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Planning to spend New Years Eve in NYC?
New York City is probably one of the best places to be when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.
From Times Square to the Brooklyn Bridge, there are endless ways to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another.
Live music, fireworks, champagne toast, celebrity sightings – you name it, New York has it.
To help you plan accordingly, this guide features things to do and destinations to visit during New Year’s Eve in The Big Apple- including restaurants, famous spots, and open bars.
If you’re visiting days before NYE, check out all the things to do in New York City in December.
Make a long trip of it and enjoy these fabulous winter day trips from NYC, too!
New York City on New Year’s Eve
Check out places to visit, events, and concerts during New Year’s Eve in NYC.
For more things to do in New York during the evening read our guide to NYC at night.
Times Square NYC New Year’s Eve Party
For many New Yorkers, watching the ball drop is a tradition in New York City on New Year’s Eve, either from home or, in most cases, standing in Times Square.
If you are coming to the event in Times Square, it is FREE, which means you don’t need a ticket, so don’t get fooled by one of the street people selling NYC New Years Eve tickets.
Plan your entrance and exit, as this occasion is serious business and people begin camping out (lining up) at the barriers early in the morning day of New Year’s Eve.
Parking is a nightmare, so leave the driving to NYC transit or take a cab (the most expensive option) or Uber.
Pack a snack or grab something from one of the plentiful restaurants in Times Square to go before proceeding because there are no food vendors.
Note that there are no bathroom facilities, so plan accordingly.
Be fashionably cute and warm if you wonder what to wear when watching the ball drop in Times Square.
NYC Hotels with Views Over Times Square Ball Drop
A few hotels offer excellent views of the ball as it drops and presents an excellent alternative to being on the ground in Times Square.
Book your room early for the best price.
Watch the Ball Drop from the Brooklyn Bridge
Hands down, Times Square is the place to be for New Year’s Eve in NYC, but in the streets isn’t the only option.
Fast becoming a tradition for people who don’t feel like going into Times Square, bringing in the new year on the Brooklyn Bridge offers impressive views and a cheerful time.
The harbor and skyline views are spectacular, and the people are gathering together to count down and bring in the new year and are having fun on their terms.
Don’t let the cold ruin your fun, so bundle up!
Experience a New Year’s Eve celebration in NYC from a different perspective by visiting the Edge (30 Hudson Yards).
It’s a great opportunity to see the views of NYC celebrating the start of the year and the lights of the city’s stunning skyline.
You can purchase a ticket that includes entry to the Edge until it closes past midnight as well as access to its indoor and outdoor bars.
Looking for more observation decks in NYC? Check this guide.
NYE at Duane Park
Looking to catch some of NYC’s NYE performances?
Bring in the New Year in Duane Park (308 Bowery), where the atmosphere is dark with the feel of old school and live music and a diverse Burlesque show.
The 4-course meal and drinks are exceptional, and the cozy and intimate table makes this a great New Year’s Eve option for couples.
Nothing unique or outstanding on the outside, but when you walk in, expect to be pleasantly surprised.
Run a Race in Central Park
If you are looking for things to do in NYC for NYE, get a headstart on your New Year’s resolution by running The New Year’s Eve Run (72nd Street), which occurs in Central Park.
The start and end points are the same (72nd Street Transverse,) and the 4-mile race begins after the countdown one minute before the clock strikes midnight.
Fireworks and cheer will fill the air as participants race to the finish line.
NYE Fireworks in NYC
NYC is known for its spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks show.
If you’re looking to get a front-row seat to all the action, then check out the following list of places to watch the fireworks.
Central Park goes all out for the New Year, and the fireworks show at Bow Bridge is at midnight every year.
Located in the middle of the Park, get here early as this is a popular location as people come from all around to be here.
The show is so spectacular that you can see it from many vantage points, so no worries.
Sip on some hot cocoa while you wait.
Or you can explore the many areas in Central if you want to do something free in NYC.
Fireworks at Times Square
Watch the Ball drop and see the fireworks between 42nd and 48th Street.
From these vantage points, the view of the vast screen at 1 Times Square is excellent.
If you are holding fast and have no plans to come into the city, take advantage of the opportunity for fun and free fireworks at Prospect Park (Grand Army Plaza and 9th St) to bring in the new year.
NYE Rooftop Parties in NYC
Looking for places featuring rooftop bars in NYC for NYE?
Take in the panoramic views of the city, and enjoy good company, music, and drinks at one of the destinations listed below.
Looking for unique things to do in New York City? Read this guide.
Picture this: The new year is rapidly approaching, and you’re desperately wondering what to do on NYE in NYC.
Attending the New Year’s Eve Rooftop party at The Peninsula (700 Fifth Avenue at 55th Street) is undoubtedly a good choice.
Hold your champagne glass high as you toast the new year, dancing to the oldies but goodies of 70s-themed music.
Take full advantage of the experience and book a room or suite, so there are no worries about going home after the New Year’s party.
Think of the convenience of getting dressed and ready for the party and walking only a few steps to the elevator to ascend to one of the most anticipated times of the year.
Top of the Strand
Top of the Strand (33 W 37th St) is an urban oasis and a great way to party in the new year in NYC.
With good people, good music, and strong drinks, you can’t go wrong with the Strand as your spot to celebrate this New Year’s Eve.
