NYC & Company, New York City’s destination marketing organisation, invites visitors to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the five boroughs.
With festive events in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, including the annual ball drop in Times Square, New York City continues the tradition of being the New Year’s Eve capital of the world.
“From the iconic ball drop in Times Square to the simulated ball drop in Coney Island, New York City has no shortage of events and activities that make it a quintessential New Year’s Eve destination, said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company president and CEO. “We will once again host visitors from around the globe for a multitude of unique celebrations, setting 2016 off to an unforgettable beginning.”
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 revellers in New York City to watch a 109-year-old tradition: the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. A 12-foot-diameter 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.
Must-see New Year’s Eve events taking place in Times Square include:
New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall: Each New Year’s Eve when the ball drops at midnight, Times Square is showered with confetti upon which thousands of people worldwide have written their wishes. Individuals can submit wishes in person at the Wishing Wall or online via timessquarenyc.org
(page available in English, Spanish and French). All wishes are collected and added to the confetti that rains down onto the square as 2016 begins. Starting in December, the Mobile Wishing Wall will be available in New York City. Seetimessquarenyc.org for specific locations and times.
Good Riddance Day: The Times Square Alliance and Shred-it will once again come together to put on a Good Riddance Day celebration in Times Square, where anyone can bid their bad memories of 2015 a hearty farewell. Old love letters, cellphones and pink slips alike all can be brought to be shredded or destroyed with a mobile shredding truck or mallet with rubber matt available for attendees on December 28 from noon to 1pm. Available on Shred-it’s website is a form to be entered into the contest to win a trip to NYC for Good Riddance Day and New Year’s Eve. Those who can’t make it to Times Square can submit things to be shredded via the website shredit.com or tweet with the hashtag #GoodRiddanceDay.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Since 2006, Ryan Seacrest has hosted the number one Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Featuring live performances including headliner Carrie Underwood, the show will begin at 8pm, continuing through the night. In addition to Underwood’s performance, actress and comedian Jenny McCarthy will report live from Times Square while popstar Fergie returns to host the Billboard Hollywood Party. For more information, go to dickclark.com.
New York Botanical Garden: As a part of the 2015–2016 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. The event runs from January 2 to 24, with select show times, and parents are encouraged to bring cameras for photo opportunities with Thomas. Visit nybg.org for tickets and the full performance schedule.
Coney Island LED Ball Drop: For those who want to experience the thrill of the ball drop without the crowds of Times Square, Coney Island will be hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration with an LED ball drop simulated on the Parachute Jump. A fantastic fireworks show will be held at midnight, and boardwalk bars and restaurants will be open for after parties. For more information, visit coneyislandusa.com
Prospect Park Fireworks: Visitors and locals can New Year’s Eve in Prospect Park under Brooklyn’s beautiful annual fireworks display at midnight, sponsored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. This event is free and open to all ages and includes hot refreshments and entertainment. The Grand Army Plaza, along West Drive in Prospect Park, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 95th Street are the best places to see the spectacular fireworks show. For more information, visit prospectpark.org.
Jimmy Buffett at the Barclays Center: The Barclays Center will host Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band for their first New Year’s Eve concert in New York City, where they will perform music spanning their entire career. For more information, visit barclayscenter.com.
Coney Island Polar Bear Club Annual New Year’s Day Swim: On New Year’s Day 2016, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club will uphold the tradition of its annual plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. The swim is open to the public and starts at 1pm on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Camp Sunshine, a charity for children with life-threatening illnesses, will be accepting donations. For more event, pledging and registration details, visit polarbearclub.org.
New York Philharmonic: On New Year’s Eve, Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall will resound with French delights like Offenbach’s Can-Can and Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals among others for the New York Philharmonic’s La Vie Parisienne. Pianist Makoto Ozone, artist-in-association Inon Barnatan and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will make guest appearances and headline the fantastic show, conducted by Alan Gilbert. For more information, visit nyphil.org.
The Metropolitan Opera: The Metropolitan Opera will perform Les Pêcheurs de Perles December 31 through February 4, the first Met performance of Georges Bizet’s beautiful opera in a century. Set in the Far East, it is a story about lust and longing, featuring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien. Following the performance on New Year’s Eve, there will be dinner and dancing on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier. For more information, visit MetOpera.org.
Madison Square Garden: A popular touring act since the late nineties, Phish returns to Madison Square Garden with a show to ring in the New Year. Throngs of loyal fans will fill the concert hall from December 30 through January 2 for their unique and famed concerts. For more information, visit thegarden.com.
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine: The Cathedral Choir, Orchestra, and soloist Jamet Pittman will be joined by guests Judy Collins, Jason Robert Brown, and host Harry Smith of NBC News for this year’s New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. For more than 25 years, the show has brought people together to bring in the New Year with peace, which will this year feature Leonard Bernstein’s work, with a performance of his Chichester Psalms. A limited number of general admission seats are free and open to the public. Later in the evening, a special late-night service will be held to ring in the New Year. For more information, visit stjohndivine.org.
