You don't want to blow New Year's Eve in NYC—it's the biggest party of the year! But you don't want to blow your entire savings account either. Forgo those expensive New Year's Eve parties and pricy, fancy restaurants (they're so 2017), and sign up for one of these budget-friendly and cheap things to do on New Year's Eve instead. We've included awesome events and parties that are either free or priced under $100, so you can start 2018 with a good chunk of money in the bank.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Year's Eve in NYC
Affordable things to do on New Year's Eve
An iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is not only a New York tradition, it’s a global phenomenon. (And it's totally free!) An estimate of one million revelers will 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 concerts, the inevitable surprise engagement and a chance to be featured on live television.
The only headache you’ll wake up with after this extravaganza will be from taking one too many spins on the Ferris wheel. Once again, the Alliance for Coney Island opens the city’s famous summertime playground at the end of December. In addition to fireworks over the boardwalk and live sideshow performances, chilly seaside revelers have the cool opportunity (if the weather cooperates) to take rides on the B&B Carousell, the Wonder Wheel and the Thunderbolt. The New York Aquarium also joins the action by welcoming visitors until 9pm—the penguins have already donned their tuxedos for the big night.
Ring in the new year dancing with fellow Smiths devotees to tribute band the Sons & Heirs—an outfit so respected that Morrissey’s long-time drummer Spencer Cobrin and the Smiths member Andy Rourke have both performed with it in the past—and sets by DJs Tesco Jane and Ceremony. You'll be hard-pressed to find another NYE celebration that's as deliciously morose.
Honestly, who gets to a party before midnight? Watch the ball drop, clink some champagne, then head to this late night dance party featuring DJ Ceremony spinning the best in new wave, indie, Brit pop and more. Not only do you not have to rush, cover is only $5, so your New Year's resolution to save money is safe.
Bundle up for a free, low-key New Year’s Eve with fireworks sparkling over Park Slope. Live music starts at around 10:30pm at Grand Army Plaza, where you can also snag a cup of hot cocoa. At midnight, fireworks will go off at Long Meadow; the best vantage points are at Grand Army Plaza, inside the park on West Drive and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.
The Artist Formally known as Prince may have left the physical plane behind, but his music and influence will live on in 2018 and beyond. Throw on your three-eyed glasses and velour trenchcoat and get ready to dance the night away at this tribute, which will project 1984's Purple Rain on the wall while you get down to classics like "Raspberry Beret" and "Cream." Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
Countdown the hours to 2018 at one of the best bars in Astoria—The Ditty! End 2017 on a tipsy note with a three-hour open bar followed by a champagne toast at midnight. The bar opens its doors to non-ticket holders once the ball drops to throw an all-night dance party (yes, really—it ends at 8am). And there will be a live telecast of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve at the venue as well. With great good, booze, dancing and board games to play, what more could you want from a New Year's Eve bash?