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10 Romantic Ways to Ring in the New Year with Bae in 2023

One of the most classic ways to celebrate New Year's Eve is by enjoying a romantic dinner out at a nice restaurant. Make your date night feel extra special by choosing a restaurant with a special prix fixe menu or NYE offerings.

Romantic Dinner for Two

Get dressed up in your finest attire - this is the perfect excuse to get glamorous. Go somewhere you don't normally go to make the night feel extra special. Plus, many restaurants have live music, DJs or dancing to keep the party going all night.

Be sure to make reservations well in advance, as slots fill up quickly for New Year's Eve. Call ahead to confirm special menus, pricing and timing of seatings. You'll want to be seated no later than an hour before midnight to be there for the big countdown and toast!

Order a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider to your table to toast at midnight. The pop of the cork, clinking of glasses and bubbly sips create a festive ambiance. A romantic New Year's Eve dinner is the perfect way to end the year on a high note.

Countdowns Around the World

Streaming live countdowns and celebrations from different countries and time zones is a fun way for couples to ring in the new year. From London to Sydney, you can feel like you're getting a sneak peak at celebrations around the globe before midnight even strikes locally.

As you tune into each live stream, research the traditions and typical celebrations of each country. In places like Denmark and Greece, residents smash plates outside to symbolize breaking free from the old year. In Spain and the Philippines, people wear polka dots to represent luck or fortune in the new year.

For a more immersive experience, create foods or drinks to match each culture and timezone that you "visit." Make a brie and grape dessert for when midnight hits in France, graze on Japanese osechi-ryori when the clock strikes twelve in Tokyo, or sip crème de cassis when watching Belgium light up to celebrate the new year.

As you bounce around the world celebrating digitally with other cultures, it will amplify the excitement for when midnight finally rings locally. By learning about diverse traditions worldwide, you'll have plenty to talk about too!

See the Lights

Drive around your city or neighborhood to see holiday lights and decorations on homes. There are many spectacular light displays around D.C., Virginia, and Maryland that you can check out for free or for a small entry fee if you're located near that area.

Also check your city events or parks and recreation website to see if there are any public displays of holiday lights you can walk through. Oftentimes venues will charge for these shows so make sure to check ahead of time.

If you can't find any public displays nearby or want a more lowkey option, simply bundle up in cozy socks, jackets, hats, scarves and mittens. Bring along a thermos of hot chocolate or apple cider to make it extra festive. Take your partner on a long, relaxing walk around your neighborhood to see all the beautiful holiday decorations and lights displays.

Game Night

Bring out your decks of cards, board games and video game console to have a competition that lasts into the New Year. Host your own game show. Family Feud and trivia games are always a hit at any gathering. Make the night exciting by keeping score to see who wins, with the loser having to do dares - like take shots, post an embarrassing story on social media, or stand outside wearing only their underwear when the ball drops. Or sweeten the deal with friendly bets over who will win Mario Kart or other beloved video games. No matter what you play or how you compete, the most important thing is to have a lot of laughs!

Movie Marathon

One of the best ways to spend a cozy night in on New Year's Eve is to have a movie marathon with your partner. Choose a movie trilogy or that epic TV series you've always wanted to binge-watch and settle in on the couch for multiple hours of entertainment. Make some signature movie theater snacks like fresh popcorn or hot pretzel bites with cheese sauce to enhance the experience. And don't forget the drinks and candy! Having a fully stocked mini movie concession stand by your couch will prevent any pesky kitchen runs.

Curling up under cozy blankets is a must for this date night. Dim the lights, light some candles or string lights to set the mood. Surrounding yourselves with pillows, stuffed animals and other comforting textures will make you feel like you're in a comfy nest. Make sure to have remotes, drinks and snacks within arm's reach so you don't have to get up at all. Getting lost for hours in fictional worlds is the perfect way to distract yourselves from any stresses of the past year and simply enjoy each other's company as you transition into the next.

Some great movie options for a New Year's Eve marathon are romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle, epic sagas like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, or even seasonal favorites like How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Unique Outdoor Dining

Getting outside for a dinner date on New Year's Eve can be a nice change of pace. Look for restaurants with heated patios, fire pits, or private outdoor domes to stay warm while dining alfresco. Breathing fresh air is a welcome respite before hibernating indoors all winter.

Call ahead to make reservations, since most places book up quickly for holiday evenings. Consider this list of top outdoor dining options for a festive night out:

  • The Canteen Taphouse & Tavern in Breckenridge offers a heated creekside patio with twinkle lights for a magical ambiance.
  • Blue River Bistro in Breckenridge has domed “igloos” available to reserve for groups seeking privacy and warmth while dining outside.
  • Primrose at the Steamboat Grand in Steamboat Springs boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor riverside fire pit.

Getting some fresh mountain air can help you appreciate cozying up next to a fireplace or under a blanket even more later that night. Just remember to dress warmly in layers!

Spa Night

Transform your space into a tranquil home spa for a relaxing and romantic evening together. Gather supplies like bubble bath, bath bombs, massage oils, face masks, body scrubs, candles, and soft towels. Draw a warm bath and light some candles to set the mood before slipping into the tub with a glass of wine for two. Or give each other massages with scented oils after a stressful year.

For an at-home facial, apply a face mask then sit back and relax with cucumber slices over your eyes while the masks work their magic. Finish with a gentle cleanse, toner, and moisturizer. You could also soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salts while getting DIY manicures and painting each other's nails.

