Does it feel to you like we are coming to the end of a scary ride at a pretty seedy carnival? You know the type. You get on the Ferris Wheel, and the guy who runs it has to keep rocking it to make the wheel turn over. All night you have been holding hands because it feels good to do so. Now you are holding hands because you are afraid you are both going to die! Yes, Gildshire too. Finally, though, we have arrived together at the end of 2020. How about a party…virtually! Here are our best virtual ideas for celebrating Dec. 31. Because, celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually, ftw.
Launch Google Calendar to block out the event time. Fill out the details in the pop-up, and make sure you enable Google Meet video conferencing. Add the guest email addresses into the guest section. Email invitations with all the necessary information will automatically be generated and sent. Now, which of the various party platforms are best to facilitate celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually?
Some apps that can work for you
Houseparty app is a potential platform. Houseparty limits each “room” to eight people, so it will only work for small-ish groups. You choose from a whole bunch of games to play together. These include virtual Uno, Trivia, and the word-association game, Chips, and Guac.
Everyone downloads the app, and adds each other as friends, (in-game only. You aren’t all vacationing to Aruba together.) Everyone gets a notification when someone new opens the app. If this platform turns out to be a favorite, it works for general video calls that friends can pop into in the future.
Event platforms (OnZoom, Evite)
If you have a specific activity planned out for your evening, consider using an event-specific platform, such as OnZoom or Evite. These platforms have features like ticketed admission, directories, and payouts for hosts that choose to charge admission. (What a concept, that one!)
OnZoom is an extension of Zoom and has both free and paid events. If you want to attract people you do not personally know, list it here. Evite lets you have as many guests as you like.
List of virtual New Years Eve party ideas
Since New Year’s Eve parties are about games and drinking, we have compiled a list of activities that incorporate both. Pick and choose depending on your tolerance for alcohol…and for games.
Games to play at a “celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually” party
If you like to play games without being limited to the Houseparty offerings, Jackbox is a choice. The company is famous for Quiplash, the Cards Against Humanity-style online game. It just launched The Jackbox Party Pack 7, so you can choose from a set of five games. The host purchases the $29.99 set, which will allow all attendees to access the fun with a code.
Host or attend a mixology class
Look, there are advantages to celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually. Instead of bellying up to a sweaty bar this year, make your own vodka cranberry! Or make an even fancier drink that you can nurse while chatting with your friends. Consider hiring someone to teach mixology to your group. Conversely, you can choose to host or attend a cooking class, late-night yoga, or whatever makes you smile when you think about it.
Solve a murder mystery as a fun way of celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually
Red Herring has a cool online murder mystery game that you and your friends can play together. Everyone practices and delivers their lines dressed up as a character, just as in person. Plus, murders are deliciously stressful. If NYE is about drinking, you can sip some wine. You know, to cope!
Virtual drinking games
If someone is here for a good time, and not a long time, they can play Truth or Shot, Never Have I Ever, or King’s Cup virtually. It will be an honor system whether someone puts a finger down during Never Have I Ever. But your online NYE partiers are a trustworthy lot, or they would never have been invited.
Pajama Party and movies
Is a quieter night more your style? Have your friends around to see your favorite movie using features like Zoom screen share or the Chrome extension, Teleparty. Queue up your favorite rom-com, sip your beverage of choice, and forget 2020.
Try not to get bogged down in the technology piece.
There are a ton of solutions out there. If one platform is not sympatico with your WiFi, or your friends refuse it, switch to a different one. Do a test run to gather some opinions before the details are set into stone. But remember, anything can be changed, even last minute. Celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually means nimbleness and flexibility.
Make a dress code to get into the mood for celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually
One of the best parts of holiday parties is getting dressed up. Just because we are not leaving our houses does not mean we should not show off all the clothes that went to waste during the year of the Covid. Tell your guests to come dressed according to a theme or in their best formal garb. It will provide great talking points in the months to come.
At the end of the day (or night), it is your New Year’s Eve party. We all just want to celebrate the fact that 2020 is finally coming to an end. Celebrating New Year’s Eve virtually is just the answer.