Keep your guests entertained from the moment they show up until the ball drops with some entertaining couples' games, icebreakers, and party classics.  With a few of these mixed into the evening, your guests won't want the new year to arrive!
 
Cotton Ball Blitz
Ingredients
  • Cotton balls
  • Two bowls for each player
  • Vaseline
To Play
  • Put two bowls in front of each player on the ground. One should be filled with cotton balls; the other should be empty.
  • Ask players to put a dab of Vaseline on their noses. Set a timer for one minute, and Ready, Set, Go!
  • The player who can move the most cotton balls from one bowl to the other using only their nose wins!

Ribbon Dance
Ingredients
  • Ribbon cut into 3 foot lengths
To Play
  • First, there should be one ribbon for every two players. (Make sure you have an even number of players.)
  • In your hand, hold a bunch of the ribbons from the middle so the ends dangle loose.
  • Have every participant grab the end of one ribbon. Let go of the ribbons, and the two people who are holding onto the same ribbon become dance partners. 
  • This fun icebreaker helps mix up the dance floor and makes for some funny pairings (two male dancers/two female dancers!). 

Knowing Knees
Ingredients
  • Blindfolds
  • Chairs
To Play
  • First, blindfold all the male players. Then, have the female players sit down in chairs in a line.
  • Each of the male players must then go along the line of female players and try to identify them only by touching their knees. 
  • Have them write their guesses down on a sheet of paper, and the player with the most correct answers wins. 

New Year’s Secret Stash
Ingredients
  • An assortment of small objects
  • Sheets of paper with each guest’s name 
To Play
  • As each guest enters, the host hands them an ordinary object (hairclip, bouncy ball, KoolAid packet, etc.) 
  • The player must keep the object on their person but out of concealed areas (like pockets or purses). Throughout the night, they have to try to hide the objects as best they can (in hands, hair, etc). 
  • At the end of the night, players write down each other’s objects on a sheet of paper (with all the guests’ names), and the one with the most correct answers wins!

New Year’s Champagne Race
Ingredients
To Play
  • Have players sit at a table, and give each one a champagne flute and a teaspoon. Set bowls filled with champagne in front of them. (One bowl for 2-3 players.)
  • The object of the game is for players to use the teaspoon to fill their glasses with champagne. The first one to do so, stands up, taps his or her glass with a teaspoon, and gets to give a toast for the New Year!

Human Bingo
Ingredients
  • Bingo Sheets with a characteristic in each box
  • Writing utensils
To Play
  • This fun icebreaker have guests mixing right when they enter the door! As people arrive, give each one a Bingo sheet and writing utensil. Each box on the sheet should have a phrase describing one or more of the guests (i.e. married at age 23, travelled Europe during college, rock climber, lived in Manhattan). 
  • As players mingle, they find the people with these characteristics and have each person sign off the spot on the Bingo card. The first player to get Bingo wins!
 
Find Your Song
Ingredients
  • Slips of paper
  • Popular song lyrics
To Play
  • On long slips of paper, write out a line or two from a popular song. It might be a recent hit (like “I kissed a girl and I liked it”) or something related to New Year’s (like “Should old acquaintance be forgot And auld lang syne?”). 
  • Cut the slip of paper in half, so part of the lyric is on one half and part of the lyric is on the other half.
  • Hand out slips of paper to each guest as they arrive, and at some point in the evening, announce that each person has to find the other guest with the rest of their song. The first three couples to find each other win a prize!

Kiss Countdown
Ingredients
  • Several bags of Hershey Kisses
To Play
  • Hand each female guest 5-7 Hershey Kisses as they enter. Tell all the guests as they enter that the object of the game is for the male guests to get as many kisses as they can. The females are the only ones who can give kisses, so this will result in a lot of competition on the part of the male guests. There may be serenading, duels to the death, and so on.
  • At the end of the night, the male guest with the most kisses wins a fabulous prize. (A $20-25 gift card or a case of good beer would create some fierce competition!)
  • The fun twist? The male winner chooses the female winner (most likely the one who gave him the most kisses), so this encourages competition among the women as well!

Pass the New Year’s Hat
Ingredients
To Play
  • Have a group of 10+ guests sit in a circle, and give one player a New Year’s themed hat. 
  • The object of the game is to pass the hat from the head of one player to the next without dropping the hand or using hands.
  • If a player drops the hat, he or she is out of the circle, and the last player left wins the New Year’s hat!

Shot Roulette
Ingredients
  • 20-25 shot glasses
  • Variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic liquid
  • Empty champagne bottle
  • Gift cards
To Play
  • In a circle on a large table, arrange 20-25 shot glasses. 
  • Fill each shot glass with either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic liquid (i.e. tequila, whiskey, vodka, peppermint schnapps, chocolate milk, eggnog, coffee, orange juice, milk). Make sure to fill a few of the glasses with some odd edible liquids (i.e. melted butter, olive oil, soy sauce, ranch dressing). 
  • Like the game Spin the Bottle, have player spin an empty champagne bottle in the center of the circle. Whichever shot the bottle points at, the player must drink. (No exceptions! Except maybe allergies.)
  • To sweeten the deal, put a few small gift cards in the glasses. This might encourage a couple of the guests who don’t want to swallow melted butter to play!

