December 30, 2013, 9:03 PM — New Year's Eve is only a few short days away, but if you're still finalizing your plans, don't fret. The right tools can make planning a last-minute New Year's bash, finding a public event nearby, or even organizing transportation a breeze. Start the new year off without any stress--use these apps to ring in 2014 in style.
Pick a venue and invite your friends
For managing your party invites and guest list, use Evite (free for iOS and Android). Evite is available as both a website and a mobile app, which gives you the freedom to work back and forth between a browser and your smartphone. Evite has several New Year's-themed invitation templates to choose from; once you pick an invite, setting up the rest of it is simple. Plus, the Evite app will send you push notifications for event updates, new RSVPs, or when your guests add comments to the invitation.
If you're not planning a party, but are organizing a group activity for you and your friends, there's Eventbrite (free for iOS and Android). This event finder searches for local events based on your interests. You can search for events by keyword, location, date, or type. Events are grouped into categories such as music, food and wine, festivals, and dancing. If tickets are required, you can purchase yours straight through the app and store it in Eventbrite's tickets tab or in Passbook.
Although the app displays only listings that businesses, venues, and hosts create through Eventbrite, the service has a wide variety of events to choose from, so you won't be left wanting. It's a great alternative to scoping Yelp for local hotspots, because Eventbrite will tell you what specific New Year's Eve festivities are going on.
Food and drinks
You can't host a party without food, and that's where Appetites (free for iOS) comes in. Appetites acts as your own private cooking show: Each recipe in the app comes with a step-by-step video tutorial as an in-app purchase, so even the most inept chefs can follow along and pick up new techniques. Peruse the 40 free recipes, or purchase additional recipes if there's something else you're interested in.