Sober New Years Eve Dinner Ideas

With Non Alcoholic Cocktails

Are you looking for New Years Eve celebration ideas that do not require heavy drinking? You may be trying to stay sober, or inviting guests who are non-drinkers. Perhaps you are looking for great non alcoholic cocktails for New Years that are appropriate for everyone in your family, including the kids. There are plenty of  fabulous party themes that are festive and fun, without involving alcoholic drinks. Here are some to get you started:

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Non Alcoholic Cocktails

When you are choosing drinks for New Years, you can select soft drinks and similar beverages that do not remotely appear to be alcoholic, or you can choose to serve a non alcoholic cocktail that mimics popular alcoholic drinks, such as non alcoholic sangria.

If you choose to serve beverages that are always non alcoholic, you may want to offer a broader selection of drinks for New Years than you might for other family celebrations. For example, many stores sell sparkling fruit juices and non-alcoholic cider that taste great, look lovely in champagne glasses, and are perfect for toasting in the New Year.

If you want to make non alcoholic versions of popular alcoholic drinks, here are a few recipes that you may enjoy:

Non Alcoholic Sangria

1 c. orange juice

1 c. grape juice

¼ c. sugar

½ lemon, sliced

½ orange, sliced

4 c. club soda or seltzer water

Combine the orange juice, grape juice and sugar in a large pitcher. Add the fruit slices and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Do not add the seltzer water or club soda until you are ready to serve it.

Non Alcoholic Margarita

1 6 oz can of frozen limeade concentrate

¾ c. orange juice

2/3 c. unsweetened grapefruit juice

4 c. small ice cubes

Combine the limeade concentrate, orange juice and grapefruit juice in a blender. Once they are mixed, add ice cubes and continue blending until your reach the desired consistency.

Optional Margarita Variations:

If you wish, you can also rub the edges of your glasses with a slice of lime and dip the glass in coarse salt, for an authentic taste and look. You can also garnish with lemon or lime slices. In addition, for a greener look, you can add a couple of drops of green food coloring to the mixture while it is being blended.

Once you have come up with your cocktail ideas, below you will find wonderful suggestions for your holiday buffet:

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New Years Dinner Ideas

Unlike the heavy meals that you might serve for Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas, New Years Eve dinners are most commonly served buffet style. If you are inviting a large group, it is not unusual to turn the meal into a potluck, with the host primarily providing the main entrée, dessert and the beverages, while guests bring side dishes to share.

One popular entrée is a honey baked ham or turkey breast that can be purchased from shops such as Honey Baked Hams. However, these have become so popular, that you can now purchase similar items at your local grocery store, or Costco.

If you are looking for a different entrée, you may want to prepare a brisket with Hollandaise sauce, beef tenderloin au jus, barbecued ribs, or even do something as simple as a large platter of fried chicken or cooked shrimp.

Since people will be staying up until midnight, you will need to have a lot of side dishes that can be served over several hours. Some suggestions of great side dishes to accompany your main entrée are: AuGratin potatoes, pasta salad, raw vegetables, a cheese and cracker tray, fruit salad or Waldorf salad, as well as chips and dip. In addition, you may want to have a variety of desserts. However, if there are little kids around, you may want to wait to set out the desserts until the children have been fed ... or you could end up with a lot of excited kids on a "sugar high!"

Now that the food and beverages have been planned, here are some ideas for keeping everything festive:

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New Years Eve Party Themes

You may want to add a little zest to your New Years party with a selection of hats, noise makers, and streamers. Most local party stores will have a variety of decorations to make your home look festive. Here are some other ways you can keep the party active:

Dancing! Put on some dance music, roll back the area rugs, and get everyone out on the dance floor. Even the kids will have a great time with this one.

Watching holiday celebrations around the world on television ... topped off by watching the ball drop in Times Square.

Turn your New Years into a game night. Play charades, Pictionary, Monopoly, or your favorite card game. In fact, you could set out a variety of games and puzzles to occupy people as they socialize during the evening.

Make a Time Capsule. Provide a wide selection of newspapers, magazines, and photos from the past year. Decorate a shoe box to be used as your time capsule. Let each of your guests select two or three items to be included in the time capsule. At future New Years Eve parties, your guests will have a wonderful time going through the old time capsules. You may even want to take a group picture of everyone there, print it out on your home computer, and include it in your time capsule.

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New Years Eve Parties for Kids

If there are going to be children at your New Years party, you will want to have some special activities to keep them busy. This may be the only night of the year when they are allowed to stay up until midnight. As exciting as that may be, you don't want them whining about how bored they are. Here are some ways to keep them busy and happy:

Have a selection of children's movies and a DVR set up in a room away from the adults.

Set up game stations, just for the kids, with an assortment of their favorite games set out on different tables. In addition, put a jigsaw puzzle on a card table. Make sure it is age appropriate so that it neither too difficult, nor too easy. You may get it started before the kids arrive. This makes it more tempting for them to want to finish it.

A craft table is always popular, especially if you provide the materials necessary to let the kids make their own holiday hats and noisemakers. Noisemakers can be as simple as some plastic containers or coffee cans, with beans to put inside, and markers for decorating them.

Have a separate snack table for the children, including some of their favorite foods such as:

Apple slices and Dip

Macaroni and Cheese

Chicken nuggets

Raw vegetables and dip

Of course, the kids will be free to graze from the adult buffet, as well!

If you have an amiable group, with activities that keep both the parents and children busy and happy, the evening will pass quickly.

While you are making plans for the coming holidays, you may also be interested in reading some of these articles:

Classic Holiday Movies for the Family

Spend Christmas in Las Vegas

Christmas Eve Dinner Party Ideas

Host a Christmas Ornament Exchange

Avoid Holiday Alcohol Abuse