10 Totally Unexpected Party Themes for Your New Year's Eve Bash

Not your typical streamers-and-sparklers shindigs.

Because you go to a modified version of the same New Year's Party every year, why not plan your own festive gathering this time around? Here, 10 ways to up your hostess game that your friends will never see coming.

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Disco Dance Party

If your guests are already going to be gussied up in sequins and gleaming silver and gold, you may as well make the most of it with an all-out swinging disco party. Jive on like you're at Studio 54: have your attendees wear go-go boots and wild makeup, then put on a Bee Gees record and get down before the ball drops.

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"Best of 2016" Celebration

In anticipation of the year to come and in homage to all the craziness of the past year, host a dress-up party where guests show up as their favorite cultural moments of 2016. Imagine how wild it will be to see Joanne the Scammer parlaying with Harambe by the cocktail bar, or a snake emoji dancing with a bat-toting Beyoncé. JUST IMAGINE.

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A "Mini Everything" Party

A twist on your standard potluck, make it a *mini* party by inviting people to bring a few appetizers and a couple sampler bottles of prosecco (or their drink of choice), to share. Optional: have everyone stick to a dress code of mini accessories, like fascinators, minaudière clutches, bow ties, and teeny boutonnieres.

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If your idea of a great New Year's Eve get-together is more about relaxation and good company than staying up at an all-hours event, take the "out with the old, in with the new" mantra literally and arrange a relaxing spa party for your girlfriends. You can get in some exfoliation, set up a nail bar, and recharge while you enjoy comfort food and marathon Gilmore Girls.

Bonus drinking game: Around midnight, everyone goes around and gives a toast to exes, haters, and bad vibes that you're letting go of in the New Year.

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One Last Hurrah

Many amongst us use the New Year as an excuse to sign up for gym memberships, start diets, and throw out our cigarettes. Take the sting out of New Year's resolutions by throwing a One Last Hurrah party where guests—you guessed it—get to indulge in their vices before diving into next year. Make sure to ask your friends what their resolutions are so you can plan accordingly AKA get all the cakes and fried foods your hearts desire. (Plus, alcohol. Obviously.)

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A Black and White Ball

Truman Capote's infamous 1966 Black and White Ball was recognized as the party of the century, so what could be better inspiration for your own fête? Capote's venue was the Grand Ballroom at the Plaza (#casual), but while you may not be able to rent out an actual ballroom, that doesn't mean you can't emulate the party. Copy Capote and have guests wear black and white clothing with masks, only to be removed at midnight. At Capote's soiree, women were also encouraged to carry fans, but carrying a fan means one less hand for holding a drink, so…this rule is more flexible.

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Glitter Gala

New Years Eve is all about decking yourself out in the shiniest clothing and accessories available, so it only makes sense that glitter and NYE should be combined in a full-out glitter party. Have guests dress in as many sequins as possible and hand out glitter-covered and bedazzled hats, sunglasses, and bow ties as party favors. The best part: Glitter decorations are super easy to DIY. The amazing photos of your party will be well worth the headache of trying to clean up all that glitter afterwards.

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Midnight in Paris

First of all, if you haven't seen the excellent movie, do so immediately. Once that's done, you can start planning your Midnight in Paris party, with the actual theme of Paris in the 1920s. Sure, you've probably been to a dozen Gatsby-themed parties in the last few years, but the Parisian angle keeps this one fresh. Guests will dress accordingly and you can serve the most popular drinks of the day (mostly gin-based), crank some jazz, and try your hand at the Charleston.

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Champagne Mixology

Don't wait until the clock strikes twelve to pop open the bubbly! Instead, host a champagne mixology party. You supply the champagne and mixers and everyone else gets to create their own champagne cocktail. For wary guests, supply tried-and-true recipes, but definitely let your friends experiment with creating the perfect drink. (That's kind of the fun, no?)

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Black Light Bash

Looking for a New Year's rave? Lucky for you, it's surprisingly easy to turn your apartment into a nightclub. Switch out your regular light bulbs with black lights, and hang black craft paper on the walls that you've painted it with UV-reactive paint. (Uh, easy.) Tell guests to come wearing white and hand out glow sticks to get the full effect.

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