The best way to ring in the new year is with a New Year's Eve party.
Sure, you could go out on New Year's Eve and spend hundreds of dollars to hang out with strangers and oftentimes feel let down by the lackluster crowd, alcohol selection and entertainment you encounter. Or you could count down to 2019 in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your nearest and dearest.
Plus, with your home court advantage, you'll be able to prepare a party to your personal taste. That's right, the perfect guest list, cocktails, appetizers and entertainment. If you don't know where to start, these apps can take the guesswork out of party planning for a special celebration that your guests won't soon forget.
Transforming your home into a party pad is going to require some decorating. Forget Party City and head to Pinterest (download on iOS or Android) for more inspired decoration ideas that you can buy or make yourself.
If you have guests, you'll need to feed them. The Chowhound web app has all the food and drink recipes you could ask for for your special event. Check out the NYE page for the best New Years-themed food and beverages recipes and party hosting tips. We recommend you start with a festive champagne cocktail. [Chowhound and Download.com are both owned by CBS.]
Crowd-sourced Vivino (download on iOS or Android) helps you discover and purchase the finest wines with its nine-million-plus wine catalog based on region, price or food pairing. Or take a photo of any wine you like or are curious about, and get reviews and quick purchasing options in the app.
4. Coravin Moments
It's one thing to pair wine with food. But the five-star Coravin Moments app (download on iOS) helps you pair your vino with entire moments made up of the films and TV programs you watch, the music you're listening to and the food you're eating.
Each Coravin Moment includes a recommendation for a flight of wines to be enjoyed in a particular order to make the most of your moments. You can take the app's suggestions or scan your existing wine bottles to see them incorporated into Coravin Moments.
If you're lucky enough to afford the $1,000 Coravin Model Eleven wine opener and preserver, which lets you open wine without corking, then you can also connect the app to it via Bluetooth to keep tabs on its wine-preserving argon levels, battery life and when to clean the opener next.
5. Fireplace Live HD
There's nothing more comforting and relaxing at an intimate party than a lit fireplace. But if you don't have one, you can still fake it with the iPhone-only full-screen Fireplace Live HD (download on iOS) app. Choose from six looping HD video styles -- from Classic Fireplace to Candles -- along with one of seven soothing sounds. Or add your own.
Natural Fireplace (download on Android) is a similar app for Android, except with nine lifelike themes and four ambient sounds.
6. Spotify Music
Spotify Music (download on iOS or Android) is the best on-demand music streaming service, IMO. And it's full of all the tracks you'll want on your NYE playlist, from Frank Sinatra to Travis Scott and decades of music in between. Or save time by picking one of Spotify's existing NYE playlists.
7. Party Disco Dance Strobe Light
But when it's time to let loose and dance the night away, turn to the Party Disco Dance Strobe Light (download on iOS or Android) app, which with the tap of a button transforms any restrained evening into a wild free-for-all with its 11 eye-popping light modes complete with changing colors, which pulse to the beat of the music. That'll get your guests on your dance floor for the dance party.
There's no greater NYE party foul than forgetting the final countdown just before the clock strikes 12 a.m. and you toast to the new year. That's why we love the Countdown!! (download on iOS or Android) app, which ensures that we never forget by letting us set an NYE countdown display, complete with the photo and music of our choosing, on our home screen. We recommend a fireworks photo and "Auld Lang Syne" to mark the moment.
Although many of your friends claim to have outgrown the childlike excitement of watching the ball drop at midnight, they're lying. So as 12 a.m.approaches, make sure to open the CBS (download on iOS or Android) app on your iPhone or iPad to catch all the action. [Download.com is owned by CBS.]
Or you can watch CBS through YouTube TV (download on iOS or Android), which expands your streaming options to include all the major broadcast and cable networks -- over 60 -- and adds unlimited Cloud DVR for up to six accounts per household. Plans start at $39.99 per month.
10. Fun Sound Effects & Noises
Once the clock strikes midnight, it's time to make noise. Fun Sound Effects & Noises (download on iOS) has in its arsenal over 60 sounds to celebrate with. For your party, we recommend the airhorn, bottle rocket, cork pop and fireworks.
If you're on Android, then check out Party Horn (download on Android), an app that has you blowing into your phone's mic or touching the screen to replicate the familiar sound of the party horn.
11. Pocketbooth Photo Booth
No party is complete without a photo booth, but who has the space or money to rent one? Thankfully, the Pocketbooth Photo Booth (download on iOS or Android) app brings the '50s-era vintage photobooth experience to your pocket-size mobile device to create those old-school selfies for peanuts.
Pocketbooth creates vintage-style photo strips by taking a series of seconds-apart photos. Share the best ones with friends over email or social or send to your printer for that old-school -- more tangible -- feel.
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