Other ideas include making a romantic playlist, enjoying fruit and cheeses, giving each other pedicures, and topping it all off by cozying up with plush robes and slippers.

Make Resolutions Together

The start of a new year is the perfect time to set shared goals for self-improvement and strengthening your relationship. Have an open and honest discussion about your individual aspirations, as well as things you'd like to work on as a couple. Explain what motivates you and why these resolutions matter.

Making resolutions together helps hold each other accountable in a constructive way. Approach it as a team effort rather than criticism. Check in on progress periodically instead of just once a year. Offer encouragement and support when one of you falls short of a resolution.

Consider resolutions like date nights, managing finances better, dealing with stress and anxiety, communicating more effectively, spending quality time together, showing affection regularly, trying new things, and supporting each individual's personal growth.

The new year offers a chance to improve yourselves and strengthen your bond. Seize this opportunity to share your dreams with your partner and motivate each other to achieve them.

Dress Up and Dance At Home

One memorable way to ring in the new year is to get all dressed up and have an at-home dance party. Put on your fancy formal outfits, whether that's a suit, dress, heels or even costumes. Act like you're getting ready to go out to a glamorous party.

Then, liven up your living room by turning on fun string lights, disco balls, or even a strobe light if you want to get crazy. Some lively songs you can add to your New Year's Eve playlist are "Boom Boom Pow" by Black Eyed Peas, "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & The Waves, and "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross.

With your lights flashing and music pumping, dance with your partner like nobody's watching. Pop bottles of champagne or sparkling cider at midnight when the ball drops. And be sure to take lots of silly selfies and videos throughout the night to preserve all the special memories.

Hot Chocolate Bombs

One of the best ways to add some extra sweetness to your New Year's Eve is by making homemade hot chocolate bombs. These festive treats are easy to assemble and make for an interactive experience as you watch them melt into hot cocoa perfection.

To make hot chocolate bombs, you'll need chocolate molds, chocolate melting wafers, mini marshmallows, and any other fillings you want like crushed candy canes, caramel sauce, or chocolate hazelnut spread. Melt the chocolate wafers until smooth, fill the molds halfway, add mini marshmallows and other fillings, then top off with more melted chocolate to fully enclose everything.

When you're ready for the show, heat up some milk or cream on the stove or in the microwave. Add your hot chocolate bomb and watch it start melting, oozing, and unfolding to reveal the inside. The marshmallows will puff up and float to the top while the chocolate swirls into rich hot cocoa.

Finish it off with fun toppings like whipped cream, crushed peppermint, chocolate shavings, or more marshmallows. Sipping these melted chocolate bombs is a decadent way to celebrate on New Year's Eve. The highlight will be seeing your partner's face light up when their hot chocolate bomb "explodes."

FAQ for "Romantic Dinner for Two"

Q: How far in advance should we make reservations for a nice New Year's Eve dinner?

It's best to make reservations at least 2-4 weeks ahead of time for New Year's Eve, if not earlier. Many popular restaurants, especially those with special prix fixe menus, fill up quickly for the holidays. Call ahead to check on availability and don't delay in booking your table to avoid disappointment. You'll want to secure your reservation by mid-December at the latest to ensure you have options to choose from.

Q: What kinds of outfits are appropriate for a romantic New Year's Eve dinner?

New Year's Eve calls for your most glamorous attire! For men, dress pants or slacks paired with a button-down shirt, blazer and possibly tie or bow tie are suitable. For women, an elegant cocktail dress, gown or formal separates like a skirt and blouse are perfect. Heels and accessories like jewelry, scarves or wraps help complete the look. The key is to dress to impress your date for a special night out. Semi-formal or black tie optional are the levels of formality to aim for.

Q: What kinds of food and drinks should we order for a romantic New Year's Eve meal?

A romantic New Year's Eve dinner is all about indulgence, so order foods you don't normally eat. Go for options like seared scallops, filet mignon, lobster tails or foie gras. Share appetizers like oysters, truffle fries or cheese plates. For drinks, choose a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine to toast with at midnight. Or try cocktails made with premium spirits like craft cocktails. For dessert, chocolate soufflés, molten lava cakes or crème brûlée are decadent choices to end your meal on a sweet note.

Q: What are some unique ways to countdown to midnight during our dinner?

There are a few unique ways to countdown to midnight during your romantic dinner:

  • Ask your server to bring glasses of champagne at 11:45pm so you have time for a special toast before midnight.
  • Stream a live countdown from Times Square or another world city on your phone to feel part of the excitement.
  • Go around the table and share your favorite memory from the past year or something you're looking forward to in the new year.
  • Play a game of "countdown trivia" where you ask each other trivia questions to guess the year, counting down from 2021 to 2000.
  • Write down resolutions, hopes or date ideas on little slips of paper to put in a box as a time capsule to open next New Year's Eve.

Q: What are some romantic ways to end the perfect evening?

Here are some romantic ways to end your perfect New Year's Eve dinner evening:

  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood to look at holiday lights displays while sipping the last of your champagne.
  • Find a scenic spot to watch fireworks shows at midnight, whether at a park or from your own backyard.
  • Head to a hotel lounge or bar open late to keep the celebration going with live music, drinks and dancing.
  • Return home, cozy up on the couch and watch the ball drop again on TV while toasting with a nightcap drink.
  • Exchange cards or small gifts expressing your love and hopes for the new year. Write heartfelt letters to read to each other.
  • End the night by making a wish on the year's first sunrise or stargazing together.