How to Plan the Best New Year’s Eve Date Night IN

Remember the good old days when New Year’s Eve consisted of stilettos, martinis, and dance clubs? Well, those days are over for us parents (at least 90% of us, that is) and my feet and wallet couldn’t be happier. And while I am a little bummed that the magic of New Year’s Eve has lost its luster since I have become a parent, I also love the fact that my hubby and I now have a built-in, cozy date night permanently scheduled every year. Looking for ways to make your New Year’s Eve Night-In special? Then check out these tips for how to plan the best New Year’s Eve Date Night In—once the kids go to bed, of course!


I’m not going to lie, but the focus of this post is the food. Because c’mon…it’s delicious and the diet that you are going to try doesn’t start until January first—am I right?


Since your kids will probably fight you about going to bed before the ball drops (fool them with footage from earlier time zones!), you want your menu to be easy and delicious all at the same time. My solution? Heavy appetizers.

There are so many delicious store-bought appetizers and when you eat tapas style, you can enjoy a much bigger variety of food (like my obsession with cheese and my hubby’s love of all things meat and seafood). I also like to think of New Year’s Eve as my last guilt-free meal of the year, so I prefer small bites of rich food. You can check out my favorite holiday appetizers here, or gain inspiration from my planned menu:


Here’s my menu for our New Year’s Eve Date Night In this year:

Prosciutto wrapped pears (Parma is the only brand I buy because the quality is far superior to others)

Crab stuffed mushrooms (I love picking up pre-made mushrooms from Don’s Dock in Des Plaines)

Baked brie with jam and herbed crackers (Mariano’s has some fantastic options)

Coconut shrimp (Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have delicious ones)

Spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips (Again, Trader Joe’s has a great frozen dip)

Chocolate mousse (We stock up when Costco has their holiday desserts out)

Christmas cookies (The only thing homemade on my menu)


As for drinks, you can never go wrong with champagne (be sure to add this unique twist!) on New Year’s Eve (or any day of the year, really) and my husband and I always like to come up with a unique martini for the night. This year we are contemplating a grapefruit martini because we are both in dire need of some vitamins after running around to prepare for the holidays.



I like to incorporate different activities to not only make our New Year’s Eve Date Night In different and special compared to other date nights at home throughout the year, but also so I have a fighting chance of staying awake ‘til midnight. Some fun ideas to choose from:

Board Games (Kinder Perfect is SO GOOD for parents)

Video Game Tournament (bonus points if it is on old school Nintendo machines)

Binge Watch a Favorite TV show or movie series (“Jack Ryan, “Dirty John,” “Harry Potter,” Marvel movies…)

Write down favorite events of the year to keep in a “2018 Joy Jar”

Brainstorm a list of hopes and dreams for your family in the new year


Here’s to a fun, delicious, romantic night to wrap up 2019. As long as you stay with clear booze (trust me on this one), you will hopefully avoid parenting the first day of the new year while nursing a hangover.

And if one of your resolutions is to enjoy more date nights in the new year, check out my tips on how to plan the Ultimate Date Night in Chicago.

Happy New Year!
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  1. Harmony, Momma To Go says

    We usually go to a family gathering about two hours away (and sleep over) but since my husband had a broke hip last month, we will be home. This all sounds divine. Def love that trader joes spinach dip!

  2. Jori says

    We haven’t gone out for NYE in years but we haven’t made a big thing at our house either. Perhaps this year we’ll give this a go! 🙂

  3. Ingrid says

    I like your suggestions of activities to wrap up the year. I think the idea of board games and binge watching favorite TV shows or movies would be welcomed idea

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