30 New Year’s Eve Games You’ll Want to Play Year Round

These New Year's Eve games will keep you and your loved ones entertained all the way to the midnight countdown.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

New Year’s Eve games

What better way to spend a cold, dark winter’s night than with a party or gathering? New Year’s Eve provides the perfect excuse to get your loved ones together for a rocking New Year’s Eve party. But first, here’s everything you need to know about New Year’s 2023 and why we celebrate it.

Start planning your party now by prepping your menu with these New Year’s Eve appetizers, New Year’s Eve lucky food, and New Year’s Eve drinks. For entertainment, here’s how to watch the ball drop. But there are a lot of hours to fill before midnight! We’ve got you covered with these fun New Year’s Eve games everyone will want to play.

Balloon New Year’s Eve Charades

Best for: Large groups

Write clues on strips of paper. These could be things like family milestones from the past year, New Year’s resolutions, or people who made the news in the past year. Fold each strip, put each inside a New Year’s Eve balloon, and blow it up. Divide guests into two teams, each with their own color of balloon. Players take turns popping the balloons and trying to get their team to guess the clues the fastest.

Shop Confetti Balloons

New Year’s Eve Scattergories

Best for: Adults and older kids who love word games

Wordsmiths will love this new take on the classic vocabulary game! How many words can you think of to match the New Year’s Eve prompts? Now, make sure they all start with the same letter! If you already own the Scattergories board game, write out cards with your own themed clues. Or use this free printable that comes with ten categories and four rounds.

Get the Tutorial

Who Made This Resolution? Guessing Game

Best for: Groups who know each other very well

How well do you know your friends and family? This guessing game will show you the truth! As guests arrive, give each one a slip of paper and have them write a resolution they’re making for the upcoming year—but not their name. Have them fold it once and drop it in a jar. Once everyone is there, read the resolutions out loud and have people guess who made each. You may get some good ideas for your own self-improvement; after all, resolutions are one of the top New Year’s traditions.

Family Facebook New Year’s Eve Bingo

family playing bingo during the holidaysSollina Images/Getty Images

Best for: Families with young children

Bingo of any variety is always a hit! Create your own bingo cards using a template with a 5×5 grid. Pull photos from the past year (check your Facebook or Instagram!) and put one in each square. Make sure each “card” has the photos in a different order. Flash a photo on your phone or cast it to a screen and have players mark it off on their card with a candy. Too much work? Try a free New Year’s Eve picture bingo card printable or get the board game.

Get the Tutorial

Break the Ice New Year’s Resolutions Matching Game

Best for: Groups who don’t know each other well

This game is the perfect icebreaker to get your guests talking and your New Year’s Eve party rocking. Print out these sets of cards—each set has a two-word popular resolution with one word on each card. For instance, “lose” and “weight.” Tape one card to the back of each guest and then tell them to find their resolution match without reading the cards out loud. It’s even funnier if people match the wrong resolutions or make longer sets. (If this game doesn’t get your guests chatting, try these New Year jokes.)

Get the Tutorial

New Year’s Eve I-Spy

Best for: Little ones

New Year’s Eve parties can be boring for young children, so bring along some fun games just for them. This cute New Year’s–themed printable board takes the I-Spy game to the next level. Preschoolers will have fun looking for clues and counting. Children aged 5 to 12 will enjoy a more advanced picture riddles book. Afterwards, settle everyone down to watch one of the best New Year’s Eve movies.

Get the Tutorial

New Year’s Eve Minute to Win It games

Best for: People with short attention spans

“Minute to win it” games are games that challenge people to complete a silly physical task in under one minute. They’re fast, fun, and the options are easily adaptable for a wide range of players. These game ideas use simple items you can find around your house. If the weather is nice enough, head outside to play the best outdoor games.

Get the Tutorial

What Would You Rather Do on New Year’s Eve?

Best for: Families who like silly questions

Would you rather walk around the mall dressed up as Baby New Year or Old Father Time? This Would You Rather list asks silly questions based around New Year’s Eve celebrations. Simply print out the list or make them into cards and ask away. They’re designed to get you talking, laughing, and even debating together. For more inspiration, throw in a few of these New Year quotes.

Get the Tutorial

New Year’s Eve Guess the Number Game

Best for: Analytical types

Fill an empty, clear champagne bottle or glass with a number of small items. These could be large pieces of confetti, candies, small toys, or any other New Year’s–themed item. Count them before filling the bottle. Place a sheet of paper in front of the jar and ask guests to guess how many items are in it. The one closest to the number gets a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider at the end of the night.

