2nd December 2019

Pubs: What to do between Christmas and New Year

The left-over turkey has been used in the sandwiches. There’s a half-eaten tub of brandy sauce in the fridge and the paper recycling bin is full to burst. It’s the day after Boxing day and we’re quickly heading towards the post-Christmas, pre-New Year slump where the days bleed together.

Time itself appears to bend, and you’re slowly falling into a bizarre void of ‘The Sound of Music’ and stale Mince Pies. You find yourself asking ‘what day is it?’, ‘are they playing football today?’. Match of the Day is on 3 times in 4 days and it’s enough to frazzle your head, even without that mid-afternoon pint on a Thursday. Which you wouldn’t normally consider, if it wasn’t for the fact you were meandering in this festive melting pot.

Christmas is the high point, and arguably the main focus for many people. It’s a cornerstone of people’s years. They use it as a marker. Businesses do it too, and the pub and hospitality trade is no different.

range of mince pies

Between Christmas and New Year you can feel like you’re on a conveyer belt of incidental and mediocre Mince Pies… but you can look forward to New Year!

Everyone’s guilty of it, New Year is put on the back burner. It’s the black sheep of the family, the forgotten cousin. However, it doesn’t need to be like this. New Year’s Eve can become a marker. The days between Christmas and New Year don’t need to be stepping-stones getting you from one indulgence to another. New Year’s Eve can be epic. Below we have some ideas that are suitable for New Year’s Eve, or in the few days between the 25th December and January 1st!

Sometimes, New Years is seen as being something of a disappointment. However, it isn’t ‘guilty’ of this, other people are. People have the expectations and feel let down when the party isn’t that good, or they don’t enjoy it as they feel that they should. But this doesn’t need the case. Don’t let it be a disappointment. The easiest way to stop this from happening, is to enjoy yourself. Here’s a few suggestions for you and your pub to keep those customers happy, and spirits high!


New Year’s Quiz

Why should only Channel Four get to host ‘Big Fat Quiz of the Year’ and have all the fun? Do your own on New Year’s Eve quiz! It’s as simple as that, set a limit on team member numbers if you want, choose a format, 50 questions and 10 pictures is very popular, and put on a quiz night. You could even theme it on the previous year if you wanted to.

Quiz question screen shot

We post a weekly Quiz Question, on a Monday, on our Social Media

TOP TIP: If you’re planning on doing one next year, buy a couple of newspapers each month. That way come December you’ll have 24 newspapers and you can get monthly questions out of them, theming your quiz across 2020!


Set Meal

Another classic for New Years, and one which has seen a resurgence in popularity recently. Going out for a new year meal certainly fell out of favour for a few years, but it’s back, and back with vengeance!

Set Meal

A Set Meal could be very popular, such as this dish from The Spinners at Cowling.

Make sure that your pub has a proper booking and set menu if you you’re catering for guests this New Year’s Eve. Make it easy on yourself and be prepared.


Party night

There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned pub disco. You have a function room? Use it. Kids allowed until 9pm? Promote it. Let the people know what you are doing and it’ll be great. Hosting a New Year’s Eve party in this manner is the easiest thing to do, whilst still doing something.

This might fall into a similar category to Bands (see below), if you want  a DJ for New Year’s Eve they can be more expensive due to demand, and tend to get booked up well in advance, but you might know someone, have your own capabilities or strike lucky.

Games Night

Ok, so this might sound a bit old hat. But sometimes simple pleasures are the best. Have you considered a ‘New Year’s Eve Games Night’ in your pub? Or any other night for that matter. It could be a real game changer. Boom, Boom! (Sorry).

The premise is simple, put some games out, and let people play what they want to play, you could get involved and rotate it, or devise teams and a scoring system if you wanted to add some competition to the fun. It’s entirely up to you, and how complicated you want to make it.

pool table

Jenga, Dominoes, Cribbage, Backgammon, Chess, or Card games such as Cheat, Chase the Ace or Bridge are all great, simple ideas for a games night and guarantee fun without being ‘forced’. If you wanted to be a little more risky, you could play Twister. Although please be careful, and remember, we’re not responsible for any injuries! Alternatively, if you have a pool table, a New Year’s Eve Pool tournament could fit the bill!


Now we fully understand that this New Year’s might be a bit soon to book a band, but don’t worry, you might already have something booked which is great, or alternatively remember it for next year. If you haven’t considered it, is there someone you know who could be available? It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Cariad band playing live gig

Bands are great entertain, can have a following and pack out a pub, cost varies, but can be a very fun evening for everyone involved

Given that New Year’s is a very popular date for entertainment, you might also find that bands charge a premium. Don’t be put off by this. That said, why not put a band on in January when pubs sometimes experience a slight lull? Or Boxing Day night… that could be a good idea!


Or… Do Nothing.

That’s right. Do Nothing. This isn’t a trick answer. This is a genuine idea. Go against the crowd, treat it like any other night. Enjoy the company, see who is out and about, be the great pub landlord that you are, and keep smiling and being festive. Serve the drinks, have a laugh and have a few conversations. You could do this every night of the week if you wish.

However, come Midnight on New Year’s Eve, raise a glass, shake hands, even sing Auld Lang Syne if you feel the need. No fireworks, just a warm feeling of well being with your valued customers, friends and local community without the major fanfare. Sounds good right? It is.

Thank you for reading this blog post from Trust Inns. To read more please visit our blog page or contact us for more information. You can also view our available pub stock here.

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