- New York
New Year's Eve in New York City, New York, often brings to mind an image of a large crystal ball dropping from Times Square at midnight.
While it's definitely an iconic sight, it's far from the only way to spend New Year's Eve in the Big Apple. Read on for your guide on the ball drop and unique ways to ring in the new year in NYC.
Watch the Ball Drop in Times Square
Want a great view of the New Year's Eve ball? Show up early to secure your viewing spot. Ride the subway and get off a few stops from Times Square, as the 42nd Street station can become extremely crowded on New Year's Eve. The 49th Street or the 50th Street stations are your best bets, as stops south of 42nd Street will be crowded with people making their way uptown from Penn Station. Be mindful of the police barricades, and ask an officer – there will be a lot of them on New Year’s Eve – to recommend a clear walking route to the ball-watching area.
Times Square, home to the famed "ball drop" on New Year's Eve
See a Comedy Show
New York City is home to some very funny comedians. Comedy clubs like the famous Caroline's on Broadway and Gotham Comedy Club tap into local and national talent and host hilarious New Year's Eve parties. The bash at Caroline’s, for instance, usually features well-known and up-and-coming talent and includes dinner, dancing, a disc jockey and a live stream of the ball drop following the comedy act.
Take a River Cruise
Usher in the new year with views of the NYC skyline from the water. Many New Year's Eve cruises float along the Hudson River, which is a natural border of the states of New York and New Jersey. Cruises usually include dancing, dinner, drinks and clear views of the fireworks. These cruises sell out quickly, so book your tickets before the holiday season begins.
A Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise in New York City
Run Through Central Park
Fitness enthusiasts may want to celebrate the new year with the New York Road Runners’ Midnight Run, a 6.4-kilometer trek through Central Park. You’ll have an excellent view of the fireworks from the route. You can even run in costume; the zanier, more interesting or “nuttier” the individual and group costumes, the better.
A gorgeous fall day in Central Park
Party on a Rooftop
Get a bird's-eye view of the ball drop in Times Square without having to wait outside in the cold or battle the crowds. Some rooftop venues such as the Monarch Lounge and St. Cloud overlook all of the action in Times Square. Watch the crowds gather below you while you sip a cocktail and munch on some hors d'oeuvres, and take part in a Champagne toast. You can buy tickets in advance to most events.
See a Concert
New York City's Pier 36 hosts an annual New Year's Eve concert. The three-floor venue boasts views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The main level is accessible to all guests, while VIP tables and booths are available for purchase on the two upper floors.
Elsewhere, New York City has hundreds of music venues. Many will be hosting performances on New Year’s Eve. Check Time Out New York or other local publications for concert listings.