Enjoy a sunrise hike, toast with Champagne, or start a new book—there's no rule that says you need to spend this holiday glued to your TV.

It's safe to say everyone is counting down to the end of 2020 with much anticipation. Someone somewhere literally dropped the ball on that one, so it might be better to avoid that ritual—watching the ball drop at midnight—altogether this year. The good news is there are plenty of other activities you can do to celebrate this holiday of new beginnings. Here are a few suggestions that are fun and social-distancing friendly to boot.

sparkling wine glasses
Credit: Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Watch the Sunset

There's nothing more serene than looking up at a sky that is rich with cotton candy clouds in hues of pink, gold, purple, and orange. So, how do you turn this natural occurrence into a New Year's Eve event? First, pack a picnic and your drink of choice. Gather the members of your household or quarantine pod. Scour your local area to find a park, beach, hillside, rooftop, or anywhere else with a prime view of the sky. Finally, settle in for a night of celebration. Enjoy the company of your loved ones from a safe distance, and watch the sun set on this year.

Host an Outdoor Wine Tasting

The New Year tends to encourage a certain proclivity for libations but, normally, those come with standing in long lines outside of clubs, loud packed bars, and parties where you might know only a handful of people. Ditch the chaos, and host your own sophisticated at-home celebration with an outdoor wine tasting. Play the role of connoisseur and gather a selection of your favorite wines with cheese or chocolates, and make it a night. Cheers, 2021.

Get Pampered

One of the more frequently used New Year's resolutions centers on health: Eat better, get in shape, make healthier choices, and so on. Creating your own at-home spa retreat will certainly start the new year off on a healthy (and relaxing) note. What you'll need: a plush robe and slippers, spa products such as eye molds, nail polish, face and hair masks, body scrubs and oils, and of course, a nice bath paired with a candle or essential oil diffuser. As you sink deeper into the tub letting the past year wash over you, the clock will tick down toward a fresh start, and your body will feel rejuvenated. In other words, treat yourself to a new year.

Make a S'mores and Hot Cocoa Bar

If you're celebrating with children, a s'mores and hot cocoa bar could be the perfect way to ring in the new year. Simply set up a table with all of the fixings: graham crackers, marshmallows or marshmallow fluff, chocolate bars, and hot cocoa mix. Not only will your kids enjoy the fun, but once they fall asleep, the adults can indulge in something a little stronger than cocoa, like a celebratory White Russian or a Bushwacker.

End of the Year Game Night

There's no limit to the fun you could have with a New Year's game night. There's always Cards Against Humanity for a little wicked fun, but that's just the beginning. Some other fun games could include: Two Resolutions and a Lie, resolution guess, Martha's favorite card game called Gozo, or a New Year's scavenger hunt.

Go for a Morning Hike

Maybe you just want to get away from it all and seek refuge in nature. If that's the case, then a hike could be the best way to celebrate New Year's Eve. You don't need to traverse mountainsides; your "hike" could just be to a nearby park or through a trail you know well. That being said, if you're up for a more adventurous trek, try one of these 14 scenic hiking trails across the U.S.

Volunteer Somewhere Meaningful

Decide what's important to you, and find a way to give back to that cause this New Year's Eve. Maybe that looks like serving dinners at a food bank, spending time with animals at a shelter, or even sewing masks for frontline workers. There's no action too small when it comes to giving back, and if you volunteer your time this New Year's Eve, you'll give 2020 a purposeful conclusion.

Start a New Book

If all of that sounds too daunting because you are beyond drained from the most bizarre year in modern history, then maybe you want a simplistic New Year's Eve. Grab a blanket, a candle and a glass of wine, and snuggle up with a new book. If one of your resolutions is to read more, check out these reading tips from the experts.


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