New Year’s Eve in New York 2013 Last Minute Plans

Millions visit Times Square  for New Year's Eve
Millions visit Times Square for New Year’s Eve

“What to do on New Year’s Eve is always the puzzlement,” Harvey Fierstein wrote this week. “But I think pot luck here at the barn with friends sound sanest. Music. Giggles.”

But what about New Yorkers who don’t have access to a barn?

Long ago, I wrote about a group that celebrated New Year’s Eve in July so that they could stay home on December 31st feeling guilt-free. For those who stay home this year, ABC is offering, from 8 to 10 p.m., a look at the late Dick Clark’s New Year’s Countdowns, which on first hear, might sound like the ultimate hell, but includes such clips as Bill Haley & His Comets singing “Rock Around the Clock”  in 1959,

The Supremes singing “Stop! In the Name of Love” in 1965, The Doors “Light My Fire” in 1967, Blondie “Heart of Glass” in 1979, Janet Jackson “Young Love” in 1982 – you get the idea.

If you insist on going out to celebrate, and have not yet made plans, here are some ideas:


The New Year’s Eve tradition in Times Square began in 1904 with a rooftop celebration to greet the New Year. Three years later, they started lowering a ball.

From the  the organizers comes this overview of New Year’s Eve in Times Square, so you know what is in store for you if you join the millions who ring in the new year at the Crossroads of the World (as I myself have done three times in my lifetime), all of which were memorable.

3 p.m.

Revelers start arriving late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. By approximately 3:00 PM., the Bowtie of Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic.

6:00 PM to 6:03 PM
 Lighting and Raising the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

6:03 PM to 6:13 PM 
Opening Ceremonies – Chinese Cultural Performance, Panda Dance

6:14 PM to 6:17 PM
 Times Square Ball App – Livestream, Photo Contest and Webcast Correspondents
Our host, Allison Hagendorf, introduces the Official Times Square Ball App and the ability for everyone to have a front row seat at the celebration by watching the official webcast on their mobile device; and, the opportunity for users of the app to get their photo on the giant Toshiba Vision Screen atop One Times Square directly below the New Year’s Eve Ball.

The schedule goes on like this in ten-minute increments and includes Countdowns by hosts including Anderson Cooper, performances by Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, the Broadway cast of “Million Dollar Quartet” and others.

11:15 PM to 11:20 PM
 The Associated Press Presents 2012 News Reel Highlights

11:59 The Sixty-Second Countdown


Open Table lists 426 restaurants in Manhattan alone with “New Year’s Eve offers” Most of them offer a choice of seatings – either earlier in the evening, so that you can make it in time elsewhere for the stroke of midnight, or party-hat-equipped seatings that lead up to midnight, where you can often turn on a TV so that you can watch the ball drop in Times Square. Open Table enables you to look for one in your neighborhood.


Most Broadway shows are “dark” (closed” on Mondays anyway, but normally close down New Year’s Eve anyway. But this year, as Ticketmaster indicates, several Broadway shows are offering New Years Eve matinees, including Mary Poppins, Newsies, Peter and the Starcatcher, and the Lion King.

Off Broadway, Blue Man Group offers three different performances on December 31, including one at 7 p.m. and one at 10 p.m.


New Year’s Eve Central website lists more than 100 New Year’s Eve parties at New York nightclubs 

Also check out: Partying in Bushwick and Beyond

These two parties held in theaters:

 Ars Nova’s Bootleggers Ball

Ugly Rhino’s Warehouse New Year’s Eve Party – just $10 – in Brooklyn Lyceum

The Cathedral Church of St. John The Divine  New Year’s Eve Concert For Peace, free admission. 7 p.m.  Judy Collins, guest artist. An annual event founded by Leonard Bernstein in 1984.

St. Bart’s New Year’s Eve Organ Concert. Free.

Still to come:


Big selling point of all these cruises — a close-up of the New Year’s Eve fireworks over the water.

Circle Line Sightseeing New Year’s Eve Cruise

 $140 aboard one of four Circle Line boats.

ZEPHYR New Year’s Eve Cruise

$200 with DJ entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, for $200.

Paddle Wheel Queen New Year’s Eve Cruise

 Boarding at Skyport Marina (23rd/FDR) at 9:45 p.m. for $165 per person including open bar and buffet dinner.

New York Water Taxi’s New Year’s Eve Cruise

 $120 include hor d’oeuvres, open bar, champagne toast, and music. Tickets are $120

Affairs Afloat New Year’s Eve Cruise

$162 for dancing and snacks  (early bird discounts available).

World Yacht New Year’s Eve Cruise

$350 for 3-hour cruise including a five-course sit-down dinner, champagne toast, premium open bar, party favors and music for dancing. Boarding: 9:00 pm Sailing: 10:00pm – 1:00am Dockside party until 1:30am

New Year’s Eve Family Cruise

$250 family packages ($90/adult, $45/kids 3-12) include sweets, treats and snacks, as well as soft drinks. Cash bar available.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise on Yacht Manhattan

 $350 to join just 39 other people  aboard a 1920s style yacht where formal-wear is encouraged. Hors d’ oeuvres, desserts and standard open bar (beer, wine, soda & water) are included with your ticket. Mixed drinks and champagne will be available for purchase.


New York Road Runners’  Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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