When it comes to celebrating New Years in America, many people will think of Times Square, which hosts the world-renowned event of the ‘ball drop’ on New Year’s Eve for millions of people to enjoy. Located specifically on the roof of One Times Square, a building in the heart of Times Square, the time ball has been dropped since December 31st, 1907.
Usually, more than one million people watch the ball drop from Times Square alone. Add to this the 1 million people watching nationwide, and around the world, it is easy to see why it is such a popular way to bring in the New Year. Along with the firework display that takes place after, this is certainly one for the festive calendar. If it is on your bucket list, but you are unsure of the where to watch the ball drop, read below for some tips on the best places.
In Times Square Itself
If your plans for New Years Eve 2018 are to get involved and make it the most memorable New Year’s yet, it is recommended you plan well in advance. Of course, the typical place is to be in the very heart of the action, and join the crowds in Times Square itself. Be prepared for queueing and heavy crowds. It’s advised to get there early, take plenty of food and drink to keep you going, and wrap up warm ahead of the event.
Expect crowd control and jostling, but if you want a once in a lifetime experience to bring in the New Year, watching the ball drop from just below might be the perfect choice for you.
From A Hotel Room
Another great way to watch the ball drop is to enjoy it from the comfort of a hotel room with loved ones, or at one of the many rooftop parties that take place in Times Square. This will give you a better vantage point of the ball, and allow you to bring in the New Year in style. Some hotel suggestions include:
Knickerbocker Hotel, 6 Times Square
Located a mere 150 feet away from the heart of it all, you can expect a gourmet dinner, martinis and that all-important rooftop bar to celebrate New Years’ with a birds’ eye view.
Marriot Marquis, 1535 Broadway
With 100 rooms that offer views, this hotel would be a good choice for those who wish to celebrate privately. With babysitting services, room service and valet parking, expect a hefty price tag for this 5-star hotel. With a party that offers a 5-course dinner and a late night sweet, everything is thought of. You can expect to pay over $1,000 for a room.
Casablanca Hotel, 147 W 43rd Street
This hotel offers a private rooftop experience to enjoy the ball drop only feet away from the main event. There is unlimited champagne and is a slightly less extravagant option as there is no official party. This hotel would be a great choice for those wishing to head out into the night and enjoy the rest of the night with the crowds.
Other hotel suggestions include The Delancey, The Empire Hotel Rooftop, and Hotel Chantelle. If you’ve left it too late to book in to watch the ball drop this year, think ahead to New Years 2019, and get your thinking cap on for the best place to go.
From a restaurant
Times Square restaurants are another fantastic spot to bring in the New Year amid the excitement.
- If you fancy Italian, head to John’s Pizzeria or Becco.
- For typical American grub go for Planet Hollywood or Hard Rock Café.
- For alternative fare such as shrimp or Asian cuisine, head to Bubba Gump and Haru Sushi respectively.
- R Lounge can offer you the best of both worlds, with a bar/restaurant vibe providing the perfect location for enjoying every moment of the New Year’s celebrations.
For those who want to enjoy New York City for New Years but not be in the center of it all, there are still plenty of other spots around the city to consider. You may have to check specifically about whether you will be able to see the ball drop, depending on exact locations.
Harbor Lights Yacht is offering a party including a live DJ, full dinner buffet and a perfect vista of the festivities and skyline.
Another idea for those who wish to just take in the fireworks is to take in the views from Prospect Park. This is a free event, and may be suited to those who are not keen on large crowds who still want to enjoy the evening.
Brooklyn Bridge Walk offers organized group walks led by guides in the know who can share their knowledge before you pause to take in the fireworks at midnight.