As a local, a question I often get asked is if visiting New York City for New Years Eve is as magical as it seems.
The truthful answer? It’s even better, the hardest part about celebrating New Years Eve in NYC is choosing where to go.
It’s no secret that New York City has it all, from confetti showers at the Times Square Ball Drop to spending the evening dressed to the nines at a cocktail party, you can get as fancy (or relaxed) as you want.
That’s where I come in. Let’s dive into the complete guide to celebrating New Years Eve in NYC.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
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Tips for NYE in NYC
- There’s no sense in sugarcoating it, NYC is COLD during the winter season. Average temperatures in December hover around 44° but the windchill makes it feel colder. When celebrating New Years Eve in NYC wear an insulated coat, warm hat or beanie, plus these bad boys don’t hurt.
- The subway is an efficient mode of transportation but it won’t drop you off at the door, so you’ll be doing a lot of walking. You’re going to want shoes that will keep your feet dry and comfortable. You’ll be getting those steps in, I guarantee it.
- New York City averages more than 63 million visitors per year, and the holidays are the busy season. Needless to say, expect crowds when celebrating New Years Eve in NYC, be sure to make reservations in advance and show up early.
Celebrating New Years Eve in NYC
Please note that a lot of the following events have not released info for 2023. I will include the pricing from previous years, and update this post when more info becomes available.
Watch the Times Square Ball Drop
The Times Square Ball Drop has been a staple of celebrating New Years Eve in NYC for more than 100 years. Celebrity performers and television crews cram into a few small city blocks with thousands of people, all eagerly waiting for midnight.
What’s more, it’s estimated more than 1 billion folks worldwide watch the ball drop from home.
For many folks attending the Ball Drop is a bucket-list item, and I’m all for chasing your dreams. In full transparency though, don’t be surprised if that dream turns more into a nightmare.
New Years Eve in NYC is cold (41° average) and unless you’re directly in front of a stage entertainment can be lackluster, to put it kindly.
Not to mention if you leave, even if it’s to use the restroom, you won’t be allowed re-entry. I’ve heard stories of people going over storm drains, into plastic bottles, or even wearing diapers.
If you’re considering celebrating New Years Eve at the Times Square Ball Drop consider checking out Ultimate Guide to Times Square New Years Eve (2022)
Ring in the New Year aboard a cruise
If you’re looking for a not-so typical NYC New Years Eve party why not celebrate on a yacht? Skyline Cruises will be hosting a 3.5 hour event complete with a DJ, open bar, and champagne toast at midnight.
There are two vessels to choose from, Manhattan I and Manhattan II. Manhattan I is the smaller of the two and has prices beginning at $199. There is however no guaranteed seating.
For Manhattan II, tickets start at $329 on the lower deck and $529 on the upper deck. Since this is the larger yacht private seating is guaranteed. Tickets are on sale now, but I don’t anticipate they’ll last long!
Skyline Princess Cruises
Why not ring in New Years Eve in New York City on the dance floor floating over the world-famous New York Harbor? I mean, you only live once right?
Skyline Princess Cruises host a five-hour ride that departs from Queens and gives stunning views of the Big Apple. The yacht has a dance floor and bar on each of its three stories so there’s no need to worry about being well entertained.
A two person table starts at $700, with discounts available to seniors and kids. Tickets are available now.
Observation Decks to celebrate New Years Eve in NYC
Summit One Vanderbilt has to be the most unique observation deck which makes spending a NYC New Years Eve here that much more special.
Floor to ceiling windows and glass ceilings, walls and floors have made this one of the most Instagrammable spots in New York City. New Years Eve at Summit One is sure to live up to the hype.
For $250 guests have access to all three floors of Summit One Vanderbilt until 2AM. A live DJ, midnight champagne toast and a countdown light show leading up to midnight make this one of the best places to spend New Years Eve in NYC.
New York City and skyscrapers, so why not celebrate New Years Eve in NYC at The Edge? The Edge is one of the newer observation decks, but its ledge and glass floor overlooking the city have quickly made it fan favorites.
For $150 guests are welcomed to The Edge from 8:30PM to 12:30AM. There isn’t an open bar, but drinks are available for purchase to those 21+, as well as a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.
The Edge is also famous for their “City Climbs” where visitors get harnessed and are allowed to lean over the edge of the building. On NYC New Years Eve they’ve done raffles, where if chosen, for $185 you can ring in the new year hanging over the City that Never Sleeps.
Restaurants to celebrate New Years Eve in NYC
Westlight is a rooftop cocktail bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn offering stellar views of Midtown Manhattan.
General admission for NYC New Years Eve is $275 per person, or you could get a seat at a table for $400.
