The Planning Process
The best parties begin taking shape weeks in advance. You'll want to give your guests ample notice before the big night or they might commit to other plans before they even hear about your awesome RV party. If your RV is parked at a campground or even in your driveway, polite etiquette suggests that you inform your nearby neighbors of the event so they are aware of the potential for late-night noise. Start your party around 9pm, which will give your guests plenty of time to meet and mingle before the ball drops. In addition to the time, inform your guests of your chosen theme so that they can attend accordingly.
Picking a Theme
Having a solid theme establishes the overall atmosphere of the party, and when it comes to New Year's Eve, your options are virtually endless. Choosing a great theme provides the foundation for how you will decorate, what you will serve, and how your guests will dress. Here are just four possible theme ideas for a New Year's Eve RV party: Dusky Speakeasy Soiree - Invite your guests to dress up as flappers and pinstripe-suited mobsters. Dim the lights, let some slow jazz play in the background, and party like the prohibitionists aren't watching. Black and White Cocktail Party - Keep it classy and make your party a black-and-white affair by inviting guests to wear casual penguin suits and their most favorite little black dresses. Color-coordinate your decorations accordingly. Glitter and Sparkle Celebration - Invite your guests to shower themselves in glitter by wearing shimmering attire and their most bedazzled accessories. Cover your RV with shiny confetti before they arrive. Last Big-Hurrah Bash - Throw a rager that leaves your guests ready to take on their New Year resolutions by inviting them to indulge in all the vices they plan to give up come January 1st. You can all talk about your upcoming diet plans as you congregate by the donut bar and French fry platter.
The Food Menu
Because New Year's Eve parties typically start later in the evening, most of your guests will probably have already eaten dinner before arriving, so serve small appetizer-type foods and snacks to nibble on throughout the night. Think dips, cheese and crackers, veggie trays, easy crockpot meatballs, or BBQ chicken bites. For dessert, stick with finger foods like chocolate-covered pretzels, cheesecake bites, or these delicious popcorn s'mores balls. *Tip* - Introduce a new hot dish mid-party to reinvigorate your guests and restore interest in the food selection. Go for oven-cooked foods like spinach artichoke-stuffed mushrooms or bacon-wrapped cocktail weenies. Get them cooking before your guests arrive and keep them warm in your RV oven until you're ready to unveil them.
The Drink Selection
Have a signature drink for the party that goes along with your chosen theme. Let your guests know what that drink will be, and invite them to bring their own beverage if they don't like what's being served. You'll also want to have a non-alcoholic drink option available for guests who wish to spend the night sober. Here are just a few ideas for drink selections, according to the themes previously identified:
- Dusky Speakeasy Soiree - Old Fashioneds
- Black and White Cocktail Party - White Russians and Black Russians
- Glitter and Sparkle Celebration - Fruity Sangria
- Last Big-Hurrah Bash - Sorbet Champagne Floats
Don't just focus on the fun parts of party planning, think about the specific logistics too. Consider the size of your RV and how you can make the most of your limited space. Rearrange the furniture and temporarily relocate items to make room for more seating and standing space. Spread out the appetizers, desserts, and drinks to create a flow so that your guests don't crowd one area. If you need more countertop space, place a plywood board on top of your dinette table to make a bigger surface for displaying foods. Cover the plywood and your countertops with tablecloths for an easy cleanup the next morning. Lastly, keep your bedroom clean and accessible to give your guests a place to put their coats and bags.
The mood of your New Year's Eve RV party will largely be dependent upon the theme you choose, but there are some other components to creating a great party atmosphere. Have music playing in the background so it can be heard without it inhibiting your guests' ability to converse with each other. When it comes to decorations, less is more. Because your RV is compact, you don't want to take up space with unnecessary adornments. Let your guests' attire and your provided party accessories establish the atmosphere of the room. These provided accessories can include New Year's Eve hats/tiaras, noisemakers, or masquerade masks.
Have some activities planned to keep your guests entertained until it's time to watch the ball drop. While you should still keep the TV on and tuned in to the Rockin' New Years Eve Special, most of your guests won't have their eyes on the screen until closer to midnight. Keep the volume on the TV low until the ball starts to drop. Here are some other activity ideas for your New Year's Eve RV Party:
Homemade Photo Booth
Set up a backdrop, supply some props and cut-outs, and invite your guests to snap photos in front of your homemade photo booth. If you have a bunkhouse in your RV, like the one seen in this Catalina 293QBCK, that will provide a perfect place to put your photo booth.
Truth or Dare Jenga
Put a spin on this childhood classic by playing truth or dare Jenga. This game is great for cultivating social interactions in small spaces. Make your own by writing truth or dare challenges on Jenga blocks. Then have your guests fulfill whatever the requirement is on the block they pull. Some examples include "swap an item of clothing," "finish your drink," or "admit your last lie."
Finish-the-Sentence Guessing Game
Make a set of finish-the-blank cards and have your guests write in how they would end the sentence. Once everyone fills theirs out, have one person read them aloud and then guess whose card was whose. Some examples include "My resolution for the new year is ...," "This year I want to be more like ...," or "The best piece of advice I got this year was ..."
Have a Bonfire
The temperature on New Year's Eve will undoubtedly be cold, but having a bonfire outside of your RV is the perfect way to let your guests get some fresh air without having them freeze. A bonfire will expand the size of your party space because your guests will be able to go outside without being uncomfortably cold. Just put someone in charge of maintaining the fire throughout the night.
Plan out your available overnight accommodations so you have a place already established for your too-tipsy-to-drive guests to sleep it off. You don't want your stumbling-drunk friend passing out on the floor while you're trying to make sense of your bed situation. Keeping the phone number of a taxi service on hand is a good idea as well. If you're feeling like a generous party host, you might want to bid your guests farewell with a party favor. Some excellent party favor ideas can be a mini bottle of champagne, a hangover kit (mini bottle of water and aspirin), or a mini potted succulent. We hope you're ready to party the night away and ring in the new year right! Do you have any other suggestions for how to throw the ultimate New Year's Eve party in your RV? Let us hear them by leaving a comment!