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How to celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City

After the massive Christmas guide, it’s time to talk about New Year’s in New York City. If you’re coming and you’re going to be around and you are looking for some special things to do, come with me, because this day requires organization, ok? In this post, I’m going to list suggestions for things to do in New York for New Year’s Eve and also give some tips.

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First things first: lower your expectations

I must confess: I love Christmas in New York and how magic it is this season in the city, but when it comes to New Year… you can’t say the same thing. I just don’t get frustrated because I don’t really care about New Year’s Eve, to begin with. For me, any simple celebration is worth it – or even doing nothing. Yes, I’ve already spent a few New Years’ Eve here, and while some included a little get-together with friends at home, others included sleeping early, before midnight.

With that being said, I don’t know from where you, my reader, are from, but as a Brazilian, I can tell you that Brazil has amazing New Year’s Eve celebrations. Well, in December is summer in Brazil, so let’s start there. So different. Everyone wears white – Brazilians really believe in the power of the color you wear, people go to the beach, the fireworks are just spectacular. New York City is so different: it’s really cold, there aren’t super parties on the street (because it’s cold!) and everything is very expensive. Again, I don’t know what are your expectations regarding New Year’s Eve in the city and my goal here is not to discourage you, but just to align what to expect, ok? It’s much better for you to know what you’re going to find so you don’t get frustrated than romanticizing something that doesn’t exist. With that being said, let’s proceed!

Forget about Times Square

Yeah, I know I may be messing up with your plans, but I need to warn you, because if you decide to go ahead, at least you won’t say it was for lack of warning. Yes, the most iconic New Year’s event in New York is New Year’s Eve at Times Square, but to this day, I haven’t heard from anyone who went and said they didn’t regret it or that they would do it again.

New Year’s Eve at Times involves a lot of security – and you need to arrive early. We’re talking about 3pm-4pm. You’re going to stand up all the time, you can’t go to the bathroom, you can’t drink. It’s really cold. And after the ball’s drop, it’s all over. I really like sharing the video below, from the Amigo Gringo channel. He is an American that created videos in Portuguese (he loves Brazil). Don’t worry, the video has captions in English! In 2017, he did the favor of spending New Year’s Eve at Times and documenting the real experience in the video below. Well, I guess I don’t need to say any more…

But wait! You can still be part of it!

Your wishes can be added to the confetti that flutters down in the heart of Times Square on New Year’s Eve! Each year, people from around the planet include their wishes for the new year on pieces of official Times Square New Year’s Eve confetti, either digitally or in person. Click here to submit until December 28th or stop by Times Square by December 29th. 

Free options

Central Park

NYRR Midnight Run is a traditional run that happens on New Year’s Eve at Central Park and it is organized by New York Road Runners (NYRR). With a countdown to midnight beginning at 11:59 p.m., the four-mile run will begin at the stroke of midnight and the start of 2023. There are some fireworks too – in case you don’t wanna run, lol. People gather around Rumsey Playfield – entrance through 72, check Google Maps. Check more details and register here.

Time’s UP! Annual Future Positive New Year’s Eve Bike Ride

Start the year off right- on your bike or skates. This Bike Ride has 4 meet-up locations:

  • 9:00pm at grand Army Plaza Brooklyn
  • 9:45pm at the Brooklyn-side entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge
  • 10:00pm at Washington Square Park Arch, Manhattan
  • 10:20pm at Madison Square Park, 23rd & Broadway, Flatiron side

The group will be riding up to Belvedere Castle in the middle of Central Park for the New Year’s Eve celebration, with fireworks. Check more details.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Prospect Park 

For more than 40 years, Prospect Park has been promoting this free event with live music and a massive fireworks display. The event takes place at the Grand Army Plaza, attracting many people. It starts at 10 pm with live music and the best viewpoints are at the Grand Army Plaza or along Prospect Park West.

New Year’s Eve Cruises

City Experiences offers some cruises for the New Year’s Eve. Check some options:

  • New York New Year’s Eve Signature Dinner Cruise – Click here:
  • Saturday, December 31, 2022
  • Three-hour dinner cruise on the East and Hudson Rivers
  • Delicious buffet with freshly prepared entrees, salads and desserts
  • Unlimited coffee, hot tea, iced tea and water
  • Onboard DJ entertainment
  • Props for photos: beads, hats, noisemakers and mascarade themed handouts
  • Departing from Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, West 23rd and 12th Ave, New York
  • Boards 9:30pm and cruises 10pm-1am
  • Starts at $419
  • New Jersey New Year’s Eve Signature Dinner Cruise Click here
  • Saturday, December 31, 2022
  • Three-hour dinner cruise on the East and Hudson Rivers
  • Delicious buffet with freshly prepared entrees, salads and desserts
  • Unlimited coffee, hot tea, iced tea and water
  • Onboard DJ entertainment
  • Props for photos: beads, hats, noisemakers and mascarade themed handouts
  • Departing from Lincoln Harbor Marina, 1500 Harbor Blvd, Weehawken, NJ
  • Boards 9:30pm and cruises 10pm-1am
  • Starts at $310
  • Bateaux New York New Year’s Eve Premier Plus Dinner Cruise Click here
  • Saturday, December 31, 2022
  • Three-hour dinner cruise on the East and Hudson Rivers
  • A four-course plated dinner with attentive tableside service
  • Count down to 2022 with a spectacular fireworks display (weather permitting)
  • Spectacular views of the NYC skyline from our fully glass-enclosed deck
  • Top shelf open bar
  • Live band performance with female vocalist
  • Props for photos: beads, hats, noisemakers and mascarade themed handouts
  • Departing from Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, West 23rd and 12th Ave, New York
  • Boards 9:30pm and cruises 10pm-1am
  • Starts at $699

Classic Harbor Line also offers a New Year’s Eve Cruise – but it’s sold out.