An upscale Italian restaurant in the Greenwich Village, Carbone is the go-to spot to celebrate anniversaries, engagements and in this case, New Years Eve in NYC.
Famous for rejecting Justin Bieber after he showed up without a reservation, it’s safe to say Carbone is exclusive.
If you’re celebrating New Years Eve in New York dinner going to run you $395 (hopefully Bieber made reservations this time).
Tavern on the Green
Located in Central Park, Tavern on the Green is one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City. The place is cozy and warm, so spending a NYC New Years Eve here is sure to be a lot of fun.
The NYC New Years Eve Party runs from 10PM to 2AM, with live entertainment and an open bar running at $226 per person.
Clubs to celebrate New Years Eve in NYC
Perhaps best known for Martin Scorcese’s masterful one shot take of Henry Hill entering, the Copacabana is arguably the most famous club in New York City.
In present day the Copacabana is in Times Square and movie buffs can still show up for a good time at this Latin-centric club. They even host a NYC New Years Eve party.
Ticket prices have yet to be announced, but I will update this post when available.
HK Hall is in Hell’s Kitchen and was formerly known as Stage 48. Located in a former horse stable I can think of no better place to ring in the new year if you’re a party animal.
The 2 floor venue plays all of the popular songs you’d expect at an American club so getting your groove on shouldn’t be a problem.
Ticket prices for the NYC New Years Eve party have yet to be made available, but I will update this post when they are.
House of Yes
As one of the most popular clubs in Brooklyn, it should come as no surprise that one of the best New Years Eve in NYC is hosted by House of Yes.
Located in a former ice-making warehouse the area dance floors are spacious and inviting.
Ticket prices have yet to be announced, but I will update this post when available.
Alcohol free NYC New Years Eve events
New York Road Runners MIDNIGHT RUN
If working out on the dance floor isn’t your style, why not work out with a run through Central Park to ring in the New Year in New York City.
Thanks to the New York Road Runners (NYRR) this NYC New Years Eve event is available to anybody willing to stay up until midnight for a friendly neighborhood race.
Entry costs $70 for the 4 mile race, with registration taking place on NYRR’s website.
Firework Show at Prospect Park
Show up to Prospect Park’s Grand Army Plaza at about 11PM to celebrate a free NYC New Years Eve. Not only this event alcohol free, but there will be hot drinks and live music too.
This is a great event to bring the whole family to (if the kiddos are still awake). When the clock strikes midnight fireworks will light up the sky giving the perfect backdrop for that New Years kiss (or high-five).
Additional things to do during your trip to NYC for NYE
If your’re in New York City for a few days leading up to, or after New Years Eve consider checking out some of the following fun things to do.
Go Ice Skating
There are few things more iconic than ice skating in NYC. The holiday season is as magical as you’d imagine, and to ice skate in NYC among towering skyscrapers can make anyone feel like they’re in a Hallmark movie.
If you’re celebrating New Years Eve in NYC there will still be plenty of ice skating rinks to enjoy. Many people (myself included) consider this a can’t-miss winter activity.
Need help deciding which Ice Rink to skate at? Read 10 Impressive Ice Skating Rinks in New York City.
Check out the beautiful Christmas trees
Most Christmas trees stay up past New Years Eve in NYC, so while you peruse the Big Apple consider checking out some of our world-famous Christmas trees.
If you’re short on time I suggest checking out the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. It’s centrally located in Midtown near plenty of attractions and it’s the most popular tree in the city. It’s usually up until mid-January.
Here’s a list of 15 Stunning New York City Christmas Trees to help you choose.
Check out a holiday show
If you’re looking to stay out of the cold I suggest checking out one of New York City’s many Christmas shows. Whether it’s Broadway or the Ballet, you won’t be disappointed.
My suggestion would be to check out the The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, however there is one caveat; the last show is on January 2nd.
However if you’re here in the days leading up to New Years Eve in NYC this is without a doubt the top show I’d recommend.
Here are an additional 15 Cheerful Christmas Shows in New York City to choose from.
More helpful New York City guides
- EPIC Guide to 4 DAYS in NEW YORK CITY (+Advice From Locals)
- 15 EPIC Things to Do in New York City With Kids
- 50 Best Things to Do in New York City
- 10 Memorable Manhattan Bars Everyone Should Visit
New York New Years Eve (Post Summary)
- Times Square Ball Drop
- Skyline Princess Cruises
- Liberty Cruises
- Summit One Vanderbilt
- The Edge
- Tavern on the Green
- HK Hall
- House of Yes
- New York Road Runners Midnight Run
- Fireworks at Prospect Park
New Years Eve in NYC (Map)
I hope you found this guide to spending New Years Eve in NYC helpful.
Happy New Years, stay safe, and enjoy our city. Cheers!