New Year’s Eve in New York City 2015 Last Minute Plans

The Broadway show schedule for New Year’s week, and a list of other shows, parties, concerts, intimate dinners, cruises and outdoor events you can still do on New Year’s Eve 2015 (when 2014 turns into 2015) in New York City. Also free events — and TV listings.

“It’s so much more fun to stay home,” Anderson Cooper, the New Year’s Eve host on CNN, said around this time last year. “I don’t know anybody who has a fun time at a party at New Year’s Eve. That’s why I work on New Year’s Eve.”

That may also be why,  according to an Associated Press survey, only eight percent of American say they plan to go out on New Year’s Eve.

For those who plan to go out, but haven’t made those plans yet, 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 organizers comes this overview of New Year’s Eve in Times Square, so you know what is in store for you if you decide to stand at the Crossroads of the World for New Year’s Eve

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

6:04 p.m. to 6:18 p.m.
Opening Ceremonies – Chinese Cultural Performance

The schedule goes on like this in ten-minute increments, and includes Countdowns by hosts including Anderson Cooper, and a number of performances: Idina Menzel
performs Let It Go (aptly for New Year’s Eve, no?) from 8:26 to 8:30 p.m. Taylor Swift performs Welcome to New York and Shake It Off from 11:39 to 11:46 p.m (Think they’ll keep to this precise schedule?)


Open Table lists some 800 restaurants  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.


Only nine of the 35 shows currently on Broadway will be offering performances on New Year’s Eve — all of them matinees. (They’re almost all in Times Square, remember) But, as you can see in the schedule below, almost every show has performances on Monday (a day when almost all shows are usually dark), and 11 have added matinees on the Friday after New Year’s.






Keep in mind that a good number of these shows are closing soon, so this is your last chance to see them.

Closing January 3, 2015: Cinderella

Closing January 4, 2015:  Once, Pippin, This is Our Youth, The Real Thing, Side Show

Closing January 18, 2015: Motown, The River, Rock of Ages



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




It doesn’t begin until Thursday evening but it’s worth mentioning first: The Metropolitan Room’s effort to break a Guinness Book of World Record for longest marathon variety cabaret show ever — 275 performers non-stop over three days.  (They shoot hoarse singers don’t they?)

54 Below

Charles Busch, 7 p.m.

Laura Benanti, 11 p.m.


 Metropolitan Club

Marilyn Maye, New Year’s Eve is the first night of a two-week run

Joe’s Pub

Sandra Bernhard  #Blessed, 9 and 11 p.m.


 The Duplex


Natalie Douglas – As the Bistro Awards put it in making her its pick for the evening, “Natalie Douglas at The Duplex on New Year’s Eve has become a New York institution. With her longtime musical director Mark Hartman at the piano.”


December 29–30 and January 1–4 (every evening except New Year’s Eve)
The Temptations and the Four Tops at the Palace Theatre
“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” “Bernadette.” The Temptations and the Four Tops are responsible for some of the 20th century’s most memorable melodies. Though only one original member survives in each band, the songs live on.

December 30–31
Erasure at Terminal 5

December 31
Elton John at Barclays Center


The New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at The Cathedral Church of St. John, a tradition begun by Leonard Bernstein. A limited number of seats are available to the public for free.


GrandArmyfireworksNew Year’s Eve Fireworks at Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park


Big selling point of all these cruises — a close-up of the New Year’s Eve fireworks over the water. Most include a buffet, open bar, and dancing with a dj.

Circle Line Sightseeing New Year’s Eve Cruise

 $169, leaves from Pier 83, off West 42nd Street and 12th Avenue.
$250, leaves from South Street Seaport

Paddle Wheel Queen New Year’s Eve Cruise

 Boarding at Skyport Marina (23rd/FDR) at 9:45 p.m. for $165 per person

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.

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.
The Kadampa Meditation Center in Chelsea, for just $25 for non-members, provides a way for you to “ring in the New Year “with compassion and beneficial intentions!” — hors d’oeuvres, meditation, and no alcohol.



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

Shorewalkers Happy New Year’s Day Hike

Hike through the parks and shoreline in Upper Manhattan. Meet 12 noon at 178th street and Broadway at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. This might be the ultimately nebbishy thing to do — I actually did it once — but it’s a perfect excuse to go to sleep early on New Year’s Eve.

And if you’ve looked at all this and thought “uh” or “um” or “[sigh]” here’s what’s on TV New Year’s Eve:
What to watch on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
The Simpsons
Enjoy the first and last episodes of each season, airing in chronological order, during this 25-hour marathon.
8pm, ABC
Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2015
From Times Square, with Taylor Swift headlining the musical portion of the evening.
8pm, NBC
A Toast to 2014
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford serve as hosts of a retrospective of 2014, interviewing Chris Pratt, Weird Al Yankovic, Ian Ziering, and many more.
8pm, PBS
Live From Lincoln Center
The New York Philharmonic rings in the New Year with a selection of songs by George Gershwin, accompanied by Dianne Reeves and Norm Lewis.
9pm, Fox
Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution
The rapper emcees a New Year’s shindig on Miami Beach, with guests including Enrique Iglesias, Fall Out Boy, and The Band Perry slated to perform.
10pm, NBC
NBC’s New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly
From Times Square, with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Seth MacFarlane, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, and Pharrell Williams.
10pm, PBS
Michael Feinstein’s New Year’s Eve at the Rainbow Room
The musician leads a New Year’s concert with appearances by Darren Criss, Leslie Odom Jr., Christine Ebersole, and more.

9 PM to 12:30 AM, CNN
New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper And Kathy Griffin.
Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin in their annual New Year’s Eve show from Times Square, with reports from around the U.S. and  London, Moscow, Beijing and Calcutta, as well as a cruise ship off the Bahamas.

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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