If you're tired of the "been there, done that" bar and party New Year's Eve scene in New York City, there are great, alternative New Year's Eve celebration ideas that will start your 2019 off right.
From outdoor recreation to a night of music dance and fireworks, New Year's Eve in New York City has something for the whole family. Some events do require having tickets in advance, but there are a few you can just show up to.
Get Classy with the Performing Arts
For a high-class night on the town, look to special New Year's Eve programming at esteemed performing arts venues like The Metropolitan Opera. At the Met, you can enjoy the performance and after-party complete with fireworks. Ring in 2020 with the talented Anna Netrebko who will be singing Puccini's biggest hits from operas like Tosca, La Bohème, and Turandot.
The Gala Dinner Package includes a post-performance dinner and dance on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier, where you will be able to see the midnight fireworks erupt throughout New York City. The dress code is black tie.
Meanwhile, the New York Philharmonic presents the beloved American composer Stephen Sondheim's music featuring Tony Award winner Katrina Lenk. The Philharmonic will perform songs from hit Broadway shows like Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods.
Run Into the New Year
Get your new year off to a running start—literally—courtesy of the NYRR Midnight Run in Central Park. The casual and fun four-mile run, sponsored by the New York Road Runners organization, starts near Bethesda Terrace at the stroke of midnight, all set underneath a scheduled 15-minute fireworks display in the park. Qualifying runners are even eligible for cash prizes!
Cruise the Harbor
Head out into New York Harbor for a New Year's Eve to remember, complete with stunning Manhattan skyline views and a midnight fireworks display.
Spirit Cruises, World Yacht, Classic Harbor Line, and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises are among the local cruise companies offering evening sailing parties, dinner, open bar, live DJs, and more. Not to mention, the water is a prime viewing spot for the New Year's Eve firework display over the New York skyline.
Pedal and Dance
Bundle up and pedal your way into 2019, courtesy of the annual New Year's Eve bike ride hosted by the environmentally-minded group Time's Up. Participants in the event can join ranks with the rest of the two-wheeled gang (though skaters are welcomed, too) at the archway in Washington Square Park at 10 p.m., and then make their way through Manhattan before winding down at Central Park’s Belvedere Castle at 11:45 p.m.
Revelers arrive just in time for an informal dance party with the group ("festive" dress is requested), as Central Park's midnight fireworks display gets underway.
New Year's Eve at the Comedy Cellar
Laugh your way right out of 2019 with New Year's Eve at the Comedy Cellar. At New York's most famous comedy club, there will be a great lineup of comedians, countdown, and ball-drop festivities. Tickets are available online, but there is a two-drink minimum. There will be two shows on December 31: one at 8:30 p.m. and another at 10 p.m.
If the show is sold out at the Comedy Cellar and their sister club the Fat Black Pussy Cat, you can also try the New Year’s Eve Spectacular at Carolines on Broadway, for two big shows featuring the country’s very best comedians. Carolines will show the countdown in Times Square live on their 10-foot screen and there will also be party favors, a live DJ, and dancing after midnight.
Many restaurants in New York City offer special New Year's Eve meals and entertainment. With varied options at restaurants like Tuome, Rosa Mexicano, and Junoon putting on a special party for the big night, you can dine out and celebrate with just about any kind of cuisine you can think of.