December 18  |  Home Inspiration, Local Events

How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Northern Colorado During a Pandemic

It feels as though we’ve lived an entire lifetime in just 12 months, but at the same time, we’re surprised we’re already nearing the end of 2020! Say goodbye to this unusual, memorable year in an equally as unique fashion. Because, while we can’t gather for champagne toasts, fireworks or other extravagant celebrations, there are still several fun ways to ring in 2021 safely.

Here are a few ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve in pandemic-approved ways, both at home or socially distanced in town. And as usual, we’ve included local resources to help you support the many incredible Northern Colorado businesses in our midst.

Whether you’re looking to “cheers” with your significant other or keep the little ones entertained, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Happy New Year!

For the Adults | For the Whole Family



Order Cocktails To-Go From Old Elk

Old Elk’s tasting room, The Reserve, is open for their Cabin Fever popup on the patio, offering craft cocktails and food as well as pre-batched cocktails available in-person or for pickup. Their Extra Botanical Gin & Tonic would make the perfect sparkly New Year’s Eve drink to toast with. It’s made with Dry Town Gin, juniper berry, organic rose petals from Old Town Spice Shop, thyme, sage, orange zest and Fever-Tree Tonic. Plus, they have a few Old Fashioned cocktails, including the Smoked Old Fashioned, and Classic Old Fashioned, which includes 10 cocktails for $50. Other handcrafted cocktails are also available, 6 cocktails for $32. Pair your drink of choice with a few things from their food menu, to either share or keep to yourself, including a burger and fries, elk pot pie and fries, or the decadent Old Elk Bread Pudding.


Order a Takeout Meal

Takeout in Northern Colorado

Show your support for one of your favorite local restaurants by ordering a takeout meal on New Year’s Eve. Fort Collins’ Moot House, Austin’s American Grill and Big Al’s Burger & Dogs are all staying open on New Year’s Eve for takeout or delivery. If you don’t live in Fort Collins, take a look at NOCO Nosh, our very own local delivery company owned by Fort Collins residents. Throughout the pandemic, they have helped local restaurants stay in business by providing them with delivery services, and supporting nonprofits by contributing 10 percent of all food sales to Larimer and Weld County Food Banks to help those in need. Peruse their list of restaurants and order something special to enjoy with the family around the table or by the fire.


Make Your Resolutions

We’re all looking forward to 2021 with hope and anticipation. Get a fresh start in the new year by taking a few minutes to write down your goals, resolutions or intentions for the year ahead. Will you complete a half marathon? Will you finally start that side hustle you’ve been dreaming of? Will you reach a specific financial goal? Whatever goals you’re focused on, writing them down (or better yet, sharing them with someone else!) is scientifically proven to help you achieve them! You can also join a group (like a running club, Facebook group for entrepreneurs, etc.) for some extra accountability and inspiration.


Host a Virtual Game Night With Jackbox Games

Virtual Game Night With Jackbox Games

While you may not be playing board games around the fire with friends and family this year, there’s still a way to play games virtually. Jackbox Games is an online game studio making remote events fun again. Some of their most popular games include You Don’t Know Jack, Quiplash, Fibbage, Drawful and Trivia Murder Party, which you can each login to play from the comfort of your own homes. Send out a cocktail recipe in advance so you can all sip on the same drink together!


Have an At-Home Spa Night

After all the busyness of the season (not to mention, the events of 2020!), have a relaxing at-home spa night focused on self-care and relaxation. You’ll find everything you need for your spa night at SALUS®, a natural bath and body care company in Fort Collins. Choose from their selection of bath bombs, shower bombs, lotions, creams, soaps, bubble bath, facial care, body care, essential oils and much more. Plus, you can order it all online and get it in 3-5 business days — just in time for New Year’s Eve!


Book a Staycation at Armstrong Hotel

Staycation at Armstrong Hotel

Photo Courtesy of The Armstrong Hotel

If you live a bit outside of the city or in another Northern Colorado community, why not experience the best of Fort Collins with a luxurious staycation? The Armstrong Hotel has been a part of the downtown community since 1932 — but recently went through an impressive renovation in 2019. The hotel has 45 unique and eclectic rooms and suites in an upscale, comfortable setting and a resident hotel cat, Oreo. Plus, while you’re here, you’ll get to see the twinkling lights adorning downtown Fort Collins all the way through Valentine’s Day!



Watch the Ball Drop in NYC

What is New Year’s Eve without watching the ball drop in Times Square? While there won’t be the normal crowds in New York City this year, you can still watch this iconic annual event live on, Facebook Watch or the ABC News app at midnight Eastern, which is just 10 p.m. for us! That way, you can put the kids to bed at a reasonable time — or call it early yourself.


Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating in Northern Colorado

Ice skating is the perfect pandemic-proof winter activity. And thankfully, several ice skating rinks are staying open through New Year’s Eve, including The Ice Rink at Centerra in Loveland (open through January 18) and The Pond at Foothills Mall in Fort Collins (open through January 31). Check each website for updated holiday hours and information related to COVID-19.


Make a Fort

Throughout the pandemic, our living rooms have become our restaurant, our school, our movie theater and our work space. So why not transform it one more time into a magical oasis, complete with comfortable pillows and blankets, twinkling lights and sheets overhead? Watch your favorite family movie under your DIY fort for an extra memorable evening! All that’s missing is popcorn, candy and a fun seasonal drink.


See Holiday Lights

NOCO Winter Wonderland Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of NOCO Winter Wonderland

If you didn’t get a chance to see some of the spectacular light displays in Northern Colorado this year, you haven’t missed your chance! All the way through Valentine’s Day, see more than 22 block-faces in downtown Fort Collins illuminated by tens of thousands of twinkling LED lights. Plus, several light display events, including Winter Wonderlights and Christmas Walk in the Woods in Loveland, and NOCO Winter Wonderland, are open through New Year’s Eve — and beyond!


Make a Craft Together

Keep the little ones entertained all afternoon with a fun New Year’s Eve craft, like noisemakers, confetti poppers and banners, which they can use to ring in the new year! If you need some ideas, check out this list of New Year’s craft ideas from Spaceships and Laser Beams, which includes options for children of all ages. All you’ll need is a creative spirit and a few household items.


Do an Act of Kindness

Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve in Northern Colorado

The holiday season is all about giving — and giving back. Consider getting involved with a local organization in Northern Colorado, or doing a small act of kindness in your community. You could donate some items to a local shelter, pick up trash in the neighborhood, leave a card or a special treat for your mail carrier, pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru, or deliver cookies or flowers to a neighbor. This is arguably the best way to send off 2020 and spread some positivity and cheer to those around you!


Happy New Year!

How do you plan to celebrate this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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