Fun, free things to do on New Year’s Eve in New York City
New York City should be on everyone’s list of once-in-a-lifetime New Year’s Eve destinations.
The city is home to the world-famous Times Square ball drop, where last year more than two million people gathered in the chilly air to watch live performances and count down to midnight. And it’s free.
Below, we’ve rounded up seven more fun events in New York City that won’t cost you a penny on New Year’s Eve.
Dance at the Midnight Run in Central Park
While there’s a fee to participate in the 4-mile run, spectating is free at New York Road Runner’s Midnight Run in Central Park. The party starts at 10 p.m. with a live DJ, followed by a parade and costume contest at 11 p.m. and the race and fireworks at midnight.
Cruise the harbor on the Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry offers riders the best views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. At no cost to ride, you’ll see fireworks going off in each of the boroughs as you cruise the harbor on New Year’s Eve. Bring a coat and get there early.
Listen to live music at the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace
A New York staple since 1984, the Concert for Peace takes place at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine every New Year’s Eve. General admission seats are free and open to the public. This year’s show features Cathedral Artist in Residence Judy Collins, and runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dress up for the Fashion Avenue News party
Fashion Avenue News Magazine is hosting its annual Fashion Family New Year’s Event at the Watson Hotel on the Upper West Side from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. It’s free to reserve tickets, but partygoers can also purchase a table for $100. There’s a DJ, fashion shows, and a table decorating contest, plus food and drinks for purchase.
Bike through the city to Belvedere Castle
Get active with fellow New Yorkers on a bike or skate ride through the city starting at Washington Square Park at 10 p.m. — or the location closest to you along the route — and arriving at Belvedere Castle in Central Park at 11:45 p.m., where a dance party will commence to ring in the new year.
Watch fireworks from Prospect Park
Gather in Prospect Park for fireworks viewing and free hot cocoa and live music. Festivities start around 11 p.m. at Grand Army Plaza, where you’ll find the best vantage point for fireworks if you stick around until midnight. Get there early with some picnic items and make an evening out of it.
Head out to Coney Island for fireworks and live music
Perfect for families, the Coney Island New Year’s Eve Celebration has free carnival rides and ice skating from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., live performances, and a fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. Plus, the New York Aquarium will be open until 9 p.m.