Times Square Ball
Unless you have been living on Mars for your whole life and are just arriving on planet Earth, you know something about the Times Square New Years Eve celebration. The famous ball drop at One Times Square is televised every year and has been a New York City New Years Eve tradition since 1906. The lead-up to the famous ball drop was for years emceed by Dick Clark, who recently turned the reigns over to his multimedia liege, Ryan Seacrest, whose road to the top was paved by his host gig on television's über-popular "American Idol". Hundreds of thousands of people come to the free Times Square New Years celebration every year, so if you are looking to get a good spot, then you might want to show up early.
New Years Times Square
A couple things you will want to consider before you decide to usher in the 2016 New Year at Times Square are that it is sure to be cold and that you will at some point feel like you are part of a cattle drive. Officials at this event corral people into various hangout areas that are barricaded, and once you have your spot, you will have to stay put, lest you want to risk losing your friends for the rest of the night. Whatever you will have to put up with, though, it will be worth it to experience the Times Square New Years party, which is arguably something you should experience at least once in your life. A full schedule of this year's Times Square New Years Eve performers will be out in December.
The Times Square New Years Eve bash has become a tradition of the grandest sorts. Worldwide, people tune in to see the famous ball drop and this symbolic center of the city shines extra bright on the last night of the year. It is estimated that over 1 billion people around the world see the Times Square Ball descend, so when you are there live, it feels like you are truly a part of something special. Some of the most iconic New Years images come from this event, and the grand sense of the occasion is accentuated by the list of featured entertainment performances that take place at the Times Square New Years celebration. On the Times Square stage, you can see some of the top names in the music business perform some of their most popular songs. When the ball finally drops, the atmosphere is as electric as you will find anywhere on the planet. Balloons by the thousands drop, blizzard-like confetti dances all about and the pyrotechnic display is akin to an isolated Armageddon of sorts.
Once again, if you want to be part of the party at Times Square, you should consider arriving early, as it begins to fill up in the afternoon. Security will be tight all around the Times Square vicinity, and you are not allowed to bring bags or backpacks. There are no food booths to fill up at and no public drinking is allowed, although some vendors like Sbarro and Ray's Original Pizza will deliver much needed sustenance to you on the street. You can dine at the various Times Squares restaurants that will be open, some of which have a view of the ball. If you are looking to stay at one of the Times Square hotels, you will want to book your room as soon as yesterday. While there are more than 16,000 rooms available here, they will go fast.
If you don't want to stand around for hours out in the cold to be a part of the bulky crowd, there are various indoor New Years Eve parties Times Square has to offer. On Broadway, some of the featured New Years Eve parties Times Square shindigs will be held at TGI Friday's, Mars 2112, Carolines on Broadway, and the Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company. At Bubba Gump's and the Olive Garden, you will have views of the actual Times Square Ball dropping. Other locations will show a live broadcast of it. At the Tonic Times Square party on 7th Avenue, the party starts at 9 p.m. and lasts until 4 a.m. You can enjoy top shelf drinks at the open bar until 2 a.m. and there is a champagne toast at midnight. Your admission price also includes the after hours party at Sol, so hang on to your ticket stub.
Both TGI Friday's and Bubba Gump's will feature DJ's and buffet-style dinners and champagne toasts at midnight. If you are looking for an upscale option for New Years Eve parties Times Square affairs, you might secure a spot at the Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square on 7th Avenue. Parties numbering 2 to 10 people can find interior seating, and if you spring $500 dollars extra, you can have a window seat for the ball drop. There will be an open bar at the Renaissance until 1 a.m. and a cocktail reception with passed hors d'oeuvres. Chef Anthony Paris will please your taste buds with his 5-course dinner, which features seafood, lamb and Kobe beef all accentuated with well-paired wines. Outside of Times Square, top clubs in Manhattan will be throwing some pretty raucous New Years Eve New York City bashes where you can party hearty. If you want to take a different approach, there will be options as well for New Years Eve cruises that are sure to be a good time as well. Families will find family-friendly parties spread about town, which will be more "controlled". When it comes to celebrating New Years Eve 2016, New York City has options that are appropriate for everybody.
Top image: Anthony Quintano (flickr)