New Year’s Eve is the official end of the holiday season before jumping into the new year. Go out with a bang and be the merry host of a New Years’ Eve Party with friends and family! Not sure where to begin? We have compiled a list of tips, cocktails, snacks, and activities to make sure you start 2023 off right.

Set the Scene

people celebrating New Years Eve

Start with your decor to set the tone. Consider sticking to traditional colors like black, silver, or gold, which give your party a classic and sophisticated feel. Set up your table or serving area with black tablecloths to help hide any accidental spills. Fringe curtains, like the ones found at party stores, make fun Instagram walls for guests to take pictures. Be sure to offer them fun props, like glasses, hats, and feather boas, to play with during their photo session. Place notecards and pens on a table next to a jar and invite guests to share their new year’s resolutions, their biggest successes of 2022, or something they are grateful for! Taking a moment to be thankful for the past year is a great way to ring in the new year.

Eat and Be Merry

people celebrating New Years Eve

Whether you plan to have a sit-down dinner or a more casual buffet, there are a few things you should be sure to include on your New Year’s Eve menu. For foods your guests can easily eat while enjoying cocktails and conversation, try these bacon-wrapped pineapple shrimp. Flakey spinach artichoke cups are another easy-to-eat dish that offers a sophisticated twist on a popular dip. Planning an intimate sit-down dinner? Wow your guests with this delicious classic roast. Pair it with these mascarpone mashed potatoes that can be made ahead and refrigerated until you need to heat them, which cuts down on prep time.

Bring on the Bubbly

people celebrating New Years Eve

Rather than spending the night mixing drinks for your guests, consider choosing a signature cocktail for the night. Something like this pomegranate mojito or this Sneaky Peat can be prepared in large batches ahead of time. You can also create an easy self-serve bellini bar with various fruit juices like peach or cranberry and champagne. And, of course, be sure to have plenty of champagne and sparkling cider on hand to toast the new year when the clock strikes midnight!

From everyone here at River Islands, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a new year full of successes, big and small! The River Islands Welcome Center will be closed in observance of the holiday season from December 24-26 and December 31-January 1.

The annual “Light Up the Islands” Holiday Lights contest is on, once again, for the holiday season of 2022. Residents have spent the last few weeks decorating their homes for the festive season here in River Islands! With so many households participating, all River Islands residents and visitors get to enjoy an incredible display of lights and decorations throughout the community.

Many of our residents joined us earlier this week for the Holiday Drive-by Light Parade. Everyone met at the Welcome Center and followed the Lathrop-Manteca Fire Department truck as we drove around the community to look at the homes that were decked out for the holidays!

The voting period portion of the contest will continue until December 22nd on our resident-only website. We can’t wait to count the votes and discover your favorite displays!

We will announce the winners of the Holiday Lights Contest in early January on our Facebook and Instagram pages, so be sure to vote for your favorite! If you are thinking about making the move to River Islands, stop by during December to see how we celebrate community!

River Islands Community Christmas Parade, Holiday Light Parade
River Islands Community Christmas Parade, Holiday Light Parade
River Islands Community Christmas Parade, Holiday Light Parade
River Islands Community Christmas Parade, Holiday Light Parade
River Islands Community Christmas Parade, Holiday Light Parade
River Islands Community Christmas Parade, Holiday Light Parade
River Islands Community Christmas Parade, Holiday Light Parade

The new year is fast approaching, and there is no better time to find your dream home than right now. With homes available in all of our neighborhoods, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your family and lifestyle. Whether you are looking for lake views or want to be close to our extensive trail system or one of our many parks, we have a variety of floorplans and neighborhoods to choose from! Continue reading below to learn more about four of our amazing collections: Balboa and Catalina II by Kiper Homes and Laguna and Sunset by Pulte Homes.

