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13 fabulous New Year’s Eve events at every price point

Annalise Mantz
Written by
Annalise Mantz

No holiday is more stereotypically New York than New Year’s Eve. After all, we’ve got Dick Clark, Times Square and the infamous ball. Whether you want the full When Harry Met Sally New Year’s Eve experience—complete with dancing, confetti and a romantic confession—or a low-key night with your crew, there’s something on this list for everyone.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Year’s Eve in NYC


Fireworks at Prospect Park
For a laid-back, family-friendly celebration, head to Park Slope to watch the fireworks show at Prospect Park. The live music starts at 11pm in Grand Army Plaza, and the pyrotechnics will kick off the new year at midnight. Pro tip: bundle up and head to the plaza early to snag a free cup of hot cocoa. Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park; 11pm; free

Night Bike Ride and Outdoor After–Party
Kick off the new year with a group bike ride through Manhattan to Belvedere Castle in Central Park for a massive outdoor dance party. Meet on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge at 9:45pm, under the arch in Washington Square Park at 10pm or on the Flatiron side of Madison Square Park at 10:20pm to join the fun. Don’t forget the party hats, glow sticks and noisemakers! Various locations and times; free

New Years Eve in Times Square
Only the truly committed will camp out in Times Square to watch the ball drop in person. You’ve got to get there by 3pm to secure a spot, but the earlier you arrive, the better your view. Your dedication will be rewarded with a prime view of the live performances and sparkling geodesic sphere descending from One Times Square. A word to the wise: with no public restrooms on site, you probably shouldn’t drink or eat too much beforehand. Times Square; performances start at 6pm; free

Under $50

Animal Collective
The beloved avant-pop outfit is coming to the Brooklyn Bowl for a late-night DJ set once the clock strikes midnight. The experimental band might show off tracks from their most recent album Painting With, or go another direction—it’s anyone’s guess with this group. The website also hints that several as-yet-unnamed special guests will make an appearance. Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn; midnight; tickets start at $25

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night
Since Dec 31 also happens to be the last night of Kwanzaa, why not combine the two celebrations? The Apollo Theater has hosted a musical celebration for the last ten years, and they’re not about to stop now. You won’t want to miss Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre performing its signature combination of modern dance, ballet, hip-hop and West African movement. Apollo Theater, 253 W 125th St; 7:30pm; tickets start at $34

Knitting Factory NYE Party
Some say the way you spend New Year’s Eve will be the way you spend the year ahead. To usher in a year of crazy dance parties, hit up the Knitting Factory’s annual function. This year’s bash features sets by Savoir Adore, Paperwhite, Luxxury, Panama Wedding and DJ Juan MacLean, plus two dance floors and an hourlong open bar. Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn; doors open at 8pm; tickets start at $40

Snarky Puppy
Brooklyn-based instrumental ensemble Snarky Puppy isn’t quite jazz or R&B or pop, but some genre-bending combination of the three. Since it's made up of a shifting coalition of 40 or so musicians, the show changes slightly every time. Catch the Grammy-winning collective at an 8pm Union Square show to ring in 2017. Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl; 8pm; tickets start at $48

$50 to $100

James Brown Dance Party
Watch the ball drop from your favorite bar, then head to the Gramercy Theater for one of several late-night follow-ups to the Phish concert. The James Brown Dance Party celebrates the music of guess who—James Brown—with performances from a rotating stable of musicians. The latest installment features drummer Clyde Stubblefield, Giant Country Horns, Jazz Is Phish and more. Gramercy Theater, 127 E 23rd St; midnight; tickets start at $52

New York Road Runners Midnight Run
That whole drunken debauchery thing is overrated. Ring in the new year the healthy way—with a four-mile run through Central Park. The fireworks bursting in the sky overhead are sure to keep you motivated. Central Park; 10pm; $55 for New York Road Runner members, $60 for non-members

Metropolitan Opera: Romeo and Juliet
All that midnight revelry is so 2016. Opt for something classier, like the opera. Don your finest threads and settle into the plush velvet seats at the Metropolitan Opera House to watch the bard’s most famous love story come to life. Since the show starts early, there’s still plenty of time to sip champagne after the final curtain falls. Metropolitan Opera House (at Lincoln Center), 30 Lincoln Center Plaza; 6:30pm; tickets start at $56

Instead of the jazz and blues acts you’ll usually hear at B.B. King’s, theNEWDEAL will bring their unique blend of electronica to the venue. Better squeeze in some time for a nap that afternoon, or plan to grab a late-night coffee—expect this show to continue into the wee hours of the morning. B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W 42nd St; 1:30am; tickets start at $76

BYOB Handmade Pasta Class
If you’d rather twirl pasta than pop bottles, book seats for you and a friend at an evening cooking class. This one allows you to bring your own booze and chow down on gourmet noodles—win-win! 109 W 27th St, 10th floor; classes at 3pm, 6pm and 9pm; $79 per person

Over $100

Fireworks Cruise
Escape the hectic city atmosphere with a night cruise on New York Harbor. You’ll enjoy an unobstructed view of the fireworks, plus a fully stocked open bar. It’s way better than having to brave the lines (and pay the crazy cover charge) at one of the city’s bars or clubs. Pier 78, 455 12th Ave; 10pm; $150 per person

Buffet Dinner Cruise
Japanese tradition calls for eating soba noodles on New Year’s Day for good luck—the length of the strands is said to signify long life. Spaghetti and fettuccine count too, right? You’ll find plenty of options available on this dinner cruise with an Italian buffet. Chow down as you watch the fireworks burst over the harbor—and don’t forget to wash it down with a glass of bubbly. Location TBA; 9pm; $185 per person

Luxury Three-Course Dinner Cruise
What could be more romantic than dinner and dancing? Dinner and dancing on a private yacht cruising the Hudson River. Start with passed hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail, then sit down for a three-course meal. After you’ve twirled around the dance floor to your heart’s content, finish the night with champagne. Chelsea Piers; 9pm; $438 per person

Private Times Square Ball Drop Party
You’ll feel like a real VIP at this ritzy party. The suite looks out onto Times Square, so you’ll have an ideal view of the ball drop without having to wait out in the cold all day. The luxe atmosphere has it all: an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a full buffet, a live DJ set, a magician and a photobooth. You might not be willing to go back to a grungy neighborhood bar or friend’s house party next year—don’t say we didn’t warn you. Convene Conference Center, 810 7th Ave; 8pm; $799 per person


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