If you would love to see in the newest year with a bang, but don’t fancy getting crushed by the New Year Eve’s crowds, consider inviting your friends over for drinks, some fun New Year games for adults and other madness.
Whether you’re throwing a full-on party or just having some close mates over for drinks, these games will ensure you have maximum memorable time. Sing, make toasts, and relive happy memories this past year while doing hilarious challenges. Let’s get started.
New Year Games For Adults
Highlights Of The Year
If you’re curious about what your friends got up to this year, then this is the perfect game to kick off some reminiscing. Friends take it in turns to pull a question out of a hat to ask the group.
Here are some example questions: “What made you laugh the hardest this year?” “What event had the most impact for you this year?” “What new skill did you learn in this past year?” “What life goal did you achieve and cross off your list this year?”
Limbo is one of the easiest New Year games for adults. You can use a long ribbon string or a clothesline as your limbo bar and ask 2 people to hold either end. Players can limbo individually or in pairs to dance music playing in the background.
Each time a round ends, lower the limbo bar for the next round. Anyone who doesn’t succeed with their limbo needs to take a drink. The winner is the last person or pair who has finish the final limbo successfully.
All In The Numbers
Time to get physical! Write out a list of items that can be put into a sequential order such as house number, number of years at a job, shoe size, birth date. Split everyone into even teams and give each team the same item from the list to start with.
On Go!, players rearrange themselves into the correct order – from small to large . all without talking. The order must be checked before moving to the next item. The team that completes your list of numbered items the fastest wins.
This is another classic of New Year games for adults and perfect after you’ve had a few drinks. Everyone writes out the name of a famous person – alive, dead or fictional – on a piece of paper and tapes it to the forehead of someone to their left. Make sure the person receiving the card can’t see the name.
Players go around the room trying to figure out who they are by asking questions where the answer can only be Yes or No. If they get a Yes, they can keep asking questions until they get a No. The last person to guess their name is the loser.
For this game, you need to provide as many chairs as there are friends taking part. One person from the group starts walking around the circle in a clockwise direction while everyone else walking counter clockwise.
When the music stops, everyone must find a lap to sit on; the last person to find a lap is out. Remove one chair and resume the game. The last pair is the winner.
New Year’s White Elephant
A white elephant party is where impractical gifts are given out during events. Presents should be based on a theme such as ‘self care,’ ‘New Year’s resolutions,’ or ‘New Year blowout.’ Make sure you know the exact number of people coming to your party, then ask each person to buy a useless gift (under $5) around one of the themes. (Have a few gifts on stand by, in case someone forgets to buy something).
Put all the presents in one place then hand them out randomly to each person during a gift-opening session together. Each guest has to act out how they will use their gift for the rest of the group.
Memories Guessing Game
Ask your friends to email you 2 to 3 photos of events and special occasions they’ve experienced over the year, in advance of your party. Print these out and assemble them into a wall collage. Your friends now have to guess which photo belongs to which guest.
New Year’s Eve Scavenger Hunt
If you’re looking for more active New Year games for adults, this is the perfect choice that also gets everyone out of the house. Create a list of New Year’s related items or scenarios in your local area that your friends to search for. As guests arrive, place a colored dot on their left hand; this corresponds to their team color.
Once everyone has their drink, announce the scavenger hunt, hand their team leader the list of items to find, and set a time frame for teams to bring back as many as they can. The team with the most items found (recorded as photos) is the winner.
Some ideas: a couple kissing, a sparkler, a fireworks going off, a festive Christmas display, a sign that says Happy New Year.
Who Is It?
Get everyone on their feet in a circle. Blindfold a friend, place them in the middle of the circle, then spin them 3 times on the spot. Once done, they step out towards the circle and ask “who is it?” to whoever they meet. The person they nab must answer with any word and say it in a weirdo voice as well.
If the blindfolded guest guesses this person correctly, the players swap over for the next round. But if their guess is incorrect, the game continues until someone has been caught.
