England, Northern Ireland, and Wales celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31, which is called Hogmanay in Scotland.
Regardless of where they live, people plan to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new on this day.
Some enjoy a quiet celebration at home involving family, television, and singing Auld Lang Syne.
Others host or attend a party complete with food, drinks, and entertainment. Celebrating the new year is fun and fortunately, it does not require a lot of money.
Entertaining Without Spending Excessively
There are plenty of lavish parties for those who have deep pockets but there are also less expensive celebrations that are just as fun. Plan a small gathering and ask each guest to bring a different menu item. Everyone will enjoy participating in the culinary choices and the host will not waste an entire paycheck on food. If you will be preparing the main dish, look for less expensive cuts of meat or purchase in bulk, saving the leftovers for the family to enjoy in coming weeks.
Holding the party after dinner is an easy way to minimize food costs. Serve appetizers, finger foods, and desserts instead of an entire meal. Or, forgo the food entirely and make this party the last stop during an evening of entertainment. Offer wine, beer, and champagne but also provide non-alcoholic beverages and encourage guests to exhibit responsible behavior. To eliminate alcohol-related risk, serve non-alcoholic drinks and punch. Guests will have just as much fun without overindulging.
Going Out On The Town
New Year’s Eve is not the best night to hit the town if the budget is tight. However, there are ways to keep club and drink costs low. Start the evening early before clubs are charging a cover and limit the number of drinks. After all, it is better to remember the celebration and have some cash for the coming month than to spend it all in one evening. Ordering a bottle of wine or champagne can be much cheaper so do this if everyone in the group can agree on a beverage.
Take public transport rather than driving because valet or parking costs will be expensive that night. This allows you to drink without putting others at risk. Check transport schedules because buses and trains may be crowded so it helps to have a back-up travel time. If you absolutely cannot miss attending a disco or club, purchase tickets in advance because they tend to be cheaper.
Free New Year Celebrations
Anyone planning to ring in the New Year in London can do it at no cost. More than 350,000 people are expected to attend the ten-minute fireworks show at the London Eye at midnight on December 31. There will be music and live DJs from 22:00 until 00:45 and giant screens placed in Trafalgar Square will broadcast all the action. This free event is very popular so plan to arrive several hours in advance. Guests taking alcohol should pack it in cans or plastic bottles because glass containers will not be allowed.
There will also be free fireworks on the beach of St. Ives at midnight and guests will enjoy the fancy dress of revelers in the Harbour area. Newcastle will hold a carnival procession from Greys Monument to the Civic Centre at 17:15 and fireworks shows at both 18:00 and midnight. The free celebration in Weymouth includes a fancy dress party that draws approximately 20,000 people to the Town Centre and harbour areas.
Hogmanay is typically a multi-day celebration and the revelry in Edinburgh will run from 30 December until 01 January. Do not miss the 30 December torchlight procession at 18:30 from Parliament Square to Calton Hill followed by a firework show. On 31 December, there will be a street party, concert in the gardens followed by fireworks, and the Keilidh festival. If fireworks are too tame for you, check out the Fireball Procession at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. Each fireball has a circumference of about two feet and contains coal and rags soaked with paraffin, then lit for an amazing display.
Work Off The Holiday Pounds
Some people would rather be active than sit around eating and drinking. They can take part in several marathons during the New Year’s holiday. These include the Liverbird Marathon in Liverpool on Monday 31 December and Tuesday 01 January and the Lancashire New Year Half Marathon in Catforth Preston on Sunday 06 January.
The Bath Tub Race in Poole Harbour on 01 January is a unique way to welcome in the new year. This free charity event draws a crowd of approximately 1,000 so head to Dolphin Haven or The Quays to watch or participate. To begin working toward a 2018 exercise goal, participate in the New Year’s Resolution Walk at the National Trust Chilterns Gateway Center in Dunstable on 01 January.