7 Alternative New Year's Eve Celebrations in NYC

  • 01 of 08

    Introduction

    ••• Queen of the Night

    If you're tired of the been-there-done-that bar-and-party NYE scene in NYC, don't despair: We've rounded up 7 great, alternative New Year's Eve celebration ideas in Manhattan that are sure to start your 2016 off right.

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  • 02 of 08

    Performing Arts

    ••• The Metropolitan Opera

    For a high-class night on the town, look to special New Year's Eve programming at esteemed performing arts venues like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the The Metropolitan Opera. At Alvin Ailey, the NYE dance program includes Blue Suite, A Case of You, Cry, and Revelations, featuring live music and special guest artists like Clifton Brown. The Metropolitan Opera, meanwhile, puts on a New Year's Eve Gala featuring Georges Bizet’s opera Les Pêcheurs de Perles, starring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien; the exclusive gala event will follow up the performance with black-tie dining and dancing.

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  • 03 of 08

    Running

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    ••• New York Road Runners

    Get the 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, featuring live DJs along the race route and a sparkling cider toast at the halfway point, all set underneath a scheduled 15-minute fireworks display in the park. Bonus: Qualifying runners are eligible for cash prizes.

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  • 04 of 08

    Yoga & Meditation

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    ••• Joe Raedle / Getty Images News

    If starting off your new year with some quiet reflection seems like a smart route this year, several local yoga and meditation centers have just the ticket. Try the Kadampa Meditation Center for a guided meditation and introduction to the practice of the Buddha of Compassion, in Chelsea; Kundalini Yoga East for yoga, meditation, refreshments, and more, in the Flatiron District; or Jivamukti Yoga School for a Kirtan dance party, optional vegan dinner, and more, in Union Square.

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  • 05 of 08

    Harbor Cruises

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    ••• Spirit Cruises

    Head out into New York Harbor for a NYE 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; plus, prime viewing for the festive NYE pyrotechnic display in the harbor.

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  • 06 of 08

    Biking

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    ••• Fred Askew

    Bundle up and pedal your way into 2016, courtesy of the annual NYE bike ride hosted by environmental-minded group Time's Up. Participants in the free 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 10pm), and then make their way through Manhattan before winding down at Central Park’s Belvedere Castle (at 11:45pm). 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.

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  • 07 of 08

    Comedy

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    ••• Jason Kempin / Getty Images Entertainment

    Laugh your way right out of 2015 with several comedy and improv shows scheduled throughout Manhattan. Top options include the New Year’s Eve Spectacular at Carolines on Broadway, headlined by Joe Machi (plus, a live screening of the ball drop and a DJ with dancing after midnight); or try New Year's Eve at the Comedy Cellar with host Keith Robinson and comedians Dave Attell, Allan Havey, and more. You can also catch Daily Show mainstay Lewis Black at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

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  • 08 of 08

    Cabaret, Burlesque & Variety

    ••• Queen of the Night

    Attend a black-tie party in Times Square at Queen of the Night's James Bond-inspired production of immersive theatrics and acrobatics Tomorrow Never Dies, at the Diamond Horseshoe. Provocative comedian, actress, and singer Sandra Bernhard will be returning to headline Joe's Pub with her unique blend of cabaret and stand-up, via her show Sandra Bernhard: Feel the Bernhard. Other NYE acts worth seeking out include Broadway actress/cabaret star/comedic showgirl Annaleigh Ashford, who will be hosting a cabaret party at Feinstein’s/54 Below. For a mix of burlesque, magic, and circus-style performance, seek out the New Year's Eve Lovefest, featuring a cast of unique variety show acts at The Slipper Room.