New York is encouraging travellers from all over the world to experience New Year’s Eve in the five boroughs. From the annual ball drop in Times Square and other celebrations throughout Manhattan to events in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, New York City is the ideal spot to ring in 2015.
More than 100 million television viewers in the United States and more than 1 billion people worldwide are expected to join the estimated 1 million revelers in New York City to watch a 108-year-old tradition: the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. 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 vibrant colors. At 11:59pm, the ball begins its descent atop One Times Square as millions of people count down the final seconds of the year and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.
Can’t-miss New Year’s Eve events taking place in Times Square include: Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve: Headlined by New York City’s new Global Welcome Ambassador, Taylor Swift, the beloved Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve returns with 10-time host Ryan Seacrest. The annual live event will feature 38 performances beginning at 8pm and continuing through the night. For more information, go to dickclark.com.
New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall: Every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, Times Square is covered with confetti inscribed with thousands of wishes from people from around the world. Individuals may submit a wish in person at the mobile wishing wall or online by going to timesquarenyc.org. All wishes will be collected and added to the confetti that will flutter down onto the streets as 2015 begins. The Mobile Wishing Wall will be available during the month of December. Check timessquarenyc.org for specific locations and times.
Good Riddance Day: Once again the Times Square Alliance has teamed up with Cintas to bring a Good Riddance Day celebration to Times Square, where anyone can say farewell to the worst memories of 2014. Whether you want to scrap an old love letter, a parking ticket or a pile of medical bills, bad memories can be shredded and destroyed by a mobile shredding truck that will be present in Times Square on Sunday, December 28. Bad memories can also be tweeted @TimesSquareNYC and can be entered in a contest to win a trip to Times Square for New Year’s Eve by submitting them at cintas.com/goodriddanceday.
New Year’s Eve at the New York Marriott Marquis: On December 31 have the ultimate New Year’s Eve party experience at the New York Marriott Marquis, with two celebrations taking place on-site. Revel in the view of Times Square from eight stories up at the elegant Broadway Lounge while enjoying live music, entertainment, delicious cuisine, a premium open bar and so much more. Various seating arrangements are available, ranging from communal seating to direct ball drop views. At The View Restaurant and Lounge guests can partake in a New Year’s Eve gala with dinner and dancing, 48 stories above Times Square. The night consists of a five-course meal, passed hors d’oeuvres and late night bites in the lounge. Entertainment for the evening will include a spectacular DJ, dancing, a live streaming of the Times Square ball drop and breathtaking panoramic views of New York City. Those looking to stay at the hotel can celebrate with an Ultimate Luxury New Year’s Eve package, complete with limousine transportation and accommodations in the sumptuous two-bedroom presidential suite. Additional treats include champagne, hors d’oeuvres, a personal stylist and a celebration at the Broadway Lounge. For information on tickets and pricing, visit marriott.com.
R Lounge at the Renaissance Times Square: For both a climate-controlled and stellar view of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel’s R Lounge is the place to be. Guests will enjoy dinner and a full open bar in the evening’s celebrations, while taking in the view of Times Square through floor-to-ceiling windows. New Year’s Eve packages for the hotel and viewing start at $3,000. Visit rloungetimessquare.com for more information.
For visitors arriving in New York City before the ball drops, there are plenty of early New Year’s Eve events and activities happening throughout the five boroughs, including:
New York Botanical Garden: As a part of the 2014–2015 annual Holiday Train Show, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends will be taking children and their families on a memorable sing-along adventure as they decorate the station. Parents can bring along cameras for photo opportunities with Thomas to capture the special event, which runs from January 3 to 25, with various showtimes each day. Visit nybg.org for tickets and the full performance schedule.
Prospect Park Fireworks: Spend New Year’s Eve in Prospect Park under Brooklyn’s dazzling annual fireworks display at midnight, sponsored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. This free event includes hot refreshments and entertainment, and is welcome to 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. 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.
Barclays Center: For his first-ever New Year’s Eve Concert in New York City, Elton John will be performing his classic hits with his band at the world-renowned Barclays Center. Beginning at 9pm, the show will feature music from his entire career, including his mostly recently re-released 40th anniversary CD. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit barclayscenter.com.
Brooklyn Bowl New Year’s Eve: Deer Tick 10 will have a six-night residency at Brooklyn Bowl including a New Year’s Eve performance on December 31. With doors opening at 6pm and the show beginning at 9pm, the show will feature original music by the band as well as covers of other distinguished artists. For more information and tickets, visit brooklynbowl.com.
