The Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is not only a New York tradition—it’s a global phenomenon. An estimate 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. Note: It takes many layers of clothing, a strong bladder (no bathrooms) and a great attitude to enjoy the experience, so we’re providing all the tips and all the information you need in order to make the most of it. If watching the ball drop and getting covered in confetti isn’t your thing, there are many other New Year’s Eve events worth checking out.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Years Eve in NYC
When should I arrive to the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration?
First off, prepare for a long night! If you want a prime viewing spot of all the performances, it is recommended that you get there by noon on Saturday, December 31. The best viewing area for the show is near the Bowtie (where Broadway meets Seventh Avenue). If you want to get a good spot to watch the ball drop, don’t fret. There will be plenty of video screens set up showing One Times Square (where the ball is located.) If you’re heading to Times Square after 3pm, enter from the north. Since the ball drops at the southern end, the area fills up from the bottom, so filtering down from the top lets you ease your way into the crowds, rather than trying to punch in where they're most dense. Note: You can only access Times Square from Sixth Avenue and Eighth Avenue only on New Year’s Eve.
How do I get to the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration?
Our advice? Don’t take the subway. Times Square–42nd Street is one of the biggest hubs of the subway system, serving eight (or 11, depending on how you look at it) different lines. Do not attempt to get off there. It will be far too crowded. Plus, the MTA may close off some exits due to security/crowd flow concerns, making it even more of a nightmare. Your best bets are the B, D, F, or M to 47th–50th Streets/Rockefeller Center or the C or E to 50th Street.
What time does the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration start?
At 6pm, the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is raised to the top of the pole at One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd St). Shortly after, the Times Square Alliance sanitation crew will distribute thousands of party favors, including hats, glasses, noisemakers—you name it. The live, televised show and performances kick off at 8pm.
Who will be performing during the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration?
The show will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest with Jenny McCarthy also reporting live. And there will be musical performances by DNCE, Thomas Rhett and Gloria Estefan with the cast of her hit Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” Fergie will host the Billboard Hollywood Party, and the big news is that the legendary Mariah Carey will perform her greatest hits moments before the ball drops.
What should you bring to Times Square New Year’s Eve?
Bring your own food (or eat beforehand). The city is kicking out every hot dog cart and halal stand for the big night, so the only way you're getting to eat is if you BYO munchies. We'll leave it up to you to decide if it's worth smuggling booze into Times Square and risking a ticket, but you should definitely bring some water.
See a video of Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drops
Happy New Year! (photos from Times Square Alliance) Posted by Time Out New York on Thursday, December 31, 2015
Watch the official Times Squre New Year’s Eve live webcast
Times Square New Year’s Eve guide
Times Square New Year’s Eve photos
Archive Times Square New Year’s Eve coverage
This isn’t just any old Bushwick Bar. At Starr Bar, 10 percent of the bar’s profits go to nearby Mayday Community Space, an organizing center that presents community-oriented public programming and supports social justice initiatives. It hosts everything from dance parties to film screenings to political discussions, but locals looking for a cold beer can also drop in anytime for a drink. Try cocktails like the Muckracker, made with Bulleit bourbon, Bailey’s and cold brew coffee, or the Snowden Vesper, a combination of vodka, gin and lillet blanc topped with a pickled onion (both $12). A selection of eight beers on draft (all $7), several more in cans and five easy-drinking wines by the glass should keep you happy, too. Drop by for the happy hour from 5pm to 8pm every weekday to score select cocktails for $7 and a Narragansett and shot pairing for $6.