Guide to Celebrating New Year’s Eve 2016 in New York

By Janita Lum
Janita Lum
Janita Lum
December 30, 2015 Updated: December 30, 2015

NEW YORK—It is the time of the year when New Yorkers, and tourists alike, band together to welcome the new year. New York is the ultimate destination for celebrating—with fireworks, concerts, cruises, fun-runs, family events, and more—which attracts millions of people to the city each year. Here’s your Epoch Times guide to help you make New Year’s Eve 2016 a night to remember.

Fireworks and Ball Drop

Times Square Ball Drop

New York’s annual tradition of lowering a mesmerizing ball from the top of One Times Square has become a universal symbol for celebrating New Year’s Eve. Since 1907, hundreds of thousands of revelers have flooded Times Square to join in with the festivities including lively music, captivating performances, and the New Year countdown. While the event starts at 6 p.m., it is essential to get there early since the designated areas fill up quickly starting in the afternoon.

Cost: Free
Time: Begins at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Times Square (Multiple access points; as one viewing section fills up, police will direct you to another section.)


Coney Island Festivities and Fireworks

After a successful event last year, the New Year’s Eve festivities are returning to Coney Island for a second time. Revelers can enjoy free rides, special performances, fireworks, and hot chocolate. The night will be highlighted by a digital burst of lights from the Parachute Jump to welcome the new year.

Cost: Free
Time: Begins at 9:00 p.m.
Where: Steeplechase Plaza on the boardwalk at 19th Street, Brooklyn



Festivities at Prospect Park

If you want to avoid the crowds in Times Square but still want to join the fun, Grand Army Plaza, at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, is the place to go. Revelers will be treated to multiple events from different organizers showcasing live entertainment, and a grand display of fireworks. For the first time, Brooklynites can experience their very own NYE Brooklyn Ball. The 4,418-pound ball is expected to ascend 15 feet every hour from 7 p.m. to midnight, and reach its final height of 70 feet before showering revelers with confetti when it enters the new year.

Cost: Free
Time: First event begins 6:00 p.m.; second event begins 11:00 p.m. 
Where: Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn (fireworks vantage points include Prospect Park West Drive and between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street)
Website: NYE Brooklyn Ball Alliance and Prospect Park Alliance


Central Park Fireworks

As the clock strikes 12, revelers can relax and enjoy a 15-minute, spectacular display of fireworks that can be seen from anywhere in Central Park.

Cost: Free
Time: Midnight
Where: Fireworks can be viewed anywhere in Central Park


Staying Active

New York Road Runners Midnight Run

For the health junkie or for those who resolve to be healthier in 2016, you can kickstart the year with a 4-mile run around Central Park. Participants will enjoy live music, neon face-painting, strobe lights, photo opportunities, and fun giveaways. The run begins at midnight where you run to a 15-minute display of fireworks and the beat of two DJs along the course.

Cost: $35–$65 for nonmembers
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Where: Bethesda Terrace, Central Park


Brooklyn Bridge Walk Into the New Year

For those who prefer to walk, guided tours across Brooklyn Bridge may be well-suited for you. Learn new facts about the bridge while taking in the beautiful Manhattan skyline. At midnight, pause to watch New York harbor’s fireworks display.

Cost: $40 credit card online; or $50 cash
Time: Begins at 9:45 p.m. with multiple tours between 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.
Where: Meet outside McDonald’s Restaurant, 160 Broadway between Liberty and Courtlandt Streets, New York City


New Year’s Eve Ride

If biking is more of your thing, join a free bike ride from the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge or the Washington Square Park arch to the middle of Central Park. There you can join other revelers in celebrating the new year with a dance party.

Cost: Free
Time and Location: 9:45 p.m. at the Brooklyn-side entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge or at 10:00 p.m. at Washington Square Park Arch, Manhattan
Final Location: Belvedere Castle, Central Park



New Year’s Eve: La Vie Parisienne

Spend New Year’s Eve feeding your soul with enchanting music performed by the New York Philharmonic. Experience some of France’s greatest creations such as “La Vie en rose,” Saint-Saëns’s “Carnival of the Animals,” and Offenbach’s “Can-Can” conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Cost: $85–$275
Time: Begins at 7:30 p.m.
Where: David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza


Family Fun

AMC Times Square NYE Family Fun Fest

If you are looking for an unforgettable family experience to welcome the new year, celebrate it with music, dancing, arcade games, and movies on AMC’s All Ages level. AMC is a premier movie and entertainment complex that caters to all ages and is located in the heart of Times Square.

Cost: $19-$219
Time: Begins at 7:00 p.m.
Where: AMC Times Square, 234W 42nd Street, New York


New Year’s Eve Cruises

NYC New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise

If you are looking for a magical experience to start the new year, why not set sail and view the New Year’s Eve fireworks from the Hudson and East rivers on a 3.5-hour cruise. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style aboard the Classic Harbor Line’s Manhattan II at its formal-wear NYE party. There will be live music, sightseeing, wine tasting, and a grand fireworks display.

Cost: $376 per adult
Time: Begins at 9:00 p.m.
Depart: Chelsea Piers (Pier 62)—W. 22nd and Hudson River


New York NYE Fireworks Dinner Cruise

A desirable way to spend New Year’s Eve is with a loved one on a romantic dinner cruise while watching breathtaking NYE fireworks at the Statue of Liberty. Bateaux New York’s cruise offers spectacular skyline views, live music, and an exquisite dining experience.

Tickets: From $549.90 per adult
Time: Boarding at 8:00 p.m.; cruise runs 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Depart: Chelsea Piers


Whether you’re planning to join the crowds at Times Square, go for a run in Central Park, or prefer snuggling up at home and watching the NYE webcast from the comfort of your couch, there is something for everyone to make New Year’s Eve 2016 an unforgettable night. 

Janita Lum