Merchant’s House Museum: On New Year’s Day, the Merchant’s House Museum in the East Village will be re-creating one of old New York’s cherished traditions—paying house calls to revive and reaffirm friendships. House tours, 19th-century readings on New Year’s Day celebrations, punch and confections will all be part of the festivities, as well as a holiday raffle drawing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit merchantshouse.org.
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 2016. This year’s event includes an open bar, nonstop cocktail-style delicacies and a night full of exciting entertainment. There will be live performances, dancing and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. VIP guests will enjoy two additional hours at the open bar. For more information, visit ripleysnewyork.com.
New York Road Runners Midnight Run: On New Year’s Eve, the four-mile NYRR Midnight Run takes off in Central Park. The night begins with dancing and music at 10pm, followed by a costume contest at 11pm. The race around the park will begin at 11:59pm beneath 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.
Bateaux New York will host a New Year’s Eve cruise offering a sophisticated experience highlighted by live soft jazz and fine dining. Gourmet cuisine and a carefully curated wine list are included in the luxurious evening, as well as party favors, a premium bar package, and beautiful views of the skyline. For more information visit bateauxnewyork.com.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: For an exciting twist on the classic Circle Line cruise, ships will take guests to the Statue of Liberty to watch the annual fireworks show. The party cruise includes hors d’oeuvres, a full open bar, party favors, a DJ, and a midnight champagne toast. The cruise boards at 9pm and sails from 10pm to 1am. (Must be 18 years old to board and 21 years old to drink alcohol.) For more information or to purchase tickets, visit circleline42.com.
World Yacht Cruises: World Yacht Cruises will also host a New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise, which boasts eye-catching views of the fireworks and sweeping views of the City, all seen from the Statue of Liberty. The cruise goes around Manhattan and includes a five-course dinner, premium open bar, DJ, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Boarding is at 9pm, and the cruise sails from 10pm to 1am. The fun continues with a dockside party until 1:30am. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit worldyacht.com.
Waldorf Astoria New York: Visitors coming to the City can celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with a gourmet meal at Peacock Alley at the famed Waldorf Astoria New York. The hotel’s restaurant will offer a dinner fete with seafood, caviar and traditional dinner stations complete with a live band, dancing and premium open bar. Visitors can book now ateventbrite.com. Additionally, the hotel’s historic restaurant, Bull & Bear Prime Steakhouse, will offer a pre-fixe dinner menu, live band and dancing with several packages to choose from. For reservations, visit opentable.com
Mandarin Oriental New York: The Mandarin Oriental New York invites visitors to ring in the New Year at its annual black-tie New Year’s Eve gala, featuring an open bar cocktail hour, six-course gourmet dinner and live entertainment throughout the evening. The hotel also has a special New Year’s Eve Celebration Hotel Package, which includes luxury accommodations, two tickets to the gala and daily breakfast. For more information and to reserve, emailNewYearsEveNYC@mohg.com.
InterContinental New York Times Square: Ca Va Brasserie by Todd English at the InterContinental New York Times Square invites visitors to count down to the new year with its exclusive masquerade party, featuring unlimited food and drinks from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The hotel will also offer a special New Year’s Eve package with a minimum two night stay. For more information, visit interconny.com.
Mastro’s Steakhouse: The critically-acclaimed restaurant will be hosting an elegant celebration with their famous cuisine taking center stage. There will be live entertainment featuring the MKG Trio as well as dancing and party favors for guests. Passed hors d’oeuvres and handcrafted cocktails will be available throughout the night and the traditional champagne toast will take place at midnight. For more information, visit mastrosrestaurants.com
Resorts World Casino: This year for New Year’s Eve, Resorts World Casino will be hosting the Legends in Concert tribute show, featuring impersonators of Tina Turner, Prince, Lady Gaga, Rod Stewart and many others. Tickets range from general admission to VVIP, and all guests must be 18 and over. The show will begin at 9pm. Following the show, a party will be held at Club360, and all casino games will be available, including over 3,000 slot machines. For more information, visitrwnewyork.com
Nicotra’s Ballroom: Beginning at 7:30pm, Nicotra’s Ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island will host a New Year’s Eve Gala to ring in 2016. It will be an elegant occasion complete with cocktail reception, gourmet dinner and traditional champagne toast. A DJ will play music all night for dancing, and guests will enjoy a fantastic light show. There will be a live feed of Times Square playing through the night for viewing the ball drop. For more info, visitnicotrasballroom.com.
Angelina’s Ristorante: Visitors and locals can spend their 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 more details, visit angelinasristorante.com.
To plan a New Year’s Eve visit to New York City, check out NYC & Company’s guide at nycgo.com/newyearseve.