Celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York City among the bright, gigantic billboards and with the hottest musical acts in the world is a dream come true for many. Wondering how you are going to spend New Year’s Eve in NYC? Check out your options here, you can do anything from joining the big party in Times Square to ringing in the New Year a little more quietly in Central Park or while cruising the Hudson.

Top 6 Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve in New York

New Years Eve NYC Firework

These are our tips for a great New Year’s Eve in New York – whether you want to join a massive party or do something a little more relaxed. New York truly has something for everyone.

1. New Year’s Eve in New York at Times Square

For many, it is the No. 1 destination. If you want to celebrate your New Year’s Eve Times Square, you will need stamina and the right clothing. December in New York is very cold and the longer you stay outside, the more you will realize what you are wearing will only protect you from the cold for so long. A New Year’s Eve with potentially some very cold feet and a long wait are not for the faint-hearted. For hundreds of thousands of people, that is not a problem every year. The wait in line for the legendary ball drop begins at 12 pm. You should get to Times Square no later than 3 pm because after that it will be closed off. At that point in time, you can leave, but can’t get back in. If you give up your hard-fought position, for instance, to go to the bathroom – too bad. Even medium-sized bags are not allowed (this includes backpacks), small ones are searched, and alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Nonetheless, the ball drop and other festivities at New York’s Times Square make it THE New Year’s Eve bash. Between sets of the megastars, people are dancing and singing, and at midnight, there is a chorus of “New York, New York” and many shed tears of joy. All the information about the big party at Times Square as well as other festivities near Times Square can be found here.

2. New Year’s Eve Exclusive Ball Drop Party

If you are looking to enjoy the ball drop with a more exclusive experience, be sure to check out the Times Square Ball Drop Party! Check out the itinerary below for one of the most special evenings in NYC that money can buy. The biggest and best party of the year by a long shot, this is something that you do not want to miss out on. While it does come with a hefty price tag, the experience is something you will never forget. With an open bar, hors-d’oeuvres, a dinner buffet, and dessert you will be well taken care of as the night goes on. You can also take minors (under the age of 21) to the event, they will not be able to drink, however. The venue consists of many different rooms, of which two of them have amazing views of the “ball”. One large room will be for dancing, one for beverages, and the others for sitting and relaxing. A professional photographer will also be available for personal photographs (photographs will be available for free download about 2 weeks after the event). Overall if you want the one-stop package for an amazing New Year’s Eve watching the ball drop without having to brave the crowds in Times Square, this is the perfect option for you. There are only limited places though, so make sure to grab your tickets as soon as possible!

Check prices & availability

3. The Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn

Brooklyn has been the antidote to overcrowded Manhattan for many years. On New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn puts on a great celebration at Grand Army Plaza. Many tourists have started to opt for this New Year’s Eve alternative. This is largely due to the first class view of the fireworks. For fifteen minutes, the sky is illuminated above Long Meadow, the large clearing in Prospect Park. Music, drinks and great food are, of course, also part of the fun. Read more about the party at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn here.

4. Brooklyn Bridge on New Year’s Eve

Fireworks Brooklyn Bridge NYE

The famous Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most popular tourist attractions all year round. It is used daily by thousands of pedestrians, bikers, joggers, and cars each day. On the last day of the year, the Brooklyn Bridge is even more of a magical place than it usually is. A brisk walk across the bridge just before midnight towards Manhattan (take the A Train to Dumbo and get out at High Street) is something you won’t forget anytime soon. The advantage of the bridge is that you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the New York skyline for free. The only disadvantage is the freezing wind that blows across the East River in winter. However, I am sure that the beautiful sight will warm your heart.

5. New Year’s Eve in New York on the Water

New Years Eve NYC Firework

New York offers fun activities on the water year-round and New Year’s Eve is not an exception. Boat tour operators offer a very special program with food drinks and fireworks. A seat on board will ensure amazing views of the Statue of Liberty surrounded by fireworks and a grandiose view of the southern tip of Manhattan. Ringing in the New Year on board a New Year’s Eve cruise is definitely worth a try.

The floating club provides everything you need for a perfect transition into the new year: a bar, a DJ, finger food, champagne, souvenirs, and the live broadcast of the ball drop at Times Square. Does it get any better than that?


For those of you who like it a little more luxurious, there’s even a 4-hour VIP cruise! It includes a delicious three-course dinner. What a better way to end the year?

Check prices and availability

6. New Year’s Eve in New York in Central Park

For many people in New York, the New Year’s Eve run in Central Park is the real deal. Instead of champagne and sequin dresses, you will find a jogger’s paradise at night. At the stroke of midnight, the  NYRR Midnight Run begins. During the event, which is sponsored by the New York Road Runners, participants complete a course of approx. 4 miles and run into the new year. For many, this probably seems like a strange concept, however, it’s more fun than you think! You don’t have to be a serious runner to participate. Did you know that you can even enjoy some delicious sparkling cider at the halfway point? Check NYRR’s website for more info!

Also: every rooftop bar and every restaurant runs specials on New Year’s Eve. Just look up the website of the respective restaurant and plan your perfect New Year’s Eve in New York.

Regulations for teens (16-21)

In the USA you are not allowed to drink if you are under the age of 21, not even a midnight toast. Therefore, admission to most of the parties is denied to those under the age of 21. New Year’s Eve in New York only for those 21+ of age? There are a few exceptions, such as Bowlmor Times Square – a good alternative if you have individuals younger than 21 in your party.

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