The Ultimate Guide to Times Square New Year's Eve Celebrations — Including the Best Places to Watch the Ball Drop

The Times Square New Year's Eve celebrations in New York City are almost here — here's what to know.

<p>Bloomberg/Getty Images</p>

Bloomberg/Getty Images

Whether you typically can't wait to leave the past year behind or excitedly embrace the expectant hope of the next, ushering in a new year necessitates a grandiose celebration. And in New York City, no event is more iconic than the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square. Visitors come from around the world and wait in biting cold temperatures to snag a prime viewing spot to watch this 60-second descent.

When the illuminated Waterford Crystal ball drops, the world turns its attention to NYC for the sparkling lights and excitement emanating from Times Square. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.

<p>YUKI IWAMURA/Getty Images</p>


What time should I arrive?

The celebrations will begin shortly before 6 p.m., so it's best to make your way to the designated viewing areas in Times Square by early afternoon. Viewing spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and they're expected to fill up quickly. It's still unclear whether or not the blocked-off areas will open at a specific time, but check the Times Square website for more information once those details are finalized.

The ball will be raised to the top of the pole at One Times Square at approximately 6 p.m. ET, and once the clock strikes 11:59 p.m. ET, the ball drop, and countdown to the new year will commence.

<p>anouchka/Getty Images</p>

anouchka/Getty Images

What streets will be closed on New Year’s Eve?

Once people start congregating in the appointed viewing spaces, the New York Police Department will progressively close off streets leading to Times Square for the safety of visitors. Beginning at 43rd Street and Broadway, street closures will continue north, as needed. Expect to see Broadway and Seventh Avenue closed to vehicles by 3 p.m. or sooner, so walk or use public transportation if you're making your way to Times Square. Per the Times Square official website, it's recommended that anyone hoping to join the celebration does so from Sixth or Eighth Avenue.

<p>DON EMMERT/Getty Images</p>

DON EMMERT/Getty Images

Who will be performing?

Live performers, along with the entire schedule of the Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities, will be announced on the official website in December 2023.

What should I bring?

First and foremost, dress in well-insulated layers and anticipate freezing or below-freezing temperatures. Invest in a coat that's wind- and water-resistant, as well as durable enough to withstand any unexpected weather conditions. You'll likely be standing outside for many hours, so pack snacks and water, too. However, you won't be permitted to bring alcohol for any celebratory toasting, as drinking in public is illegal in NYC. For a complete list of items that are not allowed, check the Times Square official website.

<p>Ramin Talaie/Getty Images</p>

Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

What can I expect?

This free event is open to the public, and the standing areas allow for ample viewing opportunities no matter where you are, thanks to the video screens. However, the best ground-level views can be had along Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and down Seventh Avenue.

Once you find the perfect viewing spot, stay put, as spaces are limited and there's no guarantee you'll be able to return to the same area if you decide to leave. Additionally, there are no public restrooms in Times Square, so plan accordingly.

<p>Courtesy of The Times Square EDITION</p>

Courtesy of The Times Square EDITION

Hotels With a View of the Ball Drop

If you'd rather watch the event from above, these hotels (and their exciting parties) will provide the closest access and stunning skyline views.

The Knickerbocker

Located just 150 feet below the ball drop, The Knickerbocker offers the closest New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square with arguably the best views to ring in 2023. Its rooftop bar, St. Cloud, has a stunning vantage point and will host a communal seated buffet dinner with entertainment through various packages. Reserve your tickets to this extravagant New Year’s Eve party, and be sure to book your overnight stay separately; event tickets do not include guest room accommodations.

Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel

For a luxurious stay, reserve one of Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel’s Terrace Rooms. These accommodations are intimate yet spacious — perfect for watching the ball drop and sipping sparkling wine in the comfort of your own room. Or, opt to join the excitement at the hotel’s R Lounge during their VIP New Year’s Eve Gala, a formal event with a premium open bar, curated food stations, and entertainment. This exclusive party, in the heart of Times Square, takes place in a main room with large windows for unobstructed views of the ball drop.

New York Marriott Marquis

Reserve a room at New York Marriott Marquis for picturesque accommodations overlooking Times Square and direct views of the ball drop. Three-night minimum stays are required for rooms with a view of Times Square, and you must arrive prior to Dec. 31. Be sure to book tickets to the New Year’s Eve party for a lavish private event on the eighth floor with expansive views of the ball drop and a five-hour open bar featuring a buffet, dessert stations, and late-night snacks.

Where can I watch the ball drop on TV?

If you're not able to make it to NYC for the ball drop, you still have ample viewing options. According to the Times Square official website, the live webcast will begin at 6 p.m. ET on Dec. 31 and include the performances leading up to the ball drop. Of course, the classic "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" will also broadcast the countdown to the ball drop and musical performances.

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