New Year's Eve in NYC: Where to CelebrateDecember 4, 2015 - by CG News Desk
New Year's Eve NYC 2015-2016. The clock will strike midnight, the ball will drop, kisses will be exchanged, and the promise of a New Year will light up the night sky. New Year's is a time to reflect on all that's happened and set ambitious goals for the future. It's also a time let our hair down and celebrate. If there's any town that can be trusted to get New Year's right, it's New York City, where Times Square provides a focal point for the world on December 31st. What follows are some great opportunities for meals, cruises, comedy, parties, and general merrymaking on the 31st. Happy 2016!
There is no minute of the year quite as exciting as 11:59pm on December 31st in Times Square. The Times Square New Year's Eve Celebration and Ball Drop is easily the most famous NYE celebration in the world. A million people join together to celebrate this event, and over a billion people will watch it on television. If you’re planning to go, dress warmly, bring something to eat, and be sure to get there early (before 5pm). The famous ball is a 12-foot geodesic sphere weighing 11,875 pounds, covered in 2,688 Waterford crystals, powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights, and capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors.
New Year's Eve in NYC: Comedy
Lynne Koplitz takes over the stage at Gotham Comedy Club, with two shows, 8pm and 10:30pm. General admission is $25 ($60 for the 10:30pm show), plus a two-drink minimum. A VIP Gold Admission is available, at $115 per person, that includes open bar, a private table, appetizer, gratuity, and bypassing the line. (It's $120 for the second show; must be 21+ to purchase VIP package). A VIP Premium Package is also available, $500 + tax per couple, including a private table, skipping the line at check in, open bar from 10:30pm-12:30am, party favors, a bottle of champagne, two food menu items, a Gotham T-shirt, and gratuity. gothamcomedyclub.com
Stand Up NY is pulling out all the comedy stops to close out 2015, with a VIP Open Bar option alongside general admission tickets to the talent of comedians like Mark Normand, Yamaneika Saunders, and Yannis Pappas. 30 Rock's Judah Friedlander headlines. Packages include a champagne toast and five flatscreen TVs to watch the ball drop during the late show. 236 W. 78th St., 212-595-0850, www.standupny.com
The Broadway Comedy Club brings two sets of comedic action to your New Year's Eve. The talent includes Steve Marshall (Food Network), Sue Costello (Fox), Chips Cooney (America's Got Talent), and Daniel Tirado (Comedy Central). Shows are at 8pm and 10:30pm, with the latter including a midnight champagne toast and two free tickets to come back and see another show. 318 W. 53rd St., 212-757-2323, www.broadwaycomedyclub.com
New Year's Eve in NYC: Music
Deer Tick at Brooklyn Bowl (also 12/30).
Marin Mazzie (7pm) & Annaleigh Ashford and the Whiskey 5 (above) (11pm) at Feinstein's/54 Below.
Dance all night at a NYE Bash (8pm-1am) at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. They'll have a five-hour premium open bar and a live DJ spinning an eclectic mix of Top 40, hip-hop, and dance mash-ups on a state-of-the art sound system.
Jimmy Buffett & Huey Lewis & The News share the bill at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
An Evening with They Might Be Giants at Music Hall of Williamsburg (also 1/1-2).
The Fab Faux NYE: Mixed Beatles Favorites NYE Dance Party at City Winery (5:30pm & 10pm).
New Year's Eve in NYC: Alternatives
Ring in the new year with a New Year's Eve bash at NYC's hottest new club, Howl at the Moon in midtown. Choose from a range of package specials, which go from general admission with a free champagne toast to "Just Dance" with a premium open bar, "The Big Shot" with guaranteed reserved seating, and the "Champagne Supernova," which comes with five hours of premium open bar and a full-on dinner buffet. 240 W. 52nd St., 212-399-4695, www.howlatthemoon.com.
Madame Tussauds in the heart of Times Square will be hosting a night of fun, food, and cocktails. Madame Tussauds is home to 200+ lifesized wax figures, most recently including Taylor Swift, Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games, One Direction, Jon Hamm (from Mad Men), Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, and Pope Francis. Festivities begin at 7pm. VIP packages available. madametussauds.com
One World Observatory will be hosting a special New Year's Eve party, with an open bar from 9pm-1am. Take in breathtaking 360 degree views of New York City from 100 stories high while you enjoy pulse-pounding performances provided by DJ Kiss & Mick (as seen at the Met Gala afterparty). Talk to your concierge for more information. 285 Fulton St., 844-696-1776, oneworldobservatory.com
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square will be hosting a New Year's Eve party that the whole family can enjoy, filled with endless entertainment. The evening includes an open bar and hors d'oeuvres from 8pm to 1am, a DJ dance party, a champagne toast at midnight, and a great view of the live ball drop. For the kids, there will be the Impossible Laser Race, scavenger hunts, cotton candy, popcorn, and more. The party begins at 8pm and ends at 1am. All children ages 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult (over the age of 21). Explore and discover over 500 artifacts and over 20 galleries in North America’s largest Ripley’s attraction. ripleysnewyork.com
The King and I is the only Broadway show that has a New Year’s Eve evening performance (7pm), if you're looking for song, drama, and dance to wrap up your 2015. Tickets include a complimentary glass of champagne.
