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New Year’s Eve fireworks in NYC

Check out the best New Year’s Eve fireworks NYC has to offer and ring in 2019 with a bang (literally)

By Time Out New York contributors and Jillian Anthony |
Courtesy Prospect Park Alliance/Azikiwe Aboagye

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. Whether or not this is your NYE fantasy (or if the thought made your barf), you will surely see bursts of light over the neon dream of Times Square, as well as some of the best NYC Parks and New York attractions like the Brooklyn Bridge on New Year’s Eve. Read on for our recommendations on where to watch this year’s awesome display of pyrotechnics. That is, if you don’t mind the cold!

RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to New Year's Eve in NYC

New Year’s Eve fireworks in NYC

Prospect Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Tom Giebel
Things to do

New Year's Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park

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.

Things to do

New Year's Eve in Times Square

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. 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. It may sound like no fun, but this is really the best kind of holiday masochism, and 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.

Photograph: Courtesy Jeffrey Kag
Things to do

Brooklyn Bridge Walk into the New Year

Guides trained by historian and tour leader Dr. Phil (not that one) organize multiple groups to take in the New Year from the iconic landmark. After tidbits about the bridge are revealed, all the tours will pause to scan the skyline for midnight fireworks. To book tickets visit the website. The gathering begins at 10:30pm. The tour meets at 160 Broadway and concluded on the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Photograph: Courtesy NYRR
Things to do

NYRR Midnight Run

Run as if 2018 were chasing you (and truly, can you imagine a scarier horror concept?) at New York Road Runners’ annual four-mile Midnight Run, which provides credit to finishers toward the New York City Marathon. At midnight, start your trek with hundreds of other festive joggers, and take in the gorgeous fireworks display at an endorphin-fueled after party. (Trust us: It’s a hell of a lot healthier than binge drinking and hooking up with a rando.) Be sure to register online before the big date. 

Things to do, Walks and tours

New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise

With a four-course dinner, open bar and champagne toast at midnight, this New Year's Eve cruise is a pretty sweet deal. Toast to the past year, show off your dance moves and prepare to ooh and ahh over the fireworks show.

Things to do

New York City New Year's Eve Circle Line Cruise

Ring in 2019 in style on this New Year's Eve cruise on the Hudson River. You can't beat the view of fireworks bursting above the Manhattan skyline. Boogie to tunes spun by the DJ as you sip drinks from the premium open bar.

Want to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks from a rooftop bar?