Where better to ring in the new year than the epicenter of the world’s celebrations? New Year’s Eve NYC celebrations are unlike any other. On top of being the focus of parties and celebrations across the globe, the city lights up for the holiday with several events, parties, and more.
Start planning your holiday trip to the Big Apple with our guide to experiencing New Year’s Eve in New York City.
The Top NYC New Year’s Eve Events
From an epic (and crowded) party in Times Square to concerts by legendary performers, you do not want to miss your chance to celebrate the new year in NYC. Check out these top events happening across the city.
Times Square Ball Drop
If you want the quintessential New Year’s Eve NYC experience, Times Square is the place to be. Join visitors from across the world as you watch iconic celebrities and musicians perform, before participating in the countdown to the new year.
Since this event is among the largest celebrations in the world, visitors are advised to arrive as early as possible and bundle up. Most participants arrive around late afternoon and the NYE ball is raised to the top at 6:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
If you arrive in the afternoon, you will notice set-up viewing areas. These areas will fill up, so once you’re in place get ready to stand for quite a long time! Keep in mind that public bathrooms are not available or provided in Times Square. Plan ahead!
Also, this event is 100% free to attend. Don’t fall for scalpers selling tickets for the countdown or various concerts as part of the overall celebration.
For more information on attending the Times Square Ball Drop, visit the event’s website.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park
You can also watch New Year’s Eve NYC fireworks in Grand Army Plaza, the entrance to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. It is completely free to attend and watch the fireworks, which occur at midnight. Live music and entertainment are also part of the event! While the event is free, visitors are encouraged to RSVP, as thousands of people come to watch the fireworks each year.
Phish at Madison Square Garden
The legendary jam band Phish performs at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve, joining the thousands of other concerts happening across the city that night. Get your tickets ASAP! This concert will sell out.
Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Another extremely popular NYE event in New York City is the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Before midnight, participants walk across the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan for unbelievable views of the fireworks celebrations all over the city.
If you’d like, sign up for the Brooklyn Bridge Walk into the New Year tour. In addition to seeing the fireworks, you’ll learn more about the two boroughs, the history of the bridge, as well as the greater City Hall area of Manhattan.
Harbor Lights Cruise
Start your New Year’s Eve off with a picture-perfect view of the skyline and cityscape lit up at night! The Harbor Lights Cruise from Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises depart from Pier 83, meaning you’ll be right near Times Square for the ball drop after your sightseeing cruise.
New Year’s Eve Parties in NYC
Of course, New Year’s Eve NYC celebrations include over-the-top parties! RSVP for some of the city’s hottest parties at nightclubs, hotels, and venues across the boroughs. This year’s line-up of parties includes:
- AMC Times Square Family Fun Fest
- Bourbon Street New Year’s Eve Party
- New Year’s Eve at Gotham Hall
- Highline Ballroom New Year’s Eve Party
- NYE at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
- And Many More
NYC Attractions Open on New Year’s Eve
If you’re visiting with little kids who won’t stay awake until midnight, you’ll need to fill your day with fun and exciting activities. Or, if you’re planning to make your New Year’s Eve NYC trip a full day experience, you’ll need to find things to do throughout your visit.
Fortunately, hundreds of attractions in New York City are open on New Year’s Eve, including:
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- Central Park
- Ripley’s Time Square
- Gulliver’s Gate
- Winter Village at Bryant Park
- One World Observatory
- National Geographic: Ocean Encounter
- Rockefeller Center
- Madame Tussauds
- The MET
- American Museum of Natural History
To skip the inevitable lines on New Year’s Eve, make sure you purchase your attraction or museum tickets in advance. And, if you’re looking to save money this holiday season (and who isn’t?), bundle your tickets with a hotel room reservation for added savings!
New Year’s Eve NYC: The Epicenter of Celebrations
For the NYE experience of a lifetime, plan a trip to New York City. Whether you watch the ball drop in Times Square or view the fireworks from the Brooklyn Bridge, you’re in for one memorable vacation.