If you’re looking to do something different while waiting for the ball to drop, try these fun, creative ideas from our staff.

By Samantha Zabell
Updated December 14, 2015
Credit: Larry Washburn/Getty Images
Credit: Larry Washburn/Getty Images


We started a New Year’s tradition of having the kids fill out a quick questionnaire with fun topics: favorite food, best after-school activity, one great thing that happened during the year. I’m collecting them in a binder to add to every New Year’s. —Betsy Goldberg, Home Director


Every year, my sisters, my mom, and I look up a famous Puerto Rican astrologer’s prediction for the following year in the newspaper. It includes the color dress you should wear on New Years Eve, and it’s supposed to bring you luck all year. We look it up for fun, but there is that little part of us that feels we should do it just in case it’s true! —Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln, Fashion Director


For the past 10 years, it has been my very personal tradition to bring in the New Year in a new place. The first time was a solo trip to Thailand and Malaysia for 2005; 2015 I brought New Year’s in on top of Mount Kilimanjaro; 2016 will find me in Argentina. The point of this tradition to start new in every sense of the word, symbolically speaking: New setting, new costumes, new experiences. It’s a great way to shake life up a little at the top of the year. —N. Jamiyla Chisholm, Reporter and Researcher


My best friend always hosts at her apartment... Over the years it’s gone from her and her sister both living there, to just her, to a complete gut renovation, so it’s kind of cool to have it in the same space every year but have that space always changing. —Rebecca Daly, Senior Fashion Editor


For the past seven years, my now-husband and I have had a fiercely-protected New Year’s Eve tradition of staying in. I buy those ridiculous glasses with the years on them and we wear them on the couch with takeout and champagne cocktails. We watch a new movie and play board games all evening. I even insist we wear something a little bit festive (but still comfy) to differentiate it from a normal night in. We watch the ball drop on TV at midnight—40-some blocks away in our NYC apartment. I have a selfie of us on the same couch in our glasses from every year. Each December I have to explain to friends who want us to make plans with them that staying in really does count as plans—I’m not missing it. —Laura Schocker, RealSimple.com Executive Editor


We’ve been getting together with our dearest friends, kids and all, for the last seven years, since the eldest of our five kids was a newborn. We dress up, stay in and stuff our cheeks with 12 grapes, in Spanish tradition, at the stroke of 6PM (midnight in Spain), so the kids can participate. Best: We take turns hosting and everyone sleeps over, so we can put the kids to bed and stay up late drinking wine and eating chocolate—no expensive babysitter required. —Sarah Copeland, Food Director


Every year, my parents spend New Years in NYC, braving the big crowds, while my brothers and I take turns taking over their home in the Catskills with all of our friends. This year, it’s my youngest brother’s turn. But, next year, it’s finally my husband’s and my turn again! We fill the bedrooms, pile in the air mattresses, go skiing, make a big holiday dinner, and build a bonfire. —Brigitt Earley, RealSimple.com Senior Editor


Everyone gathers for a meal or snack around 10:30 P.M. (usually crepes and caviar) and toasts the old year away. Then, when the ball drops, everyone cheers and we open presents. All of the kids are super excited to stay up until 12 so they can open the gifts. My parents stopped having a tree years ago (claiming it’s not very Jewish) so instead, my dad makes this sculpture of empty frames around and easel and we hang lights and ornaments around it. The presents are usually super small and a lot of DIY items. We go to bed once the presents are done and have a big breakfast the next morning. —Dina Ravvin, Senior Designer


Since my fiancé and I bought our house, we started a NYE tradition that consists of us wearing our comfy (and ridiculous) hoodie-footie PJs, ordering dinner (a cheat meal, of course), and watching movies. Our little town—Marlboro, NY—actually has its own ball drop (with an apple on top because our area is known for its apple orchards), so we drive down and stand outside freezing and watch the ball drop and fireworks go off. It’s a little quieter than Times Square, but we love it! —Heather Muir, Beauty Director


At the stroke of midnight, my husband and I start watching the WPIX (channel 11) marathon screening of The Honeymooners. Every year this channel plays every original episode back to back. The marathon starts at midnight and goes until 6:00PM. For us it’s a guaranteed way of starting the New Year off laughing. —Jacklyn Monk, Deputy Managing Editor