Whether you want to brave the crowds or beat them, here’s a guide to New Year’s Eve parties, shows, family-friendly events and other festivities in the New York area.
To experience the Times Square ball drop in person, get going in the afternoon to stand in one of the viewing areas; there are access points at 49th, 52nd, and 56th Streets on 6th and 8th Avenues. The Times Square Alliance website is your one-stop shop for all things drop.
If you’d rather watch from afar, the Alliance offers a free live webcast starting at 6 p.m., hosted by Jonathan Bennett and Jeremy Hassell, with musical performances by Paul Anka and Flo Rida. Other at-home options include ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest,” with performances by Post Malone, Janelle Monae and more artists, and CNN’s live New Year’s Eve show, hosted again by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, with songs by Maroon 5, Rod Stewart and others. Both shows start at 8 p.m.
Outside Manhattan, Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park will feature live music starting at 10 p.m. before a free fireworks display at midnight.
To splurge on fireworks-watching, take a champagne-tasting cruise along the Hudson and East Rivers aboard the yacht Northern Lights. The three-and-a-half hour, formal-wear cruise includes an array of bubbly along with hors d’oeuvres and a live jazz band. Views include the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.
Take Over the Dancefloor
Joyface, an ’70s-inspired East Village nightspot, is putting on a New Year’s Eve Disco Ball with bellbottom-era classics from DJ Harkness Granger, an open bar and bagels and schmear at the end of the night. The dress code sounds like it’s gonna be a party: “we want camp, we want colors. the weirder and wilder the better. Bring Your Mom.”
Nostalgia is driving other dance parties around town. The music of Nine Inch Nails and other industrial and darkwave bands are on the playlist at the Nevermore Goth Rave at Drom in the East Village. Italo disco and ’80s synth and are the vibe at San Junipero: A New Year’s Eve Retrowave Party at Saint Vitus Bar in Greenpoint, where “Tron” gear is encouraged. Neon headbands and snap bracelets will be the accessories du jour at the Back to the ’90s New Year’s Eve Party at Houston Hall, a bar in the West Village, where refreshments include a spiked Kool-Aid cocktail and chicken tenders.
Billed by organizers as a “big queer N.Y.E. for the whole community,” Hot Rabbit’s Glitter Ball goes until 5 a.m. at the Brooklyn Monarch, an indoor-outdoor club venue. There will be sets by the DJs Meduusa, highgnx and Illexxandra, vogueing by the houses of Oricci and Babylon and “suave and sexy go-go magic” by the L.G.B.T.Q. women’s troupe Honey Burlesque.
Take in a Show
Music lovers have a full calendar of options, including, as ever, Phish at Madison Square Garden. The jam band Gov’t Mule is at the Beacon Theater, the punk band Gogol Bordello at Brooklyn Bowl, and the pop-rock band Dogpark at the Bowery Electric. And there’s Billy Joel at UBS Arena.
For cabaret fans, Lorna Luft, whose mom is the Judy Garland, performs a 7 p.m. show at 54 Below, the Midtown Manhattan cabaret. The vocalist Natalie Douglas returns for her 25th annual New Year’s Eve concert, “A Very Natalie New Year,” at 7 p.m. at Chelsea Table + Stage; a livestream option is available for $20.
If you want to end 2023 with a laugh, the comedian Rachel Bloom is performing her solo piece “Death, Let Me Do My Show” at the Orpheum Theater. The New York Comedy Club hosts “Ball Drop” shows at 10 p.m. at its Midtown venue and at 10:30 p.m. at its location in the East Village.
New Year’s Eve is going to drag in the Hudson Valley. Jet Set Tiki Bar in Newburgh, N.Y., hosts a drag brunch starring the queens Victoria Bohmore, Cookie Doe and Belle Pepper. City Winery in Montgomery, N.Y., hosts “Cruisin’ With the Golden Girls,” a drag-show murder mystery and dance party that comes with a three-course dinner.
Take a Walk
NYC Walks will host a guided tour of Downtown Manhattan, organized to finish at Battery Park in time for midnight fireworks. There will be stops at the World Trade Center, New York Stock Exchange and the Red Cube Sculpture, and the tours come in your choice of English, French and Spanish. A V.I.P. ticket includes chocolates and a champagne toast for two.
If you’d rather run, the Queens New Year’s Eve 5K kicks off at 11 a.m. with a course through Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The New York Road Runners’ four-mile Midnight Run through Central Park starts when the clock strikes midnight and finishes with a fireworks display.
Walk and eat at the same time in Best Tours’s seven-cupcake excursion through the West Village or in Sidewalk Food Tours’s six-stop trek through restaurants on the Lower East Side.
Take the Kids
To ring in 2024 with the children in your life, go for Noon Year’s Eve, a celebratory countdown to noon. There will be roller skates and pizza at United Skates of America in Seaford, N.Y., in Nassau County; crafts and a dance party at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City, N.Y.; and a balloon drop and party favors at the Staten Island Children’s Museum.
Spend the afternoon in the Bronx at the New York Botanical Garden, where this year’s Holiday Train Show features a new outdoor display. Feast on acrobats and clowning when Circus Vazquez performs three shows at Citifield. Gaze at the skies with “Seasons of Light,” a holiday-themed show at the Newark Museum of Art’s planetarium. Or construct a shadow box puppet theater at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.
Many shows around town are performing matinees, including the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” and New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker.” For theater-lovers, there are matinees of the Broadway musical “Aladdin” and the Off Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Take in a Classic Movie
The New Year’s Eve schedule at the Metrograph Theater on the Lower East Side is a movie geek’s dream. Start with “Magnolia” at 11 a.m. and stay for “American Beauty” at 2:45 p.m.
And how’s this for an inter-boro triple feature: The Nighthawk Cinema in Prospect Park shows “When Harry Met Sally” at 11 a.m. The Museum of the Moving Image has “The Wicker Man” at 3 p.m. And at Film Forum, a ticket to the 8:15 p.m. showing of “The Thin Man” comes with free bubbly.