Are You Planning to be
in New York City for New Year’s Eve?
One of the most epic places to usher in the New Year is in New York City’s Times Square! The six-hour-long bash — which has live music performances, celebrity guests, and free schwag — culminates with the famous ball drop at midnight. An estimated 1 billion-plus viewers watch the action in Times Square as the ball drops, the fireworks explode and the streets are bathed in a ton of confetti. And we don’t mean “a ton” as in “a lot”—we mean an actual ton, as in 2,000 pounds.
It’s not advised to show up without a general plan or you will most likely miss out on all the action in Times Square. Over 1 million people flood to Time Square each year for this event, the more prepared you are the more likely you’ll have a pleasant and memorable time!
If you want to be part of the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve party,
here are some essential tips to ensure that your experience is memorable!
Where To Be
The Alliance recommends watching on Broadway between West 43rd and West 50th Streets and on Seventh Avenue up to West 59th Street. Be sure to arrive early, as police officers close down streets as they fill up.
Be Prepared to Walk
Streets will be blocked off, many subway stations will be closed and cabs will be useless. Leave the car at home or the hotel. On New Year’s Eve, Times Square is virtually impossible to reach or leave by car, and it is best to familiarize yourself with the subway schedule. Be prepared, some trains bypass stops and some train stations may close (depending on the size of the crowd). Please note revelers should not to use the 42nd Street Subway Station on New Year’s Eve due to crowding conditions – you are advised to exit at one of the surrounding stations and enter Times Square on foot.
Get There Early
1 million people are packed into Time Square every year. Plan on being there around 3pm to get a good spot. People with prime spots closest to the action, are often scouting their spot early morning! The ceremony begins as the ball rises to the top of the flagpole at 6pm, and by 8:30pm, it’s nearly impossible to find a spot with a view of the ball. If you show up too late you won’t be permitted into Times Square at all.
Don’t be upset if you have a crummy view of the ball drop or entertainers in Times Square. Huge video screens are set up throughout the area that display live coverage of the event, as well as the countdown, for revelers who haven’t made it to the center of the action.
There are no concession stands but there are ample restaurants around the Square. If you do leave your perfect spot to grab food dont expect to be allowed back into your area. For a quick snack, pack some granola or energy bars. New Year’s Eve is an alcohol free occasion in Times Square. That means you may not bring any bubbly or other alcohol.
Visit the Restroom in Advance
There are no portable public bathrooms in the viewing area, so be sure to go before you arrive. Plan on holding it in or giving up your hard won spot in front of the ball to duck into a restaurant for relief. HINT: on the way up to the Square stop by the Port Authority Bus Terminal for a last minute pit stop.
Leave Your Bag at Home
The cops won’t let you past the barricades with a bag, period. Plus, you’ll be glad not to have any accessories weighing you down. Leave all unnecessary valuables at home and keep those that you must bring very close to your person. Crowded areas such as this are a pick-pocket’s paradise.
Be sure to dress in layers. The average high for New York on New Year’s Eve is 38°F while the average low is right around 24°F. Check in with the Weather Network for the latest in temperature related news.
Have Some Fun
Be prepared to have a long wait. Bring your friends, a book, perhaps even a game. Enjoy meeting and getting to know the people around you, after all you will be together for the next 9-10 hours! Don’t forget to bring a camera to record all the memories!
ALTERNATIVES TO TIME SQUARE
1. LAST MINUTE:
Ok so you waited till 9pm to head out to Time Square only to find out you cannot get nowhere near the action because it has been closed off for hours by the police. You realize you wont be seeing the ball drop from where you are and its probably a good time to think about a plan B.
Bar, Restaurant and Club Parties
Hundreds of bars, restaurants, and clubs around New York City host New Year’s Eve Parties that can include open bar and open food for a set price (or Prix Fixe). The list of establishments changes year to year, but many of the favorites are Dave and Buster’s, China Club, Suzie Wong’s, Cipriani, Guastavino’s, Marquee, Underbar, Pink, Webster Hall, Union Bar, and The Crown Ballroom.
Find a pub or if you are lucky, find a fun restaurant with a great bar and avoid any pricey cover charges. Trust me the place will get packed and everyone will enjoy the celebrations in warmth with a lot of cheers.
Central Park New Year’s Eve Fireworks
For a free, relaxing New Year’s Eve celebration for all ages, ring in the New Year watching fireworks explode in the night sky in Central Park. The fireworks are launched at midnight from Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell and can be seen from virtually any spot in Central Park.
The Annual Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park
(72nd Street Transverse) – At the stroke of midnight, runners take off on a four-mile run from the 72nd Street Transverse to start the year off in a healthy way. The event is kicked off with a dance party at 10 p.m. and a costume parade and contest at 11 p.m. at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, which is mid-park from 66th to 72nd streets.
