is chosen by the rest of the group.

Evening Dress


Directions: Divide into teams of two or three. Each team must design and create an evening dress on one of their team members using the supplies. Have a runway fashion show and an anonymous vote for a favorite.

These are my ideas. What are yours? Share your favorite games or activities in the comments section!

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