The Best Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in NYC

New Year's Eve in NYC

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Since 1907, Manhattan revelers have gathered in Times Square to watch the ball drop, welcoming them into the New Year. Though over a million spectators continue to gather amidst the neon glow of Times Square, since the 1940s, households across the United States have enjoyed watching the countdown to midnight broadcast into their living rooms. Throughout the world, viewers turn to the brilliant lights and dazzling energy of Times Square – but, what they don’t see is all of the other New Year’s Eve activity that make New York truly the city that doesn’t sleep. Here, the insider’s way to spend New Year’s Eve in New York City:

Watch Fireworks

Bundle up and head into Central Park to watch the sky come to life. The fireworks are set off near the Bethesda Fountain around 70th street, but wander around the park to find many good places to view the show and grab a warm bite from Central Park food and drink vendors.

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park will also have their own firework show. The fireworks are set to go off at midnight at Long Meadow, but before that, stop at Grand Army Plaza for live music and free hot chocolate beginning at 11 p.m. Grand Army Plaza also has one of the best vantage points to watch the sky light up, so be sure to stick around.

See A Show

Swing dance the night away with Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band in the sophisticated Art Deco splendor of the Edison Ballroom. Tickets include a four course meal and dancing to classics performed by the 16-piece orchestra. The evening caps off with a champagne toast at midnight.

Get tickets to see Phish perform live at Madison Square Garden. After performing in this venue on this date for over a decade, this band definitely knows how to carry the party into the New Year.

For a more calm and reflective farewell to 2016, go to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine for their annual New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace. Founded in 1984 by composer and New York Philharmonic director Leonard Bernstein, the show is always free for general admission seats, and begins at 7 p.m.

Enjoy Dinner

Pampano, located on nearby 49th Street, offers contemporary Mexican coastal cuisine. They have two specials on New Year’s Eve: the first is an early seating option with a five course dinner menu served from 5 to 8 p.m.; the second is from 9 to 11 p.m. and includes a six course menu, champagne toast at midnight and live mariachi band.

Felidia, chef Lidia Bastianich’s acclaimed Manhattan East Side restaurant, offers scrumptious classic Italian food. On New Year’s Eve, they will be serving a four course Festive Tasting Menu after 7 p.m., as well as a six course “pearls and black diamonds” menu.

For a spin on tradition, step aboard a dinner cruise. You’ll find several options offering dinner, drinking, dancing and a spectacular view of fireworks lighting up the sky around the Statue of Liberty.