A guide to New Year’s Eve in NYC

Make New Year’s Eve 2021 worth remembering using our guide containing things to do and how to celebrate

Times Square on New Years Eve
Photograph: Shutterstock

New Year's Eve 2021 is almost here and 2022 is just around the corner, finally! The biggest party in NYC in Times Square is back but only fully vaccinated people will be able to celebrate in Times Square at the strike of midnight. It'll be a different NYE, but there's much fun to be had as we kick 2021 to the curb. This is our essential guide to New Year's Eve 2021 in New York City

When is New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve takes place on the last day of the year: Friday, December 31, 2021.

Is the Times Square Eve Ball Drop still taking place?

Yes, but only fully vaccinated people will be able to celebrate in Times Square. According to an official statement, attendees that are five years of age or older will have to present proof of vaccination to hang out in the area. Unvaccinated minors under the age of five, on the other hand, must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult to enter the event and they will have to don face coverings throughout their stay. People that are unable to get vaccinated because of a disability will have to present proof of a negative PCR test taken at least 72 hours prior to the event and also wear a mask for the duration of the festivities.

When is the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration?

Friday, December 31, starting at 6pm. 

Who will be performing and what will I see during the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration?

The New Year’s Eve Ball coverage begins at 6 p.m. and will include hourly countdowns and live musical performances, which will be announced soon. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve is hosted by Ryan Seacrest will return as well. NBC and Carson Daly will host their own show.

How do I tune in to see the ball drop?

The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment are streaming a webcast of the 2021 New Year's Eve celebration starting at 6pm.

You can also watch the ball drop live at TimesSquareNYC.org and TimesSquareBall.net.

New Year’s Eve 2021 in NYC

The best New Year’s Eve events in NYC
Things to do

The best New Year’s Eve events in NYC

Start it all off right with the best New Year's Eve possible. No matter how you’re hoping to ring in 2022—sloppy, sober, laid-back or nuts—we’ve got the NYE celebration for you. So don your festive getups and get ready for a night of New Year’s Eve fireworks, amazing dinners and more first-of-the-year festivities with this roundup of the best attractions and events for ringing in the New Year. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Year’s Eve in NYC

Times Square New Year’s Eve guide
Things to do

Times Square New Year’s Eve guide

An iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is not only a New York tradition, it’s a global phenomenon. An estimated one million revelers flock to the land of LED screens to witness one of the best NYC events in December, which includes star-studded New Year’s Eve parties, the inevitable surprise engagement and a chance to be featured on live television. This year is much different and the desire to say "goodbye" to 2020 is great. Here's what you need to know about this year's Times Square New Year's Eve. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Years Eve in NYC Is the New Year's Ball Drop happening? Yes. This year, the party in Times Square will be limited to an "extremely limited" group of socially distanced in-person honorees, who will "reflect the themes, challenges and inspirations of 2020," according to the Times Square Alliance. You'll have to tune in virtually or rent this geodesic dome on Airbnb. When is the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration? Thursday, December 31, starting at 6pm.  Who will be performing and what will I see during the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration? The New Year’s Eve Ball coverage begins at 6 p.m. and will include hourly countdowns, live musical performances from Gloria Gaynor, who will sing "I Will Survive," special guests, and the pushing of the Waterford Crystal button that signals the Ball Drop at midnight. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve is hosted by Ryan Seacrest will be headlined by Jennifer Lopez, who will be joined by Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper and Jimmie Allen. Ciara will oversee the Los Angeles festivities again for the fourth year. NBC and Carson Daly will host their own show with performances across the country featuring AJR, Busta Rhymes, Doja Cat, Goo Goo Dolls, Kylie Minogue, Chloe x Halle, Jason Derulo, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Sting, Shirazee, Anderson Paak and CNCO. How do I tune in to see the ball drop? The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment are streaming a webcast of the 2021 New Year's Eve celebration starting at 6pm. This year, VNYE (Virtual New Year's Eve) is bringing Times Square to our mobile devices and computers in an over-the-top way through a virtual reality- and augmented reality-based platform, where everyone can create and customize their own avatar and explore a vibrant virtual Times Square. You can also watch the ball drop live at TimesSquareNYC.org, TimesSquareBall.net and livestream.com/2021 and right here:

