New Year's Eve events in New York

From fireworks to bowling, find the perfect event to ring in the New Year

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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/look@j/Flickr


Looking for ideas on how to spend New Year's Eve? Besides for New Year's Eve parties and New Year's Eve concerts, enjoy fireworks in Times Square or put on something festive and take part in a under-the-stars bike ride through Manhattan. Find the perfect New Year's Eve events to welcome 2015 in style.

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
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Brooklyn Bowl New Years Eve

Bowling on New Year's Eve? It's an entirely novel way to celebrate the turn of the calendar. This year might as well split. (Sorry, we couldn't help ourselves. )

  1. Brooklyn Bowl 61 Wythe Ave, at North 11th St, 11211
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

Dr. Phil’s Brooklyn Bridge Walk Into the New Year

  • Price band: 2/4

Guides trained by historian and tour leader Dr. Phil (not that one) organize multiple groups to take in the New Year from the iconic landmark. After tidbits about the bridge are revealed, all the tours will pause to scan the skyline for midnight fireworks. To book tickets call 888-377-4455 or visit nycwalks.com. Meet in front of McDonald's, 160 Broadway between Cortlandt and Liberty Sts. Tours depart 10:15–11:15pm. 

  1. Manhattan
  2. Wed Dec 31
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
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New Year's Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

A firm favorite of families and house parties taking a tactical break from drinking to sober up in the night air, this hootenanny warms up with live music and hot beverages in Grand Army Plaza. Try not to get tears in your cocoa as Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz hands the metaphorical keys over to his successor, Eric Adams. The best vantage points for the 15-minute display at midnight are at Grand Army Plaza, inside the park on West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. Enter at Flatbush Ave and Prospect Park West, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

  1. Prospect Park Prospect Park West to Flatbush Ave, between Prospect Park Southwest and Ocean Ave
  2. Wed Dec 31
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New Year's Eve Concert for Peace

  • Price band: 2/4

Wrap up 2013 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
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New Year's Eve Meditation

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Kadampa Meditation Center in Chelsea offers a serene alternative to the flashy excesses of New Year's Eve in NYC. You'll start the evening snacking on hors d'oeuvres, then sit for resident teacher Kadam Morten leading the Buddha of Compassion practice (prayers, mantras, meditation). You'll finish the night setting intentions for the coming year and toasting 2014 with a booze-free beverage. Cruise into New Year's Day with your dignity intact? How very civilized.

  1. Kadampa Meditation Center 127 W 24th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves, 10011
  2. Wed Dec 31 - Thu Jan 1
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41st Annual New Year's Day Marathon Benefit Reading

  • Critics choice

What better way to banish that New Year’s Eve hangover than with verse and good food? On the first afternoon of the year, almost 200 of the city’s best poets, artists and performers gather at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery and, one after another, recite their work to a hall full of listeners. Readers this year include Philip Glass, Eileen Myles, Anne Waldman and Thomas Sayers Ellis, and local shops will cater the 11-hour affair.

  1. The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church 131 E 10th St, at Second Ave, 10003
  2. Thu Jan 1
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Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year's Day Swim

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Meet at the Boardwalk and Stillwell Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn. Suggested donation of $20. Would you believe us if we told you a dip in the Atlantic is great for a hangover? Even if you don't buy it, cheering those brave—or crazy—enough to take the plunge will stir you from your stupor. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club's annual New Year's Day Swim welcomes hundreds of swimmers, without the benefit of blubber, underfur or guard hairs, to venture out into the ocean. Warm clothes, a pair of sneakers you don’t mind ruining (or surf boots, if you’ve got them) and the fortitude to actually go through with it are all that’s required to take part in the brisk tradition. Membership is not required for this dip, but if you're planning on taking the plunge, help the organization raise funds for Camp Sunshine, a charity that supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

  1. Coney Island Beach Surf Ave, between Ocean Pkwy and W 37th St
  2. Thu Jan 1
More info


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