Are you planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 in the iconic Times Square, one the biggest celebrations of the year? Well. you certainly won’t be alone…
In the spirit of the famous ball drop and countdown to the new year, here are 10 New Year’s Eve in Times Square tips to help ensure your experience is a safe, pleasant, and memorable one.
Can’t make it to Times Square for the festivities? You can watch the LIVE webcast of the event here.
You do NOT need tickets to go to Times Square on New Years Eve
The Times Square NYE celebration is a free event open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.
So no, you don’t have to pay to go to Times Square on New Years Eve to see the ball drop, there are no public viewing spaces available for sale – so please don’t get swindled into buying ‘tickets’.
Plan to stay the weekend and visit some attractions
Traveling from out of time to enjoy the NYE celebration? We suggest turning your New Year’s Eve celebration in New York into a fun filled weekend visiting some of the areas’s top attractions and activities.
Depending on how much energy you have, purchase a 3 attraction, or up to 10 attractions New York City Explorer Pass.
You can choose as you go from dozens of top New York attractions and save up to 50% off combined admission vs paying at the gate.
Bathroom tip – make sure you go BEFORE you arrive
Probably the number 1 question visitors ask before, and certainly during the event, where are the bathroom’s??
There are no portable restrooms in Times Square, so plan to use the restroom before you arrive, or at a local restaurant (but good luck finding a restaurant that will let you use their restroom).
Plus, if you leave to go use the bathroom, then you most likely won’t be able to get back to your hard earned viewing spot. A good viewing area is difficult to find (let alone keep), so if you get a good spot you’re not going to want to give it up.
Similarly, eat beforehand, or bring some energy bars
Don’t expect food vendors in Times Square. There are no licensed food/beverage vendors in Times Square during the NYC celebration.
There are plenty of restaurants in and around the area though, so, if you plan correctly ahead of time, you could go that route.
Call the restaurant to check on their operating hours to make sure they are open. You will almost certainly need to book reservations ahead of time.
Remember, if you find a great spot to see the celebration, you’re going to lose it if you leave.
So, given that you could be standing in the same area for ten hours or more, make sure you eat at home or before you find your spot. Carrying an energy bar or two in your pockets is a good idea as well.
A list of the 2017/2018 New Year’s Eve Parties in Times Square can be found here. More parties will continue to be added as details become available.
Dress in warm layers, it’s the middle of winter
Wondering what you should wear on NYE? Dress warm!
Not to state the obvious, but it is easy to underestimate how cold it’s going to be standing for hours on end outside in the middle of winter.
Even if the temperatures aren’t very low, dress in layers, you’re going to be outside for quite a while.
Synthetics, like Goretex, wind-resistant and water-repellant outerwear and a nice warm hat are the keys to staying warm throughout the evening.
Leave the backpacks & bags at home
At the entry points, and at the designated viewing areas, everyone will be searched with a hand-held wand.
Large bags and knapsacks are not permitted at all. And, ALL bags will be searched.
In fact, it may be best to just bring any bags at all.
Take the train, public transportation will be the most efficient option
You didn’t think driving in was a good idea, did you? Don’t drive, don’t take a cab as both of those options can be very expensive.
We highly recommend taking public transit to a stop nearby the event, and then walk the rest of the way (to help avoid some of the crowds).
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes or sneakers so that you can walk several blocks depending on what stop you get off at.
To get to Times Square, the # 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, N, Q, R, W, V and S shuttle trains all service the Times Square area.
No alcohol in Times Square
Sorry, there will be no alcohol allowed in Times Square, as public drinking is illegal in New York City.
Police will confiscate any and all alcohol.
Arrive to Times Square early, probably earlier than you want to
It should be rather obvious to anyone who’s even watched the ball drop on television – the earlier you get there, the better view.
But early doesn’t mean a few hours before midnight. No, no. It means in the early afternoon (like 12pm), as the very best viewing areas often fill up early in the day.
You might even want to arrive the day before, stay at a hotel, and eliminate the stress of getting there the day of.
Besides, that’ll give you a chance to check out some cool New York attractions while you’re there. We’ve got you covered on admission to your choice of dozens of popular attractions. Checkout our ideas for things to do in Times Square.
Note that if you arrive at your preferred viewing area too early in the day, you may be moved by the police when the barricades are put into place.
Don’t miss seeing the ball RAISED
There’s a lot of standing around while you’re waiting for the celebration to start, so you might as well see everything you can.
The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is raised up a 77 foot flagpole at the top of One Times Square at approximately 6:00 pm.
A few good places to watch is along Broadway (43rd Street – 50th Street), and along Seventh Avenue, as far north as 59th Street.
Find a good spot to watch & stay put to watch the ball drop
Want to know the best way how to see the ball drop in Times Square? It’s really quite simple…
The designated viewing areas will fill up on a “first come, first served” basis.
The ball drops at One Times Square, but bear in mind that if you want to be that close you’ll be hanging out with an estimated million+ other people.
The sound system will be located in the Bowtie area – where Broadway and Seventh Avenue cross.
If you want to beat the crowds, and by that I mean avoid them, good luck. It’s possible, but not easy.
Alternatively, if you’re staying overnight, prime views can be had at several hotels, including the Marriott Marquis and the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel.
Of course, make sure you score a hotel room that has a view.
Have fun & enjoy ringing in 2016!
You’re in the one of the most famous places in the world to celebrate the New Year, so make sure you enjoy it.