12 ways to spend New Year’s Eve besides watching the ball drop

From creating a vision board to a new year’s cleaning spree, there’s plenty to do besides watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

Every year, millions of people from around the world gather in New York City’s Times Square and around their televisions to bring in the new year by watching the annual Ball Drop.

While it is a popular and special tradition filled with some amazing energy and performances, there are so many ways to bring in the new year other than standing in the cold or having your eyes glued to the countdown on the TV screen.

If you are looking for a new way to celebrate the new year, look no further; theGrio has got you covered with 12 other ways to bring in the new year.

Alternative New Year's Activities, New Year's Eve theGrio.com
Photo: AdobeStock

Catch up on the shows and movies you missed this year

With all of the hustle and bustle associated with the holiday season (let alone the rest of the year), it is almost impossible to keep up with new releases. New Year’s Eve offers the perfect opportunity to binge-watch all of the television shows and movies you missed over the last few weeks — or the past year.

Create a vision board to help manifest your goals for the new year

A new year brings in new goals. Grab a poster board, some old magazines, scissors and glue, and put together your vision for the upcoming year. A completed vision board can serve as a daily reminder to focus on the things you want to accomplish in the new year.

Join Road Runners for its annual midnight run

Every year, Road Runners clubs across the country host a midnight run to kick off the new year — or to start your year off right on New Year’s Day. In New York, a 4-mile run through the Central Park inner loop begins as soon as the clock strikes midnight and the fireworks light up the night sky. Running under the fireworks display and amidst other enthusiastic runners is the perfect way to ring in the New Year and literally start it off on the right foot.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Host a game night with family and friends

The best way to bring in the New Year may be surrounded by friends and family, playing an intense game of UNO. A game night is a fun and exciting way to celebrate the start of a new year. Whether your game is Jenga, Phase 10, Scrabble or Taboo, a game night is perfect for family and friends of all ages.

Clean your living space from top to bottom

One of the most popular traditions (or superstitions) surrounding New Year’s is to clean the house from top to bottom. It’s a way of symbolizing a fresh start and leaving all of the negative aspects of the old year behind. Whether or not you’re superstitious, New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to make sure your space is cleaned thoroughly, so you go into the new year with clarity and positivity.

Host a dinner party with family and friends

If you’re looking for a chill way to get family and friends together on New Year’s Eve, a dinner party is one of the best ways to do it. Whether the dress code is formal or informal, food and drink are always a great way to get people together and celebrate a new year of life.

Photo: AdobeStock
Photo: AdobeStock

Dance the night away at a New Year’s party

If you live in or near any urban area, there are no doubt plenty of New Year’s parties around your city. Whether you are going with friends or rolling solo, if you don’t want to stay inside the house, find somewhere safe to dance the night away. Put on one of your favorite outfits, and bring in the new year in a great mood, listening to some of your favorite music and breaking a sweat.

Attend a church service

If getting in touch with your spiritual center tops your list of resolutions this year, New Year’s services are the perfect way to bring in the year. Spending the night in church surrounded by other believers is a great way to start the year in a positive and spiritual frame of mind.

Photo: AdobeStock
Photo: AdobeStock

Host your very own ‘Paint and Pour’ party

Paint-and-pour parties are a good way to bring in the new year in high spirits and with your creative juices flowing. All you need is some friends, small canvases, paintbrushes, paint, and your respective imaginations to celebrate the upcoming year in a fun and affordable way.

Join Time’s Up! for its annual bike ride

If you’re in New York but want to be anywhere but Times Square, ride your way into the new year with fellow biking and skating enthusiasts at the annual New Year’s Eve Bike Ride hosted by Time’s Up! The route will begin at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn at 9 p.m. and will continue to Belvedere Castle in the middle of Central Park. At the end of the ride, riders will celebrate with a festive party.

Get some reading in

If doing more reading is on your list of 2023 resolutions, give yourself a headstart this final weekend of the year by snuggling up with a good read or two. Stumped on what to select? Check out theGrio’s list of recommended reads from Black authors for 2022.


Bring in the new year relaxed, restored and refreshed. There is no rule that says you have to go out or do anything for the new year, so why not continue business as usual? Instead of stressing over what to wear, put on your coziest pajamas, play some smooth music and give yourself the gift of much-needed rest.

Kayla Grant theGrio.com
Kayla Grant theGrio.com

Kayla Grant is a multimedia journalist with bylines in Business Insider, Shondaland, Oz Magazine, Prism, Rolling Out and more. She writes about culture, books and entertainment news. Follow her on Twitter: @TheKaylaGrant.

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