New Year's Eve can be a special holiday anywhere...but, as dedicated New Yorkers, we must admit a certain love of how the Big Apple rings out one year and rings in a new one.
But there's much more to NYE in NYC than joining the frozen crowds in Times Square. NYC & Company released a list of New Year events happening throughout the five boroughs.
But let's get the big one out of the way first: More than 1 million revelers will force themselves into Times Square to watch the annual Ball Drop at midnight. (Details: A 12-foot geodesic sphere covered in 2,688 Waterford crystals, the ball weighs 11,875 pounds and is powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights, capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million colors.)
But well before that memorable moment (and well after, too), there are plenty of other New Year’s Eve events and activities happening throughout the five boroughs, including:
New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall: At the Times Square Museum & Visitor Center (located at Seventh Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets, open seven days a week, 8am–8pm), visitors and locals alike can record their wishes, dreams and goals for 2014 on pieces of paper and add it to the Wishing Wall. All the wishes from the wall (and online) will be collected and added to the confetti that will rain down onto the streets of Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Good Riddance Day: This year, come celebrate Good Riddance Day on December 28, and say farewell to the worst memories of 2013 in Times Square. The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment have teamed up with Cintas to invite everyone to say goodbye to their awful, depressing and embarrassing memories. Whether you want to scrap an old love letter, a parking ticket or a pile of medical bills, your bad memories can be shredded and destroyed by a mobile shredding truck that will be present in Times Square.
New Year’s Eve at the New York Marriott Marquis and Renaissance New York Times Square: On December 31, the New York Marriott Marquis (located at 1535 Broadway, between 45th and 46th Streets.) will host its own party looking over Times Square from the eighth-floor Broadway Lounge. The party will include live music, entertainment and plenty of food. Guests can also take part in the gala at The View Restaurant and Lounge for dinner and dancing 48 stories above Times Square. The night consists of a five-course meal, dancing, a live streaming of the Times Square ball drop and panoramic views of New York City. For information on tickets and pricing, visit nymarriottmarquis.com/newyearseve and nymarriottmarquis.com/newyearseve/theview.
The Renaissance Times Square’s R Lounge also has great views of the crowds in the square below, and will host a dinner and a full open bar in the evening’s celebrations. Visit rloungetimessquare.com/newyearseve.
Grand Army Plaza: Spend New Year’s Eve in Prospect Park under Brooklyn’s fireworks display at midnight hosted by Borough President Marty Markowitz and Prospect Park Alliance with Eric Adams, BP elect. This is a free event that includes hot refreshments and entertainment that is good for all ages. The best viewing locations for the fireworks are in Grand Army Plaza, along West Drive in Prospect Park, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. Along with the fireworks, some of New York’s best food trucks will be on site to serve their cuisine, including MudTruck, Rickshaw Dumplings and Wafels & Dinges. The trucks will be at the Grand Army Plaza Arch on the Union Street side from 10pm until 12:45am. For more information, visit prospectpark.org.
Coney Island Polar Bear Club Annual New Year’s Day Swim: On January 1, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club will be hosting their annual New Year’s Day plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. The swim is open to the public and starts at 1pm on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Donations to Camp Sunshine, a charity for children with life-threatening illnesses, are welcome. For more event, pledging and registration details, visit polarbearclub.org.
Brooklyn’s New Year’s Eve 5K Run: Join in the only nighttime race held all year in Prospect Park to kick off New Year’s Eve, brought to you by the Brooklyn Road Runners and Sketchers. The race starts at 11:15pm at Prospect Park West and 9th street. There is rolling registration, and the cost depends on time of registration, starting at $25 if registered by December 23. Participants may register the day of the race. For registration information, go to prospectpark.org.
The New York Botanical Garden: As a part of the 2013–2014 annual Holiday Train Show, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends will take children and their families on a tour of the station. On January 1, there will be showings of Thomas and Friends at 11am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm. For information on tickets and deals, go to nybg.org/priceless.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: This New Year’s Eve party cruise takes visitors right to the Statue of Liberty for a phenomenal viewing of the New Year’s fireworks. The cruise includes hors d’oeuvres, a full open bar, party favors, a DJ and a champagne toast at midnight. The cruise boards at 9 pm and sails from 10pm to 1am. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to circleline42.com.
New York Philharmonic: New Year’s Eve Concert with Musical Humorists Igudesman & Joo. Alan Gilbert will conduct the Philharmonic’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31. In their Philharmonic debuts, this year’s special guests will be Igudesman & Joo, the musical humor duo whose interpretations of classical repertoire (à la Victor Borge and Danny Kaye) have made them viral Internet stars. Visit nyphil.org for more information.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square: Ripley’s family-friendly Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities begin at 8pm on December 31. Visitors can tour Ripley’s Odditorium, with over 18,000 square feet of themed galleries featuring 500 unique and exciting artifacts, and enjoy fire-breathing acts, a DJ dance party and a champagne toast at midnight. Parents can take advantage of the open bar and hors d’oeuvres while the kids take part in face-painting and magic shows and get a sugar rush from on popcorn and cotton candy. For tickets, visit ripleysnewyork.com.
Emerald Nuts Midnight Run: At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run takes off in Central Park, hosted by the New York Road Runners. The night kicks off with dancing and music at 10pm, followed by a costume contest at 11pm at the Central Park Bandshell. The 4-mile race around the park will begin at 11:59 pm, and runners will be racing under the fireworks as the New Year begins. There will be several prizes throughout the night, including cash prizes for the top three runners to finish for both men and women. For more information or to register, visit nyrr.org.
World Yacht Cruises: Cruise around Manhattan and relax with a five-course dinner, open bar and live entertainment all night long. Tickets for the New Year’s Eve Classic Cruise also include front row views of the fireworks, party favors and a midnight champagne toast. Boarding is at 9pm, and the cruise sails from 10pm until 1am. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit worldyacht.com.
Resorts World Casino: The Resorts World Casino will host a large-scale party with favors, a DJ and a 3,000 balloon drop at midnight. Guests can also watch the Times Square ball drop on the largest TV screen in Queens. Meals can be arranged at RW Prime steakhouse or Genting Palace Asian restaurant. To make reservations or for more details, visit rwnewyork.com.