1. Visit an underground bar.
How do you go out drinking, but escape the NYE crowds? Find a secret underground bar. They’re filled with an intimate set of devoted regulars, and usually have bloody amazing bartenders to whip up some a cracking New Year’s cocktail. Make friends there and you may just have found your go-to joint for the next year.
Find underground bars in the UK here.
2. Make a time capsule.
If you don’t want to go the whole hog and bury an industrial-strength time capsule, just sit down and write a letter to your future self, talking about what you hope the future will bring.
3. Do a New Year’s Eve spring clean.
If your house is looking messy and cluttered, throw on your favourite music and hold a race to midnight cleaning marathon with your housemates (or solo). Because why start 2016 with a raging hangover when you can start it with a completely clean house? Not to mention that intense feeling of smugness you’ll get when the clock strikes midnight and you’re standing in a sparkling kitchen with a glass of champagne.
4. Make your own champagne cocktails.
Champagne is delicious. You know what’s even MORE delicious? CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS. Spend the evening making a selection of champagne cocktails and, of course, drinking them.
5. Have a sleepover.
PJs, films, snacks, and all your best friends in one room? BEST. IDEA. EVER. And it means you get to bring in the new year in close proximity to your wonderful bed.
6. Have a boardgames night.
You, a couple of friends, and Trivial Pursuit. What more could you want? If you don’t have any games to hand, stop by a charity shop to pick up some old favourites (hello Buckaroo and Hungry Hippos).
7. Skype a friend.
Maybe you have a friend who’s spending the night alone in another city or country. Get on Skype to them, crack open a bottle of booze, and spend New Year’s together.
8. Go to a fancy cinema.
It doesn’t have to be your local Odeon. There are loads of amazing cinemas out there with plush seating, amazing snacks (no stale popcorn, thanks), and screenings of cult classics. Try the Tyneside in Newcastle, the Olympic in London, the Electric in Birmingham, or the Cameo on Edinburgh.
9. Or set up your own at home.
Follow this tutorial to set up an at-home projector with your smartphone.
10. Make your countdown extra special.
Like with these DIY countdown glasses. They are so fancy, and once you’ve made them, you can have your friends round to drink them one by one as the clock strikes midnight! Or you can drink them all yourself*…
11. Host a dinner party.
Because sometimes all you need is good food, good wine, and good friends.
12. Plan your New Year’s resolutions and come up with a plan for how to make them stick.
Sure, you can write down your resolutions. But an action plan of how you’re going to actually achieve them is going to be so much more useful, as is doing any first steps towards them you can that night. You can look up the best gym membership deals, stick notes up around the house, or even change your Wi-Fi passwords to your resolutions.
13. Go bowling.
Again…it doesn’t have to be your crappy local chain. There are loads of independent bowling alleys that are SO COOL and will let you drink booze at your lanes. London’s Bloomsbury Bowling does original ’50s-style bowling, whileRoxy Lanes in Leeds is just pretty freaking cool all round.
14. Have a bake-off.
Either host a party where everyone brings cakes they’ve made and you vote for the best, OR just spend the evening baking. Either way, everyone gets cake.
15. Go stargazing.
You can go camping, or just wrap up warm and find a quiet local spot to sit, but either way, spending the evening under the stars is a beautiful way to welcome the new year in.
17. Have a gaming night.
Assassins Creed, Fallout, Tomb Raider, Legend of Zelda, Tekken… video and computer games are awesome and an evening playing them is an evening well spent. And you can always plan out your next year in minute detail on The Sims, so you know, that’s productive!
18. Stay in bed.
Spend the evening with the love of your life: your bed.
You can invite a buddy to share your bed love-in if you so choose.