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If you are planning New Year’s Eve in NYC this year, you’ll find a constantly updated list of great events and things to do on the night in this post, including tips for where to see the fireworks, as well as exclusive rooftop parties with open bars, harbor cruises and more.

Start your new year’s eve celebrations with a bang (or a couple of cocktails) and end with the ball drop and fireworks. You could also book one of these fab New York hotels which have epic views of the midnight fireworks.

New years eve in New York City is on the bucket list of countless travellers across the world! If you’re heading there this year, check out these free and paid events.

Megan at Crystal Ball Times Square
I got to go to the top of One Times Square and see the ball with a bunch of local NYC media

NYC has all the excitement and magic one needs to see in the new year and whether you’re on a budget or money’s no object, this post is for you.

Where better to have the best new year’s eve than the Big Apple?

*This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from some sites I will earn a commission at no cost to you.

21 ways to celebrate the New Year in NYC

*Disclaimer: while I make every effort to ensure the content below is correct, please click on the relevant links to go directly to the attraction in question and double check hours, costs, latest weather or pandemic interruptions, etc.

To help you make the most of your New Year’s Eve celebration, and to better experience New York on a budget, this post covers some epic ways to begin the new year.

Whether you prefer a more exclusive and elegant night out with your nearest and dearest, or to be one of a million jostling in a throng of New Yorkers, I’ve got you covered. 

If you’re looking for the best, or hidden, rooftop restaurants and bars in NYC, you’ll love the places I’ve also selected on this post the best dreamy rooftop restaurants in NYC – but make your booking soon so you don’t miss out.

And after you’ve seen in the new year in, you might like to head off on a romantic winter getaway from NYC.

New Years even in NYC
Pin this to your NYC Bucket List!

If you’re looking for NYC New Year’s Eve parties and events, New York has a long list to choose from and each event has its own details on dress code, time and cost.

The following list is guaranteed to provide an unforgettable start to the new year.

Attend a NYC New Year’s Eve cocktail party

New York City drips with elegance and attending a cocktail party is a great way to get into the vibe as the countdown begins.

Take your pick from a variety of different ticketed NYE events, or choose a more casual approach and visit one of the city’s many festive cocktail bars and rooftop restaurants. (Book ahead!)

Get to some cool Open Bar events for New Year’s Eve 2024

> Open Bar events on rooftops, boats and restaurants are hugely popular and there several all over the city on New Year’s eve.

Party at Mr Purple at Hotel Indigo

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Mr. Purple Rooftop and the brand-new Nightclub where you can roam between two floors of the lounge and club for the ultimate party.

Located at the trendy Mr Purple, this rooftop venue offers breathtaking views of the city skyline, creating the perfect backdrop for the New Year’s Eve fireworks displays. If you want to take it up a notch, head one floor down and dance the night away at the brand new The Club at Mr. Purple  with its one-of-a-kind sound system and NYC skyline views.

Time: from 8pm til 4am. Book a table for your group and enjoy the open bar, or arrive after 12.30am from another party and come for cheap!

Grab your Mr Purple Party tickets here >

Mr Purple, Hotel Indigo
Party over 2 floors at Mr Purple, Hotel Indigo, downtown.

Hotel on Rivington Penthouse Party

Enjoy New York’s best panoramic views at this unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration on the 3-floor penthouse of the Hotel On Rivington! Get ready to ring in the new year with style and glamour, surrounded by the breathtaking panoramic views of New York City.

This exclusive event promises an evening filled with excitement, music. Dance the night away to the beats of top DJs, and enjoy a 5-hour premium open bar and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.

Time: 9pm – 2am. Hotel on Rivington, 107 Rivington Street

Grab your Rivington Penthouse Party tickets here >

Hotel Rivington Penthouse
Hotel Rivington Penthouse

Party at the Crown rooftop

Get ready to ring in the new year with style and excitement at one of the most exclusive venues in town. The party starts on at 8pm on New Year’s Eve and promises to be a truly memorable night.