The best New Year’s Eve dinner in NYC
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The best New Year’s Eve dinner in NYC

Peace the ’eff out, 2021. Like everything this year, New Year’s Eve celebrations will be slightly different, but thankfully some traditions remain, from the Times Square New Year's Eve ball drop (yes, it’s still happening) to the holiday menus and specials on offer from some of NYC’s best restaurants. Indoor dining may be closed, but you can still have yourself a festive feast at home on December 31st thanks to these NYC takeout and delivery options. Consider it a delicious way to bid adieu to this chaotic year. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Year’s Eve in NYC

New Year’s Eve fireworks in NYC
Things to do

New Year’s Eve fireworks in NYC

Imagine: The clock strikes midnight on December 31 and stunning New Year’s Eve fireworks light up the sky while you plant a big smooch on your honey. 

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The best places for New Year’s Day brunch in NYC
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The best places for New Year’s Day brunch in NYC

You're exhausted: You watched the Times Square ball drop, took in the beautiful New Year’s Eve fireworks and now have the ultimate New Year’s Day hangover—what better way, then, to ring in the first day of the year with New Year’s Day brunch in NYC? Whether you want yours sweet or savory or both, these holiday specials and kits available for takeout and delivery are great options for your first meal of 2020, RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

The best things to do on New Year’s Day in NYC
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The best things to do on New Year’s Day in NYC

The party continues on New Year’s Day with fun daytime activities, DJ sets and great ways to unwind

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The best New Year’s songs

Ring in the new year with this list of the best New Year's songs, from dance music classics to German punk rock

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Past New Year’s Eve in NYC coverage

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20 things you’ll definitely see on New Year’s Eve in NYC

You're ready to rage through the night, ringing in the New Year with an animal fervor that brings New York City to its knees, its lesser humans begging you for mercy. Maybe you've planned it all out or maybe you're going to wing it. Either way, you need to prepare yourself for the good, the bad, the ugly and the very, very awkward.  RECOMMENDED: New Year's Eve in NYC 1. Five minutes 'til midnight, people sizing up their make-out options.   2. People being charged absolutely ludicrous prices for drinks (and not giving a shit).   3. Some stooge waiting to hear this.    4. People getting the hell out of Manhattan after midnight any way they can.   5. A very quick flip from celebrating to sick. via GIPHY   6. The person who woke up in the wrong borough.   7. Someone who felt left out gets invited to a party at the last minute.   8. The guy who should be dead by now, but is somehow still partying.   9. The person who needs to be picked up off the floor when it’s time to go home.   10. The guy who sees his two ugliest friends making out with each other   11. That dude convinced he’s the sexiest man on Earth. And ladies: New Year’s Eve is your lucky night.   12. People realizing that the dumb thing they just did is going to be all over their Facebook feed the next morning.   13. The cute single person who brought their super awkward friend to the party.   14. The girl who’s just completely failed to kiss her crush at midnight.   15. Regret. So much regret.   16. The dude who took Molly for the first time.   17. Someone having a shitty night who remains determined to turn it around.   18. Wasted bros who currently find everything hilarious.   19. A victim of circumstance.   20. Seacrest elbowing his way into your night.    

25 classic photos of New Year’s Eve in New York
Things to do

25 classic photos of New Year’s Eve in New York

Feeling nostalgic as we gear up for the New Year? Ogling these classic photos of New Year's Eve in NYC will make you even sappier. Whether you’re getting the singular New Year’s Eve experience of braving the cold during the infamous Times Square celebration or hitting up one of the dozens of New Year’s Eve parties or concerts that will be ushering in 2018, you’re guaranteed an incredible night out in New York. How do we know that? Because people have been getting crazy on December 31 here forever. Check out these shots of NYC on New Year’s Eve through the decades for proof. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Year’s Eve in NYC

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