Spending New Year's Eve in Brooklyn? There is a lot going on! Whether you're looking for the most exciting ways to usher in 2020 at midnight or just something relaxed to do on New Year's Day, Brooklyn is a great place to spend New Year's.
From fireworks to the polar bear plunge, there are plenty of ways to welcome the new year Brooklyn-style.
For New Year's Eve 2020, you can enjoy a countdown and fireworks in Prospect Park at the stroke of midnight. Entertainment and hot refreshments are available from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. but for a good viewing spot, you should arrive even earlier.
Grand Army Plaza, located at the main entrance to Prospect Park, will be a major viewing site for the Prospect Park fireworks, which are shot off in the Great Lawn section of the park. This event is free and open to the public.
Coney Island Fireworks and Polar Plunge
Rather spend New Year's Eve at the beach instead of the park? You can see a midnight fireworks display at Coney Island. Spend New Year's Eve on the iconic Coney Island Boardwalk.
The historic Luna Park amusement area will host their annual fireworks display. The celebration starts at 6 p.m., and past events have included extended hours at the New York Aquarium, a laser show, a circus sideshow, and free rides of the Wonder Wheel. Some restaurants have been open until 9 p.m. Frigid weather will close the rides.
The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is the oldest winter swimming organization in the United States, famous for jumping into the freezing cold waters of Brighton Beach during the winter. Normally, you have to be a member, but on New Year's Day, everyone is invited to do the plunge.
For those looking for dancing, shows, and music there's always plenty happening New Year's Eve in cool, hot, and unique Brooklyn.
From floor shows in a Brighton Beach nightclub to hanging out at the bars and restaurants in Bushwick, there will be a venue that's your style. Or spend the evening in Greenpoint at the Brooklyn Bazaar and many other cool venues. Some venues will have special New Year's Eve festivities.
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on New Year's Eve is a fun thing to do. You can do your walk at any time, but there will be fireworks in NY Harbor near Liberty Island at midnight and the bridge provides an excellent vantage point. Remember that December is cold in New York, especially over the water, so make sure to bundle up tight! If you don't want to do the walk on your own, considering joining a group walking tour.
While you are up there, look for the Empire State Building, which will be lit up with special colors for the occasion. Also, look for the silhouette of lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, the Chrysler Building, and the traffic on East River Drive. From the bridge, you' should be able to see fireworks off in the distance, for example, those on Staten Island.
If you want to party like a local on New Year's Eve, Brooklyn has neighborhoods hang-outs to be proud of. So head toward a local sports bar (or at least one with a big TV), meet some new people, and watch the freezing throngs count down to midnight in Times Square while you're sitting inside, comfy and warm.
There are some centrally located sports bars near Barclays Center, but for a more upscale experience in the area try out the 40/40 Club which stands out with its chic decor and multi-level sports bar and lounge. You'll need to make reservations ahead of time.
The Brooklyn Children's Museum is open until 3 p.m. on December 31st but closed on New Year's Day. This cute children's museum has many interactive exhibits and is a great place to spend the day with young ones. The museum even has a child-sized Brooklyn street with shops they can visit, a sensory play area, and Color Lab.
Don't wake up after New Year's Eve without a plan for New Year's Day–even if you expect to be nursing a hangover. You can probably manage a late brunch, as many Brooklynites like to do. Most Brooklyn restaurants don't take reservations, even on holidays, so you can take your chances like everybody else and just head toward your favorite place. Wherever you decide to go, you should expect a long line.