Located on the 21st floor of Hotel 50 BoweryThe Crown offers unobstructed views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines, creating the perfect backdrop for this special occasion. Dance the night away to live music from top DJs, mingle with a vibrant crowd, and indulge in a 5-Hour Open bar from 8pm-1am and 1-hour lite hors douevres.

Get your Crown Rooftop tickets here >

The Crown, 21st floor views
The Crown, 21st floor views

Party on The Rooftop at Le Meridien

Ring in the New Year at The Rooftop at Le Meridien Hotel, for an elevated and elegant rooftop experience!

Midtown’s hottest party on acclaimed “Billionaire’s Row” will boast stunning, panoramic views of Central Park, and an exclusive display of the famous Central Park fireworks. With a 4 hour premium open bar from 9pm -1am, champagne toast at midnight, 1 hour lite hors d’ouevres and a range of VIP table options, this is the can’t-miss event of the NYE season! Music provided by special guest DJs spinning a mix of Top 40, house and mashups.

Buy your Rooftop at Le Meridien party tickets here >

Head to Rooftop 93 downtown

Ring in the New Year at Rooftop 93, located in the heart of downtown Manhattan. The 18th floor rooftop boasts stunning skyline views, pairing with an intimate rooftop club vibe. Escape the midtown madness, downtown. Music by guest DJs playing a mix of Top 40 and mashups, 4 -hour premium open bar, 1 hour light hors d’oeuvres. Complimentary champagne toast at midnight

Buy your Rooftop 93 tickets here >

View from Rooftop 93, downtown
View from Rooftop 93, downtown

New Year’s Eve at Butterfly – The Grand Finale

Join this special New Year’s Eve celebration at SIXTY Soho’s famed Butterfly, NYC’s top downtown hotspot. Take part in Butterfly’s last night for a grand finale like no other – an exclusive soirée that encapsulates the allure, elegance, and mystique that has made Butterfly Soho a haven for celebrities and trendsetters. 

The New Year’s Eve event will feature a 4-hour premium open bar, 1 hour of light hors d’oeuvres and an artfully curated set by special guest DJs. Secure your spot now, and let the countdown to a spectacular new beginning commence! 

Buy your Butterfly Grand Finale tickets here >

Butterfly lounge, SOHO
Be seen at Butterfly

New Year’s Eve Gala

Head to historic and fabulous Gotham Hall for this New Year’s Eve extravaganza! This fancy gala dinner includes open bar for cocktails all evening and reserved seating buffet.

The former Greenwich Savings Bank is now a magical grand and monstrous ballroom space, so dress in your finery and enjoy the elegance and charm of the 1920s with the gilded ceiling, the stained glass skylight and Corinthian columns of this fabulous space at one of the hottest events in town this NYE.

Located in Herald Square on 36th Street and Broadway, doors open at 8pm… and that is precisely when the open bar starts too! You’ll enjoy five hours of open bar to imbibe in all the festive cocktails you want, and a delicious buffet from 8pm – 10.30pm, followed by dessert, and ring in the new year with a champagne toast.

Buy your sought-after Gotham Hall NYE tickets here >

Photo by Zac Bromell on Unsplash

NYE Singles Party!

If you’re single, grab a bestie, dress to impress and get your ticket for this fun event over two floors with 200 fun people.

There will be a DJ spinning Hip-hop/Top 40 music so you can dance all night, open bar from 8 to 9pm inclusive of wine, beer, sangria and well-mixed drinks, complimentary appetizers, champagne toast at midnight to see the new year in with NYC’s most eligible.

There will be an Ice-breaker to help facilitate introductions, and who knows, maybe a midnight kiss? Ticket prices will increase the closer it gets to 31 Dec so don’t miss out. Venue: Stitch Bar & Blues located in Midtown Manhattan.

Get your ticket to NYC’s biggest singles party here >

Go on a dinner / fireworks cruise

Take a New Year’s Eve cruise on the Hudson or East Rivers and raise a glass at midnight with the best view of the fireworks for the most spectacular show in town.

