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Spending New Year’s at home? Here are 5 ways to celebrate

From watching the ball drop at Times Square to a livestreamed Justin Bieber concert, there are plenty of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home this year.

Confetti falls during the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Confetti falls during the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, in New York. This year’s celebration in Times Square will not be held live, but will be livestreamed for a virtual audience.
Kevin Hagen, Associated Press

The new year is almost here. And like almost every other holiday of 2020, this New Year’s Eve will likely look different for many people.

But choosing to spend the holiday at home this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t mean that you can’t still celebrate. There are plenty of ways to still ring in the new year in a socially distanced way.

Here are five ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve from home this year.

Watch the ball drop in Times Square

There may not be any crowds at Times Square this year, but that doesn’t mean the iconic celebration won’t still happen.

This year, there will be performances by Gloria Gaynor and Andra Day, a segment honoring the “Heroes of 2020,” and of course the famous ball drop at midnight.

The event will be broadcast on television, as well as available to watch online. Here’s where to find it:

Watch a livestreamed concert

Ring in the new year with some live music that you can enjoy from your living room.

Justin Bieber and BTS are just some of the artists that will be performing virtual concerts on New Year’s Eve. Here are some of the concerts going on and where to watch them:

  • Justin Bieber will perform his first live concert since 2017 to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
  • BTS will perform with other K-pop stars in an online concert that can be viewed on Weverse.
  • The Avett Brothers will perform a virtual concert with appearances by Willie Nelson, Brandi Carlisle, Dax Shepard, and more.
  • YouTube’s “Hello 2021” concert will feature performances by Demi Lovato, J Balvin and Dua Lipa, as well as appearances by Matthew McConaughey, Jimmy Fallon, and more.
  • “United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America” will air live on PBS and feature performances from Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Josh Groban, Renee Fleming, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, the American Pops Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and more.

Watch a New Year’s movie

Take a nostalgic trip to a New Year’s Eve of the past by watching a good movie. Here are some ideas for movies, with iconic scenes celebrating the new year, to get you started:

Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in “An Affair to Remember.”
Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in “An Affair to Remember.”
Fox Home Entertainment
  • “An Affair to Remember” (1957): Who could forget the iconic New Year’s kiss between Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr that sets this classic movie in motion?
  • “Ocean’s 11” (1960): The original movie that the George Clooney version was based on features the famous heist going down on New Year’s Eve.
  • “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!” (1986): Celebrate the new year with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the “Peanuts” gang.
  • “Ghostbusters II” (1989): The Ghostbusters save the day with the Statue of Liberty on New Year’s Eve.
  • “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993): This Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan classic features a sweet New Year’s Eve scene, and lots of references to “An Affair to Remember.”
  • “While You Were Sleeping” (1995): Though most of this Sandra Bullock rom-com takes place over Christmas, there’s also an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party scene.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL-Disney Channel Original Movie “High School Musical” tells the story of two high school students - Troy (Zac Efron), a popular basketball player and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens), a shy, brainy newcomer - who share a secret passion for singing. When these two seemingly polar opposites decide to join forces and go out for the lead roles in the school musical, it wreaks havoc on East High’s rigid social order. But by defying expectations and pursuing their dreams, Troy and Gabriella inspire other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own. “High School Musical” premieres FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. (DISNEY CHANNEL/FRED HAYES)
The Disney Channel Original Movie “High School Musical” tells the story of two high school students — Troy (Zac Efron), a popular basketball player and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens), a shy, brainy newcomer — who share a secret passion for singing. When these two seemingly polar opposites decide to join forces and go out for the lead roles in the school musical, it wreaks havoc on East High’s rigid social order. But by defying expectations and pursuing their dreams, Troy and Gabriella inspire other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own.
Fred Hayes, Disney Channel
  • “High School Musical” (2006): Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens duet to “Start of Something New” at a New Year’s Eve party.
  • “New Year’s Eve” (2011): Like “Valentine’s Day” before it, this ensemble comedy follows a wide cast as they celebrate the holiday.

Or if you’re looking for a cathartic way to say goodbye to this year, Netflix’s new special “Death to 2020” might be the right way to go.

Order takeout

If there was one thing that became easier in the year 2020, it was ordering takeout. There are so many options at a variety of restaurants — pickup, curbside, delivery — and a lot of them will be available on New Year’s Eve.

From getting a four-course meal from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to go or getting free delivery with Uber Eats on your McDonald’s order, there are plenty of ways to still eat well this New Year’s while staying home.

There are lots of traditions from around the world that are said to bring luck on New Year’s Eve for the coming year. Considering the year we’ve just had, it might be worthwhile to try one (or several) out this New Year’s.

Teaching kids to make proper food choices — such as eating grapes — is key, but there are other ways to get them to eat what they should.
Eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve is considered good luck in Spain.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News
  • Eat 12 grapes at midnight. In Spain, it’s tradition to eat one grape for each chime of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve, according to NPR. If you can get all 12 grapes into your mouth — and chewed and swallowed — before the last chime, it’s said to bring you good luck in the new year.
  • Try some other lucky foods at midnight. In Japan, eating soba noodles when the clock strikes is considered lucky; in Poland and Scandinavia, it’s pickled herring; and for many cultures, eating a “king’s cake” (also often eaten on Epiphany, which is Jan. 6) at midnight will bring luck, according to CNN.
  • Open your doors and windows. In the Philippines, it’s considered good luck to open your doors and windows just before midnight, in order to let the old year out and the new one in, according to O, The Oprah Magazine.
  • Make some noise. Turns out that banging pots and pans or setting off fireworks at midnight isn’t just fun — many cultures around the world believe that starting the year off with loud noises will bring good luck, according to O.