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Published on : Friday, November 22, 2013
NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, is encouraging New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world to come and experience New Year’s Eve in Times Square 2014 and the many exciting events happening throughout the five boroughs. Few events in the world are as exciting and extraordinary as New Year’s Eve in New York City. From watching the ball drop in Times Square (produced by Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment) to the numerous celebrations in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, New York City is the place to make the first memories of 2014.
“Spending New Year’s Eve in New York City is an experience of a lifetime,” said George Fertitta, NYC & Company’s CEO. “People of all ages and backgrounds join together at the ‘Crossroads of the World’ to celebrate their journeys over the past year and usher in all the possibilities that come with a fresh start. All five boroughs come alive with celebrations, and visitors from all over the world will join New Yorkers in the countdown as the ball drops in Times Square.”
Over 100 million television viewers in the United States and more than 1 billion people worldwide are expected to join the estimated 1 million revelers in New York City to watch a 106-year-old tradition: the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. A 12-foot geodesic sphere covered in 2,688 Waterford crystals, the ball weighs 11,875 pounds and is powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights, capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors. At 11:59pm, the ball begins its descent atop One Times Square as millions of people count down the final seconds of the year and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.
For visitors arriving in New York City before the ball drops, there are plenty of early New Year’s Eve events and activities happening throughout the five boroughs, including:
New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall: Every year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, thousands of wishes from people from around the world cover Times Square. Anyone can come to the Times Square Museum & Visitor Center (located at Seventh Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets, open seven days a week, 8am–8pm) to record their wishes, dreams and goals for 2014 on pieces of paper and add it to the Wishing Wall. Individuals may also submit a wish from wherever they are by going online to timessquarenyc.org (page available in English, Spanish and French). All the wishes from the wall and online will be collected and added to the confetti that will rain down onto the streets of Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Good Riddance Day: This year, come celebrate Good Riddance Day on December 28, and say farewell to the worst memories of 2013 in Times Square. The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment have teamed up with Cintas to invite everyone to say goodbye to their awful, depressing and embarrassing memories. Whether you want to scrap an old love letter, a parking ticket or a pile of medical bills, your bad memories can be shredded and destroyed by a mobile shredding truck that will be present in Times Square. Bad memories can also be entered in a contest to win a trip to Times Square for New Year’s Eve by submitting them at cintas.com/goodriddanceday by November 22.
New Year’s Eve at the New York Marriott Marquis and Renaissance New York Times Square: On December 31, have the ultimate New Year’s Eve party experience at the New York Marriott Marquis (located at 1535 Broadway, between 45th and 46th Streets.) Revel in the view of Times Square from eight stories up at the elegant Broadway Lounge while enjoying live music, entertainment, delicious cuisine, an open bar and so much more. Various seating arrangements are available, ranging from communal seating to direct ball drop views.
Take part in the gala at The View Restaurant and Lounge for dinner and dancing 48 stories above Times Square. The night consists of a five-course meal, a spectacular DJ, dancing, a live streaming of the Times Square ball drop and breathtaking panoramic views of New York City.
For both a climate-controlled and stellar view of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, The Renaissance Times Square’s R Lounge in Times Square is the place to be. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you can’t beat this view of Times Square while enjoying all the comfort of the indoors. While taking in this phenomenal view, enjoy dinner and a full open bar in the evening’s celebrations. New Year’s Eve packages for the hotel and viewing start at $2,500. Visit rloungetimessquare.com/newyearseve.
Many other distinctive New Year’s celebrations and events are taking place throughout the City—what follows are some highlights of activity in the five boroughs:
Grand Army Plaza: Spend New Year’s Eve in Prospect Park under Brooklyn’s dazzling fireworks display at midnight hosted by Borough President Marty Markowitz and Prospect Park Alliance with Eric Adams, BP elect. This is a free event that includes hot refreshments and entertainment that is welcoming of all ages. The best viewing locations for the fireworks are in Grand Army Plaza, along West Drive in Prospect Park, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.
Along with the fireworks, enjoy the taste of some of New York’s best food trucks, including MudTruck, Rickshaw Dumplings and Wafels & Dinges. The trucks will be at the Grand Army Plaza Arch on the Union Street side from 10pm until 12:45am. For more information, visit prospectpark.org.
