20 New Year’s Eve Date Ideas That Are Seriously Fun *and* Romantic

Not to be a vibe-killer or anything, but New Year’s Eve can be…kind of exhausting! Yes, in theory NYE is all glitter, glam, and hope for the future (and champagne, ofc). But by the time the new year rolls around, you’ve basically been planning and partying for like, three months straight. Between Halloween parties, Friendsgiving festivities, and the month-long string of holiday celebrations that is the entirety of December, it’s only natural to feel a little partied out by the end of the year.

Not to mention, New Year’s Eve also comes with certain ~romantic~ expectations—especially for couples. Between midnight kisses, endless champagne, and literal fireworks, it’s def one of the sexier holidays. But if you and your boo are a little worn out from the past several weeks of eating, drinking, and otherwise making merry, planning a romantic New Year’s Eve date night may simply require more energy than you have left for 2022.

Lucky for you, we’ve gone ahead and done the hard work for you, so you and your partner don’t have to waste all that romantic NYE potential on a night of Chinese food and Twilight Zone reruns. (Unless of course you want to, in which case that sounds delightful, actually.) So grab your partner—or start swiping on those apps to find one while cuffing season is still in full force—and consider ringing in 2023 with any of these New Year's Eve date ideas. From intimate nights in to swanky nights out and everything in between, there's truly something for everyone (and every level of post-holiday burnout). And BTW, if you don't want to ask someone out, grab your bestie! Who knows, this might be the When Harry Met Sally moment you've been waiting for. (Alexa, play “It Had to Be You.”)

1. Splurge on an expensive party or dinner

It doesn't matter where you live, chances are, someplace is having a glam party you've considered going to year after year. With an open bar, buffet, and skyline views, you probably almost go every year but end up not because, hi, it costs more than your rent. Going to one (and only one) of these super expensive New Year’s parties or luxe spots with a prix fixe menu is kinda a rite of passage. Just make sure you get tickets or make reservations the second you read this because these might be harder to get into than a candlelit restaurant on Valentine's Day.

2. Or get all dressed up and go nowhere

If you've already gone to one of those pricey New Year’s parties and realized they’re totally not worth it, that doesn’t mean you can’t still put on your sequin dress and those 2022 glasses. Get out your falsies and heels and clip-clop around the house while taking selfies and ordering in. The best part is, you don’t have to wait forever for an Uber to get back home for that special after-midnight sex since you’re literally already there.

3. Host a party together

Landing a dinner reservation at any semi-decent place on New Year’s Eve is basically a myth, so why not skip all that and invite your friends over for an elegant dinner party? Get retro with it and serve up fondue or make up a special dish you fell in love with on TikTok.

4. Or a wine night

If you don’t feel like whipping up a whole dinner or organizing a potluck, get straight to the booze by hosting a wine tasting party. Have all of your guests bring a bottle of wine, cover up all the labels, and have everyone taste each bottle together to find out their favorites. Not only does this mean you and your S.O. will become blissfully wine drunk, but you'll spend a lot less money than you would on a night out.

5. Cook a romantic dinner together

If the holidays have left you totally wiped out, there’s no need to entertain a big crowd. Pick a recipe you both want to try (ahem, might we suggest one of these options?), open a bottle of wine, and enjoy an intimate evening with good food and better company—because who’s better than the two of you?

6. See a show

Swanky parties aren’t the only way to spend New Year’s Eve out on the town. Most live entertainment venues like jazz clubs, theaters, and burlesque clubs will host a New Year’s Eve performance, which can be a fun way to enjoy a night out with your S.O. without having to commit to a full-blown party.

7. Take down your holiday decorations

Okay, I know this one sounds boring and sad, but hear me out: taking down your holiday decorations is going to be boring and sad no matter what. Why not make the best of it by harnessing the festive NYE vibes and turning your dreaded post-holiday chores into a little party? Pop some champagne, crank your best of 2022 playlist, and clear some space to welcome the new year.

8. Go on a spontaneous vacation or staycation

Chances are, you have a few extra days off around the holidays—and if not, it's time to use up those sick days. So why not jet off somewhere fabulous together? Whether you get room service at a sexy hotel or countdown to midnight someplace tropical, a romantic trip is kinda the ideal New Year's Eve date.

Keep in mind you don't actually have to fly anywhere or road trip across the country to get a change of scenery though. Odds are there's a fancy resort or quant Airbnb nearby that's been calling your name. Play tourist in your own town and skip all the travel-related drama by staycationing somewhere local for NYE.

