New Year’s Eve in NYC 2023: Last Minute Guide

My annual New Year’s Eve last-minute guide to events that are still available to do on New Year’s Eve 2023 (when 2022 turns into 2023) in New York City:

Times Square.
Broadway show schedule for the week,+ other theater.
intimate dinners.


quiet or healthy alternatives.
TV (and other platforms

New Year’s Eve in New York means the dropping of the ball in Times Square, the fireworks in Prospect Park, the annual concert at St. John the Divine, the midnight run with fireworks in Central Park, the annual Time’s Up Bike Ride  — all FREE, and almost all events you can decide to attend at the last minute.

It also can mean obscenely expensive shows and extremely loud parties, an annual arena concert featuring Phish and new cabaret acts, a cruise in the harbor, or a dinner for two in your favorite eatery — not all of which are sold out weeks in advance.

Or you can stay at home and watch the festivities online — on this very post, for one.

A necessary note: The City of New York advises the wearing of masks in both public indoor settings and crowded outdoor environments,  as well as other precautions, especially now that there is a winter surge of Covid-19 cases and other infectious diseases. And if you’re sick: Stay home. Details.

Only eight percent of Americans reportedly plan to go out on any given New Year’s Eve. For those New Yorkers (and New York visitors) who haven’t made those plans yet, here are some ideas:


If you decide to stand at the Crossroads of the World on December 31st, you’ll be joining a celebration that began in 1907,  when people stood in (the recently named) Times Square to watch the lowering of a ball made of iron and wood, weighing 700 pounds, and covered with 100 light bulbs. Now the ball is a geodesic dome weighing 11,875 pounds, covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles and 32,256 LEDs (light emitting diodes) , which a computer lowers 70 feet in 6o seconds. 

If you’re reading this before Wednesday December 28 you might consider going to Times Square that day to attend “Good Riddance Day” from noon to 1 p.m., in which participants shed bad memories of 2022 (an old bill, an ex-love note, a bad report card, a Playbill of a show you’d rather forget?) in a ceremonial shredding on the Broadway Plaza between 45th & 46th Streets

On Saturday — New Year’s Eve — revelers will start arriving at Times Square in the afternoon. By approximately 3:00 PM., the Bowtie of Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic. The crowd, which in the past has reached in the millions, could go as far uptown as Central Park, 17 blocks away.

Another way of saying this: If you want to be within naked-eyesight of the Times Square ball, arrive in the afternoon, and be prepared to stand immobile until the ball drops at midnight. Wear warm clothing,  and huddle with friends and loved ones for warmth – or make new friends. 

 Times Square offers an outdoor evening of entertainment,  beginning at 6 p.m. with the lighting and raising of the Times Square ball and culminating six hours later in confetti, the “2023” sign in lights, lots of (masked!) hugging and wishing for a Happy New Year


I’ve spent three New Year’s Eves in Times Square, which is probably two more than necessary, but found each memorable. Do remember that the highlights will be televised. See What’s on TV, below.)


Open Table lists more than 100 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 provides all sorts of filters — you can look for a table for 2 at a “charming” French restaurant at 7 pm in your specific neighborhood.

Have a favorite neighborhood eatery that’s not listed on Open Table? Go to the place NOW, and ask them whether they will take reservations.


Three Broadway shows will be offering performances on New Year’s Eve (in the afternoon.) But all thirty-three shows currently on Broadway have performances on the Monday before New Year’s (December 26), a whopping 22 of them both matinee and evening performances  (Mondays are usually the day off) and 22 will be offering at least one performance on New Year’s Day.

The titles are linked to my reviews.

