I’ve always loved getting dressed up in something super fabulous and going out on the town to ring in the New Year.

It’s a night where anything feels possible, and when you’re celebrating it in NYC, that feeling that the next life changing moment is around the corner is very palpable.

Well, at least it is until you have to tackle the age old question of where to watch the ball drop.

NYC has a million different spots to celebrate in, with its most iconic location being Times Square, where the sparkly Swarovski crystal ball drops every year at ten seconds to midnight.

It’s a cool event to watch on TV, but totally a touristy move—I’ve always veered toward either a fancy dinner, loft party, or an epic night out dancing with friends.

I’ll warn you now, celebrating NYE in the city isn’t for the faint of heart. 

I can guarantee if you wear heels, your feet will kill you for at least a good 24 hours. 

I can also guarantee go crazy trying to track down a free taxi or Uber, and you’ll go way over whatever spending budget you’ve allotted to the evening.

But you only get one day a year to celebrate and maybe only one chance to ring in the start of a brand new year in NYC, so you better do it right!

Below is everything you need to know about where to go and what to do this New Year’s eve in New York City.

Things to Do in New York for New Year

NYC DURING NYE 2

Watch the Times Square Ball Drop

Obviously, this is the activity all the tourists flock to the city for since it’s totally iconic.

What most people watching the event on TV don’t realize is that the crowd in Times Square has been standing there since early morning. 

They will fence you in and cannot leave the enclosure once inside, including to run to the bathroom or to eat food. So if you decide to go, expect to be stuck standing there for hours without a restroom or access to food.

Honestly, it’s so not worth it!

The other option if you want to be in Times Square but not outside is to pay some sort of crazy fee to eat at Olive Garden or one of the other basic chain restaurants in the area. Or book a super expensive hotel room overlooking Times Square.

Local’s Tip: If you’re really set on seeing the ball drop (it’s way smaller in person btw), head to one of the side streets like 42nd and 6th. You can look down the street and glimpse the event without ever having to set foot in one of those metal pens.


Catch a World Class Musical Performance

Every year, I think okay, next year I’m skipping running around to parties in favor of a chill night celebrating NYE with the New York Philharmonic.

They ring in the New Year in style with some of the best Broadway performers and other world-class singers and musicians entertaining an always sold out theater.

This year’s performance honoring the late and very great Stephen Sondheim is sold out, but rumor has it some people have been able to score resold tickets online.

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Dance at One of the Best NYE Parties in NYC

One of my favorite ways to celebrate is to go out dancing with an enormous group of friends.

You’ll pay a premium for access to whatever exclusive themed event these spots are throwing, but almost every general admission ticket comes with access to an open bar and a champagne toast, so if you play your cards right at the bar, it could be a great deal.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting turned away at the door if you don’t look cool enough, or have a bad ratio of women to men, like some of these spots do during normal nights.


Race Your Way Into the New Year

Okay, so running in to the New Year isn’t exactly my idea of a great time, but if you want a healthy way to celebrate, you’ve got to check out the NYRR Midnight Run.

This four-mile run starts off on the stroke of midnight in Central Park and is the perfect way to get a jump start on your resolution to get healthier in 2022.

Registration is under a hundred dollars and is open until December 31st.


Hit Up a NYE Jazz Party

This is another activity that I’d really love to do one year, ideally when I can find friends to agree to pay to go (the tickets/ prefix menus are typically are over $100 at most of these spots).

I’ve been to all the spots below on regular nights out on the town, and highly recommend you check them out any night of the year, though I have a feeling they likely throw epic NYE parties!


Head to a Fancy Restaurant

After all the chaos of traveling constantly, my idea of a perfect night out has changed from wanting an epic night of clubbing to preferring a delicious and unique dining experience.

Below are some of my favorite high end spots in the city that are offering NYE specials and pre-fixes. 

I highly suggest checking out Les Trois Chevaux. They recently got a ton of buzz from Michelin (the people who hand out stars) and are offering a rare chance to order a la carte their normally prix-fixe menu if you sit at the bar on New Year’s eve!



Hang at a Local Bar

Another one of my favorite ways to celebrate is by heading to a local bars below. I can guarantee that you’ll have a fantastic time at any of these well-known bars:


Laugh at a Comedy Show

After the last two years dealing with all the craziness of COVID, who wouldn’t want to start off 2022 with a few laughs?

Caroline’s on Broadway and The Stand are offering special NYE performances.

I’d recommend booking your tables early, as I’m sure these places will sell out before the end of the month.


Drink at a Cocktail Lounge

Feel like dressing up and being fancy without the stress of someone from the club spilling a cheap cocktail all over your outfit?

Just head to one of these delicious and chic lounges. You’ll be drinking quality cocktails and snacking on canapes in a setting that will make all of your IG photos from the night look amazing.


Ring in the New Year in a Snow Globe

What could be better than watching a live stream of the ball drop from an igloo with a view of the iconic Manhattan skyline?

Spending NYE at Watermark’s Winter Wonderland is easily one of the most unique ways to celebrate in the city.

Booking a table will get you that iconic view, the live stream of the Times Square, plus a chef’s tasting menu, an open bar, and a bit of Moet at your table!

Book quickly though, the igloos are booking up quickly!


Go On a Dinner Cruise

Okay, so honestly, this option is pretty touristy, but it’s a cool way to see the city’s skyline and all the fireworks at midnight.

The downside is if your NYE date goes south, you’re stuck on the boat all night with them.

The good news is you’ll likely have an open bar, amazing food, and great music, plus some of the best views around!

Just book your cruise tickets early as they sell out fast.

Local’s Tip: Leave plenty of time to commute to the docks for your cruise. The depart on time and won’t come back to collect you if you’re late.


Book your tickets early for the most popular cruise option running for NYE!


Party at Coney Island

Okay, so fair warning for those visiting the city. Coney Island is fairly far away from Manhattan.

That said, their NYE party is a ton of fun!

This year they’ve got a digital art installation, a laser show, a circus sideshow, fireworks, a magic show, and even a bit of burlesque!

Also, they have half-off beer and wine available until midnight. 

Doors open at 8 pm and if you book your tickets ahead of time, you’ll get $10 off your entry ticket. 


See Phish at MSG

If you poach the ticket resell website, you may get lucky and find an affordable ticket to Phish’s NYE performance at Madison Square Garden.

It’s become a bit of an annual concert, and apparently a really fantastic time if you can score a ticket.

You will need a negative COVID test at within 48 hours of the concert in order to enter this year.

StubHub Ticketing

Looking for last minute tickets to a performance or sports game? Head to StubHub to find some fantastic last minute deals.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Final Thoughts

THINGS TO DO IN NYC N NYE 2

Just remember NYE, especially in New York, gets hyped up really fast.

My best advice is not to get too stressed over where you’re celebrating and focus more on surrounding yourself with people that you’ll have a fantastic time with.

Also, I’ll say this one more time,because it is that important, cabs and Ubers are scarce, do yourself a favor and wear shoes you can walk in. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!

Let me know below if you’ve seen any cool events that you think I should add to the list. I’ll be updating it as events and parties for NYE in NYC get announced over the coming weeks. 

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