In college, the last thing I wanted to do was stay in on a Friday or Saturday. Typically, plans for the weekend included overcommitting myself to several different functions, all while wearing the finest threads my part-time job in the financial aid office could buy. Fast-forward to nearly six years removed from the undergrad social culture, and these days I shock myself if I manage to stay up past midnight on both Friday and Saturday. I thought I mostly stood alone in this ideology; however, it appears I'm in great company.

A June study from Mintel highlighted just how much millennials have distanced themselves from the culture of clubbing. Mintel revealed that approximately 28 percent of individuals who identify as "younger millennials" (aged 24-31) prefer to host kickbacks at home, citing that going out becomes too much of a burden. Even more astonishing, nearly 55 percent of American drinkers would rather entertain in the comfort of their own homes.

With a new year upon us and as we re-evaluate our life's decisions, hear are five alternatives to having an entertaining night at home: 

1. Host an In-Home 'Grape Gathering'

Even though millennials are avoiding the clubs, it doesn't mean they're abstaining from delicious cocktails. That being said, an in-home wine tasting with an appropriate food spread is the perfect way to expand your palette while also making the best of one's evening. You can even get creative with your grape gathering, opting for all-white picks or focusing on a certain region. This list of Black-owned wineries is an apt place to start, when curating your catalog of vino.

2. Recreate an Upscale Movie Premiere in the Comfort of Your Own Home

There are a bevy of iconic films leaving Netflix in January, so a movie night to show one of these films is an ideal way to kill time before the midnight countdown. Developing a menu revolving around said films furthermore ties the entire evening together. If you want to maintain the practice of dressing up on New Year's Eve, provide some professional photography with cocktail attire dress code to get the true movie premiere effect.

3. Moderate a Chopped-Style Cooking Competition at Home

If you and your group enjoy some healthy competition, an entertaining way to decide if your grandmother's macaroni and cheese tastes better with breadcrumbs or an another topping is to put the dish to the test. If space allows, you can also transform your kitchen into a cooking competition set. Identify a key ingredient competitors must utilize in their dishes, and watch your company make the tough decision of which meal reigns supreme.

4. Bring the Suspense of an Escape Room to Your Living Room

Given a strict 60-minute deadline confined in a small room solving a mysterious case, escape rooms utilize problem solving techniques in the most creative ways. Companies have taken the hassle out of going to the venue and instead have made your home the scene of the crime. At home escape kits include the mystery prompt and all clues essential for a lively gathering.

5. Reignite a True Rivalry Over a Classic Game Night

There are various ways to play spades, and UNO has players ready to make their own rules. Why not welcome the new year with bragging rights that you won at both? Game night is a fun way to pass the time until midnight while also honing your craft in preparation for a summer cookout in 2019.

Whether surrounded by family or friends, the holidays and New Year's Eve are great reminders to practice gratitude. Regardless of what ultimately becomes of your evening, another year is soon upon us so celebrate accordingly.

Happy New Year!

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