Let’s be real: New Year’s Eve is a party of epic proportions. There is so much build-up and expectation surrounding this evening, that, more often than not, it doesn’t live up to the hype. Whether you are at a rager or home with your dozen cats, you inevitably find the event lacking. So, what is a person do to? How can you actually have a kick-ass New Years Eve 2017? Two ways: First, adjust your expectations (Billy Crystal is not rushing into a fancy party to confess his love for you) and Second, peruse the following list for surefire ways to have an awesome time for a change.
For the Tourists
First of all, welcome to New York! We hope you enjoy your New Year’s Eve. Our city is awesome and a great place to party, so we understand why you’re here. This section is not to put you down or make fun of the dreamy-eyed way you admire our millionth 24-hour Duane Reade; this section exists, because it includes things that most locals will not do, because as New Yorkers, we just don’t have the patience for them. But please enjoy yourselves and thank you for stimulating our city’s economy!
Photo Credit: Mic.com
Believe it or not, the famous gathering in Times Square to watch the ball drop is actually full of out-of-towners who have traveled from far and wide to experience this event. Times Square New Years Eve is an iconic event and I can’t blame people for wanting to be a part of it. It has certainly come a long way from the days you could saunter in with a handle full of Jim Beam and party in the street all night long. Nowadays, thanks to the world being as “awesome” as it is, there are a great deal of security procedures in place. If you are going to be one of the revelers here are some tips: There are no public bathrooms, so visit your local REI and pick up one of these (for the ladies) or one of these (for the fellas). Officially, you cannot bring alcohol (I don’t think they do pat-downs, but you will get wanded). If you are bringing a backpack or purse, observe stadium guidelines and make sure it’s about the size of a clutch or one of these:
Photo Credit: Amazon.com
The good news is, you can fit your portable urinal in this thing. Keep in mind: while this bag would be great to hide any booze, all bags are subject to search upon entry into one of the barricaded areas.
If all of this sounds like a huge pain in the ass, all in the name of New Years NYC, that’s because it is. Do it once to say you’ve done it and in the end, you’ll at least have a very funny story to tell your kids.
AMC Times Square NYE Family Fun Fest
Photo Credit: AMC
If you’re a family from the tri-state area or another borough, you will probably consider this a fun night out. It’s on 42nd street, but you get to actually have food, a restroom, and (thankfully) some alcohol. Yes, the flyer says, “Alcohol Free Zone”, but that literally only applies to a zone they have created within the larger party. The third level of this massive party is the Family Entertainment level, where people of all ages can enjoy a dance floor, arcade games, PG-13 movies (for those 13 and over, obviously), concessions, and NYE party favors. All of this is included in the price of your ticket. I’m jealous that I live here, because if I was from anywhere else, this would sound like the party of a lifetime. If you want to live it up, you can upgrade your ticket to include bottle service (honestly, for $139/person, it’s the best New Year’s Eve deal in town).
Where to Watch the fireworks
Photo Credit: Times Square Chronicles
There’s always a lot of confusion as to where the best fireworks will be displayed in the Big Apple every year. This year they will be held at Time Square or course, as well as Prospect Park where Green Space will put on one epic show! Weather you’re down to watch the ball drop of sit back and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa NYC most definitely has some of the best Pyrotechnics in the USA.
For the Locals
Hey, you know that dive bar two blocks away that you love to hit up? Well, it’s New Years NYC, so it will cost you $200 to sit on the same old stool you were using four days ago! If that sounds familiar, you’ve lived here more than a minute. Welcome to the age-old dilemma every New Yorker faces on New Year’s Eve. Instead of giving in to the unreasonable demands of your local bar, class it up a notch and hit one of the great parties listed below.
Photo Credit: Bathtub Gin
Of all the speakeasy’s in town, this is at the top of my list. While it is not the largest bar/lounge you will ever go to, it does have character and pizazz. If you’re going to drop money on a NYE party cover charge anyway, you may as well spend your money at Bathtub Gin. Because there is a premium on space, definitely spring for a table. Sure, they gouge you with “administrative fees” for literally opening a bottle, but it’s New Years Eve 2017: Throw caution and wise spending to the wind! It’s a sexy little spot and you won’t regret ringing in the new year with a killer DJ, passed Hors D’oeuvres, and a roaring 20’s theme.
NY Epic Club Crawl
If you get antsy committing to just one party on New Year’s Eve, I have an obvious solution for you: club crawl. Starting at 6pm and not ending until you can’t feel your feet, NY Epic Club Crawl is guaranteed to give you a night to remember (or at least remember through a drunken haze). They will give you VIP, line-cutting access to at least three different clubs (all within walking distance of each other, so you can still wear those killer heels), drink specials all night, and a friendly guide to make sure you don’t lose your way. This is your best opportunity to meet the most people and experience a variety of parties on the “partiest” night of the year.
Cipriani 42nd Street
Photo Credit: Cipriani
If you’re a fancy-ass bitch, this is your spot. Cipriani has a long and storied history in NYC. Though not the original, this is the coveted location with its epic bank vault. To say the least, Cipriani 42nd street is a few steps up from spending your evening at Bounce (no offense to Bounce). To quote their copy directly, “The opulent Ballroom of Cipriani’s sets the scene for this black-tie (optional) NYE gala - complete with white-glove service - that will give NYC’s social royalty a truly glorious start to the New Year.” Sure, you may not consider yourself “social royalty”, but you can certainly pay to be one of them for a night. Ticket prices are about the same as any other club or restaurant, but at Cipriani you are going to get more bang for your buck: premium open bar, delectable passed hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary prosecco at midnight. Trust that the quality is beyond the pale when you go to an event here. Live it up and enjoy yourself.
While past NYE parties may not have lived up to all the New Years NYC hype, this year is sure to be different with a little help from this handy guide. Hopefully, you will heed my advice and avoid Times Square New Years Eve, but if you choose to be one of the very silly and very cold, I hope you have a bladder of steel and are naturally the life of any party. If you’re a local, you know the drill and there’s not much I can tell you that you don’t already know about this night. The most important thing is that you all enjoy yourselves. Travel with a posse you like, carry cash, and have a rockin’ New Years Eve 2017!