New Year’s Flip Cup
Ingredients
To Play
  • This college throwback will have groups of guests competing for some New Year’s Bling. Have each player sit at a table, and give each one a paper New Year’s themed cup filled ¼ of the way with beer. 
  • Guests must drink the beer, put the cup top down on the table (with a little hanging over the edge), and use their index fingers to flip the cup right side up. 
  • The first one to do so wins a prize. New Year’s Eve Accessories allow you to have prizes for multiple rounds on the cheap while also dressing guests up with some bling before the countdown!


Hangin’ Low
Ingredients
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • String
  • Hoola Hoop
To Play
  • Great for some pictures, this game makes every player look a little silly! Tie a banana from each player’s waist, so it hangs 12 inches from the ground. 
  • Place a hoola hoop in the center of a room, and put an orange for each player equidistance from the hoop.
  • The object of the game is for players to push their oranges into the hoola hoop using only their bananas. It makes for a pretty awkward (and hilarious) sight!

Guess the Month
Ingredients
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
To Play
  • Go through old magazines from the past year, or travel to your local library to search through old news articles (this is fun research, though). Find as many events as you can that took place in the past year. 
  • Make a list of these events, and have your guests guess which month in which the event took place. For example- "During what month did the King of Pop die"? Whoever guesses the most right wins a prize.

Charades of the Past
Ingredients
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
To Play
  • Go through magazines and newspapers to pick out events from the past year. 
  • Use these events as "titles" to act out for Charades or "Win, Lose or Draw". For tons of fun, make each of your guests team up in twos and act out whichever past year’s event that they have randomly drawn.

Guess Whose Resolution
Ingredients
  • Slips of paper
  • Writing utensils
To Play
  • Make each of your guests write down 5 resolutions, each on its own slip of paper. 
  • Pull one slip of paper out of a hat at a time and read it out loud. Everyone has to write down who they think made each resolution. 
  • After everyone has gone, the person who guesses the most correctly wins a prize. Read some of the wrong guesses out loud for fun!

Find Your Prediction
Ingredients
  • Fun objects (favors)
  • Slips of paper
To Play
  • Make up some phony generic predictions like, "In the New Year you will shave your head", write them on slips of paper, and attach them to a corresponding items (like a wig). 
  • Hide the predictions with their corresponding items, and tell guests that predictions are hidden around the room, and that they each need to find one, read it aloud to the group, and open it. (These make nice funny favors, too.)

Can't Say
Ingredients
  • Index cards
  • Marker
To Play
  • This is a game that is patterned after the game "Taboo." Before guests arrive, write down the name of a person who was big in the news in the past year on an index card. 
  • On the back of the card (or somewhere on the front of the card), write down four words that the person who chooses that card cannot use to describe the person on the card to other guests. 
  • Split into two teams. The other guests have one minute to figure out what the name is without the "chooser" of the word using any of the four words on the card. If the "chooser's" team cannot guess the name, then the other team gets one chance to guess the correct name. The team who guesses the most names correctly is the winner. 
  • For example: The name is "Al Gore". The four words that cannot be used to describe him are vice-president (ok, so that's 2 words), Tipper, Democrat, and election. So the "chooser" could tell the team that "he is close with Bill Clinton, he works in politics, etc".

New Year's Eve Word Mix
Ingredients
  • Paper
  • Writing utensils
To Play
  • Everyone is given a word that has to do with New Year's Eve (everyone uses the same word), and each player has to make as many other words as they can in 5 minutes using only the letters in the original word. 
  • Repeating a letter is not allowed unless it is repeated in the original word and proper nouns do not count as words. The guest who writes down the most original words is the winner.

Guess Which Guest
Ingredients
  • Game Sheet (see below)
  • Writing utensils
To Play
  • Before the party, create a game sheet that includes a statement about each guest from the past year. For example, you could write, "Gave birth to twins." "The name of the person______________". "The names of the twins_________________ and __________________". Or a statement like, "Wore the same outfit every day for 2 weeks". "The name of the person_________________". "A description of the outfit __________________". 
  • Give a game sheet to each player, have all of your guests mingle, and ask each other questions to determine whose name belongs with each statement. Whoever has the most names filled in correctly after about 10-15 minutes wins.

Who Wins a Prize?
Ingredients
To Play
  • Every 10 minutes or so (or longer, depending on how long the party is supposed to last) call out a question that relates to guests at the party, such as "Who’s the youngest here?" "Who brought the best food?" "Who said the last word?" "Who laughs the loudest?" "Who’s sitting next to the hostess?" and so on. 
  • Award a New Year’s Eve themed prize each time you call out a random question. Soon, lots of people will have prizes- and they won’t have to stay for the entire party or worry about missing all of the games because they are party hopping.

True or False
Ingredients
  • Game Sheet (see below)
  • Writing Utensils
To Play
  • Create a game sheet that includes the name of each guest along with 2-3 statements that can be true or false next to each name. 
  • Give each person a game sheet about an hour into the evening. Next to each statement, have them write either write "true" or "false". The person who answers the most statements correctly wins a prize. 
  • When everyone has handed in their papers, tally up the true and false votes, too. It's pretty funny to see what others think is true.