Balboa by Kiper Homes

Balboa kitchen

Balboa by Kiper Homes is a beautiful neighborhood that offers extraordinary new homes with endless styles. As part of the clean and contemporary home designs in our Lakeside Collection, the homes of Balboa provide plenty of options for relaxing and enjoying life. Here, you will find both single- and two-story floorplans with 3 to 5 bedrooms. Plus, with flex space options in every home, it’s easy to find your dream home for the new year!

  • ~1,937 to 2,989 Square Feet
  • 3 to 5 Bedrooms
  • 3 to 3.5 Bathrooms
  • 2-Car Garages

Catalina II by Kiper Homes

Catalina II great room and kitchen

Due to the wild success of the original Catalina neighborhood, Kiper Homes has extended the neighborhood into our Academy Collection. Built near the newest K-8 school in River Islands, EPIC Academy, you will find an array of thoughtful home designs to fall in love with. These two-story homes feature 3 to 5 bedrooms, a spacious great room, and a gourmet kitchen. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or looking to start a new chapter, Catalina II has the perfect home for you!

  • ~1,900 to 2,380 Square Feet
  • 3 to 5 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 to 3 Bathrooms
  • 2-Car Garages

Laguna by Pulte Homes

Laguna model home exterior

Pulte Homes’ Life Tested® designs, smart home features, and energy-efficient construction make it easy to find a home that fits your family’s lifestyle. The Laguna neighborhood, located in our Trailside Collection, offers up to 7 bedrooms, so there is plenty of space for everyone. Designed with a spacious great room and first-floor bedrooms, you’ll find everything you’ve been looking for in a home.

  • ~2,848 to 3,404 Square Feet
  • 4 to 7 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 to 5.5 Bathrooms
  • 2- to 3-Car Garages

Sunset by Pulte Homes

Sunset Primary Bedroom

Pulte Homes also has a neighborhood in our Academy Collection across from the new EPIC Academy! Sunset offers Pulte’s Life Tested® designs, smart home features, and plenty of open-living spaces to spend time with family and friends. You can select from plenty of customizable options to ensure your home is exactly the way you want it.

  • ~2,786 – 3,176 Square Feet
  • 3 to 6 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 to 5.5 Bathrooms
  • 2-Car Garages

Our model homes at River Islands are open daily for tours; no appointment is required! Visit us today to step into the perfect home for your family in 2023. If you’d like to get more information about our neighborhoods and help narrow your search, stop by our Welcome Center, open daily from 12-5 PM. To explore the various floorplans selling at River Islands, check out our Homefinder tool.

The holidays are fast approaching, and with it comes busy days full of activities, events, and to-do lists. We know you want to spend as much time with your family as possible, so we have put together quick and easy recipes for your holiday table. From a sweet treat to start your morning to a deliciously tender roast, creamy side dishes, and after-dinner cookies, we have your holiday menu covered!

Gingerbread Pancakes

gingerbread pancakes on a blue plate

Start the morning on a sweet note. These gingerbread pancakes are an easy and delicious way to begin celebrating. You can also use cookie cutters to transform your pancakes into gingerbread men, snowflakes, and other festive holiday shapes. Try out this delicious recipe here!

Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloin

pork tenderloin on a wood cutting board

Now that presents have been opened, and gingerbread pancakes have been devoured, it’s time to start preparing for your holiday dinner! Skip the ham this year in favor of a crispy pork tenderloin full of winter flavors, like balsamic vinegar and rosemary. The best part? This recipe only takes 30 minutes to prepare and cook, so you will have plenty of time to spend more time with family and friends!

Easy Cheesy Parmesan Risotto

risotto on plate

Is there any better side dish than a creamy and cheesy one? With only a few pantry staples, you can whip up this dish in 45 minutes. This delightful recipe simplifies the process of making Risotto by using a Dutch oven to reduce the time and effort typically needed significantly. Find the recipe here.

Roasted Celery Root and Carrots

carrots celery in a bowl

Root vegetables are in season right now and make a great roasted side dish! This recipe uses celery root and carrots, but you can also use other vegetables, like parsnips. Featuring fresh thyme and a kick of paprika, this dish is a great addition to your holiday table.