Donuts & Cocktail Sticks
Not all New Year games for adults don’t have to be serious, as you will see with this game. Line everyone up in single file and make sure they’ve each got a cocktail stick in their mouth.
The first player puts a small ring donut on their cocktail stick and must transfer it to their next player, stick to stick, without making it fall. If you want to give this game some edge, play it using custard-filled donuts.
Guess The Month
Make a list of events that took place over the last year by going through old magazines, newspapers and online articles. Cut up your list into strips in a hat or bowl, then pull out each one from a hat and ask your friends to guess the month with the event. Whoever gets the most right is the winner.
Past Truths And A Lie
This is another game that’s perfect for finding out what your friends have been up to this year. Select 3 people for this game. Each person writes down 2 true facts related to personal experiences they’d had in the last year and one that isn’t true. Then they take it in turns to read out their cards for everyone to guess the lie. Friends can then share their stories, whether the lie has been exposed or not.
Belly Balloon Break
This game is played fast against the clock. The only way balloons can be popped is by having them squeezed until broken between the players’ chests. No touching is allowed. Pair everyone up. The pair with the most balloons wins.
Nominate someone to be “It” and ask them to leave the room. Everyone else needs to decide a common trait between them that they’re all going to be, for example, an animal, a machine, a household item, a food item.
The “It” goes around the room asking each person at time “How’s yours?” The person must answer using only one word and without giving away the group trait. If the group trait is “Komodo dragon,” then words they might say include: scaly, fierce, dangerous, gigantic, killer.
Unlike the other New Year games for adults listed here, this one takes place during the course of your party. You need 10+ players to play it effectively and at least 5 clothes pegs per person. Decide as a group which 3 to 5 words no one is allowed to say at your party, for example, New Year’s, next year, tomorrow, Christmas, family, week. Try and keep your choices simple so everyone can remember.
Give each person 5 clothes pegs to pin on their clothing. Anytime a guest catches someone saying the forbidden word, that person must give them a clothes peg.
So if Jason asks Claire how her Christmas went, Claire (if she’s paying attention) can point out the forbidden word and ask for one of Jason’s clothes pegs. The person who collects the most clothes pegs wins a special New Year’s Eve prize (make it a good one).
You need 6+ players. Each person is given a card with a letter written on one side – only one card with M (murderer), one card with D (detective) and plenty of cards with V (for victim)
Whoever is the detective has to work out who the killer is. If you’re the murderer, you kill other players by giving them a subtle but evil wink. If you’re a victim, make sure to die an over-the-top death as soon as someone winks at you. The game ends, when the detective finds the murderer.
Tired of drinking the same old party drinks? We’ve got you covered. Firstly, provide your players with a cocktail-making station stocked with mix of spirits (vodka, whisky, etc), mixers (soda, juices, etc) and finishing touches (fruit pieces, leaves). Choose 3 to 4 players and seat them at the station.
Racing against the clock, everyone is given 5 minutes to create the most brilliant cocktail they can. When the time is up, having everyone taste the drinks and pick the best.
Choose someone to be your Sculptor, then get everyone standing completely 100% still. The Sculptor now moves between players, adjusting that person’s pose by moving their arm, leg or head.
Players must try and maintain their poses as much as possible without laughing, smiling, moving or breaking poses; anyone who does is knocked out. Last player standing is the winner.
Guess The Resolutions
Ask each of your guests to write down 5 resolutions on a sheet of paper, then tear them into strips. Shuffle the strips in a hat or bowl then take in turn to pull out a strip and read out loud what’s written on there.
Everyone needs to write down who they think the resolution belongs to. At the end of the readings, the player with the most correctly guesses is the winner.
Yearly Drama Charades
We close out these list with an acting game centred on important events from the past year, whether from politics, world news or pop culture. Get everyone to write down these events on strips of papers you shuffle in a hat. The person who starts must act out a scenario they pull from the hat for everyone else to guess. Set a time limit so everyone can take it in turns to act a charade.
Before the clock strikes midnight, get everyone in the mood for the resulting fireworks by playing a few New Year games for adults. You will ensure everyone will see out the year with good memories no matter what.