Even though most people like to spend New Year’s Eve at home with family or friends, lots of people spend it abroad as well. One very popular destination during the holidays: New York City.
Spending New Year’s Eve in New York City, specifically on Times Square, is on several bucket lists around the world. It wasn’t on ours though. Keep reading to find out how we spent New Year’s Eve in New York City instead.
New Year’s Eve 2017 in New York City
It’s December 31st, 2017 and we’re spending it in New York City. It’s an exceptionally cold week, with temperatures down to -12°C (10°F). The water the street food carts are selling freezes on the spot, and the governor recommends people to stay inside as much as possible. On our second day in New York City we go clothes shopping: warmer shoes, warmer socks, a base layer to wear beneath our clothes, and warmer gloves and a hat for Brecht. It’s soooo cold!
We were counting our lucky stars we decided to buy tickets for a comedy show on New Year’s Eve instead of attending the Ball Drop on Times Square.
The Times Square Ball Drop
Attending the Ball Drop is a very popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in New York City. People start arriving at Times Square at 8:00 in the morning to secure a prime viewing spot for the festivities that only start at 18:00. Using the bathroom is not an option if you want to hold your spot. Knowing this was enough for us to decide celebrating New Year’s Eve on Times Square wasn’t for us. We just made the obligatory visit a few days before:
If, unlike us, you are interested in attending the Ball Drop on Times Square, you can find all the information you need on the Ball Drop website. We never attended, but from what we hear, festivities start at 18:00 with the ascend of the Ball. Around 20:00 the stage will come alive with several music artists performing. In between all that, a host will keep the crowd entertained with interviews of both people working behind the scenes and people attending the celebration.
Despite it being the second coldest New Year’s Eve in New York City since the Times Square celebrations, an estimated 2 million people rang in 2018 at Times Square. No different from other years. So again: very we happy we decided against doing this.
The NYE Comedy Show at Gotham Comedy Club
Instead of joining millions of others on Times Square, we bought tickets for the New Year’s Eve Comedy Show at Gotham Comedy Club. Good thing Brecht bought our tickets over a month beforehand, because the show sold out.
Seats for the 22:30 show we attended cost $60 per person (tax not included), with a 2 beverage minimum. They had a 20:00 show as well, costing $30 per person (tax not included), with a 2 beverage minimum as well.
Included in our general admission package was a 1.5 hour stand-up comedy show, featuring 3 comedians (Angelo Lozada, Erin Jackson, and Adam Ferrara), and a champagne toast at midnight. We had a great (and warm) night!
Dinner on New Year’s Eve in New York City
Because it was freezing cold, Brecht looked for a restaurant near our hotel where we could have dinner on New Year’s Eve. Only 1 day beforehand we were still able to reserve a table for 2 at VinoTapa, a cosy Spanish Tapas bar.
We ordered one of the New Year’s specials they were serving: the New York Strip Steak to share, with 5 tapas on the side, selected by the chef. Together with a bottle of Chardonnay and 2 desserts, this cost us $140, including a generous tip. Rightly so, as the waitstaff was very friendly and the New York Strip Steak was heavenly.
There are tons of parties and events to attend on New Year’s Eve in New York City. Whereas some people might be super excited to cross the Times Square Ball Drop off of their bucket list, we had a lovely night eating tapas and watching a comedy show. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve in New York City? We’d love to hear about your New Year’s Eve in New York City in the comments!
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