Coney Island Polar Bear Club Annual New Year’s Day Swim: On January 1, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club will be hosting their annual New Year’s Day plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. The swim is open to the public and starts at 1pm on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Donations to Camp Sunshine, a charity for children with life-threatening illnesses, are welcome. For more event, pledging and registration details, visit polarbearclub.org.
Brooklyn’s New Year’s Eve 5K Run: Join in the only nighttime race held all year in Prospect Park to kick off New Year’s Eve, brought to you by the Brooklyn Road Runners and Sketchers. The race starts at 11:15pm at Prospect Park West and 9th street. There is rolling registration, and the cost depends on time of registration, starting at $25 if registered by December 23. Participants may register the day of the race. For registration information, go to prospectpark.org.
The New York Botanical Garden: As a part of the 2013–2014 annual Holiday Train Show, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends will be taking children and their families on a memorable sing-along adventure through the station. On January 1, there will be showings of Thomas and Friends at 11am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm. The festivities of the Holiday Train Show will be occurring on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 10am to 7pm. For information on tickets and deals, go to nybg.org/priceless.
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises: This New Year’s Eve party cruise takes visitors right to the Statue of Liberty for a phenomenal viewing of the New Year’s fireworks. The cruise includes hors d’oeuvres, a full open bar, party favors, a DJ and a champagne toast at midnight. The cruise boards at 9 pm and sails from 10pm to 1am. Tickets can be purchased at an all-inclusive price of $149. (Must be 18 years old to board and 21 years old to drink alcohol.) For more information or to purchase tickets, go to circleline42.com.
New York Philharmonic: New Year’s Eve Concert with Musical Humorists Igudesman & Joo. Alan Gilbert will conduct the Philharmonic’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31. In their Philharmonic debuts, this year’s special guests will be Igudesman & Joo, the musical humor duo whose comedic, insightful and virtuosic interpretations of classical repertoire (à la Victor Borge and Danny Kaye) have made them viral Internet stars. Longtime friends who met at England’s Yehudi Menuhin School when they were both 12 years old, Russian violinist Aleksey Igudesman and British-Korean pianist Hyung-ki Joo devise unique performances that make classical music accessible to a wide audience. Combining comedy, music and pop culture, Igudesman & Joo perform in stadiums and concert halls around the world, and their skits have garnered more than 28 million hits on YouTube.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square: Ripley’s family-friendly Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities begin at 8pm on December 31. Be amazed by Ripley’s Odditorium, with over 18,000 square feet of themed galleries featuring 500 unique and exciting artifacts, and enjoy fire-breathing acts, a DJ dance party and a champagne toast at midnight. Parents can relax with an open bar and hors d’oeuvres while the kids take part in face-painting and magic shows and chow down on popcorn and cotton candy. For ticket prices and more information, visit ripleysnewyork.com.
Emerald Nuts Midnight Run: At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run takes off in Central Park, hosted by the New York Road Runners. The night kicks off with dancing and music at 10pm, followed by a costume contest at 11pm at the Central Park Bandshell. The 4-mile race around the park will begin at 11:59 pm, and runners will be racing under the fireworks as the New Year begins. There will be several prizes throughout the night, including cash prizes for the top three runners to finish for both men and women. For more information or to register, visit nyrr.org.
World Yacht Cruises: Cruise around Manhattan with superb views of the City skyline while enjoying a five-course dinner, open bar and live entertainment all night long. Tickets for the New Year’s Eve Classic Cruise also include front row views of the fireworks, party favors and a midnight champagne toast. Boarding is at 9pm, and the cruise sails from 10pm until 1am. The fun continues with a dockside party until 1:30am. Tickets are $350, including all taxes and fees. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit worldyacht.com.
Resorts World Casino: What hand will you be dealt for the New Year? Find out at the Resorts World Casino in Queens on New Year’s Eve! Choose to celebrate at an all-out party with favors, a DJ and a 3,000 balloon drop at midnight, or watch the Times Square ball drop on the largest TV screen in Queens. If you’re looking for an unforgettable dining experience, enjoy specials at RW Prime steakhouse or Genting Palace Asian restaurant. To make reservations or for more details, visit rwnewyork.com.
Angelina’s Ristorante: Spend your New Year’s Eve in Staten Island at Angelina’s Ristorante enjoying a delicious blend of traditional and innovative Italian cuisine. Celebrate at your own pace with one of three meal and party options: a five-course dinner, an à la carte menu or an all-night buffet. Some options include a live band or DJ and open bar. For more details, call 718-227-2900, or check angelinasristorante.com closer to the time.