by Eileen, Travel Consultant
New York City is always very busy but once we get past Christmas, the race to New Year’s Eve feels like a whirlwind. On December 31st visitors from around the world will descend to Times Square to watch the annual ball drop, a tradition that dates back roughly 100 years. Seeing the ball drop live is a once in a lifetime experience and a venture that shouldn’t be undertaken lightly.
To see the ball drop in Times Square is free of charge. The ball has been dropping from 42nd Street since 1904 and it is estimated that around one million people will be in Times Square at midnight. Revelers will line the streets from 42nd Street all the way up to about 53rd Street along Broadway and 7th Avenue.
The deciding factor in all of the New Year’s festivities is the weather. If the weather is nasty (cold, snow, rain), the crowds will stay away longer until mid-afternoon. If the weather is mild, the crowds get there bright and early (think 8 AM). Streets will begin to shut down to pedestrian and car traffic around noon. At this point in time, the NYPD will begin to align the barricades and guide revelers into the sectioned off areas.
Once you enter the barricades it is in your best interest to stay in the barricades until after midnight. If you choose to leave, you are not guaranteed re-entrance and will most likely be directed to head out of the immediate Times Square area. At a certain point in the evening, you will not be able to get into Times Square at all.
Security is incredibly heightened during the holidays and each person heading into Times Square will be patted down or scanned with the wand (electronic metal detector). You cannot bring in any liquids or backpacks. There is no seating available (except the pavement) and there are no public restrooms. The New York City Police Department is in complete control of what happens in Times Square. The police protect and serve our city 365 days a year, 24 hours a day – it is in your best interest to listen to them on December 31st. They protect and serve, so let them do their jobs and enjoy yourself!
There are a number of other alternatives to ring in the New Year. We will be hosting our annual New Year’s Eve party at St. Andrew’s Pub in Times Square. St. Andrew’s is located just off of 7th Avenue and is a perfect way to spend the evening indoors. The food is always great, the drinks will flow and there is always good company to be had.
If you are interested in any of our other partner New Year’s Eve events, you can see the full listing here. Be sure to book early as availability and prices are subject to change.
You are more than welcome to contact our planning team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re native New Yorkers and here to help with all your questions.