Maybe you can’t find a babysitter. Maybe, after some crazy-stressful weeks of holiday obligations, you don’t have the energy to hit up a bar. Or maybe, after having done the whole New Year’s Eve thing before, staying in and avoiding the crazy crowds sounds super appealing. Whatever the reason for your desire to do anything other than partying, there are plenty of other things to do on NYE instead of going out that are just as awesome and, honestly, feel way more productive than spending the night tipsy and wobbling around in heels.
Don’t get me wrong—heading out on the town and letting it all go can be great sometimes. But on a night when everyone is trying to do the same thing, finding a place to celebrate that doesn’t have insane cover fees and isn’t jammed can be seriously impossible, making the night way more stressful than it is fun.
Staying in on NYE isn’t just about avoiding hoards of drunk people and saving money (although, let’s face it, you knew that Uber ride home wasn’t going to be cheap.) It’s also an opportunity to relax and catch up on other things. In other words, if you’re still looking for reasons to justify it, choosing to chill on the craziest evening of the year can be a good idea for your mental health, too. But what to do while you’re sitting at home and everyone else is out and about? Once you’re cozied up inside, kick off the new year with one or a few of these ideas for things to do instead of facing the all-out madness of the NYE crowd.
1Get Started On A New Book
If you feel like you never have time to read, you can end and start the year with a great book. Try to finish one of the must-read books of 2015, or get a jump start on one of the books that will become a movie in 2016.
2Cook A Fancy Dinner
How often do you get the actually get the chance to do this? Make the most of the evening by whipping up something special to enjoy with a friend of loved one without distraction.
3Get A Head Start On This Year’s Oscar Contenders
So by the time Oscar season rolls around, you aren't frantically trying to get through every movie before the big night. Or, you aren't sitting there without a favorite in mind, or wondering who Lupita Nyong'o is and why she totally deserved that award.
4Create A New Year’s Resolution Board
You could also write them down, but obviously this is way more fun. Make new boards about healthy food, cool workouts, house ideas, and all sorts of things that'll help you toward your #lifegoals this coming year.
5Look Up New Workouts To Try
Speaking of resolutions, while you could just go for one of those gym memberships, why not try something completely fresh for the coming year with a trendy workout? Whether it's a different approach to pilates or a contemporary take on barre, you're guaranteed to be excited to try it out (and hopefully, stick with it.)
6Bake The Night Away
Whether it's something super tricky like a soufflé or a chocolatey cupcake recipe you've been hoping to try out, the combination of plenty of time, room, and no little ones running around make it an ideal evening to get those measuring cups out.
7Start Listening To The New Season of 'Serial'
Season 2 is only a few episodes in and it's already heating up. Don't let yourself get behind. Or have a seriously engrossing night listening to other interesting podcasts like Reply All or Call Your Girlfriend.
8Create A Fancy NYE Cocktails
You don't need to be out and about to enjoy some bubbly. Whip up a tasty New Year's Eve cocktail and sip away while watching the ball drop.
9Clean The House
This might not sounds like the most fun ever, but if you want to start the new year with a fresh state of mind, why not start with the house?
10Look Up Some New Kid-Friendly Things To Do In Your City
Because you can only hit up the same place so many times, and it's not always easy to find time to look up new things to do. This is the year to branch out.
11Do Some Online Retail Therapy
You've already done a bunch of shopping for everyone else throughout the holidays. Now’s the perfect time to get in on those sweet year-end deals all for yourself.
12Try An At-Home Facial
You know those DIY masks you keep pinning but never doing? Gather up the avocado, oatmeal, honey, and whatever else you need to refresh your skin and hair for the new year.
13Take A Luxurious Bath
Grab a bath bomb or salts in advance and soak. (By the way, this can be combined with the previous option for an ultra-indulgent evening).
14Binge A New TV Show
Master of None, Transparent, the new season of the The Mindy Project—you can finally get in on the conversation. Heck, you can finally even get started on The Wire if you want.