Performance Times for New Year’s Week

Show Title Mon. December 26 Tue. December 27 Wed. December 28 Thu. December 29 Fri. December 30 Sat. December 31 Sun. January 1
& Juliet 8 pm            
1776 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
Aladdin 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 1pm 1pm, 6:30pm
Almost Famous 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm    
A Beautiful Noise 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm  
Beetlejuice 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm    7pm
Between Riverside and Crazy 7pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
The Book of Mormon 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm    7pm
Chicago 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 2:30pm, 8pm    7pm
A Christmas Carol 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm   2pm, 7pm
The Collaboration 7pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 8pm   7pm
Death of a Salesman 1pm, 7pm 7pm 1pm, 7pm 7pm 1pm, 7pm   3pm
Funny Girl 2pm, 8pm 8pm 2pm, 8pm 8pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
Hadestown 8pm 2pm, 7:30pm 2pm, 7pm 2pm, 7:30pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
Hamilton 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
Harry Potter. and the Cursed Child.. 1pm, 7pm 7pm 1pm, 7pm 7pm 1pm, 7pm    
Into the Woods 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
Kimberly Akimbo 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm    
Leopoldstadt 2pm, 8pm 7pm 1pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
The Lion King 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   6:30pm
Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & the Pool 4pm, 8pm 7:30pm 4pm, 8pm 7:30pm 4pm, 8pm    
MJ 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm    
Moulin Rouge! 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   5pm
The Music Man 2pm, 8pm 8pm 2pm, 8pm 8pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
Ohio State Murders 7pm 2pm, 7pm 2pm, 7pm 2pm, 7pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
The Phantom of the Opera 2pm, 8pm 8pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
The Piano Lesson 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   3pm
Six 3pm, 8pm 8pm 3pm, 8pm 8pm 3pm, 8pm   , 7pm
Some Like It Hot 7pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm  
A Strange Loop 7pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 7pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm    
Take Me Out 7pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm   7pm
Topdog/Underdog 2pm, 8pm 7pm 2pm, 7pm 7pm 2pm, 8pm    
Wicked 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm 8pm 2pm, 8pm 2pm, 8pm    

Of course, New York theater is far more than just Broadway, and some Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows are not just happening, but getting into the whole excess thing that means New Year’s Eve to so many in New York. Prime example is Sleep No More, which for New Year’s Eve throws in a reserved table and champagne for a couple of hundred dollars more. The cost is astronomical — and much of it has probably sold out by the time you read this.

Similarly, XIV Company offers its  “Nutcracker Rouge,”  (a “baroque, burlesque” not-for-children take on Nutcracker Suite) at its theater in Bushwick,  with early evening and late night showings, the latter followed by a party with the cast.



Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular (two performances on New Year’s Eve, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m, and three on New Year’s Day.)

Big Apple Circus> (noon and 9:30 pm.)

For more, check out my Holiday Shows in NYC 2022

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https-cdn-evbuc-com-images-26816208-85633514729-1-originalThere’s a New York for almost any taste, so why would it be surprising that Eventbrite lists some 1,000 New Year’s Eve parties? .

You can dance at parties set up in Times Square venues. Most promote a great view of the ball dropping.
Then there are the super-hip parties in Brooklyn and Queens.


Many suggest throwing your own New Year’s Eve party, and offer vaguely insulting step-by-step tips on how to do so. The most memorable advice for throwing a party came from Joan Crawford, who was quite a partier in her day (see above). Her advice (see below)  can be summed up as:


(P.S., don’t do this.)

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Some concerts that will be sold out or too expensive will be available in your home, live, depending. (See TV listings below.)

St. John the Divine Concert for Peace.

An annual FREE event since 1984, when it was founded by Leonard Bernstein. Under the newly-fixed dome of the Cathedral, the music this year  includes the  world premiere of Joseph Turrin’s Lullaby for Vaska, along with Gustav Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite, David Lang’s Make Peace, and Philip Herbert’s Elegy: in memoriam. You need to get the tickets in advance — or you can watch the livestream on their website.


Yes, as usual, Phish will perform at Madison Square Garden for its usual four-day New Year’s run, including on December 31st. And, yes, as usual, it may well be sold out by now.  However, they are now performing via Webcast as well, in HD or 4K, your choice. 

Gogol Bordello at Brooklyn Bowl.
“Since 1999, the band have consistently riled up audiences with an inimitable patchwork of raucous punk and Eastern
European Gypsy-swing. “

Flying Lotus at Webster Hall
aka  Steven Ellison, composer-producer whose influences include “jazz, hip-hop, and nebulous, futuristic elements”

 Gov’t Mule, at the Beacon Theater,

!!! at the Sultan Room

 Reggae Fest Live at the King’s Theater


With the repeal in 2017 of the hated 91-year-old Cabaret Law, which banned dancing at all but a handful of licensed venues (fewer than 100), you could argue that life is a cabaret (or at least could be) at all 25,000 eating and drinking establishments in New York City. But “cabaret” has come to define specific genres of intimate entertainment at just a few, relatively small venues, such as those below.

