Alternative New Year’s Eve 2018 celebrations in New York

Crowd cheers, ball drops, confetti flies in the air, and fireworks brighten up the night sky. Needless to say, Times Square in New York every year hosts the most iconic and exciting New Year’s Eve party! It turns into a bustling street celebration party where millions express their joy and hope with high anticipation of the coming new year.

Ready to paint the town red on the last day of 2018, but not super excited about itching through the teeming Times Square and wear an adult diaper to cope the super long wait? Don’t worry, there are alternative ways for you to have a blast in the party town! Let’s leave the hot mess and party in style, shall we?

Alternative Ways of Celebrating NYE 2018 in New York:

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise

The fireworks and the Manhattan city skyline, (Image via Shutterstock)

Nothing sounds better than staying in the cozy and warm interior of magnificent ship, while watching the dazzling New Year’s Firework spectacle above the Manhattan skyline!

After dinner, hop on the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise and embark on the unforgettable 3-hour journey on Hudson River. Move to the beat of the resident DJ, chow on tasty hors d’oeuvres, and make a toast with bubbly champagne! From the huge glass window, you will get the front row seat for the breathtaking city skyline, Statue of Liberty, and fireworks. Oh and, did I mention there’s an OPEN BAR?

Pro-tip: Plan your travel in advance as the traffic could be quite heavy on that day.


Watch the Ahh-mazing Fireworks at Prospect Park

Grand Army Plaza, (Image via Shutterstock)

If you’re on a budget but refuse to ring in 2019 without splendid fireworks, Prospect Park is your best choice. Located at Brooklyn, the park has had 39 years of New Year firework tradition that has drawn people to come for a rather low-key and casual celebration.

Image via Shutterstock

Get into the spirit with the live entertainment from Quintessential Playlist and grab a free hot cocoa to keep yourself warm. As midnight  approaches, slowly move to the Grand Army Plaza, West Drive or along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street for the best view of fireworks. Why squeeze yourself in the overcrowded Times Square if you can get the same dynamic vibe here?

Dig in Buffet and get the best of Times Square Countdown at Applebee’s

New Year’s Eve at Time Square, (Image via Shutterstock)

What if we told you there’s a way to get the “real” Times Square New Year’s Eve experience, without the hassle of crowds, queues, and weather? Book a reservation at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar!

The grill restaurant is conveniently located in the “lockdown zone” of Times Square. The ticket allows you to access the closed streets, and join a big party feast at Applebee’s which provides unlimited buffet food, open bar, music and dance floor. To end 2018 on a high note, step outside to watch the famous ball drop and  have a champagne toast with your loved ones!

New Year’s Eve Midnight Run

Join the night run to ring in 2019! (Image via Shutterstock)

 If “getting fit” is on your New Year’s resolution list, why not actually take it seriously this time and start from the very first second of 2019? Hosted by NYRR (New York Road Runners), the long-standing midnight run tradition will take place in Central Park from right at the stroke of midnight, with spectacular fireworks as the starting pistol!

The pre-race music party will start from 10 pm. Runners can warm up their body with the dance, and write down their goals for the New Year on a resolution wall. Then they will be sent off to around 6.5 kilometers run with the accompany of 15 minutes long fireworks. At the halfway, each runner will be given a sparkling cider to toast for a new year! Join the other run enthusiast to start off 2019 on the right foot.

Pro-tip: Wear warm jogging clothes for the possible low-degree temperature, and allow yourself enough time to pass through security screening before the event.

    • Event time: 10:00pm to 1:00am
    • Where: Enter Central Park at West 72nd Street, Central Park West or East 72nd Street and 5th Avenue
    • Price: US$35 – 70
    • Event Website

New Year’s Eve Viennese Ball

New York Philharmonic, (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Waltz into 2019 in grace and elegance with New York Philharmonic. If you are not a party animal but instead a classical music lover, then let’s celebrate the New Year by joining the concert! On the 31st of December, New York Philharmonic will bring Viennese waltzes and melodies to life at Lincoln Center, one of the most notable art performing centers in New York.

In the concert, you’ll be taken to the glamorous era of 19th century Vienna, featuring melodious waltzes by the most revered classical music composers, including Johann Strauss II. Immerse yourself in the captivating music to ring down the curtain on 2018!

    • Event time: 7:30 pm
    • Where: Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York (Google Maps)
    • Price: from 180 USD
    • Event Website

Some reminders on New Year’s Eve celebration in New York:

Image via Shutterstock

Celebrating NYE in one of the most exciting cities on earth is definitely a brilliant idea. However, if not planned well, it can easily turn south— We’re talking about situations like getting stuck on a train when the clock strikes 12! Here’s some tips to keep in mind when planning your trip:

1. Arrive one day in advance

To avoid the trouble caused by traffic control on 31st December, the best time to arrive New York with ease would be a day before. If you can only arrive on that day, check in at the hotel at least before 3 pm is strongly suggested. For first-timers in the city, get a New York CityPASS to tick the boxes on visiting all iconic attractions. Or hop on The Ride Bus Theater to marvel at rich and diverse street arts and performances along with major attractions.

2. Expect heavy traffic and transportation changes

Go to the event or venue early to make sure you don’t miss the starting time, due to the heavy traffic on that day. The subway would be the best option to go around the city, so download the MTA’s subway and bus apps to get the latest information on traffic updates!

3. Keep yourself warm

Normally around New Year’s Eve, the weather in New York is usually freezing cold. This year it’s expected to be the second-coldest of all time, around -11°C! Therefore scarfs, coats, touchscreen gloves, hats, thick wool socks and snow boots are strongly suggested.  

4. Take a Selfie Stick and GoPro Camera

If you are heading to the crowded place or midnight run for the countdown, don’t bring a heavy single-lens reflex camera. Instead, get a selfie stick and GoPro Camera instead since they are easier to bring around and capture nice photos.

Now you’re officially ready to party hard in New York to welcome 2019! Make it one of the days that will turn into a good story to tell.


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