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December 22, 2015

How to throw a last-minute New Year's Eve party

Five steps to greatness

So, this list of everything you could possibly want to do in Philadelphia this New Year's Eve and this other list of suburban holiday parties didn't fit the bill? Well, if you still want to celebrate New Year's but don't exactly want to leave the house, invite some friends and family over for a quick-and-easy ball-droppin' bash. Follow the steps below and you'll have everything you need for a memorable night.

1. Decorate your space

If you're running low on time and/or money, simple paper decorations are the way to go. You can always head to the nearest stationery store like Paper Source (1628 Walnut St.) or Papyrus (211 S. 17th St.) or an arts & crafts store like A.C. Moore (1851 S. Columbus Blvd.) or Blick (1330 Chestnut St.) to grab fancy-looking pre-made garlands and streamers. If you're running really late, they may even be on sale.

Party City (330 W. Oregon Ave., 2201 Cottman Ave., 1050 Roosevelt Blvd.) will have plenty of sparkly options, too.  

Or, if you're feeling crafty, search the web for easy DIY decor tutorials. Buzzfeed has a killer list of New Years crafts from around the web, including this insanely easy layered streamer photo backdrop, a giant confetti wall and these giant paper pom-poms. Considering NYE is the most sparkly night of the year, you could pretty much just throw glitter on anything/everything and call it a decoration, too. 

2. Find some food

(Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Most restaurants will be busy with their own NYE dinners and parties, so don't bank on take-out from your favorite eatery without a pre-order. And unless you plan on having a fully-fledged catered affair, you probably need to make some food the old-fashioned way. 

Start with the basics: a cheese plate is a universally beloved and easy-to-create appetizer. Need help in the cheese department? Talula's Garden's Aimee Olexy graciously created a foolproof guide to stocking your board for us, and Samantha Kane of DiBruno Bros. told us exactly how to navigate that overwhelming market once you're inside.

If you're looking for something a little more substantial, try creating Cheu Noodle Bar's famous brisket ramen or High Street on Market's grilled eggplant sandwich and broccoli salad. In our recipes section, you'll also find how-to's for Phickle's easy onion and radish pickles; slow-cooker recipes from local bloggers; and Zahav's famous fried potatoes and Shakshouka stew.

When it's time for dessert, try your hand at some holiday cookies -- just don't forget to follow Jessica Nolen's baking tips, first. 

3. Grab the drinks

Your run-of-the-mill champagne is fine, but why not get creative and try a few new cocktails to kick off a new year? Check out these five winter cocktails from around the web then stir up some of these brunch-y drinks for the morning after. 


Of course, you can always swing by your local Wine & Spirits for a bottle of wine. To make the trip quick and painless, follow sommelier Justin Timsit's guide to the PLCB state store. He chose a range of bottles from $12.99 to $74.99 from the red, white and sparkling sections for every occasion.

If beer is more your speed, don't miss this roundup of all the best local holiday-inspired brews. 

4. Pump up the jams

No party is complete without tunes. You can create your own playlist on your favorite music app or pop on a pre-made one like Spotify's list of performers taking on NYE around the globe

If you want to shake up your night a little, throw in these locally-grown holiday jams from Philly artists

5. Turn on the TV

Sure, celebrations are about spending time with the people you love -- but what is New Year's without watching the ball drop?

"Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" will air on ABC at 8 p.m. Walk the Moon, Carrie Underwood, One Direction, Luke Bryan, Fall Out Boy, Ellie Goulding, Wiz Khalifa and Demi Lovato will all perform. 

"New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" will air on NBC at 10 p.m. Chrissy Teigen, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Seth MacFarlane, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams will all be there. 

(Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Turn on either program, turn down the sound and set an alarm for 11:55 p.m. so you don't miss the big countdown. When you wake up, don't forget to tune into the Mummer's Parade