Free things to do on New Year's Eve

You can have an amazing New Year’s Eve in New York without breaking the bank

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There are some magnificent New Year’s Eve events happening in NYC and you don’t need to spend a fortune, or anything at all for that matter, to get in on the festivities. It’s time to break out the champagne and ring in 2015 right with New Year’s Eve fireworks displays and free New Year’s Eve concerts. Check back as we’ll be adding even more events through December 31.

RECOMMENDED: NYC New Year's Eve guide

New Year's Eve at Times Square

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Broadway between 40th and 53rd Sts. Since 1907, a sparkly sphere has been lowered in Times Square, and even though the rest of the country has adopted the tradition, New York can still lay claim to it. Arrive by 3pm (earlier if the weather is nice) to stake out a spot in the Broadway–Seventh Avenue bowtie, and be prepared to stay put: There are no public restrooms or food vendors, and leaving means giving up your spot. It may sound like no fun, but this is really the best kind of holiday masochism, and your endurance will be rewarded with performances held across two stages, beginning at 6pm. A burst of pyrotechnics from One Times Square, every hour on the hour through 11pm, should whet the appetite for the ball drop at a minute to midnight. The geodesic sphere (11,875 pounds, 12 feet across and covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and 32, 256 LEDs) descends 70 feet before an almighty 60-second fireworks display of more than 3,000 colorful effects and confetti is released into the city sky.

  1. Times Square Broadway, between 42nd and 47th Sts
  2. Wed Dec 31 - Thu Jan 1
More info

New Year's Eve Fireworks

  • Free

Bundle up for a free, low-key New Year’s Eve with hot beverages and fireworks sparkling over Park Slope. Live music starts at around 11pm at Grand Army Plaza, where you can also snag a free cup of hot cocoa. At midnight, fireworks will go off at Long Meadow; the best vantage points are at Grand Army Plaza, inside the park on West Drive and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. RECOMMENDED: More New Year's Eve fireworks displays in NYC 2012

  1. Grand Army Plaza enter at Flatbush Ave and Prospect Park West
  2. Wed Dec 31 - Thu Jan 1
More info

New Year's Eve Party Ride

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Grassroots environmental organization Time’s Up organizes this under-the-stars bike ride, which begins in Washington Square Park (and a few satellite locations) and ends at Central Park’s Belvedere Castle at 11:45pm. Participants are encouraged to wear festive outfits and bring treats for the outdoor after-party.

  1. Washington Square Park W 4th St to Waverly Pl, between MacDougal St and University Pl
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

Purple Rain New Year's Eve Dance Party

  • Free

Relive the glory that is Prince’s Purple Rain with a screening of the film at 9:30pm, followed by a dance party all night with your favorite hits from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The event is free, so don’t skimp on a lace and velvet costume.

  1. Videology 308 Bedford Ave, between South 1st and 2nd Sts, 11211
  2. Wed Dec 31 - Thu Jan 1
More info

New Year's Eve Concert for Peace

  • Price band: 2/4

Wrap up 2014 with timeless works by Mozart, Handel and Haydn, joined by legendary vocalist Judy Collins and NBC correspondent Harry Smith, who will host the program. A limited number of free tickets will be available at the door.

  1. Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine 1047 Amsterdam Ave, at 112th St
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball

  • Free

Ring in the New Year at Passenger Bar with go-go dancers, a photo booth and a champagne toast at midnight.

  1. Passenger Bar 229 Roebling St, at South 3rd St, 11211
  2. Wed Dec 31 - Thu Jan 1
More info

Murderfist’s New Year

  • Critics choice
  • Free

No-holds-barred sketch troupe Murderfist returns to deliver their annual New Year's event. The night will be filled with performances from local sketch groups and stand-ups. After the laughs, there's a champagne toast at midnight. Be ready for something wild.

  1. The Creek and the Cave 10-93 Jackson Ave, at 11th St, 11101
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

The Show

  • Free

Stand-up Chris Laker doesn't just ask guests to bring their jokes to his weekly show; after they're finished with their acts, all of the comics will sit down to solve the world's problems in a brief conversation.

  1. The Creek and the Cave 10-93 Jackson Ave, at 11th St, 11101
  2. Wed Dec 17 - Wed Dec 31
More info

New Year's Eve on Staten Island Ferry

  • Free

'Tis the poor man's cruise. Board this ferry late on Dec 31 for a magnificent view of lower Manhattan to ring in the New Year.

  1. Staten Island Ferry South St, at Whitehall St
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info


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