Are you sick of the usual NYE house parties with cheap bottles of champagne and silly hats? Would you rather hole up watching movies than fork over $100 for a fancy hotel shindig? Though you may feel pressured to have a New Year’s Eve to brag about come Jan. 2, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the arrival of 2013 without noisemakers or Ryan Seacrest.
- Party of Two: If you’re in a relationship, New Year’s Eve is all about you and the one you love. Spare others your PDA and spend the night at home with a nice home-cooked meal, bottle of wine and customized playlist. You can dress up or make it a pajama party. Watch a movie, play board games, and if you fall asleep before the clock strikes 12, no one will have to know.
- Take a Trip: You’d be surprised how many deals you can find for vacations over NYE, especially to colder climates (think Ireland, Iceland or the Midwestern U.S.). What could be better than ringing in the New Year in Dublin or in a cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin? Check travel sites like Travelzoo, Expedia and Travelocity to find deals.
- Go to a concert: Many bands have become known for playing epic shows on New Year’s Eve – this year’s big concerts include Phish at Madison Square Garden in NYC, Pitbull at American Airlines Arena in Miami, The Black Keys at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas and Third Eye Blind at House of Blues in Chicago. This is not the cheapest way to spend the night, but can certainly be one of the most fun.
- Take a class: Want to do something more interactive than drinking cocktails and eating appetizers? Look at the event listings in your city for classes that are offered on New Year’s Eve, from yoga to cooking to guitar. If you’re single, this can be a great way to meet people looking for more than someone to kiss at midnight.
- Go to the movies: Most major movie theaters are open on New Year’s Eve. Check your local listings and pick a showtime that lets out right around midnight. Big releases coming out this December include This is 40 (the kind-of sequel to Knocked Up), Les Miserables with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, and Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise. Indie theaters and art houses may also have special midnight showings of cult classics on Dec. 31.