Even if you’ve never been to New York City, you’ve certainly watched the Ball Drop over a million thrilled onlookers in Times Square on TV. So if you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple this December, experience the once-in-a-lifetime feeling of welcoming 2014 with that world-famous countdown—in person! The crowds can get a little crazy, but hey, it’s New Year’s Eve.
It’s free to be in Times Square, but you’ll have to invest some time and patience, as it fills up by 3pm and doesn’t have restrooms you can hop to without losing your spot. You will, however, see some star performances (some past guests include Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber). The event is hosted by radio personality and television host Ryan Seacrest.
See the city skyline from the water on a New Year’s Eve cruise. There are several options, like the New York New Year’s Eve Cruise, which includes open bar and appetizers, as well as a champagne toast as you watch the fireworks at midnight. You’ll also get prime views of the Statue of Liberty. The three-hour tour also features a DJ entertainment and docks at 1am.
There are a number of hot New York City clubs and bars hosting special New Year’s Eve parties and packages. Some venues worth checking out include, Above Allen, Bounce Sporting Club, CATCH Roof, Culture Club, Ella Lounge, EVR and Gotham Hall, to name a few. Ticket prices vary, although they start at around $65 with open bar, DJs, Champagne toasts and party favors. Attending one of these parties is a great way to experience nightlife in New York City.
Love to laugh? Attend the annual AMC 34th Street Comedy Festival, where you’ll enjoy knee-slapping comedy from top comedians as well as a five-hour premium open bar from 9pm to 2am.
You can ride your bike (or anything with wheels) with other participants in the Time’s Up Annual New Year’s Eve Ride from Washington Square Park to Central Park’s Belvedere Castle for a post-ride dance party. Alternatively, in Central Park you can watch costumed marathoners run four miles in the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run—the race starts at midnight along with the fireworks. There are other fireworks shows around NYC, like in Park Slope at Grand Army Plaza, and you can watch the skyline for them all come midnight.