9. Plan a relaxing spa day

You’re exhausted, winter weather is wreaking havoc on your hair and skin, and you’ve probably been subsisting on a diet of wine and Christmas cookies for the past two weeks (just me?). Your mind and body could def use a little post-holiday TLC. Whether you make a spa appointment or stay home and take turns giving each other sexy massages, New Year’s Eve is the perfect opportunity to wind down and get your brain and body ready to welcome 2023.

10. Volunteer

Why not wrap up 2022 by doing something good? Volunteer at a soup kitchen, buy meals for those less fortunate, or head to the local animal shelter to walk some pups or cuddle some kittens. Maybe you'll leave with a new furry family member! But even if not, spending some time helping others will set the stage for a new year filled with gratitude and giving back.

11. Snuggle up for a movie marathon

Fuzzy blankets? Lots of popcorn? Playing footsie in front of the fire? Check, check, check. Movie marathons are the ultimate New Year’s Eve date, and there are so many ways to customize it based on your relationship. Watch all those holiday classics you didn’t get to this year or cue up steamy flicks that’ll have you dry humping on the couch. If you can’t land on a genre, simply go back and forth selecting the movie so you each get the chance to show the other a film you love.

12. Visit the parents

Hear me out. There’s never an amazing time to meet or chill with your (potential future) in-laws, but New Year’s Eve is definitely better than a casual weekend or a more formal holiday. You don’t have to worry about anyone messing up a religious tradition, and chances are, all the champagne will make the small talk easier to manage. Plus, you'll score some major points for clearing your “busy schedule” to spend time with the ’rents when in reality, it’s just an excuse to eat their food, drink their booze, and cuddle with your honey and the family dog.

13. Host a game night

Games nights and NYE are about as classic as it gets, and honestly, it checks out. Grab a whole bunch of board games, some snacks, and some booze, and countdown to midnight. You can make it a whole thing by inviting friends over or just keep it the two of you. If you prefer the latter, this means you can turn up the heat and play some sexier games that’ll have you v eager for that kiss at 12.

14. Have a naked night

Yup, as the name suggests, this is a date night where instead of dressing up, you dress way down. Spend your New Year’s Eve at home watching movies, playing games, and drinking all the champagne while rocking your birthday suits. You could say it’s symbolic of stripping down and truly appreciating each other and what the past year has brought... or you could just use it as an excuse to have a lot of sex and giggle about wearing party hats and nothing else.

15. Go on a dinner boat cruise

Nope, these aren’t just reserved for retirees. Dinner boat cruises a) give you an excuse to dress up, b) won’t be as crowded as a block party, and c) usually have open bars. On their own, they’re super cheesy, but on New Year’s Eve, they’re kind of great.

16. Look at Christmas lights or fireworks

New Year’s Eve is pretty much the end of the road for Christmas lights, which means now’s the time to take a romantic stroll (or drive) to see the best holiday displays in your area. If you’ve already seen everything your town has to offer, get your sparkle fill by staking out a great spot to watch the fireworks. Pro tip: Parking garages usually offer phenomenal views and you can sit in your car with the heat blasting. Find a tall one that faces the display and bring plenty of snacks.

17. Have a fast food feast

Order your favorite dishes from all the nearby fast food joints for a cheap yet delicious buffet. Or if you still want to *go* somewhere, get dressed up and hit up each spot one by one, getting little bites at each. There’s no better photo op than wearing a glitzy gown in front of Taco Bell, so why not ring in the new year with a whole bunch of likes?

18. Host a 2022-themed party

Bid farewell to 2022 by paying homage to some of the most memorable moments, people, and memes of the past year. Invite some friends over for a low-key hang (or all-out rager, up to you!) and ask everyone to dress up as their fave cultural moment of the year. All-denim Julia Fox, Kravis wedding, Lea Michele looking vacant—the possibilities are endless!

19. Meal prep

Set aside a time to have a meal prep date. On its own, grilling chicken and roasting veggies might not seem very romantic, but cooking together is a great bonding experience. Plus, meal prepping while drinking wine and eating pizza with someone sexy by your side will make saying goodbye to 2022 feel a little more manageable.

20. Go to a comedy show

After a year like 2022 (and okay, also the past like, several years) I think we could all use a laugh. Most comedy clubs host a NYE show, so grab some tickets and a date (or a friend or literally anyone with a sense of humor) and ring in 2023 with some much-needed laughter.

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