Shop Champagne Bottle Container

Two New Year’s Resolutions and a Lie Game

Best for: People with good instincts

This game is played like two truths and lie, except in this version, guests’ three answers must be New Year’s resolutions—two they plan on keeping and one they don’t. Other guests then guess which resolution is the one that person would never do!

New Year’s Eve Candy Dice Game

Best for: People with a sweet tooth

Grab a pair of dice and print out a few copies of the New Year’s Eve dice game. Sit in a circle with a bowl of wrapped candies in the middle. Each player takes turns rolling the dice and then doing whatever the card specifies for the number they rolled. This version is particularly fun because not only do you get candy but you also have to answer a New Year’s–themed question about yourself. It’s a great way to get everyone talking.

Get the Tutorial

New Year’s Kisses Countdown Game

Best for: People who only want chocolate kisses

It’s tradition to start the New Year with a New Year’s kiss. But not everyone wants to lock lips and this fun game gets everyone in on the fun. Stage a mock countdown to the New Year by setting ten seconds on a timer. Give everyone ten Hershey’s kisses. Challenge them to see how many they can unwrap and eat before you’re done with the countdown.

Shop Hershey's Kisses

Year in Review Trivia Game

Best for: Trivia nerds

This game incorporates current events and trivia to show who’s been paying the most attention over the past year. Trivia could cover family, community happenings, or worldwide news. You can write the trivia questions yourself or use one of the many “year in review” articles published each year in December. Read off the trivia question and see who can get the correct answer the fastest.

Shop Trivia Buzzers

Balloon New Year’s Eve Countdown Game

two young children celebrating on new year's eveJose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Best for: Families with excited kiddos

Waiting all day until midnight can be tough for kids excited to ring in the New Year. Make the fun last all day with this balloon countdown. Decide how many hours you want to count down (say, 2 p.m. until midnight), and then write that number of fun New Year’s activities on strips of paper. It could be things like cut out snowflakes, call grandma and grandpa, sing a New Year’s song, or do a craft. Place each strip in a balloon and use a marker to write the hour on each balloon. Hang them as a countdown banner and allow kids to pop the balloon at the appropriate time.

Yearly Roundup Questions Game

Best for: People who prefer to sit and chat

What was the best song from the past year? What was your most embarrassing moment in the last 12 months? This game is a great way to get to know your loved ones better, share fun memories, and pass the hours until midnight on New Year’s Eve. Print out this list of short questions, cut out each tile, and place them in a bowl. Take turns drawing a tile and sharing answers. You can always throw them back in the bowl and go around again so people get more questions or try these trivia questions to test your smarts.

Get the Tutorial

Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss New Year’s Eve Game

Best for: People of all ages

It’s close to the longest night of the year, so take advantage of the dark hours with this fun carnival game. Take some pointed New Year’s party hats or empty champagne bottles and ring them with glow-in-the-dark paint. Tape a starting line, turn out all the lights, and hand out glow-in-the-dark bracelets. Challenge guests to see how many rings of one color they can toss onto the hat or bottle.

Shop Glow-in-the-Dark Tape

Name That Tune from 2021

Best for: Pop culture fans and music lovers

Make a playlist of the most popular songs from the past year. Hand out pens and paper. Play the first five to ten seconds of each song and ask players to write down the song title and/or artist. You can throw in a few seasonal classics (here’s what Auld Lang Syne really means). The person with the most correct answers wins and gets to control the playlist for the next hour! If you’re playing with people who may not be up on the latest tunes, check out the Spontuneous board game based around more universal songs.

Shop Spontuneous

New Year’s Eve Mad Libs Game

Best for: Families with elementary-aged kids

Who doesn’t love a good round of silly storytelling à la Mad Libs? These Mad Libs sheets are custom-made for the perfect New Year’s Eve tale. Kids and adults can get as creative or funny as they like. Make sure to take a picture of the finished story to remember next year!

Get the Tutorial

Pin the Hands on the Countdown Clock New Year’s Eve Game

Best for: Kids who just can’t wait

This is similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey but with a New Year’s Eve twist. Print or draw a large clock without hands and hang it on the wall. Blindfold players, hand them the clock “hands,” give them a little spin, and challenge them to put the hands on the clock. Closest one to 11:59 wins!

Get the Tutorial

Ring in the New Year Bell Craft

Best for: Crafty types

Ringing in the New Year is tough if you don’t have anything to ring! Let your guests make their own custom bells to ring at midnight with this easy craft. All you need is some tin cans, yarn, jingle bells, and a high tolerance for noise! This is just one of many simple kid crafts.