The views are spectacular, as you can see for miles, and the Strand skyline is unforgettable.
NYE Parties in NYC
Marquee (289 10th Ave) offers admission and table service tickets to ring in the new year with a live DJ and dance floor.
This venue is 5,000-square-foot and puts on celebrity and world-renowned artists throughout the year so you know you are guaranteed quality for NYE.
Open Bar on NYE in NYC
Whether you’re looking to party until midnight or just want a place to get good drinks during NYE, taking advantage of NYC’s open bars is the way to go.
The Empire Rooftop
Celebrate the new year with live music and party favors at The Empire Rooftop (44 W 63rd St) and delight in their open bar, appetizers, and dessert with a champagne toast.
With breathtaking views and a good vibe, Empire is the perfect place to celebrate with friends.
Cipriani 42nd St (110 E 42nd St) is an upmarket open bar option for those looking to glam up and drink under chandeliers!
Taj II Lounge (48 West 21st Street) is a two-story location featuring Indian-inspired decorations.
The place features a 4-hour open bar during New Year’s Eve with complimentary champagne, DJ, live music, cocktails, and small bites.
Gay NYE in NYC
Listed below are places to celebrate Gay NYE in New York City.
Bathtub Gin NYC
Because everything is better in the tub, you must spend New Year’s Eve at Bathtub Gin (132 9th Ave).
Escape reality and become someone from the roaring 1920s as anything goes in the Bathtub Gin seductively tucked behind a coffee shop in Chelsea.
Ring in the new year with burlesque, live Jazz, and strong gin cocktails.
The Stonewall Inn
Ring in the New Year where pride lives at Stonewall Inn (53 Christopher Street).
Celebrate the proud history and enjoy yourself, as everyone is welcome.
Strong drinks and drag queens, you can’t ask for anything more.
Best NYE Restaurants in NYC
Check out some of the best restaurants for NYE in NYC featuring different themes and cuisines.
These places are a good choice if you’re looking to spend a romantic night or simply have a good meal during New Year’s Eve.
Tavern on the Green
New York City’s Tavern on the Green (67th Street & Central Park West) is one of the most iconic restaurants in the city.
The place features a cozy atmosphere, decorated with lights and ornaments during the holiday season.
Midnight fireworks, live entertainment, and an open bar are available here during their New Year’s Eve Gala.
New Year’s Eve Bingo at The Standard Grill
The Standard Grill (848 Washington St) invites you to ring in the new year with a not-your-standard bingo.
Come dress up or not, your choice, but prepare for good fun and New American food.
TAO Downtown (92 9th Ave) is a popular NYC NYE restaurant featuring different price points and packages.
Each package includes live music, dancers, and a glass of fizz to toast the new year.
Similarly. LAVO (39 E 58th St) also offers tiered packages for its Italian menu.
Black tie optional but cocktail attire is required.
Cheap NYE Parties in NYC
It’s no secret that New Yorkers love to party.
And the good thing is, you don’t need to spend a lot to have a blast all night long.
Check out some of the affordable spots for NYE parties in NYC listed below.
Dave & Buster’s New Years Party
Another fun way to bring in the New Year without breaking the bank is going to Dave & Buster’s New Year Party (234 W 42nd St, 3rd Floor).
Bring the entire family, listen to diverse music from a live DJ, and watch the ball drop on multiple large-screen TVs.
Raise your glass of complimentary champagne and ring in the new year with the entire group.
Bowlero New Year’s Eve Party
Bowl in the New Year with the entire family at Bowlero (222 West 44th Street), where there is a five-hour open bar for the over-21 crowd and non-alcoholic drinks for the kids.
This top-rated megaplex of entertainment in the heart of Times Square delivers a safe festive environment with complimentary champagne to toast the new year. (Over 21 years old).
This venture has multiple floors, including a dance floor and a live DJ.
NYE Boat Cruise in NYC
Take in the stunning views of NYC’s skyline and fireworks through some of the awesome boat cruises you can take during the New Year in NYC.
The cruises can be expensive, but they are definitely worth it if you wish to experience something new.
You may also read our guide to NYC on a budget if you’re looking to make the most out of your time in the city without spending a lot.
NYC New Year’s Eve Party Cruise
Take an all-inclusive boat cruise and have the best of both worlds bringing in the new year with stunning skyline views of the harbor and fireworks.
You can expect a live DJ, party favors, food, and an open bar with a complimentary champagne toast to bring the new year in the right way.
Although the dress code is casual, don’t forget to bundle up as the wind is crisp on the water.
NY Party Cruise
The NY Party Cruise (2430 FDR Drive) is another boat cruise in NYC that allows you to bring in the new year in style.
Admission includes an open bar; without a reservation, seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early.
The fireworks from the New York Harbor are captivating.
Taking a fireworks cruise is an excellent idea to bring in the New Year by watching the fireworks on the water and enjoying a good meal and an open bar.
Fewer crowds and assured good seating are also what you can expect when you celebrate New Year’s Eve on a cruise.
Ready to bring in the New Year in NYC? We definitely are!
Let us know your favorite local spots to celebrate in the comments below.
Our NYC Travel Guides
- NYC Bucket List
- Best NYC Observation Decks
- NYC Activities at Night
- Unique Things to Do in NYC
- Free Things to Do in NYC
- Romantic Things to Do in NYC
- NYC at Christmas
- All Our NYC Guides