New Year’s Eve is going to be a lot different in NYC this year

Make New Year’s Eve 2020 worth remembering using our guide containing things to do and how to celebrate

Photograph: Shutterstock

New Year's Eve 2020 couldn't come any sooner. We'll happily say "goodbye" and ring in 2021 this year with gusto. Of course, the biggest party in NYC in Times Square, will still go on, but as a massively scaled-down virtual event. It'll be a strange NYE, but there's much fun to be had as we kick 2020 to the curb. This is our essential guide to New Year's Eve 2020 in New York City

When is New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve takes place on the last day of the year: Thursday, December 31, 2020.

Is the Times Square Eve Ball Drop still taking place?

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.


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, Pitbull, Anitta, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen, Machine Gun Kelly, The Waffle Crew, and USO Show Troupe, 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, and 

Or you can simply catch it on our Instagram Live.

Are parties still happening?

No, the new rule of having a maximum of 10 people in a gathering is putting the kibosh on parties this year. But below, we've come up with a number of ways you can still celebrate this year, from joining the Times Square celebration virtually to comedy shows and special hotel stays.


New Year’s Eve 2020 in NYC

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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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