Get the Tutorial

New Year’s Eve Bunco Bash

Best for: Folks who love dice games

Bunco is fast-paced, easy to learn, and works well for large groups. It’s a favorite game to play year-round but these custom scorecards, seating cards, and tally sheets will bring that New Year’s Eve party vibe.

Get the Tutorial

New Year’s Eve Countdown Activity Bags

Best for: People hosting longer parties

It can feel like it takes forever to get to midnight on New Year’s Eve, especially if you start the party early. Help keep guests—especially younger ones—excited with countdown activity bags. Gather four to ten paper bags and label each one with a different random time before midnight. Fill each bag with an activity appropriate for your guests, like bubbles, small fidget toys, confetti poppers, slime ingredients, card games, a disposable camera, a movie ticket, a craft, or a treat. Have a guest open each bag at the appointed time.

Shop Kid Party Favors

New Year’s Ball Drop Game

Best for: Partygoers in a silly mood

Create your own “New Year’s Eve ball” by wrapping small gifts and treats in layer after layer of plastic wrap. Spread the gifts out through the different layers and keep winding until the entire roll is gone. Then have your guests sit in a circle and “drop” the ball in the middle. Guests take turns unwrapping it and get to keep whatever they manage to get out before their turn is up. There are several different popular ways to play the game. The bigger the ball, the longer the fun lasts!

Shop Plastic Wrap

Fizzy New Year’s Eve Countdown Game

Best for: Young science lovers

Kids and adults who love at-home science experiments will get a kick out of this unique way to count down to midnight. Set up a series of chemical reactions in cups that create a bright colorful fizz. Have your child set off one reaction every hour until all the cups are fizzing! You can stick with the simple baking-soda-and-vinegar combo for little ones or upgrade to more elaborate concoctions for older kids with a chemistry kit.

Get the Tutorial

Snap a New Year’s Eve selfie

Group Of Teenagers taking photos at a new year's eve partylisegagne/Getty Images

Best for: People who loving making picture memories

What’s a New Year’s Eve party without some amazing photos to look back on? Encourage your guests to take lots of pictures by setting up a simple DIY photo booth with New Year’s props. They’ll have a blast posing, snapping, and sharing their selfies. Print out this list of the best selfie captions to inspire them to post!

Shop Gold Glitter Backdrop

New Year’s Eve Magic Show

Best for: Future and current magicians

Keep young guests entertained by teaching them simple magic tricks and then allowing them to put on a magic show for the whole crowd. Don’t forget the magic word: abracadabra! You provide the basic magic kit, top hat, and stage. They’ll provide the laughter and fun.

Shop Magic Kit

New Year’s Eve Disco Balloon Stomp Game

Best for: Rowdy kids

This game will have everyone laughing and burning off some pent-up energy! Blow up one New Year’s balloon for each player. Tie the balloon to their ankle with a loose ribbon. Turn on a fun song and tell everyone to try and stomp the others’ balloons. The last person with an unpopped balloon wins!

Shop Disco Balloons

New Year’s Eve Karaoke

Best for: Singers

Load up a playlist with all your favorite songs from the past year and throw in a few New Year’s Eve classics like Auld Lang Syne. Hand the microphone around. Guests can sing solo or in groups. Make sure to take videos to enjoy the fun memories.

Shop Karaoke Microphone

Disco Ball Piñata New Year’s Eve Game

Best for: Families with school-aged kids

Make your own ball to drop at midnight. Craft a disco ball piñata and fill it with New Year’s Eve–themed treats and toys. Close to midnight, “drop” the ball low enough where the kids can reach it. Blindfold children one at a time and give them a broomstick. Let them take turns whacking the ball until it breaks.

Shop Disco Ball Piñata

New Year’s Eve Resolutions Telephone Game

Best for: People of all ages and stages

Put a New Year’s Eve party spin on the classic telephone game. Have guests sit in a circle. Ask one to think of a resolution they are planning to make and then whisper it into the ear of the person to their left. That person has to whisper it to the next, and so on until the last person. That person then announces the resolution—or whatever strange thing they ended up hearing!

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a health, lifestyle and fitness expert and teacher. She covers all things wellness for Reader’s Digest and The Healthy. With dual masters degrees in information technology and education, she has been a journalist for 17 years and is the author of The Great Fitness Experiment. She lives in Denver with her husband, five kids and three pets.