>> Try this Circle Line Harbor Cruise with fireworks views, champagne at midnight and an open bar, live DJ and a cruise around lower Manhattan. Select the light buffet option, or choose the desserts and snacks. You’ll have photo stops at Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the lower harbour iconic sights of NYC.

>> Take this Fireworks Dinner cruise from New Jersey and avoid the throng in Manhattan, but enjoy the same epic fireworks show on the harbour. You’ll enjoy a holiday themed buffet dinner with top shelf open bar, live DJ entertainment and bubbles at midnight for all over 21 years. Departs from Lincoln Harbor Marina, 1500 Harbor Blvd, Weehawken, NJ.

Fireworks on New York harbor

If you’re looking for 4th of July fireworks in NYC, I’ve got you in this post.

Bar hop until midnight

The New Year’s Eve Prohibition History Tour is a six hour tour with a dedicated reserved viewing space of the ball drop at Times Square.

This tour begins in one of New York’s oldest bars and former speakeasy during the Prohibition Era. You’ll hear about gangsters and bootleggers and the sudden demise of Prohibition. There is an open bar from 7:00pm-12:00am and view the ball drop from 12 blocks away, in an exclusive section that the general public is not allowed into.

Dueling Piano with Open Bar

If you fancy a rollicking good time and something a bit different than where all the beautiful people are, head to the Shake Rattle and Roll Dueling Piano show.

This high-energy, musical comedy show features all your favourite hits from the 50s to today. There will be plenty of singing, dancing, and audience participation. Plus, a four hour open bar, appetizers, and a champagne toast.

New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn

> Time Out Market, a Dumbo destination (Empire Stores, 55 Water St) brought to you by the food & bev editors at Time Out, hosts exclusive, ticketed events to ring in the New Year.

Time Out Market

FREE New Years Eve events in NYC

Believe it or not, there are free things to do on NYE in NYC including seeing the fireworks!

Watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop

The Times Square ball drop at the stroke of midnight should probably be #1 on this list, but I put it down here because you’ll need a cocktail (or two) first!

Every year a million people gather in Times Square and watch the famous ball drop when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. In fact New York’s New Year’s Eve would be incomplete without this tradition!

Megan with crystal ball
I got to go to the top of One Times Square and see this year’s crystal ball!

Live music and entertainment starts from about 6pm, but you’ll need to get in line about 3pm to secure a good spot. People begin to gather from early afternoon, so if you’re not bothered about the crowds, join the masses to see the giant, sparkling ball drop 141-feet (43 metres) from the roof of One Times Square.

Note: there are no toilets or portaloos in the area, and I kid you not, but people swear by adult diapers! 

The best view to see the crystal ball drop is in the heart of Times Square where Broadway and 7th Avenue meet, also known as the ‘Bowtie’.

In the elevator of One Times Square to see Ball
Going up the construction site in an elevator to the ball!

However, it can still be seen from quite far (including several hotels which I have listed below) and the entire scene is televised across the city too. So maybe just stay in one of these rooftop restaurants and watch the live stream including the live performances outside while you’re keeping warm! 

Keep in mind that New Year’s Eve in New York is in deepest darkest winter and the iconic ball drop is an outdoor spectacle, so dress warmly (these heated hand warmers are essential to keep in your pockets!)

Times Square New York for New Years Eve
Looking down on Times Square. Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

Take the family to Prospect Park

Rug up warm and head to Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park which plays host to a festive New Year’s Eve celebration for the whole family.

This free one-hour event starts at 11pm with live music and hot chocolate and, at midnight, a massive display of fireworks will light up the skies over the park. The best viewing spots are at Grand Army Plaza, the Park’s West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.

Check the Prospect Park website for latest updates on the fireworks.

Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

Skate into the new year!

Ok, disclaimer: I can’t skate. In fact I hate the whole idea of slipping and sliding so I don’t ski either, but for those who do not share my phobia, here are three great places to ice skate in NYC.

