6 NYC Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve That’s Not Times Square

people doing cheers at a New Year's Eve Celebration

by Troop Atomic Mommy

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Spending New Year’s Eve in New York City (NYC) is on most people’s bucket list, but after the past few years I’m sure most of us don’t want to be in that huge crowd. Fortunately, there are a plethora of ways to enjoy NYC this New Year’s Eve without all the fuss of going to Times Square. 

Here are a few unique places worth your time on New Year’s Eve. Need help finding some of these amazing locations? Check out this awesome map by Wanderlog:

#1 Finish the year on a high note at the Metropolitan Opera.

There are different performances that can be enjoyed at the Metropolitan Opera, but visitors can enjoy the black-tie Gala Dinner Package. Not only do you get dinner included after the performance, you get to enjoy the meal on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier. This is an amazing spot to see the New Year’s fireworks at midnight. There is no strict dress code at the Met, but it is encouraged for you to dress nicely when attending. It is a special occasion and a beautiful venue, so put on your best outfit and enjoy New Year’s Eve at the opera!

#2 Run away from the past year at the New York Road Runners Midnight Run.

Get a running start to the new year with this 4-mile run through Central Park. This four-mile run starts at the Bethesda Terrace at midnight, where runners can enjoy the fireworks display with an uninterrupted skyline. The race is a sort of “loop,” starting and ending at 72nd Street Transverse. For some runners, a cash prize is available – which is a pretty nice way to start the new year. There may be many other runners, but since you are in the park with lots of space it is much easier to social distance. Dress in your most fun, run-friendly costume and get your heart racing! 

#3 Enjoy a big laugh at Caroline’s on Broadway.

Spend the night laughing until your stomach hurts to countdown into the new year. At the Caroline’s on Broadway, you can enjoy stand-up from some of the top local comedians and end the year with a big smile. There are two time slots – 7:30 PM and 10 PM, both requiring a two-drink minimum. After the last show, you can enjoy food, drinks, and dancing until the wee hours of New Year’s Day. Once the clock strikes 12, you can either watch the ball drop from outside the club, or watch the livestream inside the club. 

people doing cheers during a New Year's Eve celebration
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

#4 Stay warm at Watermark’s Winter Wonderland. 

The gorgeous Pier 15 at Watermark Bar has been converted into an outdoor space lined with glasshouses for small groups to count down the new year with privacy and space. Each glasshouse can hold a small group, and are covered with bright lights and Christmas decor. The waterfront restaurant faces the Brooklyn skyline, but guests can also watch the livestream of the famous ball drop from the comfort of their glasshouse. The houses are also warmed, so you don’t have to worry about the cold. 

#5 Ride into the New Year. 

For the active spirit, taking a long bike ride with other biking enthusiasts is a great way to ring in the new year. Similar to the Midnight Run, you can distance yourself as much as you feel comfortable with and still have a great time. The bike ride takes you from Washington Square Park all the way to Belvedere Castle in Central Park. At the end of the ride, you can join the free dance party while watching the fireworks erupt above you. Although you are biking, it’s encouraged for riders to dress up and bring noise makers to make an exciting New Year’s event. If you don’t like biking, you can also skate the route, or just join at the end for a free dance party outdoors with a much smaller crowd than in Times Square. 

#6 Spend your night on the water. 

One of the popular choices for those who want to avoid the traditional bar crawls during New Year’s Eve, is riding a New Year’s party cruise! Since there is limited capacity on these ships, you can rest assured knowing that there won’t be too many people. On the cruise you can dine on some delicious food, sip on champagne, and see the spectacular fireworks from the Hudson River. It’s a spectacular view that you won’t want to miss out on.

The Takeaway

Just because it’s New Year’s Eve in NYC, doesn’t mean you have to deal with a giant crowd of people or the same old hot spots. There are many uniquely different places where you can see the ball drop and watch the spectacular fireworks. Hopefully, one of the events we listed peaked your interest, and you enjoy it thoroughly. And don’t forget to grab a pack of sparklers and champagne for the celebrations… Happy New Year’s from us to you!


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