Perhaps the most famous way to usher in the New Year in the world, attending the New Year's Eve Ball Drop in Times Square is a memorable way to celebrate New Year's Eve in New York City.
People have been celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square since 1904, but the first Ball Drop didn't happen until 1907. Since 1907, the ball has been dropped from One Times Square every year, except in 1942 and 1943 due to wartime restrictions on lighting in New York City.
There have been several different balls dropped from One Times Square during these many years, but a new ball was introduced in 2008, and it's a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. The new ball is a year-round Times Square attraction.
As the ball drops from One Times Square beginning at 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Eve, there are normally more than one million people in Times Square, not to mention the millions watching the ball drop on nationwide and even more people watching from around the world. Once the ball drops, 1 ton of confetti will be released over Times Square.
It is free and there are no tickets to attend the New Year's Eve Ball Drop in Times Square.
There are many parties and events held at Times Square area restaurants, bars and hotels. If you want to have a view of the ball drop, be sure that the venue you choose actually offers that -- some just allow you to leave the venue and handle the Times Square crowds on your own in order to get a live view of the ball drop, which is fine, but you'll want to know that in advance.
Advance purchases are almost always required for New Year's Eve events in Times Square because security check-points require tickets/authorization to allow guests access to restricted areas that are closed off as the evening progresses.
You'll also want to be prepared for exiting Times Square after midnight.
Be prepared for it to take a while to get out of the area and the crowds and traffic can make getting anywhere a bit difficult. Patience will make the whole experience much better.
More information about New Year's Eve Ball Drop in Times Square:
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Ball Drop
- New Year's Eve Ball Drop Schedule of Events
- Times Square Alliance Official New Year's Eve Ball Drop Information