Mini Linzer Cookies

cookies on a white plate

Linzer cookies are a winter tradition and a fun change from sugar cookies and gingerbread. These buttery shortbread cookies are always a hit, and the fresh raspberry jam adds a sweet, elegant touch. Find the recipe here.

The holidays are also a great time to give back to your community and lend a helping hand. We hope you will consider taking part in our 365 Days of Giving Program. The 365 Days of Giving is a year-long food drive to help benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin County. By donating nonperishable food items, you can help the Second Harvest Food Bank assist the 35,000 people in San Joaquin County they serve each month. Donations can be made in the collection bins in the River Islands Welcome Center, the Lathrop-Manteca Fire Station #35, and the Lathrop Police Department. For more information on 365 Days of Giving, check out our blog here!

No matter what you choose to make for your holiday dinner, from all of us here at River Islands, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season! Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more about all the fun holiday happenings in River Islands this year.

We know your dream home is the one that fits your family’s lifestyle perfectly. With homes available in over a dozen neighborhoods that are designed by a variety of builders, you are sure to find your happy place here at River Islands. Whether you are looking for an intimate home to turn into your personal oasis or a spacious floorplan perfect for hosting parties or multi-gen living, we have you covered! Take a look at this month’s featured neighborhoods to see the laidback lifestyle you can enjoy at River Islands.

The Cove by Tri Pointe Homes

The Cove Plan Two Loft

Find a life of livable luxury with remarkable architecture and built-in comforts at The Cove by Tri Pointe Homes. This Lakeside Collection neighborhood offers single- and two-story lakeside homes. Tri Pointe Homes’ thoughtful floorplans offer open-concept great rooms that make hosting a breeze, optional lofts that are perfect for game nights, and space for your home office. With plenty of flex options, The Cove makes it easy to find your dream home!

~2,535 to ~4,123 Square Feet
3 to 6 Bedrooms
2.5 to 5 Bathrooms
2- to 3-Car Garages

Horizon by Lennar Homes

Horizon Plan Four Great Room

Lennar built their homes with the goal of providing “better solutions for better home experiences.” Their Horizon neighborhood, located in the Parkside Collection, offers two-story, single-family homes with four distinct floorplans. The homes feature luxurious primary suites, gourmet kitchens, and 2 to 3 secondary bedrooms. The best part? Lennar’s “Everything’s Included” program offers an array of special features for your home with no need to upgrade.

~1,578 to ~2,189 Square Feet
3 to 4 Bedrooms
2.5 to 3 Baths
2-Car Garages

Sanctuary by Pulte Homes

Sanctuary by Pulte Homes is designed with energy-efficient construction, smart home features, and Life Tested® home designs to fit your family’s lifestyle. The two-story homes feature open-concept floorplans, 2,526 to 2,973 sq. ft. of living space, and 3 to 6 bedrooms. Plus, it’s easy to stay active at Sanctuary, thanks to its location in our Trailside Collection, where a future park and a new link in the River Islands trail system are planned.

~2,526 to ~2,973 Square Feet
3 to 6 Bedrooms
2.5 to 4.5 Baths
2-Car Garages

Waypointe by The New Home Company

Waypointe Plan One Primary Bedroom

Enjoy lakeside living at Waypointe by The New Home Company. This neighborhood offers single-family homes ranging from 3 to 5 bedrooms, with spacious backyards and open-concept great rooms. Waypointe homes also include The New Home Company’s award-winning Design Studio services, and advanced EVO Home Tech, making it easy to create your dream home.

~2,268 to ~3,119 Square Feet
3 to 5 Bedrooms
2.5 to 3.5 Baths
2- to 3-Car Garages

Whether you find your dream home in one of these neighborhoods or the other neighborhoods with homes available, you are sure to find a life you will love here in River Islands. For more information and to explore available floorplans, check out our Homefinder!