The state of New York hosts some of the most unforgettable New Year’s Eve events in the country. When it comes to where to go in New York City for the holiday, follow the crowds to Times Square. Head to upstate New York such as Saratoga Springs and Albany for more low-key celebrations. Book a stay at a New York vacation rental today. Here are the top destinations in New York for spectacular New Year’s Eve events.
1. New York City
New York City is the granddaddy of cities in which to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Time Square on New Year’s Eve alone draws in about 1 million people. If you don’t mind being part of the crush, it’s a celebration you won’t forget with live music, a pyrotechnic display, confetti, balloons, and the famous ball drop. Stay warm and cozy while still enjoying the ball drop by dining and observing the whole thing at Dallas BBQ with its New Year’s Eve event and front row seats. Applebee’s and Lillie’s, located on Times Square, also have celebrations where you can enjoy the show with food and in comfort. Speaking of food, there are plenty of clubs, bars, and restaurants that have special menus and entertainment options. Some of the top-rated eateries in which to ring in the New Year include Sunday in Brooklyn and neo-Italian restaurant Massoni with rooftop access, a champagne toast, and an open-bar dance party. If you have the kids, stop at Prospect Park for fireworks and live music or go to a concert or show. Start off the New Year with a Road Runners Midnight Run through Central Park or a Night Bike Ride through Manhattan. Early the next morning, take a Polar Bear Plunge to get the blood flowing, and then enjoy a good brunch at Dovetail or Reynard.
If you don’t know where to go in Albany for your New Year’s Eve celebration, start at the downtown area. Here there are parties, clubs, lounges, and restaurants just waiting to celebrate with you. If you want to wind down the year in a low-key way, settle down for the night at Savoy Taproom offering soft jazz, upscale dining, and cocktails. If you want to go somewhere with more energy, head to City Beer Hall with craft beers, microbrews, and good company. Embrace your inner artist at Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio and Canvas, Corks and Forks. Both offer drinks in conjunction with creating artwork, an interesting combination that could yield surprising results. If downtown is a bit too intimidating, try Lark Street. It has coffeehouses and restaurants where you can listen to live music, do trivia, and toast the New Year with close friends.
3. Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs, just north of Albany, puts on a First Night, a celebration that draws the crowds. This family-friendly event starts with a 5k fun run, a good way to kick off your New Year’s resolutions. Some of the fun includes mind arts such as magicians and hypnotists. There’s stand-up comedy, live music in all genres, dance parties, and theater performances. Finish with fireworks at midnight. If you want an event that’s a little less intense, head to Vapor Night Club, The Saratoga City Tavern, Peabody’s, and Harvey’s. These bars and restaurants have food, low-key entertainment, and midnight toasts.
Ithaca lies in New York wine country, so when in Rome — or in this case Ithaca — head to the Finger Lakes Wine Center for some local wine, live music, and food. Felicia’s Atomic Lounge and Castaways are local joints that also feature live music, champagne toasts at midnight, and plenty of dancing. If you just want food without the extra dancing, enjoy some authentic Italian at Gola Osteria. If you want just the dancing, head over to Oasis Dance Club with party favors and drinks to enhance your night.
Buffalo has it going on for the entire family with Happy New Year Cookie Decorating during the day and the New Year’s Eve celebration at night. This alcohol-free First Night event is perfect for the kids with juggling, inflatable toys, climbing walls, live music, and animal demonstrations. Finish at the Downtown Buffalo’s Ball Drop. For something a bit more adult, try the Statler City Ice Ball with a midnight buffet and alcoholic beverages. There’s also the Waiting Room with an open bar, catered hors-d’oeuvres, and midnight buffet.
While in Rochester, lighten up up this New Year’s Eve at the Comedy Spectacular! This event is more than just about laughs, though. There are actors, live music, a dance party, and a midnight champagne toast. The Comedy Club and Village Idiots Comedy also put on entertaining events. Carry this joy into your dancing at Village Squares’ New Year’s Eve Square Dance party and Essence of Rhythm Latin Dance Co. New Year’s Eve Bash.
If you have kids, get a vacation rental at Syracuse. There’s a Noon Year’s Eve at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo for the little critters in your life. Visit the animals, allow your little ones to get their faces painted to mimic their favorite furry friends, and let them take part in the kid’s dance party before enjoying juice and treats at the noon ball drop. After the kids are taken care of for the night, go to the pajama party at Singers Karaoke Club. Belt out your favorite tunes in comfort, eat and drink to your heart’s content, and clink glasses with your significant other at the midnight champagne toast.
8. Lake George
Lake George does a fireworks display over the lake that you can enjoy in style aboard a steamboat. Lake George Steamboat Company does a New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise or Party Cruise. It also does a New Year’s Day Brunch Cruise if you want to start off the year with flair. As long as you’re around the water, you might as well try the Lake George Polar Plunge, a freezing water swim that’s only for the bold.
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