If the idea of being wedged into Times Square on New Year's Eve fills you with dread, then maybe you should head the opposite direction. Brooklyn is where the locals go to escape the hordes of tourists that flock to New York City for its biggest celebration of the year. This outer borough offers options galore, from big concerts to humble bar parties, for ringing in 2020.
Barclays Center in Fort Greene
When the Brooklyn Nets aren't playing, the Barclays Center turns into a concert venue. Big-name acts take the stage every New Year's Eve, including Kanye West in 2017 and Post Malone in 2018. The Strokes played in 2019. Tickets start at $80 and you can bet there'll be plenty of food and libations to keep everyone happy until the wee hours of the morning.
Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park
The main entrance to one of Brookyln's most iconic parks, Grand Army Plaza, is the perfect viewing spot to hear free music and watch fireworks as the clock creeps closer to midnight. If Grand Army is packed with people, go inside the park on West Drive or along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street as an alternative. For those feeling a bit more energetic, a midnight run is held at Prospect Park every year.
Music Hall of Williamsburg
You might recognize Reignwolf from recent Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Glastonbury lineups. The rock 'n roll band will be ringing in the new year at the Music Hall of Williamsburg this year. This is a much smaller venue than the spacious Barclays Center (holding only about 550 people at a time), which lends to a more intimate experience. Tickets are $30 per person.
Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg
Most people looking for a good time don't aim to strike out, but at Brooklyn Bowl, that's the goal. On New Year Eve, this massive bowling alley, designed in a retro arcade style, offers a double-bill of entertainment. Southern rock 'n roll-soul band St. Paul & The Broken Bones will be taking the stage at 9 p.m., then a DJ set called Sleigh Bells takes over for a special midnight show. Guests who purchase a ticket to the concert have the option to reserve a bowling alley for up to eight people, too. Prices for bowling start at $350.00 and rapidly rise for the late evening slots, so book early.
Tatiana Russian Nightclub in Brighton Beach
Book your big group of friends in at Tatiana's, a Russian restaurant and nightclub located on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk. It's one of a handful of Russian nightclubs that have incredible floor shows every weekend. For New Year's Eve, Tatiana's does it up even more, so you can expect a completely over-the-top performance with live music and dancing. Be sure to secure your tickets far in advance as the nightclub sells out early. Consider reserving a car service, too, because hailing a taxi in Brighton Beach late at night can be a challenge.
House of Yes in Bushwick
House of Yes is a club-slash-rave with a little bit of burlesque thrown into the mix. On New Year's Eve, the creative minds behind this quirky venue go bigger than usual with aerial dancers, fire eaters, and surprise performances that are guaranteed to astound. This event is for the adventurous—"Shed your skin. Change your life. The story is not yet written. Begin again, and again. The time is ripe for transmutation," the website says. Expect a crowd, dress to kill, and don't forget your dancing shoes.
Union Pool in Williamsburg
Revelers seeking a more chill environment will love this low-key Williamsburg dive bar. Tap your toe to the soulful tunes of Ben Pirani & The Means of Production while toasting champagne or Union Pool's specialty cocktails. If the weather agrees, take a seat on the spacious outdoor patio and make friends with the local hipsters. Tickets are only available at the door so arrive early to snag a spot near the stage.