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Your Guide to New Year's Eve in New York City
Amy Hart
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  • States:
    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 our 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.

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, sobook your tickets before the holiday season begins.

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 participate in the costume competition, in which prizes go to the most zany, interesting or “nuttiest,” individual and group costumes.

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 like the Monarch Lounge and the Attic Rooftop & Lounge 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'oeuvresand take part in a Champagne toast. You can buy tickets in advance.

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. This year's headlining performer is electro DJ Martin Garrix.

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. 

For more information about New York City, visit our city guide here.