10 Party games for New Year for Adults

Whether you just need some quick “time fillers” or are looking for something that will last an entire night – this quick top 10 list of party game ideas will keep adults (and teens) amused while you all wait for the midnight chimes.


10. Broom game (for large spaces)

All you need is a broom.

The object of the game is to successfully jump over the broom.  To play,the person about to go first holds the brush of the broom above their head and spins around 10 times.

They then throw the broom to the ground and jump over it.  Usually they are too dizzy to jump successfully and it’s just funny to watch.  It can lead to bruises!

9. Concentration. (for numbers greater than 10)

Runs very like the spot game, but without the lipstick spots and it’s more a case of speed and keeping up.

You lay out a circle of chairs, nominate a “head” and a “Tail” – in a large group we usually have “Matthew, Mark, Luke, John” as the 4 top chairs, and “Monkey” as the last chair.  All other chairs are numbered in order 1,2,3 etc from John to Monkey.

Everyone sits in a chair.

The rhythm is set up.  Slap the thighs with both hands together, clap hands together, click one hand, click the other hand.  Slap, clap, click, click.  The numbers (or names) must be said on the two clicks.

And the numbers (or names) must be said as “Your name/number” the “next name /number”.

We usually start it all off by chanting “Con-cent-trat-ion, Concentration now begins.” and then saying the two numbers/names.

If you get any aspect of it wrong, you move down to the Monkey position.

You just keep going as long as you want to.

8.  Kim’s game (for numbers greater than 4 – but everyone needs to be able to see the tray)

We used to play this endlessly at Christmas with our family.  It’s a memory game.  Collect as many small objects as you can and place them on a tray.  The more objects the better, ideally more than 20.  Let everyone look at all the objects for 3 minutes and then cover the tray with a tea-towel or take it away.

Everyone must now write down as many objects as they remember.

The tray is brought back, the objects are then read out, and people score their list.  The number everyone guessed correctly is read out and the winner is the person who guessed the most.

7.  The peanut game.

Be aware – this does produce bruises and a lot of chaos!  A bag of monkey nuts is brought into the room.  The lights are switched off and the bag is thrown so that all the peanuts roll all over the place.

In the dark – the guests must now collect as many peanuts as possible.  The lights are switched on after a nominated period.  The winner is the person with the most nuts.

6.  Dictionary game (for numbers greater than 4)

This is easy to set up – you just need pens and paper for everyone and a dictionary.  You take it in turns to be “host”.

The host picks a word from the dictionary that no one in the room knows the definition for.  Each guest now has to invent a definition for that word.  No peaking at each other’s definition.  The host re-writes the real definition into “normal speak”.  Everyone hands in their definitions to the host and the host reads out all of the definitions.  The object of the game is to guess the REAL definition.  Points are awarded thus:

Any person who’s definition is picked by the group gets one point for each person they’ve misled.

If you guess the real definition you get one point.

Host gets one point if no one guesses the definition.

Keep going until you’ve had enough.

5.  Town and country. (for numbers greater than 4, but we have played it with just 2 before!)

Everyone in the room gets pen and paper.  To set up you write a list down the left hand side of 20 categories.  We usually start with “boys name” and “Girls name”, “Town” and “Country” and then allow each guest to picks a category until you have 20 categories written on the paper.  Ideas include: household object, river, fruit or vegetable, animal, plant, TV program etc.

When you have all your 20 categories – select a letter.  e.g. B.  The guests now need to write a word next to the list beginning with that letter.  e.g.

Boys Name: Bernard

Girls Name: Betty

Town: Bournemouth

Country: Bolivia.


Once everyone has finished you all read out your answers category at a time.  Feel free to contest answers!  Points are awarded: 1 point for a matching answer as someone else, 2 points for a unique and correct answer, 0 points for a made up answer or a blank.

Total up the scores and find a winner, then do it again with another letter.

4.  Silly Scrabble.  (any number of players, but you do need to all be able to see!)

Grab a bag of scrabble letters and put them face down on the floor.

The idea is that you turn over one letter at a time and have to make a word.  e.g. S and O make so.

The first person to spot a word shouts it out and those letters become that word, and they place them in front of them.

As letters are turned over, words can be stolen, so long as the order of the letters is never changed.  e.g.  if a C and K is turned over SO can become SOCK.  If a T is turned over SOCK can become STOCK – however you cannot rearrange letters, so if an E is turned over you cannot rearrange those letters to Socket, as the T has moved position.

3.  Cereal Box Game (any number of players)

This is really easy to play.  All you need is a cereal box and a pair of scissors and a fairly large room.

Place the cereal box on the ground in the centre of the room, and everyone takes it in turns to pick it up using only their mouth.

The rules are simple.  No hands.  And hands must not touch the ground at any point.

once everyone has had a go, cut 1 inch off the top and try again.  Keep cutting the box down, and see how low people can go.

2. Mafia (for more than 10 players)

There is a rather long explanation for this game as it’s quite complex.  It’s great fun and a good time filler for 30mins to an hour, depending on how long you need it to last. You can find the explanation on one of our blogs here

1. Murder Mystery games (for 6-any number of players)

We would be doing ourselves a huge injustice if we didn’t list murder mystery games as a number 1 on the time filling ideas!  Murder is, after all, what we do best, and our kits are designed to last over dinner, and with very little effort on anyone’s part they can extend to an entire night.

We’ve a wealth of titles to choose from, but our most popular for Ringing in the New Year are:

 runginthenewyear  midnightmalice  youonlydieonce




RT @GeorginaGrogan_: Murder Mystery Dinner Party Game from Red Herring Games https://t.co/0S9M6g7sud
Murder Mystery Dinner Party Game from Red Herring Games https://t.co/bN6ezdkRdW with some fab photos too! Thanks @georginaGrogan_
I really will have a bun in the oven soon. Chuckling to myself. Making bread today. Christmas pressie from @cosykiller
Not long now until #museumsatnight if you want to showcase your museum with a custom designed murder mystery or cre… https://t.co/DMQYgTZn1c
Got a country house? Want an add on a repeatable extra for guests? Did you know we bespoke design mystery trails an… https://t.co/KTlMseoWVx
Not long now until #crimecon in Nashville and #crimefest is bristol. We've helped both events this year.
Still struggling to think of murderous puns while bread making. Not doing well. All I can think of is killed by to… https://t.co/mOLFMS4xIV
Making bread on a course today. Can't get @CosyKiller 's joke out of my head about kneading a poo today. Up to my elbows in flour.
On a bread making course today. Nothing to do with murder. Though I am busy thinking of puns...
Had a crazy dream last night where i was called in to investigate a murder I had written that had gone awry. All to… https://t.co/PgZTh42l6h

Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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