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New York City

New Years Eve in NYC 2015

My boyfriend & I are going to be in New York for New Years Eve 2015! We are staying near the La Guardia Airport. We've heard great things about how amazing it will be and we've heard terrible things about how crowded it will be. Any recommendations on places to watch the ball drop? Clubs? Bars? Restaurants? Also any recommendations on things to do in general in NY around the end of December-early January?

7 Answers

top answer by
Brian from Irvington

Do not know any secret spots to watch the ball drop per se.  I would stay away from Times Square unless you mainly want to be part of the whole crowd experience.  There are a couple of good roof top bars not far from Times Square that may be a little under the radar.  

Refinery Hotel on 38th street is new and nice.  Archer Hotel New York right next door has Spyglass Rooftop Bar.  Hotel Gansevoort in west Village is great rooftop.  The Standard New York hotel is also real deal rooftop right near by  .

I guess in general I am recommending high quality hotel rooftop bars that are a little away from the action.  If you go to Ganesvoort or Standard you get additional benefit of being super close to (or the Standard is right on top of) the High Line Park which is an elevated park in NYC- very cool pedestrian walk 2 floors above streets of NYC- free and cool!  Good luck!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Times Square (metro area)
  2. Refinery Hotel (hotel)
  3. Archer Hotel New York (hotel)
  4. Spyglass Rooftop Bar (restaurant)
  5. Hotel Gansevoort (hotel)
  6. The Standard New York (hotel)
  7. High Line Park (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Evan from Los Angeles, California

It'll be beyond packed near the ball drop in Times Square...if you need the "once in a lifetime" experience, go for it, but I'd recommend living without. Meatpacking District is full of trendy clubs, be prepared to spend some serious cash though. In general, it's a cold time of year, so some indoor spots (if you like art, check out MOMA and The Metropolitan Museum of Art; for music, check out places like the jazz standard, blue note, or Village Vanguard (for jazz), or any of the cities concert listings for the insane number of nightly shows); also, eat well. Go to Pok Pok Phat Thai and revel in the best thai food you never knew existed. Try Momofuku Ssam Bar delicious pork buns, or get fancy at Eleven Madison Park Restaurant. Then have some street food, from The Halal Guys on 53rd. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Times Square (metro area)
  2. Meatpacking District (neighborhood)
  3. MOMA (attraction)
  4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)
  5. Village Vanguard (attraction)
  6. Pok Pok Phat Thai (restaurant)
  7. Momofuku Ssam Bar (restaurant)
  8. Eleven Madison Park Restaurant (restaurant)
  9. The Halal Guys (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Sylvia from Astoria

NYC is always amazing and you'll have no problem finding things to do. Since you are near La Guardia I would recommend trying a few places in Astoria or Long Island City, if you get tired of commuting into Manhattan. It's pretty easy to get to Times Square to see the ball drop… if you get there 5 hours in advance. I wouldn't recommend it. Any other bar will be fine, and there are a million. Try downtown instead of midtown for a more local vibe.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Astoria (metro area)
  2. Long Island City (neighborhood)
  3. Manhattan (attraction)
  4. Times Square (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Jessie from San Diego, California

You should plan your night for new years eve, as you need tickets to get into most bars. I would stay away from Time's a mad house. Aim to go somewhere in the East Village or West Village.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. East Village (neighborhood)
  2. West Village (neighborhood)
1 thanks

answered by
Simon from New York City

The crowds and the cost are pretty unavoidable in New York around New Year's, but you should swing by Rockefeller Plaza and see the giant tree.  The view from the Top of the Rock is pretty amazing, some say better than the Empire State building. You probably want to see the ball drop from Times Square even though it will be super crowded. If you like art, Museum of Modern Art is right nearby, and you can walk up to Central Park and go skating.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rockefeller Plaza (attraction)
  2. Top of the Rock (attraction)
  3. Museum of Modern Art (attraction)
  4. Central Park (attraction)
  5. Times Square (attraction)
1 thanks

answered first by
Jinny from Los Angeles

New Year's Eve in Time Square (where the ball is dropped) is an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. I once landed in La Guardia on new year's eve around noon and headed to Time Square because that's where my friend's apartment was. I got into a taxi and could not even get anywhere near midtown. The taxi driver ended up dropping me off about 20 blocks outside of time square and I had to walk to my friend's place, but even that was a nightmare. I was walking, walking, walking, when all of a sudden I was trapped on all four sides. I could not get out, even with my big luggage, people were pushing from behind. Only reason I was able to get out of the crowd was because there was a mother with a crying baby beside me who needed to get out, so we just started yelling at people to move and escaped... 

I've heard horror stories of how some people have to wear diapers if they want to see the ball drop in Time Square because they can't get out of the crowd once they're in it... I believe that, easily. 

Fortunately, my friend and I got out of the city to go to the Hamptons for the evening.

Best recommendation would be to either stay outside of Manhattan (there are a lot of great parties in Brooklyn) or if you want to be in Manhattan, go to meatpacking district. That's where all the cool bars and clubs are at. There will be HUGE lines and you may end up just spending your NYE in line so get there as early as possible. It's better waiting inside with drinks and heat than outside in line. These places might also charge ridiculous cover since it's New year's eve in NYC... but some of my favorite bars/clubs that I've been to regularly are:

1. Top of the The Standard New York. GREAT skyline view, but better for daytime drinking/chilling. 

2. Le Bain

3. Hotel Gansevoort

4. The Standard Biergarten. Right under a bridge and a huge hub for beer lovers. It's just an outdoor place where people pack in to hangout and drink beer. I don't drink that much, but I just love the atmosphere of this place. 

5. My favorite: Gaslight. This is just a really fun place to dance. It's a bar that turns into sort of a club. They have two different rooms with different music and people are always dancing here.

These places are all walking distance of each other. If you go anywhere else in Manhattan, it's hard to find one area full of bars and clubs like Meatpacking district.

Good luck, have fun and be safe! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Standard New York (hotel)
  2. Le Bain (attraction)
  3. Hotel Gansevoort (hotel)
  4. The Standard Biergarten (restaurant)
  5. Gaslight (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Arkadiy from Greater New York

NYC is amazing during the holidays. Just walk around, do the typical touristy stuff and not worry about anything. 

As for the ball drop, you wanna get there REALLY early, to have a chance of seeing the ball, otherwise you will be 10 blocks north. 

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