Hudson Terrace New York New Year's Eve 2016: A Black & White Affair (21+) Watch the calendar turn to 2016 with a six hour premium open bar, five DJs, four rooms, three levels, two VIP areas, and one amazing countdown.
Sinatra's New Year's Eve 2016 at Hudson Bar Celebrate Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday with DJ Sinatra and DJ Mauricio on a night the Chairman of the Board would appreciate.
Tomorrow Never Dies: A Jame Bond-Inspired NYE Black Tie Event at the immersive theatre destination Queen of the Night.
Spend New Year's with the Purple Rain Dance Party at Videology in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A DJ will be spinning Prince, The Time, Sheila E, Sheena Easton, CHIC, Cameo, Madonna, Sister Sledge, Moroder, Cerrone and much, much more!
Nicky Siano is throwing The Very Last New Year's Eve Disco Extravaganza, in Coney Island at the El Dorado Auto Scooter. Classic disco artists will be performing, and the back door of the arcade will have views of the Coney Island NYE Ball Drop at the Parachute Jump. $75 in advance, $150 at the door, includes champagne, beer, and food. 10pm-6am.
For those with deep pockets, the Knickerbocker Hotel will be holding its first NYE celebration, taking the property back to its heyday of 1920—its last year before it was converted to offices. Guests will be set up a mere 150 feet below the ball on the hotel’s rooftop bar, St. Cloud. Capacity is limited (400) and the price, well? A whopping $2,890 for a one-night stay. theknickerbocker.com
Ring in the new year with a run: the New York Road Runners Club hosts its annual Midnight Run around Central Park. There will be DJs, neon face painting, strobe lights, photo opps, flashing light-up shoelaces, and a spectacular fireworks show.
Brooklyn has its own run, and its own fireworks, at Prospect Park. Locations for viewing the fireworks include Grand Army Plaza, the park’s West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. Enjoy live entertainment by DJ C. Live featuring the Brooklyn Mash It Up Band, and also hot chocolate, at Grand Army Plaza prior to the big display.
Coney Island Ball Drop. For those who want to experience the thrill of the ball drop without the crowds of Times Square, Coney Island will be hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration with an LED ball drop simulated on the Parachute Jump. A fantastic fireworks show will be held at midnight, and boardwalk bars and restaurants will be open for after parties. Festivities begin at 9pm, with music and giveaways. coneyislandfunguide.com
New Year's Eve in NYC: Cruises
Bateaux New York is offering a special Eve of the Eve Dinner Cruise on December 30th, as well as a New Year's Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise and New Year's Day Brunch & Dinner Cruises. All offer unparalleled views, premium open bar, live music with jazz classics and Broadway show tunes, party favors, and much more. bateauxnewyork.com
Enjoy an exciting Zephyr New Year's Eve Cruise. Full of champagne, dancing, and an electrifying fireworks display, it boards at 9:15pm and sails at 10pm. Included: hors d' oeuvres, dinner buffet, beer, wine, and soft drinks, and complimentary champagne toast or sparking cider at midnight. Cruise features two full cash bars onboard for all other beverage purchases, plus a live DJ. TVs located throughout the yacht provide live coverage of the ball dropping. Family NYE cruises are also available. nywatertaxi.com
Ring in the new year aboard Spirit of New York's New Year's Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise. The cruise will feature dining with a premium open bar, DJ and endless dancing, midnight champagne toast and party favors, dazzling fireworks views, and more. Cruise sails from 10pm-1am. spiritofnewyork.com
CitySightseeing New York Cruises is hosting its annual New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise, offering incredible views of the New York City skyline, The Intrepid, the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, the United Nations, and much more. The three-hour cruise will feature an open bar, desserts, and a live DJ for dancing the night away. citysightseeingnewyork.com
Ring in the new year with World Yacht's New Year's Eve. The evening includes a five-course dinner, a premium open bar, fireworks view, and a toast at midnight. Boards 9pm, sails 10pm-1am. worldyacht.com
Sing "Auld Lang Syne" with the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, and an incredible fireworks display as your backdrop when you hit the water with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. They've got a DJ, hors d'oeuvres, and an open bar, too. www.circleline42.com
New Year's Eve in NYC: Dining
Benjamin Steakhouse will be offering a special menu for New Year's Eve. Seatings begin at 9pm, and the evening includes a lavish, three-course dinner with sides, full open bar from 9pm to 2am, and a champagne toast at midnight. Entree options include rack of lamb, USDA prime filet mignon, dry-aged USDA prime rib eye steak, twin lobster tails, Norwegian salmon, and Chilean sea bass. $295 per person. 52 E. 41st St., 212-297-9177, benjaminsteakhouse.com
Celebrate New Year's Eve at Del Frisco's Steak House, located near Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center. The expansive setting reflects the rhythm and energy of midtown, and the menu features fresh, aged prime beef shipped from the Midwest twice a week, plus lobster, fish, lamb, and more. delfriscos.com
