I’m going to close out 2022 by opening my front door and having fun in person. Unlike last New Year’s Eve, New York is back in the business of live entertainment for New Year’s Eve. I might have to wear a mask, but like Whitney Houston, I want to dance with somebody.
Here’s a guide to what’s going on in New York City, from the festivities in Times Square and midnight concerts to cooking classes and family-friendly events. We have you covered, whether you’re still reveling at sunup or in bed by countdown.
Ball Drop and Fireworks
If you want to watch the ball drop in person, start planning your night now. For everything you need to know, visit the Times Square Alliance, which will host a free live webcast on New Year’s Eve starting at 6 p.m.; you can also stream the festivities at TimesSquareBall.net.
For broadcasts from Times Square, you have two options: “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest,” with Ciara singing at midnight (8 p.m. on ABC); CNN’s live New Year’s Eve show, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen with performances by Usher, Ellie Goulding and Patti LaBelle (8 p.m.).
If you want to venture outside Manhattan, or if you live in Brooklyn, for the first time since 2020 Grand Army Plaza will host an evening of music before fireworks at midnight. Fireworks also go off in Central Park at that time (more on that below).
For the best views of fireworks set off near Liberty Island, try the water. 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. Both events include food, an open bar, music and panoramic views of fireworks.
Pop and Rock Concerts
As midnight inches closer, let music set the mood. Gogol Bordello brings its Eastern European punk-swing sounds to the Brooklyn Bowl, and the producer-composer Flying Lotus leads a night of electronic music at Webster Hall. Or say goodbye to 2022 with the jam bands Phish, at Madison Square Garden, or Gov’t Mule, at the Beacon Theater. On the dance floor is where you’ll be when !!! plays the Sultan Room; same with Reggae Fest Live at the King’s Theater, featuring Serani and Wayne Wonder. And listen up, Gen X: The Gowanus performance space Littlefield hosts “New Year’s Eve with the Smiths,” a concert by the Smiths Tribute NYC, an homage to the ’80s British band.
Dance (and Skate) Parties
Looking for something more offbeat? The immersive Romp on 26th: A New Year at Chelsea Table + Stage features an evening of burlesque by Seedy Edie and Audrey Love, who will perform throughout the evening. (Black tie is suggested.) Shoot for the moon at the Bushwick entertainment venue House of Yes, which describes its queer-friendly Gala Galactica party as “a celebration of all things cosmic”; recommended looks include “interstellar shine” and “alien superstar.” Nowadays, a club in Ridgewood, Queens, hosts New Year’s Nonstop, an almost 24-hour dance party that kicks off at 8 p.m. and continues until New Year’s Day afternoon.
For old-school fun, lace up your skates with Skate Crates, a roller skating club that’s taking over an event space in Midwood, Brooklyn, for its New Year’s Eve Celebration Skate; there will be a vegetarian/vegan menu and a midnight toast, but bring your own skates. Royal Palms, a 21+ shuffleboard club in Gowanus, Brooklyn, is hosting its Flamingo Formal, a not-too-formal dance party with the option to play on one of its regulation-size courts.
More Shows: Classical, Jazz and Comedy
Not much of a dancer? You’ve got options too. A classical music holiday tradition for over 30 years, New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace returns to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, featuring Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite” and the premiere of Joseph Turrin’s “Lullaby for Vaska.”
For jazz lovers, the trumpeter Chris Botti plays two shows as part of his annual holiday residency at the Blue Note. And the singer-comedienne Sandra Bernhard takes the mic at Joe’s Pub for two performances.
The comedy club Caroline’s, which recently announced it was closing, will present its final two shows at its home near Broadway and 50th St. And the nonagenarian singer Marilyn Maye performs twice at the Birdland Jazz Club in Times Square, including at the 7 p.m. show, allowing enough time to get home before the neighborhood goes haywire.
Parents will appreciate early-bird opportunities to welcome Baby New Year. The Staten Island Children’s Museum hosts a four-hour Noon Year’s Eve Dance Party, with a balloon drop at noon. The Long Island Children’s Museum, in Garden City, N.Y., hosts its own ball drops at noon and 4 p.m., along with crafts and a dance party.
For live entertainment, there are many options. Circus Abyssinia: Tulu, a new production from the Ethiopian troupe of aerialists and jugglers, has a noon matinee at the New Victory Theater. Blue Man Group is hustling, with three shows at the Astor Place Theater, and it’s a two-matinee day for the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. New York City Ballet offers a 2 p.m. “Nutcracker” at the Koch Theater.
If you need a thoughtful hostess gift for a New Year’s Eve party, or if you want to stuff your own face, try a dessert class. Raaka Chocolate offers three afternoon truffle-making sessions at its chocolate factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn. You’ll cut and hand roll ganache, learn to temper chocolate — that’s the tricky part — and then decorate with unroasted cacao powder and gold powder. You’ll leave with your own box of about 15 handmade dark chocolate truffles that are single origin, vegan (they’re made with coconut milk) and gluten-free.
Milk Bar NYC is offering an afternoon birthday cake assembling class, no baking required. You’ll learn how to cut cake rounds and stack each layer with frosting and crumbs to make a 6-inch cake, then use scraps from the cake to make truffles — all to take home. The class will be held at Milk Bar NYC’s flagship store in NoMad.
Midnight Run and Hikes
For something more venturesome, Adventure Untamed, a group that organizes guided outdoor experiences for New Yorkers, offers a New Year’s Eve day hike in Harriman State Park, about an hour’s drive from New York City, with a stop for hot chocolate afterward at the cozy Bear Mountain Inn in Tomkins Cove, N.Y.
To welcome 2023 the heart-racing way, do the New York Road Runners Midnight Run in Central Park, a four-mile race that starts when the fireworks go off at midnight. The course is a real beauty: It takes you from Bethesda Terrace, past the Reservoir and back down again.