It’s been pretty well established that New York City is the place to be for New Year’s Eve festivities. It’s the location of the traditional ball drop in Times Square, and as the City that Never Sleeps, it only makes sense for the celebration to go on all night long. However, even if you’re not going all out for the new year, or if you’re celebrating with kids in tow, there are plenty of New York attractions to entertain every type of traveler.
The Times Square New Year’s Eve
If you’ve never experienced Times Square for New Years Eve, it’s certainly worth braving the crowds to be part of the excitement. You’ll want to get there as early as 4 PM and bundle up in warm winter clothes. At 6 PM, the Waterford Crystal Times Square New Years Eve Ball is raised and lit. From that point on, the evening is interspersed with musical performances and an hourly count down. An hour later, the hats, balloons, pom-poms, fun glasses, and confetti bags are handed out to the spectators in preparation for the live video feed of the event that starts at 10 PM. Of course, the real excitement begins at 11:59, with the final 60-second count down to the ball drop as you ring in 2014!
The Romantic New Year’s Eve
If you’re spending New Year’s Eve with your sweetheart, take advantage of the most romantic New York attractions to set the mood. One of the most romantic and stunning attractions is the Top of the Rock observation deck, which offers 360-degree vistas of the city. At night, the city glows with light and color, and you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the festivities below. Meanwhile, you’ll be keeping warm by snuggling up with your special someone 80 stories in the air!
Another great idea for a romantic evening is a cruise on the New York Harbor. A great way to save money is to avoid the ultra expensive “New Year’s Eve Cruises” and instead opt for one of the regular cruises that run on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve Day. Some options are the Statue by Night Cruise, with fabulous views of the Statue of Liberty and champagne available at the cash bar, or the Twilight Sightseeing Cruise, which offers the opportunity to see the sun set over the Manhattan skyline.
The Fun Family New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve can be a difficult holiday to celebrate with kids—especially young kids who are likely to be cranky and tired by midnight. However, there’s no reason you can’t spend the evening creating holiday memories.
If you’re in New York as a tourist, take your family for a Night Tour by City Sights! This fun tour escorts you around the city in a double-decker bus, passing by Chinatown, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and much more! It’s the perfect way to insert yourself in the festive atmosphere without having to drag your kids through crowds and crowds of fellow visitors. Plus, the views from the bus are unbeatable!
And while you’ll have passed the Empire State Building on your tour, you’ll want to get even closer and take a longer look on New Year’s Eve. The Empire State Building puts on a special light display characterized by vibrant colors to ring in each New Year. You can also take an elevator up to the Empire State Building observatory to see the panoramic view from one of the most iconic New York attractions.
Another special treat that will delight kids and adults alike is the Big Apple Circus New Year’s Eve Show at Lincoln Center. The dazzling performance featuring trapeze artists, acrobats, jugglers, wire-walkers, and clowns is followed by a countdown and champagne toast (apple cider for kids!) and dancing in the circus Ring.
New York Holiday Attractions Package
Looking for more New York attractions for the holidays? Take a look at our New York Holiday Attractions package and see what else you can do this holiday season while taking advantage of Smart Destinations’ discounts and extras!