New Year's Eve fireworks
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. Pack plenty of snacks and 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. 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. Broadway between 40th and 53rd Sts. Free. All ages.
If Mom or Dad want to start off 2016 on a healthy kick, gather in Central Park with the kids to cheer them on—the four-mile New York Road Runner race begins at the stroke of midnight, with plenty of entertainment beforehand. There will be DJs, neon face painting, strobe lights, photo opportunities and giveaways beginning at 10pm. Little ones will love watching the 15-minute fireworks display as the runners go by with their flashing, light-up shoelaces. There’s even a sparkling cider toast at the halfway point! Starts at 11:59pm (nyrr.org). $60, children $30. All ages.
Guides trained by historian and tour leader Dr. Phil Schoenberg will accompany multiple groups to the iconic landmark to take in the New Year. After tidbits about the bridge are revealed, participants will pause to scan the skyline for midnight fireworks. Make a reservation by phone or email if you plan to pay in cash. Meet in front of McDonald’s, 160 Broadway between Cortlandt and Liberty Sts. Tours begin at 10:15pm and 11:15pm. Subway: A, C to Broadway–Nassau St; J, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Fulton St. All ages.