Tip: Most cabarets offer two seatings on New Year’s Eve. The one earlier in the evening is far less expensive. Many of these performers return to these venues every New Year’s — a wonderful tradition that makes last-minute tickets chancy, but worth trying.

Sandra Bernhard: “Soul’d Out” at Joe’s Pub, two showings


Natalie Douglas: A Very Natalie New Year  for the 24th year in a row, but this year just a late show and in a new location — the Triad.  (The Duplex is being renovated.)


Feinstein’s/54 Below presents New Year’s Eve with Seth Sykes (the early show) and New Year’s Eve with Jenn Colella (the late show)


At Birdland:

Marilyn Maye New Year’s Eve Extravaganza,  The chanteuse, still wowing in her 90s. 7 – 8:30 p.m.

The Birdland Big Band with Special Guest Nicole Zuraitis 8-9:30 p.m.

Chris Botti

Jazz trumpeter and composer Chris Botti returns for his 18th annual residency at The Blue Note

Carolines on Broadway

Caroline’s Comedy Club, which is closing at Times Square after thirty years, offers its final two shows on New Year’s Eve with a half dozen comics, at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. A note on their website is no joke: “As the crowds build in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the NYPD will shut down the area to pedestrian traffic. If you are unable to get to the club directly, please go to the northeast corner of west 49th street and eighth avenue (by food emporium) and a club representative will escort you and your party to the venue. “




Annual Prospect Park Fireworks – free. at Grand Army Plaza


Big selling point of all these cruises — a close-up of the New Years Eve fireworks over the water. Most include a buffet, open bar, and dancing with a dj. Drawbacks: These cost hundreds of dollars  and many are already sold out.

Circle Line offers a three-hour party cruise, leaving from Pier 83 in Manhattan, and Empress Cruises hosts a party on its boat called the Timeless, leaving from Pier 36




The Kadampa Meditation Center in Chelsea, $50 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. (Pre-registration is required.)
New York Road Runners’   Midnight Run in Central Park
 New Year’s Eve Celebration Skate, by a skating group called Skate Crates. The event space in Midwood turns for the night into a roller rink disco, but with a vegan/vegetarian menu.
Adventure Untamed New Year’s Eve Day Hike —  a 7.5 mile hike in Harriman State Park (with transportion provided for the hour-long trip to and from New York City), starting at 6:30 a.m. and ending 5:30 p.m.
Shorewalkers Happy New Years Day Hike — Hiking the shores and parks of upper Manhattan for SEVEN MILES starting at noon on New Year’s Day, which gives you a good excuse to go to bed early.
 Time’s Up environmental action organization used to hold a bike ride and party on New Year’s Eve, but this year is offering events the day before (a Critical Mass evening bike ride) and the day after .(Fix Your Own Bike Workshop)

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Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper

WHAT’S ON TV (and other home devices)


“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest,” direct from Times Square with Ciara singing at midnight countdown celebration, including performances in three other locations including Ben Platt at Disneyland and Billy Porter at New Orleans.


New Year’s Eve show, with hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen and performers including Usher, Ellie Goulding and Patti LaBelle.I can’t help quoting what Anderson Cooper said a decade ago: “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.”)
Nashville’s Big Bash, with country music stars, including Flo-Rida, the Zac Brown Band and Luke Bryan.

Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party, Miley Cyrus with co-host Dolly Parton, and Lotto, Liily, FLETCHER, Rae Sremmurd, and Sia.

United in Song 2022: Ringing in the New Year Together, with music that celebrates the nation’s diversity, “from folk and rock to opera, country to hip hop, Broadway to bluegrass” Renée Fleming and Chris (George Washington) Jackson will be the hosts, and among the performers will be Broadway’s own Matt Doyle, Mandy Gonzalez, and Joaquina Kalukango


TV Marathons


“Twilight Zone” on Syfy, Family Guy and The Simpsons on Fx 

Since 1996, WPIX has broadcast The Honeymooners marathon and this year is no different. Twenty-seven episodes of the Jackie Gleason TV series will be broadcast from 11pm to 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

And because the met averse is apparently upon us, I’ll throw in: “,The Shaq’tacular Spectacular” with Shaquille O’Neill Cardi B, Ludacris, Lil’ Yachty, which will be presented on your choice of  Meta platforms –Meta Horizon Worlds, on Facebook and Instagram. “Viewers who wish to attend the event in virtual reality can RSVP here.”

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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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