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New Year's Eve is coming up fast! If you're thinking about what to do for a small New Year's Eve party, you've come to the right place. There's no better time for a hot tub party than on New Year's Eve!
Ring in the new year with a midnight dip in the warmth of your spa or hot tub. It's simple, really. Just invite your close friends and family members over around 9 p.m., and have the music, snacks and drinks ready to go.
Even if the holidays have left you procrastinating on party plans, we have a few last-minute ideas on how to plan your New Year's hot tub party.
The day before the party, check and balance your spa water, then thoroughly clean the filter. Vaccuum out any dirt or grit in the tub, give it a thorough wipe-down, and shock the water the night before the party. You want the spa to be as clean as possible for your guests! Also clean the walking paths around the spa to prevent dirt from being tracked into the water. For a finishing touch, try adding a bit of your favorite aromatherapy to the spa right before your guests arrive.
If it's just a few friends or a small, intimate group of people at your hot tub party, you can decide whether or not you want to use the hot tub this year or next year - or maybe you'll actually be in the tub when the clock strikes twelve.
Most New Year's Eve hot tub parties never actually turn into hot tub "parties" until the new year starts. Everyone will come out and touch the water, and maybe say some nice things about the spa. But in my experience, at least for New Year's, the REAL hot tub party starts after midnight.
Expect about half of your guests to be gone by 12:30, as they head home to relieve baby sitters or get some needed rest before the end of the holidays. For those that are still around, soaking in the spa is a great way to celebrate the new year!
No matter what time the spa use starts, be sure to remind your guests of the buddy system (no single users allowed), and have them limit their soaks to no more than 30 minutes. These two rules will keep guests safe and help everyone enjoy their fair share of time in the hot tub.
Have some good music playing and make sure it's loud enough to be heard over the jets, but don't leave electrical devices sitting too close to the spa unless it's something like a waterproof speaker. Plugged in devices should never be set on the edge of the spa, and for obvious reasons. The music should be close enough to keep things lively, but not so close that it becomes a potential safety hazard.
If you have neighbors, you'll probably need to turn down the music shortly after midnight. Turning down the tunes will also encourage your guests to keep the noise at a reasonable level. Leaving the air blower usage at a minimum will also help keep the noise down.
Most importantly, don't forget to have Auld Lang Syne ready to play at midnight. It's tradition! "Should auld acquaintance be forgot..."
It never hurts to have some extra sources of entertainment at a party. Board games, charades, or even outdoor games like cornhole, washer pitching, horseshoes or lawn bowling can help pass the time. If you happen to have a deck of waterproof playing cards lying around, you can start a game in the hot tub.
As the clock creeps closer to midnight, be sure to have the TV turned on and tuned into the ball drop in Times Square. Also, keep an eye on the skyline for fireworks. If it's an option, you might consider providing your guests with sparklers for a mini fireworks show in your backyard.
For your inside party, platters of pigs in a blanket, seven-layer dip, gourmet popcorn, fruit and veggie trays or any other type of snacky food will fit the bill perfectly. A spiral sliced ham with potato rolls, cheeses and mustards make for an easy display. Small bowls of nuts and candies are simple to put together, and a few desserts like cookies, brownies, cakes or pies are great for those with a sweet tooth.
In the spa area, usually the outside party, do yourself a favor and prohibit food. Fruit may be OK - strawberries, grapes or apples perhaps. But keep all other kind of food away from the spa. I remember a few years back, when I cleaned my spa filter from what appeared to be Cheetos - disgusting! Let your guests know in advance: no food, no glass in the hot tub.
Tradition dictates that you must have champagne (or some other sparkling beverage) available at midnight for toasting. For large crowds, buy the plastic flutes that you can assemble, fill and distribute on large trays. For smaller parties, just a few bottles and some special glasses is all you need. Plastic flutes are a must if you'll be doing your toast in the hot tub!
Near the spa, offer infused water or light juices for your guests to drink from festive plastic cups. On New Year's Eve, I don't ban alcohol from the tub, but I do encourage guests to drink a glass of water before they get in the water or right after they get out. Better to be safe than sorry!
Tradition also may dictate that on New Year's, you pull out the good stuff. Whether it's beer, wine, vodka or fine whiskey you are serving, make sure you have some premium brands available. It's an end-of-year blowout, after all!
Happy New Year!