There’s one special place in the world many people would love to visit to countdown the New Year at least once in their life – New York City!
The most famous New Year’s attraction in New York is the Ball Drop, which is probably the most shown New Year’s event on TV all over the world. I have seen the ball drop so many times, but only on TV. I never made my way out in the crazy winter cold to spend all day freezing in a totally crowded Times Square. So I was wondering what alternatives New Yorkers and visitors have to ring in the New Year – and this is what I came up with – you’re welcome!
Start the new year on a sporty note
Join the NYRR Midnight Run! The party begins at 10 pm with music and dancing at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. The four-mile run will start at the stroke of midnight, after a countdown which begins at 11:59 pm. A spectacular fireworks display will light up the sky and accompany your first run of the year. Please note that the start area and pre-run festival will be open to registered runners and their guests only.
Celebrate in the green heart of Brooklyn
This event is now in its 38th year and attracts tens of thousands of people – go to Prospect Parks’ Grand Army Plaza for live entertainment and spectacular fireworks! The event starts at 10:30 pm with live entertainment from Brooklyn’s own Quintessential Playlist. The fireworks will light up the sky at the stroke of midnight – get the best view from Grand Army Plaza, the Park’s West Drive and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th street. And now the best part: this event is FREE!
Go to a concert
If you love live music, check out one of several concerts in New York on December 31st. From Cardi B in the Knockdown Center in Queens, over to Phish in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan to They Might Be Giants in Williamsburg, there’s something for every taste to find. Rock on!
Ring in the New Year on the Water
If you’re up for a little boat ride, go on a cruise! With a live DJ or even a band, an open bar and a beautiful view of the fireworks over New York’s famous skyline, this sounds like a very special way to start 2018. There are several cruise lines and events available, where you can mingle, relax, dance and enjoy dinner, drinks, coffee and dessert. Check out this list to find the right one for you.
Do something good for your immune system
Now this one isn’t exactly an activity to ring in the New Year, but I thought it sounds like so much fun that I had to list it. If you’re looking for something to do on New Year’s Day, join Coney Island’s Polar Bear Club for a little plunge in the Atlantic Ocean! Swim time is at 1pm. There are changing facilities provided, so no worries, you can get right back into your cozy snow suit once you get out of the water. There isn’t a fee if you’d like to participate or observe this event, but you need to register in advance if you want to swim (There is a $25 suggested donation though). You can register online in advance or on site starting at 10am. As a little award for their bravery, all registered swimmers receive free admission to NY Aquarium that day.
If all of this doesn’t sound too promising to you and you still want to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square, okay, I’ve got some info for you, too:
Get there super early and wear your warmest outfit, unless the weather channel says it’ll be a decently “warm” winter day. The earlier you arrive the closer you will be to the famous Ball and the better your view will be. The ball is actually a 12 feet in diameter geodesic sphere, which is illuminated by 32,256 LED lights and weighs 11,875 pounds. It was designed and built by Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting for the millennium celebration 2000. The ball was lowered for the first time in 1907 and since then 7 versions of the ball have been designed to ring in the New Year.
The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is located at One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd Street) and will be raised up the pole at around 6pm on December 31st. At 11.59pm the countdown starts and the Ball will make a 60 second descent down the pole to welcome the New Year.
I hope this article gives you some inspiration on how to spend your New Year’s Eve and maybe New Year’s Day in New York. If you’re just looking to spend a regular night at home or in your favorite bar, I don’t blame you. Sometimes the most usual New Year’s experiences without unforeseen surprises are the best!
I wish you a wonderful start into your new year, may all your plans, wishes and dreams come true! Cheers!
How are you spending New Year’s? I’d love to hear about your plans in the comments below.