Throw a New Year’s Eve party that is the bee’s knees to celebrate 2020. Host a night of fun that would rival The Great Gatsby with decor, food, games, and a printable invitation inspired by the 1920s.
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I’ve been thinking about this New Year’s Eve party theme for far longer than I’d like to admit. I’ve always loved all things retro and vintage, so it seems only fitting to throw a 1920s New Year’s Eve party to ring in the 2020s.
A lot of my inspiration for this party theme comes from a few movies, which you might want to watch for more ideas.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016, starring Eddie Redmayne)
- The Great Gatsby (2013, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire)
- Midnight in Paris (2011, starring Owen Wilson)
- Chicago (2002, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger)
How to host a New Year’s Eve party
Below I have a list of simple decor, a curated menu of party appetizers, drinks and cocktails, and desserts, and fun. I also designed a printable New Year’s Eve party invitation that you can download for free at the bottom of this post.
A little bit goes a long way on New Year’s Eve, in my opinion. Pick a color scheme – like black, white, and gold – and pick up a few items that you could use year-round.
- white tablecloth
- gold and black balloons
- black and white balloons
- black napkins
- white plates
Set up a mini cocktail and beverage station on a bar cart. I put together this DIY Rolling Cart Makeover for Ideas for the Home by Kenarry.
New Year’s Eve party menu
You probably won’t want to serve a full sit-down meal, especially if your party starts later in the evening (ie. after dinnertime). A mix of hot and cold appetizers and finger foods is perfect. Plus some sweets, of course.
Set everything up buffet-style and use a slow cooker to keep hot foods hot all evening. Here are a few recipe ideas that lean towards being period accurate for the 1920s.
- Swedish Meatballs from Food, Folks, and Fun
- Cheesy Crescent Pizza Bites from One Mama’s Daily Drama
- Cream Cheese Pinwheels from Emily Enchanted
- Spinach Artichoke Dip from Salty Side Dish
- Goat Cheese Puffs from Two Sleevers
- Bacon and Cheese Deviled Eggs from Pretty Providence
Drinks and cocktails:
- Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Moonshine from Kleinworth & Co.
- Apple Cinnamon Moscow Mule from Pizzazzerie
- Classic Martini from Nellie Bellie
- Lavender Lemonade Prosecco from Happiness is Homemade
- Tranya Lemon Lime Drink from One Mama’s Daily Drama
- Amaretto Sour from Live Laugh Rowe
- Peppermint Brownies from One Mama’s Daily Drama
- Tiramisu Cheesecake Bites from Place of My Taste
- German Chocolate Fudge from Love Bakes Good Cakes
- Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes from Baking Beauty
- Ambrosia Salad from Amanda’s Cookin’
- Better Than Fruitcake Bark from Dream a Little Bigger
I’ll admit that most of my parties are pretty mundane. The adults sit around and chat. The kids run in circles or invent a new game.
If you tend to have low-key parties too, you can do a little prep and put together a list of questions as conversation starters. Or keep it simple and just have everyone share their New Year’s resolutions or favorite things from this year.
Set the mood by putting together a playlist. It could be the best songs from this year or decade. I like to make playlists of songs that fit a theme, so my NYE list would include songs like It’s the End of the World as We Know It by REM and Party Like It’s 1999 by Prince.
For a 1920s-themed party, here are 10 songs from the decade that will make you want to dance:
- The Charleston – Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
- When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along) – Al Jolson
- Shanghai Shuffle – Fletcher Henderson
- The Mooche – Duke Ellington
- What Do I Care What Somebody Said? – Jan Garber & His Orchestra
- Happy Days Are Here Again – Ben Selvin
- Chattanooga Choo Choo – Glenn Miller
- Sing, Sing, Sing – Benny Goodman
- Moon River – Andy Williams
- Ain’t That a Kick in the Head – Dean Martin
- Puttin’ On the Ritz – Fred Astaire
- I Got Rhythm – Don Redman
Break out the board games or grab a deck of cards. Or play a game that you can throw together without any prep, like Charades or Musical Chairs.
Printable party invitation
You can download my New Year’s Eve party invitation and fill in the details. Most PDF readers (like Preview or Adobe) let you type in text. I can write on any PDF using the Pencil on my iPad. You could also print the invitations and fill in the date, time, and venue by hand.
The invitation text reads:
dust off your flogger and put on your glad rags!
Please join us to
ring in the new year
[date and time]
drift on over to the joint
use the blower to rsvp
[space for other info, like “bring a board game” or “kids welcome”]
This measures 5×7-inches and there are a couple of ways to print your invitations.
- Print from your computer at 100% on 5×7-inch card paper.
- Send them to a copy shop to print on 5×7-inch paper.
- Print one per page at 100% on 8.5×11-inch paper and trim them down.
- Scale a bit less than 100% and print two invitations per page and cut them in half.
- Fill them out on your computer, save the PDF, and email them. (Technically not printing, but free!)
You may need to allow popups or give permission to download. See Printables Troubleshooting and FAQ for help. If you want to save this for later, please pin an image from this blog post instead of saving the direct link to the PDF.
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