2. PLAN IN ADVANCE:
There are plenty of ways to ring in the new year—especially in New York City.
For example, you could catch a concert, take a cruise or see a comedy show.
Cruise the New York Harbor
(Pier 83, West 42nd Street at the Hudson River, 212-563-3200)
Watch the Manhattan skyline twinkle from the water and fireworks explode from the Statue of Liberty on a cruise in the New York Harbor. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., partygoers can enjoy an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a dance party with DJ, and a toast at midnight with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. Tickets go for $120. However, this cruise is one of many; there are plenty of other yacht and riverboat cruise options available, such as the sophisticated City Lights Cruise on the Atlantica, the Mardi Gras-themed party aboard the Paddle Wheel Queen, or the club-like party put on by Affairs Afloat on The Queen of Hearts yacht.
Bowl the Night Away at Bowlmor Lanes
(110 University Place, 212-255-8188)
Spending the evening in the cold not your cup of tea? Then head over to Bowlmor Lanes in Union Square from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. for a night of bowling, an open bar, full dinner buffet, and champagne toast at midnight, all for $95 and up. The colorful venue has two floors of bowling and can accommodate groups of all sizes.
As America’s first nightclub, Webster Hall has 126 years of party experience. The legendary venue has four dance floors, six rooms and four massive floors to celebrate. But the main reason thousands of people choose to ring in the New Year here is for the world’s largest balloon drop. The high-flying aerial acts and fire displays aren’t shabby either. The event starts at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $40 to $150.
3. TIME SQUARE PARTY
in Comfort & Style
If you can plan in advance, and I mean months in advance, you can reserve tickets at venues that hold special New Years Eve celebrations. Many are directly in Time Square with views of the action!
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Bubba Gump, Times Square offer a fantastic party with prime location to all the action in Time Square. They provided a tasty buffet of food, a full open bar, Dj, and entertainment. They also provided us with a great swag bag at the end of the night! The bonus with attending Bubba Gumps is that you may enter and exit the building during the evening to watch the schedualed concerts! Biggest advice plan 6 months in advance! Get on the mailing list. Tickets this year were sold only as a lottery. Check out my review & video from 2012-2013 here.
ROSIE O’GRADY’S NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY
149 W 46TH St, New York City
Rosie O’Grady’s party begins at 9:00 pm. and Lasts Until 2:00 am. EVERYTHING IS INCLUDED! A Delicious Five Course Meal, Premium Open Bar All Night, Three Floors of Music & Dancing, Party Favors for All. Just before midnight, guests step out to a cordoned off sidewalk to experience the electrifying atmosphere of the crowd, join in Times Square Ball Drop count down, and welcome in the New Year!
Brooklyn Diner on 42nd street.
It’s right underneath the ball in Times Square and you are allowed out at Midnight. 5 course meal, appetizers and champagne toast but not other drinks. Perfect. Party starts at 8pm. Tickets cost $295 plus tax and gratuity, per person. Read the trip adviser reviews.
NEW YEAR’S EVE at Applebee’s
Two cations in the Heart of Times Square/Theatre District “Lock Down Zone”
The 42nd Street location has floor to ceiling windows which overlook the Famed 42nd Street where you can view the large crowds awaiting to bring in the New Year. You will enjoy the Open Premium Bar, A Premium Chef selection dinner buffet, dessert, Live DJ, Live entertainment, party favors and more. For more information please call the Group Sales & Special Events at 212-262-4022 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Renaissance New York
Celebrate at the R Lounge at the Renaissance Times Square and gain access to the most coveted view of the ball drop while you dine, drink and dance among the chicest of crowds. The floor-to-ceiling windows, means you’ll be front row for the most famous show in the world.
WARNING from Times Square Alliance:
MULTIPLE VENUE / ALL ACCESS PASS ALERTThere are companies that offer Multiple Venue/Pay-One-Price/All Access passes which advertise access to Times Square on New Year’s Eve that is actually not possible. These companies advertise this pass as allowing the holder to visit numerous venues throughout Times Square on New Year's Eve. Such Multiple Venue/Pay-One-Price/All Access passes presume the holder will be able to get past police security lines. In years past, such pass holders were refused access beyond police check points, leaving the holder frustrated and without a place to go. It is reasonable to assume that the police will take the same stance this year. Additionally, the Alliance has been informed that scalpers sold these passes on the street for exorbitant prices and in some instances the passes were counterfeit. The Times Square Alliance works very closely with the New York City Police Department and Times Square businesses to allow access to individual establishments. For a list of parties hosted by Times Square businesses visit our web site.