Looking for New Year's Eve traditions for you and your sweetie to make your own? If you want to ring in the New Year with romance, look no further. We've rounded up 15 fun, festive, romantic New Year's Eve ideas for couples. From kissing at midnight to breaking plates, getting away for a night to a special date, you'll find plenty of ideas to help make your New Year magical!
1. Kiss at Midnight
Yes, it's an old standby, but we're constantly surprised by how many couples don't kiss at the stroke of midnight. We say, drop everything and pucker up! And, the more superstitious among us swear that starting the new year locking lips means more love in the twelve months to come. Whether you believe that or not, grab your guy and land a smooch.
2. Dance to Auld Lang Syne
It's old fashioned, but it's the traditional New Year's song that's played at the stroke of midnight around the world, and we think you should dance to it with your love (after the kiss, of course). Dancing in the New Year sounds like a romantic New Year's Eve to us!
3. Test Out a New Cuisine
Calling all adventurous eaters: New Year's Eve is the perfect time to test out a new cuisine — in your own kitchen. "Pick something that you've never cooked before — whether it's an Indian curry, a soufflé, or a leg of lamb — and have fun by creating your own, personal program," suggests relationship expert April Masini. The key here is to not just eat a lovely meal, she says, but to learn to prepare something new, together. "Get creative and think about meals you've always wanted to have, but haven't," she says, "or have always wanted to learn to cook, but haven't." And if your experiment goes well, you'll have a new go-to dish to turn to all year long.
4. Make a Time Capsule
You've heard of time capsules: Collections of meaningful items from a period of your life packed into a tin or box and buried in the ground to be unearthed at a later date. On New Year's Eve, make a time capsule with your partner that commemorates all the special times you've share throughout the year. It can become a tradition — each year you can look back at the previous year's capsule, and then make another. Why not start this year?
"This is a great activity because it really stimulates your memory and your thoughts about the relationship over the past year," says Masini. "You'll have the opportunity to cherish the most special memories, and preserve them in some way in a time capsule that you bury."
5. Have Lunch at Your Favorite Restaurant
While you may have plans to go to a party with friends in the evening, consider reserving New Year's Eve lunch for just you and your honey. We love hearing about couples whose tradition is a New Year's Eve brunch or lunch at a favorite special restaurant. What a great way to extend the fun of the day (and a perfect build-up for fireworks later on, if you know what we mean!).
6. Pop Bottles
Whether it's wine or champagne, it can be fun to choose a bottle that is somehow meaningful to you and your love (think, the vintage year of your wedding, or a region that is special to the two of you). Cheers to love!
7. Plan a Getaway, Even If It's Just for the Night
Life can get hectic and sometimes the thing you want more than anything is quality alone time with your partner. Planning a getaway, even if it's just for one night, is one of those New Year's Eve traditions for couples that you can look both forward to every year. It doesn't have to be big or elaborate — it can be as simple as renting a place on Airbnb in a nearby town for a one-night stay, or as elaborate as taking off to Havana for a week. The point is just to get away and enjoy each other as you close out the year and welcome the new one! This is definitely a New Year's tradition we can get behind.
8. Eat Grapes for Good Luck
In Spain, it's tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight to bring prosperity in the New Year. Light a fire, pour some wine, and make a delicious plate of cheese and grapes to enjoy come 12 a.m.
9. Make an Ice Skating Date
Nothing's more winter-wondery than ice skating, especially if it's an outdoor ice rink. Ice skating is a fun, go-to New Year's Eve date. Wrap yourself up in your cutest scarf and get ready for a night of hand holding and hot chocolate. Who cares if you wobble a bit? You've got your love there to hold on to, after all.
10. Break Plates
Because laughter and joy are surefire ways to bring you closer, take a tip from the people of Denmark, and get in on one of their wild New Year's Eve traditions: At the stroke of midnight, Danes are known to break a glass or a plate together to symbolize good luck for a new year. Why not go for it? (Just make sure to have a broom on standby.)
11. Recreate Your First Date
Here's another special plan for New Year's: recreate your first date! Relive the magic and butterflies that started it all.
12. Reflect and Plan Ahead, Together
Mark the occasion by mapping out your goals, both individual and shared, and figuring out actionable ways to attain them and support each other. The eve of a fresh new year is a perfect time to do this! Make it tradition you revisit every year — there's nothing more romantic than being on the same team and striving toward a shared vision.
13. Cuddle Up on the Couch and Watch a NYE-Themed Movie
Here's another one of our favorite New Year's Eve traditions for couples: Grab your coziest pajamas and cuddle up with your honey to watch a NYE-themed movie, like When Harry Met Sally, An Affair to Remember, Boogie Nights or Bridget Jones' Diary. New Year's Eve centers heavily in all of these movies — how fitting!
14. Volunteer Together
As you close out the New Year, you often realize how lucky you are: you have each other, and plenty more good tidings after the holiday season. In the hustle and bustle of shopping, activities, and the actual holidays, your best intentions to volunteer over Thanksgiving might have gone unchecked. Now that the chaos has died down, use New Year's to spend the day serving others along side your sweetheart.
15. Adopt a Pet
If you've been longing for a furry friend, start off with a commitment to a dog or cat in need. Visit your local shelter, a foster program, or rescue facility, and "start the year with a wonderful new addition that you've adopted together," says Masini. Of course, "do think long and hard about how you'll be with a new pet," she says. After all, "this isn't a decision to make impulsively," says Masini. "But if you're ready, what a great, romantic choice for the new year."
More on New Year's Eve Weddings and Parties!
- 5 Fun and Festive Ideas for a Killer New Year's Eve Wedding Celebration
- This Couple Made It Official With a Brunch Wedding and a New Year's Eve Bash — 11 Days Apart!
- New Year, New Couple: 6 Steps to Make Your Bond Even Stronger in the New Year
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