With COVID-19 still an ever-present threat around most of the world, it’s safe to say that virtual events are here to stay. With good reason: We’ve seen tremendous success with online events at Eventbrite. In fact, one million virtual events have been hosted so far, and our event attendees and creators alike showed interest in attending and hosting online events even after social distancing guidelines have eased up. After all, even the famous Times Square ball drop celebration will be virtual for New Year’s Eve.

If you’re hoping to host a virtual event of your own but aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry! We’ve got tons of Virtual New Year’s Eve event ideas for your celebration.

1. Start your party late or end it early

Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where it’s warm year-round, a safe outdoor New Year’s Eve celebration could be tricky as the temperatures dip. You could do an early outdoor dinner and celebration then send everyone home to ring in the new year separately or have guests arrive closer to midnight to count down to 2021 together in person, even briefly, according to Real Simple. (Or consider starting the party virtually, then gather everyone outdoors for a brief time later that night.)

2. Light up your party space

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Photo: Homebnc

If you’re used to ringing in the new year at a glam party, bring a little extra sparkle to your celebration space. High-tech twinkly lights can be programmed to shift colors in sync with the music you’re playing to give you a more clubby vibe. Hand out glow-in-the-dark necklaces, 2021 glasses, and glittery tiaras and hats to lighten up your party.

3. Leave the past behind

There’s probably a lot you’re looking to say farewell to in 2020, so take advantage of some other good luck traditions that help you lose the bad juju. In China, people clean their homes before the new year so they can sweep away the bad luck and be ready to welcome in the good. If you’re keeping warm around the fire pit, people can write down the things they’re ready to let go of and toss them into the fire. It may feel silly, but we’ll take all the good luck we can get.

4. Serve lots of good luck foods

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Photo: Taiwan News

We can use all the help we can get to make next year better, so make a feast of several cultures’ versions of good luck food. Long noodles symbolize long and prosperous life in China and Japan, and black-eyed peas (stewed with ham hocks and collard greens) are good luck in the South. Foods that look like coins or cash or are gold in hue—like mandarins, dumplings, cabbage, cornbread, lentils, and greens—are thought to help bring you prosperity in the new year. Germans eat cute marzipan pigs for an auspicious start to the new year—or try their more daring good luck dish: pickled herring. And at midnight, you can follow the Spanish tradition of popping 12 grapes in your mouth, one for each stroke of the clock, to help you get a fresh start for the new year.

5. Dress up for the game night

Virtual game nights can be as high-key or low-stakes as possible. Consider hosting a trivia night or scavenger hunt, both perfectly tailored to the big night with themed questions and equally festive rewards. For something more extravagant, plan a murder mystery party with costume ideas, themed props in the mail, and even an at-home appetizer menu, as said by Event Brite.

Are you sensing a theme here? If there’s one thing we’ve learned during quarantine, it’s that virtual events thrive on a theme. The daytime dance party Daybreaker has found huge success during quarantine, due in part to their weekly themes that help every attendee feel included. Whether you’re hosting a game night, a virtual concert, or a meditation circle this New Year’s, adding a theme to your event helps attendees feel comfortable and get involved.

6. Cheers to a virtual tasting

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Photo: Okanagan Crush Pad

Take a hint from Murray’s Cheese in NYC, whose virtual cheese tasting classes are a solid quarantine hit. A virtual tasting class is the perfect laid-back yet engaging New Year’s event, whether they’re hosted as an earlier celebration for potential party hosts, or a full-blown snack jamboree at midnight. After all, what’s better than a champagne tasting to welcome in the new year?

Send out a list of items to purchase in advance, or better yet, include the evening’s libations with the ticket price and ship them to attendees’ doors in festive-themed packaging. (Pro-tip: Add-on kits like this are proven to boost ticket sales!)

7. Get crafty and creative

Your attendees can stretch those creative muscles (and have a few drinks, too) while socializing at a fun craft class. A mask-decorating party is perfect for a pre-masquerade celebration, while a creative journaling workshop might be ideal for attendees who want to get an early start on their resolutions.

Take it from the experts: NYC-based workshop host CraftJam has thrived since moving all of their happy-hour-style classes online, with beginner-friendly craft workshops that encourage virtual socializing.

Remember: The CDC recommends keeping indoor celebrations to just your household or having virtual or outdoor celebrations if you want to see your family and friends. So please party safely to start the new year off with good health—not coronavirus.

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