The Rockefeller Center Ice Rink, under the famous Christmas tree, is a hot spot in the cold climate over winter. Even just wandering past to take a few photos is a must (that’s more like me!), and the experience is an affordable way to enjoy the city. 

But if the busyness of the Rockefeller Center intimidates you, then you can visit one of the many other ice rinks that pop up across the city.

Ice skating at Rockefeller Ice Rink
Ice skating At Rockefeller Center. I’d be the guy in the middle! Pic Flickr

In fact skating at Central Park on the Wollman Rink is just as iconic as the Rockefeller rink.

Or head to the pop-up Winter Village in Bryant Park and don your skates there – then shop in the surrounding market stalls and grab a bite to eat.

Skating in Bryant Park
Skating in Bryant Park
Falling skater in Bryant Park, New York
She recovered!

Join the midnight fun run!

If you want to get a bit exercise on New Year’s Eve, or are crazy enough to just want to do this midnight run, that lace up your shoes and head to the start line for this four-mile race setting off at 11.59pm on December 31st.

Join this New York Road Runners race and if your NYRR membership is active for this final race of the 2023 9+1 program, you will earn guaranteed entry to the 2024 TCS New York City Marathon. Either way, entrants to the NYE race will also get a New Balance long sleeve tech T-shirt.

Fireworks over New York City
Fireworks over New York City! Pic Flickr/CreativeCommons

Experience the thrill of Coney Island

Looking a more unique and exciting way to celebrate New Year’s Eve? Coney Island in Brooklyn will give you a whirlwind adventure.

The famous amusement park’s celebrations kick off at 6pm and include all of the perks expected from New Year’s Eve: fireworks, live entertainment and a happening social scene.

Located right by the beach, Coney Island is particularly exposed to the city’s winter chill, so make sure that you dress warmly. And, perhaps bring an extra jacket for when the heated excitement of the rides cools you down. 

Buy a New York Go City Explorer Pass and choose from two to ten attractions (out of a list of 90 amazing New York experiences) for discounted tickets.
You can save up to 50% by bundling this way, over buying tickets separately. If you choose the Hop On Hop Off bus, that takes you to Coney Island.

Coney Island amusement park New York
Coney Island amusement park

5 tips to have the best New Year’s Eve in NYC

  • Dress warmly! I think that’s the third time I’ve mentioned it 😉
  • Get to your destination early
  • Set out a budget beforehand to decide if you’re going to go large or not
  • Be prepared for crowds, which are huge on a normal day, and the size of revellers will only increase during the festivities
  • Don’t take a bag, wear a clever neck scarf with a pocket for your cell phone and cards!
Times Square New York
The iconic Times Square view!

FAQs about new year’s eve in New York

Can I see the ball drop for free?

Yes! The only time you’ll pay is for a private event. Anyone can see the ball drop in Times Square for free – but it’s on a first-come first-in basis, so you’ll need to come early for the best view. (Remember, it’ll be cold. Wrap up warm!)

Where can I see fireworks on New Year’s Eve?

(2023, to be updated closer to the time): Fireworks will be shooting off all over the city: Prospect Park (party starts at 11pm), Central Park (south of 72nd Street inside the park), Liberty Island fireworks can be best seen from boats running NYE cruises till midnight, Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights. Luna Park at Coney Island. And of course, One Times Square at midnight.

When should we arrive at Times Square?

At 3pm the surrounding streets are closed to traffic and people start coming in to find the best position from about 2pm.

Book a hotel with views of the Ball Drop at Times Square

Make sure you select a room with Times Square facing windows, or check with the hotel if they have public viewing areas or rooftop patios and bars to ring in the new year.

Getting to New York

I have been using Southwest Airlines lately for my domestic flights within the US because this no-frills airline actually has LOTS of frills, including free luggage and snacks but no seat allocation! You can read all about my review and tips for flying Southwest here.

Happy new year!

New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas sees the entire Strip closed to traffic and a massive four-mile block party. Read more about NYE in Vegas in my post here.

Shop in my curated Amazon Store where I have put lists together for travel and great gift ideas too!


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