The spacious Tribeca gastropub Distilled NY will be offering a "Cocktails and Confetti" celebration. For $150 per person, the festivities (beginning at 9:30pm) will include access to a premium open bar until 1am, unlimited Distilled signature dishes, music, party favors, and of course, a midnight toast. distilledny.com
A grill house is the more fun and dynamic cousin of the steakhouse. With an emphasis on grilled items and fresh ingredients, the menu at E&E Grill House satisfies vegetarians, fish lovers, and, yes, carnivores all at once. Starting at 4pm on New Year's Eve, find a special prix fixe at E&E, with choices like burrata, stuffed dates, grilled swordfish, New Zealand rack of lamb, and the option to add a lobster tail ($21) to any entree. It's $79 per person for 4pm-7pm, and $125 per person (including a champagne toast) for 4pm-11pm. 233 W. 49th St., 212-505-9909, eegrillhouse.com
Seasonal New American standout fabrick will be serving festive holiday specials and an a la carte menu from 5pm-midnight (includes champagne toast at midnight). Archer Hotel, 47 W. 38th St., 212-302-3838, davidburkefabrick.com
David Burke Kitchen will be serving a five-course prix fixe menu and optional wine pairing at two seatings, 6:30pm and 9:30pm (the latter includes a champagne toast at midnight). 23 Grand St., 212-201-9119, davidburkekitchen.com
Fishtail's executive chef, Phil Lewis, will be serving up a classic, five-course prix fixe menu, with open seatings between 5pm and 11pm (includes champagne toast at midnight). 135 E. 62nd St., 212-754-1300, fishtaildb.com
Greenwich Village's best casual American restaurant, outdoor cafe, and jazz venue, the Garage Restaurant and Cafe, will be serving its annual prix fixe New Year's Eve Gala menu, a full five courses ($150 per person) of the likes of ham, short ribs, and salmon Wellington. The Garage will also be serving New Year's Day dinner ($59.95 per person) and a special New Year's Day Jazz Brunch ($29.95 per person). 99 Seventh Ave. S., 212-645-0600, www.garagerest.com
For upscale Greek dining and fine wine in New York City, Molyvos in Midtown West is the place to go. Dinner reservations are being taken from 5:30pm-10pm. Their New Year's Eve Menu (3-course, prix fixe) is $80 pp, $125 with select wine pairings. 871 Seventh Ave., 212-582-7500, molyvos.com
The two Morton's The Steakhouse locations, at 551 Fifth Ave. (near 45th St.) and near the World Trade Center at 136 Washington St., are available to host New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations. mortonsthesteakhouse.com
From the finest USDA Prime steaks to five-star seafood, spectacular house specials to sumptuous desserts, NYY Steak is to fine dining what the Yankees are to baseball—the best. For New Year's Eve choose from a la carte dining, or a special holiday menu which runs from crab cocktail to NYY steak bacon to a classic Caesar salad to the NYY Signature prime dry-aged lone bone ribeye steak. $195/two, gratuity and tax not included. 7 W. 51st St., 646-307-7910, nyysteak.com
Oceana restaurant will be celebrating New Year's Eve in the lead up to the ball drop with their full menu, raw bar, and Chef Ben's specials from 5 to 11pm. 120 W. 49th Street, 212-759-5941, oceana.com
Planet Hollywood will be welcoming the new year with a special five-hour DJ performance from 8pm-1am. Doors open at 7pm. Loads of festive passed appetizers, all the NYE garb you could ask for, and, of course, a champagne toast at midnight are all on tap. Party like the rock star you always wanted to be from 2015 into 2016! (For a more low-key affair, sister restaurant Buca di Beppo offers a VIP family-style Italian dinner and drinks galore. bucadibeppo.com.) 1540 Broadway, 212-333-7827, planethollywoodintl.com
With stunning views of the Empire State Building, Spyglass Rooftop Bar atop the Archer Hotel is the perfect location for a rooftop NYE party, featuring a premium open bar, unlimited appetizers and small plate assortment, live DJ, and a champagne toast at midnight. Archer Hotel, 22nd Floor, 47 W. 38th St., 212-730-0538, spyglassnyc.com
An extravagant 50-item gourmet salad area is joined by beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and sausage flame-grilled to perfection and served tableside at Texas de Brazil. On New Year's Eve they'll be taking reservations for their extensive $49.99 menu until 11pm. 1011 Third Ave., 212-537-0060, texasdebrazil.com
Greenwich Village Mexican/Spanish favorite Tio Pepe will be supplementing their a la carte menus with special prix fixe options for both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Look for starters like langostinos a la plancha and Spanish octopus, followed by mains like filet mignon and oven-roasted striped bass. Dessert choices strike a Spanish note, with crema Catalana (the Spanish crème brulée) or Spanish cheesecake. 168 W. 4th St., 212-242-6480, www.tiopepenyc.com
New Year's Day
Brave souls will dive into the new year at the beloved Coney Island's Polar Bear Club New Year's Day Swim. Swim time is 1pm sharp, on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Camp Sunshine, a charity for children with life-threatening illnesses, will be accepting donations. polarbearclub.org