Offbeat New York

Celebrate the 2014-2015 Winter Holidays in New York City

From the annual ball drop in Times Square and other celebrations throughout Manhattan to events in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, New York City is the ideal spot to ring in 2015.

Get Crushed in Times Square

More than 100 million television viewers in the United States and more than 1 billion people worldwide are expected to join the estimated 1 million revelers in New York City to watch a 108-year-old tradition: the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball Drop. A 12-foot geodesic sphere covered in 2,688 Waterford crystals, the ball weighs 11,875 pounds and is powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights, capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors.

At 11:59pm, the ball begins its descent atop One Times Square as millions of people count down the final seconds of the year and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.

Can't-miss New Year's Eve events include:
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve: Headlined by New York City's new Global Welcome Ambassador, Taylor Swift, the beloved Times Square New Year's Eve celebration Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve returns with 10-time host Ryan Seacrest. The annual live event will feature 38 performances beginning at 8pm and continuing through the night. For more information, go to dickclark.com.

New Year's Eve Wishing Wall: Every New Year's Eve at the stroke of midnight, Times Square is covered with confetti inscribed with thousands of wishes from people from around the world. Individuals may submit a wish in person at the mobile wishing wall or online by going to timesquarenyc.org (page available in English, Spanish and French). All wishes will be collected and added to the confetti that will flutter down onto the streets as 2015 begins. The Mobile Wishing Wall will be available during the month of December. Check timessquarenyc.org for specific locations and times.

Good Riddance Day: Once again the Times Square Alliance has teamed up with Cintas to bring a Good Riddance Day celebration to Times Square, where anyone can say farewell to the worst memories of 2014. Whether you want to scrap an old love letter, a parking ticket or a pile of medical bills, bad memories can be shredded and destroyed by a mobile shredding truck that will be present in Times Square on Sunday, December 28. Bad memories can also be tweeted @TimesSquareNYC and can be entered in a contest to win a trip to Times Square for New Year's Eve by submitting them at cintas.com/goodriddanceday.

Head to Brooklyn

Prospect Park Fireworks: Spend New Year's Eve in Prospect Park under Brooklyn's dazzling annual fireworks display at midnight, sponsored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. This free event includes hot refreshments and entertainment, and is welcome to all ages. The best viewing locations for the fireworks are in Grand Army Plaza, along West Drive in Prospect Park, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. For more information, visit prospectpark.org.

Coney Island Polar Bear Club Annual New Year's Day Swim: On January 1, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club will be hosting their annual New Year's Day plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. The swim is open to the public and starts at 1pm on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Donations to Camp Sunshine, a charity for children with life-threatening illnesses, are welcome. For more event, pledging and registration details, visit polarbearclub.org.

Party in Manhattan

Ring in the Swing: A New Year's Eve Dance Party at Lincoln Center: Lincoln Center's New Year's Eve celebration is returning for its third year. Held in the Appel Room with stunning views of Central Park, this dance party will feature live jazz music from premier artists, a Southern-style buffet dinner, open bar, champagne toast and party favors. For more information and tickets, visit jalc.org.

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: Looking for a phenomenal view of the New Year's Eve fireworks? Spend New Year's on a party cruise that takes visitors right out to the Statue of Liberty—the perfect place from which to watch the City's annual fireworks display. The cruise includes hors d'oeuvres, a full open bar, party favors, a DJ and a champagne toast at midnight. The cruise boards at 9pm and sails from 10pm to 1am. Tickets can be purchased at an all-inclusive early-bird price of $149. (Must be 18 years old to board and 21 years old to drink alcohol.) For more information or to purchase tickets, go to circleline42.com.

New York Philharmonic: This New Year's Eve, the New York Philharmonic will feature a Gershwin Celebration, conducted by Bramwell Tovey. Beginning at 7:30pm, this festive show will feature Dianne Reeves and Norm Lewis as the vocalists for the evening. The program will include Gershwin's Cuban Overture, Catfish Row, Porgy and Bess and jazz-inspired selections from the Gershwin songbook. Visit nyphil.org for more information.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square: With over 500 artifacts and 20 galleries, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square will once again be holding a New Year's Eve celebration to ring in 2015. This year's event includes an open bar, nonstop cocktail-style delicacies and a night full of exciting entertainment. There will be music, dancing and games, and Mad Science will be performing science experiments, making this an event that is fun for all ages. The celebration begins on Wednesday, December 31, with doors open at 7pm and the party from 8pm to 1 am. Tickets start at $295. More information can be found at ripleysnewyork.com.

Emerald Nuts Midnight Run: On New Year's Eve, the Emerald Nuts Midnight 4-Mile Run takes off in Central Park, hosted by the New York Road Runners. The night kicks off with dancing and music at 10pm, followed by a costume contest at 11pm at the Central Park Bandshell. The 4-mile race around the park will begin at 11:59pm, and runners will be racing under the fireworks as the new year begins. There will be several prizes throughout the night, including cash prizes for the top three runners to finish for both men and women. For more information or to register, visit nyrr.org.

World Yacht Cruises: For front-row views of the fireworks, join World Yacht Cruises for their Classic New Year's Eve celebration. Cruise around Manhattan while enjoying a five-course dinner, open bar and live entertainment all night long. Tickets for the New Year's Eve Classic Cruise also include party favors and a midnight champagne toast. Boarding is at 9pm, and the cruise sails from 10pm to 1am. The fun continues with a dockside party until 1:30am. Tickets begin at $231.95, not including taxes and fees. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit worldyacht.com.

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine: This year's New Year's Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral of St. John will feature soloists Jamet Pittman and Gregory Purnhagen. This annual show, filled with music and candles, will be hosted by NBC news anchor Harry Smith. A limited number of general admission seats are free and open to the public. Ticketed seating is also available starting at $30. Visit stjohndivine.org for more information.


NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit nycgo.com.
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