New Year in New York; the world’s most watched celebration
There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.
In 2007, the official broadcasters of the New York New Year’s Eve celebrations announced that for the first time more than 1 billion people worldwide had tuned in to watch the iconic glowing ball make its 141 foot descent from atop the One Times Square building in Midtown Manhattan at 12 o’clock.
Since 1907 the picture of a lit up Times Square at night has been one of the most enduring images of New Year celebrations, and it is perhaps not surprising that more and more people from across the globe are choosing to visit the Big Apple every December to join in with the party and usher in the New Year in style.
With so much weight often put on New Year celebrations, visiting one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities can perhaps been seen as something of a sure bet. Whether you’re after a traditional all-nighter with a countdown at 12, a sunset champagne and midnight fireworks, a romantic getaway with world-class food and a great view, or a little more of a quirky eve, filled with alternative activities like late-night exercise sessions or meditation classes that abound here in true New York style, a late-December trip to the heart of the Big Apple is sure not to disappoint.
For the hedonists among us, the super clubs and underground joints all around the city’s center come alive on the 31st December, with many staying open well into the morning hours of New Year’s Day. Amongst the best known places to party, Madame Tussauds hosts an annual New Year celebration that brings revelers and wax-works together for the night. Ticket prices include a buffet, some drinks and access to the on-site ‘4D’ movie.
There are loads of other places where visitors can party the night away in similarly quirky shindig. Movie lovers should check out Ward III, where an annual movie-themed night is one of the best attended fancy dress events of the year. Nearby the beer house at Bar Hop hosts one of the biggest parties in Midtown, while there’s a melange of other bars just a stone’s throw from the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebrations.
While ticket prices will almost always be upwards of $100, there are plenty of places where open bars, food and entertainment will come part and parcel, so check what you’re buying before reserving your place. For those who don’t want to party and are keen to avoid the bustle of Times Square at night, there’s a myriad of other options that come with a lower price tag.
Why not try out one of the city’s new ecotourism attractions, where New Year in New York is more about losing some calories than drinking them down? With cups of warming hot chocolate gratis and the compulsory midnight champagne toasts included, the late-night walking tours across Brooklyn Bridge or the bike rides in Prospect Park are becoming a favorite New Year activity of the visitor in search of an entirely unique experience.
Image credit: Flickr/Anthony Quintano