Socially Distanced Ways to Ring in the New Year
The new year is fast approaching, and most of us are eager to bid adieu to 2020. In fact, never before has there been more cause for celebration than now, as we look toward a hopeful 2021.
Unfortunately, this is also the year when we can’t celebrate — at least not in the traditional ways. Social distancing orders are still in place, bars and restaurants in the Sacramento area are closed, and stay-at-home mandates (and curfews) make New Year’s Eve parties a thing of the past.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the night special. After all, leaving 2020 is the highlight of the past nine months. Although it may not have the fanfare of, say, New York’s Times Square, there are many ways to make the night special. Following are a few ideas.
Order a Celebratory Meal
Many restaurants in the greater Sacramento are offering special New Year’s Eve takeout meals worthy of a celebration themselves! Some options to consider are Canon in East Sacramento, which has crab and a vegan feast; Selland’s Market-Cafe, with locations in Sacramento and El Dorado Hills, which is offering a complete dinner plus fancy apps like caviar and of course, champagne; Allora in East Sacramento, which offers refined Italian seafood dishes; Hawks in Granite Bay, which has cracked crab and beef Wellington; and Mikuni, with locations throughout the Sacramento area, which is offering special New Year’s Eve sushi platters.
Have a Game Night
Game night is fun anytime, but on New Year’s Eve, it’s even more so. Get the members of your household on board by coming up with a theme; for example, The Classics (Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit), Fun with Words (Scrabble, Catchphrase), and Building Games (Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne). You can also Minute-to-Win-it-style competition with old-school toys like paddle balls, jacks, pickup sticks and ball-and-cups. You can even throw in a bit of hula hooping to kick it up a notch.
Have a Watch Party
There’s no doubt been a lot of movie nights and watch parties during the pandemic, and New Year’s Eve is no different. You can Zoom or Facetime with friends while watching some of the offerings streaming that night: “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Party with Ryan Seacrest 2021” on ABC features Jennifer Lopez; Carson Daly will host “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” (complete with ball drop); “Snoop Dogg’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Special” will air on TBS; and “Hello 2021: Americas,” on the YouTube Originals Channel will feature Matthew McConaughey, Demi Lovato and RuPaul. Or, stream some New Years-themed movies, like “New Year’s Eve,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “Waiting to Exhale” or “Four Rooms.”
Host a Virtual Toast
Clinking glasses are the traditional way to ring in the new year, but this year, we have to skip the clink. A Zoom-based toast with your friends and family isn’t quite the same when viewed through a computer screen, but it’ll have to do. To make it more special, you can dress up in your fanciest duds and bust out the good crystal. You can even decorate your space in festive décor, and get some photo props (think sparkly crowns and top hats) to jazz it up.
Make a Festive Feast
If you enjoy cooking, why not get the entire family (or household) involved and make a special dinner for New Year’s Eve? You can make it fun by vowing to cook something you’ve never made before, or throw a theme on it like breakfast for dinner or all appetizers. You can also jump on the charcuterie board craze and fill up on cured meats, gourmet cheese, locally-made jams and pickled veggies, or go all-out with a fondue meal with gooey cheese and cubed bread. To make it even more special, try your hand at mixing an artisan cocktail. Try the Quarantini, Pandemic Punch, Set the New Year on Fire, or The Ball Drop.