If you’re planning on doing what approximately 1 million people do every year on December 31st and ring in the New Year in Times Square in New York, you’d better start planning now! Less than 5 months from now, the ball will drop, confetti will fly and the new year will begin!
In order to have the best NYE experience, save some money and be comfortable here are my 7 tips for New Years Eve in New York (from personal experience):-
- Book your Times Square accommodation ASAP… like, right now!
The earliest you can do this and confirm the better off you are. Firstly, hotel prices skyrocket later in the year as people spontaneously decide to spend New Years Eve in New York and are willing to pay for the experience (and hotel!). Secondly, the closer you can get to the ball drop, the better off you are for getting in and out of Times Square with ease. Finally, if you book a prime hotel spot early enough (like I did) the hotel may take this into account and give you a better room or view than others who booked later on in the year. This happened for us at Millennium on Broadway, Times Square and we ended up with a great room with a ridiculously amazing view of the ball from our bedroom window!
- Arrive before December 31st if staying in Times Square
This is a big tip that I wish I had known earlier. We caught a train from Boston to New York on the morning of December 31st. What we hadn’t accounted for was not only the lack of public transport in New York at this time, but also the difficulty of getting in, out and around Times Square. Many streets (especially those near the Ball Drop) are closed off early to prepare for the crowds. You cannot access these streets unless you prove you have a reservation at one of the hotels in that street and this is generally only by foot. Definitely arrive at least a day in advance so you can settle in before the chaos that is New Years Eve.
- Organise a party or event to attend in advance
Don’t leave organising what you’re actually going to do on New Years Eve until the last-minute. Many parties and events (especially those close to the ball drop) sell out quite quickly and go up in price closer to the event. Many hotels, bars and restaurants offer packages for the evening with food, alcohol and the best offer a great view for when midnight strikes! We chose to attend a New Years Eve party at Tonic Bar, Times Square.
- Rug up, its cold!
New York winter can be brutal! Regularly dipping into the negative temperatures and snowfall, prepare for the cold with layers you can put on and off easily. Whilst its freezing cold when you step outside to get to your event, some fresh air or for the midnight countdown, inside there will be crowds of people (aka body heat), alcohol (because who doesn’t get warm and giggly from a few glasses of champagne?) and heating. Dress accordingly.
- New Years Eve merchandise is not tacky, it’s a must!
Its like wearing Minnie ears at Disneyland or your footy teams beanie at a game, you have to buy (and wear proudly) something cliché and New Years Eve inspired. Whether it be a sparkly hat, ‘insert commencing year’ headbands (if they light up, even better!), over the top glasses or glitter, you should definitely embrace the fun that is NYE merch!
Pace yourself and don’t completely write yourself off yet! Ensure you make it to midnight, after all, that is why you came right? To see that ball drop, to get that midnight kiss and to be involved in one of the biggest and grandest New Years Eve parties in the world.
- Organise your way home in advance
If you can organise a friend or family member, a personal driver or book a taxi in advance, you’ll definitely appreciate it. Public transport and cabs are incredibly difficult to come by on this night and as mentioned previously, getting in an out of time square is even harder when everyone is trying to leave. Or even better stay within walking distance!
New Years Eve in Times Square is a massive bucket list moment on many people’s lists. Plan ahead and enjoy the night with friends, family and the thousands of people flocking to Times Square to see that ball drop and the start of a new and prosperous year!
All posts are by GlobalWhispers2014 and are entirely my own opinions, views and experiences.