Not into the New Year’s Eve party scene? Check out these unique ways to ring in 2014

newyearseve2What are you doing New Year’s Eve? It’s a question for the ages – one so popular there’s even a song about it. And year after year, I typically have no idea what I am doing New Year’s Eve!

Of all the celebrations throughout the year, New Year’s Eve is my least favorite. Staying up late. Partying with friends and strangers. Feeling awful the next day. Could it be at 33 that I’m just too old for this? My aversion to the holiday has made me adept at planning unconventional ways to celebrate.

A few years ago, while 8 months pregnant and in no mood to “party” in public on New Year’s Eve, Todd and I went grocery shopping for some fantastic steaks and made a delicious fancy dinner at home, complete with a homemade cheesecake with raspberry puree. In 2011, we got to enjoy campfire s’mores, fireworks and a rockin’ balloon animal hat in Downtown Lancaster, and were home and warm before the clock struck midnight. Last year, we invited family over to enjoy a fondue feast – featuring cheese and chocolate courses. We finished the night with a Star Wars marathon.

If you’re looking for some untraditional ways to ring in 2014 like me, try one of the following or let us know how you like to celebrate the New Year!

• Try Something New – Cook a meal that you’ve never made before – like Sushi, Fondue, or a homemade Chinese or Indian feast
• Meal of Favorites – Ask every family member or guest to tell you their favorite meal. Have a mix-mash dinner of everyone’s favorites.
• Fancy at Home – Splurge on steak, lobster, crab cakes, snow crab legs – anything you wouldn’t buy for a typical weeknight dinner.
• Collaborative Culinary Arts – Decorate a cake in the spirit of New Years’ and slice it at midnight
• Cooking Competition – Pit two competitors against each other to crown a winning recipe. A judging panel is a must!
• Appetizer – Make an entire meal of only appetizers. This makes a great pairing with some activities below!

• Movie Marathon Night – Make it a theme night and watch all the Star Wars or Rocky movies. Or do a TV binge and schedule a Downton Abbey or House of Cards marathon.
• Game Night – Pick your favorite board game and set up a tournament to crown a winner at midnight.
• Living Room Slumber Party – Staying up until midnight is more fun with sleeping bags and pillows in an unconventional place. Count down in front of the TV right in the living room.

Out and About
• Lancaster, PA – Enjoy fireworks, music and the lowering of the rose downtown.
• Bethlehem, PA – Family friendly fun at PEEPSFEST
• Hershey, PA – Free concert and Hershey Kiss Drop.
• Camden, NJ – New Year’s Eve Splash at the Adventure Aquarium.
• Annapolis, MD – Dance under the stars with family-fun entertainment.

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