Covid-friendly ways to celebrate New Year's Eve 2021

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and we have been given the government-sanctioned go-ahead to celebrate as normal… if we want to.

Clubs, pubs and bars are open, parties are on, nothing is off-limits.

There’s only one problem. The pesky little issue of the ongoing pandemic. Cases of the Omicron variant are still rising alarmingly, and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have all introduced socialising restrictions ahead of NYE.

So, if you’re not raring to get your party dress on and see in 2022 amid crowds of people – that is completely understandable.

But avoiding the crowds doesn’t mean your New Year’s Eve has to be a damp squib. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the celebrations and festivities in a Covid-safe way. You just need to be a bit creative, and plan ahead.

Here are some of the best ways you can celebrate at home this New Year’s Eve:

Use fireworks in the garden

When exercised with – a lot – of caution, home fireworks can add real sparkle to your home New Year’s Eve celebration, and make the night feel really special.

To make your home fireworks display go off with bang, you need to be careful about which ones you buy – and consider the size of your garden.

There’s a huge variety of bangers and rockets to choose from, but category 2 and 3 fireworks are allowed to be used in a home environment, while category 4 can only used by professionals.

Category 2, otherwise known as garden fireworks, have a minimum spectator distance of 8 metres. Category 3, also known as display fireworks, require a much bigger minimum spectator distance of 15 metres – so if you don’t have a big enough garden, stick to the category 2 bangers.

Also, always check before buying that your fireworks show the British Standard Kitemark BS7114. Only ever buy them in full packs rather than individually or in packs where some have been taken out.

Make fancy cocktails at home

New Year isn’t a celebration without your favourite tipple in-hand. 

Charlotte Rumsby, co-founder of mobile cocktail bar company, Harbour & Coupe, shares her trusted recipe for one of the nation’s most loved cocktails: 

‘There’s no better feeling than creating restaurant worthy cocktails in the comfort of your own home – and what better post dinner treat than an Espresso Martini?’

‘No cocktail shaker to hand? Fear not, reach for an old jar with a lid and get shaking.’

Ingredients:

  • 35ml vodka
  • 15ml Kahlua
  • 15ml sugar syrup (or vanilla sugar syrup if you like it sweeter) 
  • 75ml cold brew coffee 
  • 3 coffee beans
  • Ice

Equipment:

  • A martini or coupe glass 
  • Cocktail shaker or jar with lid
  • Cocktail strainer 

Method

Host a low-key dinner party for your household

Any good celebration has to involve good food. No matter if you’re spending NYE alone, or just with one or two others at home, you can make the evening special with an incredible and indulgent meal.

A great, low-effort option is M&S new year food, their deal on dinner for two is iconic and perfect for a tasty dinner that feels really luxurious.

It’s also a great opportunity to try your hand at a new recipe, or make a favourite meal that you haven’t had for a long time. Make an effort and pair your meal with a fancy wine, and push the boat out with dessert – it’s a party after all.

Make a joint playlist with friends

Want to feel connected to your friends and family members even while apart on New Year’s? Why not try making a joint playlist, with everyone’s favourite songs, that you can all play in your respective homes?

That way, no matter where you are, your collective soundtrack will bring you closer together.

To create your collaborative playlist, Spotify advises:

1. On your phone or tablet, tap Your Library

2. Go to Playlists, and select the one you want to collaborate on (keep in mind you can only do this for playlists you’ve created)

3. Tap the Add user button in the header to make the playlist collaborative

4. Start inviting others to add songs and podcast episodes on social media, messaging apps, or simply by copying and pasting the link

Go for a NYE run

There’s nothing like a rush of endorphins to bring in the New Year on a high.

If you’re not going to get to see friends or family at a dinner or party this year, an outdoor activity – like an afternoon jog – could be a safer alternative, and you get bonus points for getting active and moving your bodies too.

Why not pick a nice spot of natural beauty, or choose an end point with a nice view. Time your run with twilight for an atmospheric end to your workout, and an inspiring moment of reflection to end the year on.

Then you can all jog home and order a takeaway and pop a bottle of fizz. Ideal.

Create an Instagram-friendly photo opp

Statement walls and photo corners have been growing in popularity over the years. Making one in your home will mean that your Instagram grid doesn’t have to suffer just because you didn’t go out for New Year’s Eve.

Jess Martin, decoration expert at Ginger Ray shares her tips for creating an at-home statement wall this New Year’s Eve: 

‘Possibly one of the easiest statement walls to create is adding metallic fringe curtains as a backdrop – these certainly epitomise the glitz and glam of New Year’s Eve,’ she says.

‘Gorgeous metallic fringe curtains have the ability to add a real wow-factor in your home. All you need to do is pick one that matches your colour scheme, hang it on the wall and watch it shine away in all your gorgeous photos.’

Play party games with your household

Now that dinner, drinks and dancing are covered, you need to think about the entertainment for your household party.

A quiz is a great option, even if there are only a few of you.

Laura Maclean at Party Delights says: ‘Test your knowledge of 2020 with our free printable quiz of the year. You can split your group into teams, or work individually if there’s only two or three of you, and find out how well you remember the events of the last year.

‘You can allocate a quiz master too to have a bit of fun with it, as well as handing over hosting duties. From politics, sports, celebrity and entertainment – the Party Delights quiz has covered all the major events and milestones off for you.

‘All you need to think about is throwing in a prize to spark some competition.’

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