The 2015 New Years Numerals arrived in New York City last week, and alot of us in Northern Colorado will be heading to New Years celebrations across the region. If you're like me, you'll be taking in Fort Collins First Night. Or maybe you'll be heading to the Budweiser Events Center for the nights festivities. But maybe you just want to stay at home and have your own mini-celebration. If you'll be partaking in the fun in your own surroundings, here are some ideas for you to ring in the New Year!

Cook up an amazing meal. This is the night to have all the food that you and your family would not normally make at home due to expense or effort. Considering that eating out on New Year's Eve often costs more when the prices are increased for the event, this is a good excuse to splurge a little. Ask family members to contribute both their skills and any resources to help turn it into a feast.

  • Delegate. Assign each person to be responsible for a different task, recipe, or course. Food choices can include seafood, fish or vegetarian (these selections make a great break from all the poultry over the holiday period). Add lots of fresh salads and perhaps tapas type dishes to keep food light but varied.
  • Light candles, use silverware and bring out the best china. You may not be able to afford upmarket restaurants, but who says you can’t dine in style at home?

Decide together on things to do. Simply sitting down together and reminiscing over where the past year has taken you each individually and your family as a whole is a great way to spend one part of the night. Other ideas include:

  • Tasting food or drink. Try a wine, champagne, beer, chocolate or other food tasting event for the evening. There are non-alcoholic versions of wine and beer for those unable to drink. Keep scorecards to add to the evening's entertainment.
  • Playing board games. Set up a major board games night, with some cool prizes for winners, along with lots of delicious nibbles and drinks. Have games suited to all ages so that everyone can join in the fun. It helps to assign a coordinator for such an event––choose the family member who loves organizing everything.
  • Playing physical games such as foosball, air hockey, Wii sports, ping pong or table tennis, shooting hoops, etc. Again, prizes can be awarded or simply keep score.
  • Watching movies or even something like a concert or a Broadway show. Choosing really good DVD material to watch gets everyone off the usual pulp on TV on New Year's Eve and provides a focal point for the whole family to sit down together and watch through an entire show. Supply nibbles and drinks as usual, and provide distractions for the little ones.

Keep an eye on the time. Have a fantastic idea for the countdown planned well in advance. Choose something that rings in the New Year with a bang and let your neighbors know you're having more fun than they are. Ideas for celebrating include:

  • Lighting sparklers, drumming on bongo drums, yelling "Happy New Year" as loudly as possible all together, tooting your car horn, dancing in the yard and cheering.
  • Opening a bottle of bubbly to share with the rest of the family at midnight. Kids, teens and teetotallers can drink the many non-alcoholic sparkling alternatives.
  • Singing Auld Lang Syne and hold the hands of everyone participating. Swing your arms back and forth in time to the song. It can be fun to see which family members think this is "tragic", "silly", or simply wriggle out of it!
  • Gazing at fireworks. If you can see the fireworks from where you live, sit together and watch them from home, or wander to a local spot together where you can see them.

What are your plans for New Years Eve in Northern Colorado?