Ring in the Swing: A New Year’s Eve Dance Party at Lincoln Center: Lincoln Center’s New Year’s Eve celebration is returning for its third year. Held in the Appel Room with stunning views of Central Park, this dance party will feature live jazz music from premier artists, a Southern-style buffet dinner, open bar, champagne toast and party favors. For more information and tickets, visit jalc.org.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: Looking for a phenomenal view of the New Year’s Eve fireworks? Spend New Year’s on a party cruise that takes visitors right out to the Statue of Liberty—the perfect place from which to watch the City’s annual fireworks display. The cruise includes hors d’oeuvres, a full open bar, party favors, a DJ and a champagne toast at midnight. The cruise boards at 9pm and sails from 10pm to 1am. Tickets can be purchased at an all-inclusive early-bird price of $149. (Must be 18 years old to board and 21 years old to drink alcohol.) For more information or to purchase tickets, go to circleline42.com.
New York Philharmonic: This New Year’s Eve, the New York Philharmonic will feature a Gershwin Celebration, conducted by Bramwell Tovey. Beginning at 7:30pm, this festive show will feature Dianne Reeves and Norm Lewis as the vocalists for the evening. The program will include Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Catfish Row, Porgy and Bess and jazz-inspired selections from the Gershwin songbook. Visit nyphil.org for more information.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square: With over 500 artifacts and 20 galleries, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square will once again be holding a New Year’s Eve celebration to ring in 2015. This year’s event includes an open bar, nonstop cocktail-style delicacies and a night full of exciting entertainment. There will be music, dancing and games, and Mad Science will be performing science experiments, making this an event that is fun for all ages. The celebration begins on Wednesday, December 31, with doors open at 7pm and the party from 8pm to 1 am. Tickets start at $295. More information can be found at ripleysnewyork.com.
Emerald Nuts Midnight Run: On New Year’s Eve, the Emerald Nuts Midnight 4-Mile 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 11:59pm, 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: For front-row views of the fireworks, join World Yacht Cruises for their Classic New Year’s Eve celebration. Cruise around Manhattan while enjoying a five-course dinner, open bar and live entertainment all night long. Tickets for the New Year’s Eve Classic Cruise also include party favors and a midnight champagne toast. Boarding is at 9pm, and the cruise sails from 10pm to 1am. The fun continues with a dockside party until 1:30am. Tickets begin at $231.95, not including taxes and fees. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit worldyacht.com.
Madison Square Garden: How does ringing in the New Year in the most famous arena in the world sound? After last year’s successful EDM New Year’s Eve Concert, Madison Square Garden has invited two of the largest names in dance music for this year’s performance: Diplo and Skrillex. The two will be performing their own sets during the evening. This is an age 18+ event. For more information, visit thegarden.com.
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine: This year’s New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral of St. John will feature soloists Jamet Pittman and Gregory Purnhagen. This annual show, filled with music and candles, will be hosted by NBC news anchor Harry Smith. A limited number of general admission seats are free and open to the public. Ticketed seating is also available starting at $30. Visit stjohndivine.org for more information.
The Metropolitan Opera: Visitors can celebrate at The Metropolitan Opera’s New Year’s Eve Gala performance of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow. The celebration will continue after the show with dinner and dancing. For more information and tickets, go to MetOpera.org.
Resorts World Casino: On December 31, Resorts World Casino New York City is hosting a New Year’s Eve Celebration with a Hollywood theme. Guests can expect two floors of entertainment, including live band performances and DJ’s playing top 40 hits. Each ticket purchase will include a complimentary champagne toast, photo booth entry and exclusive party favors. With over 5,000 table game and slot machines, nine food and beverage outlets and the largest dance floor in Queens, the Resort World Casino makes for an entertaining New Year’s Eve celebration. For more details, visit rwnewyork.com
Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island: Celebrate the start of 2015 at the New Year’s Eve Gala at Hilton Garden Inn’s Nicotra’s Ballroom. Ticket prices begin at $149 per person and include a lavish cocktail reception, gourmet dinner, DJ, dancing, a champagne toast and live feed of Times Square. Looking to stay the night? Hotel packages start at $545 per couple with entry to the New Year’s Eve celebration and a buffet breakfast the next morning. For more information, go to hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com.
Angelina’s Ristorante: Spend your New Year's Eve in Staten Island at Angelina's Ristorante enjoying a delicious blend of traditional and innovative Italian cuisine. Beginning at 8:30pm, celebrate with a three-course all inclusive menu for $195. For more details, go to angelinasristorante.com.
To plan your New Year’s Eve visit to New York City, go to nycgo.com.