But they still have spots for Champagne & Cheese pairing cruises going out on 12/31 at 5:30, 5:40, 7:45, and 7:55p – these are also super ‘NYE’ festive, though they’re technically not happening late night on NYE.

Some parties suggestions

The McKittrick Hotel

The famous The McKittrick Hotel – from Sleep no More – promotes its traditional New Year’s Eve party with live performances and open bar. Guests are encouraged to dress in high style for the most decadent night of the year.

Le Salon x Moët Hennessy NYE Party

This bar and restaurant is beautiful and located in Tribecca. This will be an All Night of Open Bar & Food, with an Impérial Rosé Brut Champagne Toast at the countdown.

New Year’s Eve Celebration At Time Out Market New York

Time Out Market New York invites you to throw on your flyest kicks for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve bash in the heart of Dumbo. Say goodbye to 2022 with an all-inclusive drink package from 9:30pm-12am and two floors of delicious eats and live DJs. Don’t forget to grab a glass of Champagne before midnight, when a confetti storm will help welcome 2023 in style.Beats from Brooklyn’s own DJ Price I$ Right from 8pm-10pm followed by Ronnie Roc and Co. starting at 10pm taking you into 2023 !

New Year’s Eve 2023 at The Campbell

The Campbell is a bar “hidden” inside Grand Central Station and the place will promote a party with an early 20’s vibe. The bar is stunning. The simple package starts at $175 and includes entry for standing room for one person with four (4) drink tickets + elevated passed hors d’oeuvres + midnight toast

Garden of Cosmic Delights | New Year’s Eve at Fandi Mata

Fandi Mata is a gorgeous Mediterranean Restaurant in Williamsburg and they are promoting a party in partnership with the famous House of Yes.

Gala Galactica: New Year’s Eve

House of Yes New Year’s Eve official party. The theme is Gala Galactica, a futuristic vibe. See more inspiration HERE.

Refinery Rooftop

This rooftop is located in Midtown and features stunning views of the Empire State Building. The $150 ticket includes premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, live DJ, live feed of Times Square Ball Drop and champagne toast at midnight!

Westilight Rooftop

One of my favorite rooftops in the city, it’s located in Williamsburg and the views are stunning. The party features an open bar, live music and a champagne toast at midnight.

  • You can check more New Year’s Eve parties here and also here.

Ellington on Broadway 

Ring in the New Year and 2023 with a Great Gatsby inspired New Year’s Eve celebration at Ellington on Broadway. On December 31st, from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am, savor dinner menu items until 11:pm and then a champagne toast at the stroke of midnight. The New Year’s Eve menu will be “Land and Sea” inspired and feature dishes such as Grilled Filet Mignon and Jumbo Shrimp, served with double stuffed potato, sauté baby spinach, au poivre sauce; and a Roasted Nova Scotia Halibut (celery root puree, saute polenta cake, asparagus, caviar beurre blanc). In addition, guests will be feted to a vibrant jazz performance by popular band, Evan Hamaguchi and Friends.

Singlish

This cocktail bar and restaurant will be featuring an intimate New Year’s Eve celebration, crafted specially by co-founder and beverage director, Colin Stevens. Limited to only 26-seats on December 31st, guests can select from the following two types of New Year’s Eve packages:

    • *The “Shiok” package (shiok in Singlish means “very good”) – Includes reserved booth seating for four persons; a cocktail kit for four persons; and two bottles of champagne. Priced at $750
    • *The “Huat Ah” package (a popular Singlish term and a traditional, festive expression used to wish oneself prosperity) – Comes with a cocktail kit for two persons; and a bottle of champagne. Priced at $450
  • For reservations email hello@singlishnyc.com

Things you should keep in mind:

  • The legal drinking age in the US is 21. Don’t forget your ID for parties and bars. And don’t forget your proof of vaccination.
  • Click on booking links to check availability and other details such as location photos.
  • Closed parties usually have a place to check you coat (for a small fee);
  • Make your reservation as soon as possible.
  • Check photos and reviews on Google.
  • It may be impossible to get a taxi after midnight due to demand. Apps like Uber will be costly. Consider the subway (check the NYC Subway app to check your line status.

Restaurants for New Year’s Eve or Day – dinner or lunch 

Christmas Mass – st. Patrick

St Patrick Cathedral will have some celebrations for New Year. See below and check the details here.

New Year’s Eve – December 31st

  • 8:00 AM, 12:00 Noon, 1:00 PM, 5:30 PM (No ticket required)

New Year’s Day – January 1st

  • 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:15 AM, 12:00 Noon, 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM (Spanish), 

        5:30 PM (No ticket Required)

New Year’s Eve on a budget

Let’s say you’re cool and don’t mind celebrating in your hotel room. My suggestion is to do something simple like buying a sparkling wine, making a charcuterie board and buying some party favors.

  • Trader Joe’s is my favorite grocery store and you’ll find cheeses and snacks at great prices. There are a lot of locations in the city. Whole Foods is a great choice as well. If you live in the US, you probably know other grocery stores.
  • To find wines, sparkling wines, and other beverages, just search for the nearest Liquor Store. If you’re near Union Square, it’s worth checking out Trader Joe’s Wine Store.
  • To buy party favors and props, stop by a Party City store.

Also, check what it is open on December 31 and January 1st:

Some ticketed attractions open on December 31:

Some ticketed attractions open on January 1st:

I hope you enjoyed this post! I dedicated many hours of work to this content – please support my work! Whether using affiliate links or sharing this post! 🙂

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