Planning what to do on New Year’s Eve is not the simplest of tasks, especially after a decadent holiday period. The first step to a wonder-filled start to the New Year is choosing who you want to celebrate it with. Whether it's family, the kids, your best friends, everyone you know, or just you and a special someone, there are plenty of New Year's Eve ideas in this guide to help you plan the perfect night.

Dine with close friends
White table setting for fine dining

The run-up to Christmas is full of opportunities to see family, which makes New Year the perfect time to see friends. Host an intimate dinner party with your closest companions to talk about your plans for the year ahead and to reflect on the good times you had in the one just past. Treat everyone to new recipes from those cook books you had on your Christmas list.

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Romantic celebrations
Green women’s lingerie set on knitted throw

The New Year is undeniably a romantic time. It’s also a chance to make up to your partner for all the rushing about you both did preparing for Christmas. Make the last day of the year a celebration for just the two of you. You could spend the night in by the fire, watch a movie, share a bottle of wine or treat yourselves to a sumptuous dinner. To make your New Year's night in even more special, treat your other half to a lingerie set you're sure to both enjoy.

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Party time
Birds eye view table with grey tablecloth and red apples

If your Christmas celebrations turned into falling asleep on the sofa in front of the telly with a glass of red wine, it might be time to inject a little more energy into the end of the year. You don’t need complicated New Year's Eve party ideas – just crank up the tunes on your speakers or docking station, spruce up the tired-looking Christmas decorations with confetti and fairy lights and create invigorating cocktails. The fun will take care of itself. For easy hosting, makes batches of drinks and serve them in jugs or pitchers. Just don't forget to break out the champagne glasses when the clock reaches midnight.

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A weekender with friends
Packed pink suitcase

Spent too much time during Christmas with distant cousins, children and pets under your feet? A night out with the girls or guys might be exactly what you need. Start a message thread to discuss ideas, build the excitement levels a few weeks before and share ideas for weekend jaunts you could enjoy together. A trip to central London or your nearest city to watch the fireworks is always an inspiring way to bring in the New Year. Don’t forget to leave space in your luggage for your dancing shoes.

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Family fun
Pictionary board game product image

There are plenty of New Year’s Eve ideas for families which will set the event apart from Christmas. A getaway to a cottage is a wonderful way to spend the time together, but your night could be as simple as a big pot luck dinner. Get the kids ready for bed and let them back downstairs to join in the countdown. If you need to keep the older ones engaged, take away any electronic items and break out the board games. With slightly more mature children or teenagers, it's an opportunity to discuss their plans. You could get them to write down one goal and keep it a secret until the next New Year: a super little family tradition that could carry on until the next millennium.

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Keep it low-key
Woman in nightclothes getting into bed with grey duvet

After all the celebrating, eating, drinking and present-giving of the Christmas period, the only New Year's Eve activity you might fancy is a quiet night in. There's absolutely no shame in keeping the 31st relatively low key. Get your pyjamas on, make a cup of hot chocolate or pop on the popcorn and settle in with your favourite box set. If you can bring yourself to watch the countdown, flick the channel over to Later With Jools Holland to bring in the New Year with live music. Even if it's only for ten minutes before you nod off.

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