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 NYC are almost here — what to know if you're attending this year.

Times Square New Year's Eve celebrations, in New York City

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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 on Dec. 31, the world turns its attention to NYC for the sparkling lights and excitement emanating from Times Square. This year’s event, markedly back and better than ever after two years of adjusted celebrations, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022.

Confetti flies in the air at Times Square on New Year's Eve in New York City


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 here 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. 

Crowds celebrating the New Year in Times Square, New York City

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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.

Mariah Carey performs during New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, New York City

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Who will be performing?

Live performers, along with the entire schedule of the Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities, will be announced here

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 here.

Times Square Waterford Crystal New Year's Eve Ball in New York City

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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. If you hope to eat near Times Square before catching the ball drop at midnight, you won't be allowed to do so because the areas will likely be full. Additionally, there are no public restrooms in Times Square, so plan accordingly. 

Lobby bar terrace at The Times Square EDITION

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 Times Square Edition

The Times Square Edition, a modern luxury hotel, will host an evening with cocktails and canapés, in addition to a tasting menu featuring dynamic wine pairings at The Terrace and Outdoor Gardens by Michelin-starred chef John Fraser. Following this decadent, five-course dinner, the festivities will continue with VIP access to view the ball drop in Times Square and conclude with a Champagne toast and after-party. Expect live music and entertainment throughout the private event.

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 full premium bar, curated food stations and a sushi bar, and entertainment. This exclusive party, in the heart of Times Square, takes places in a main room with large windows for unobstructed views of the ball drop. You can also upgrade your event admission to include a two- or three-day stay at the hotel.

New York Marriott Marquis

Reserve a room at New York Marriott Marquis for picturesque accommodations overlooking Times Square and direct views of the Waterford Crystal ball drop. Three-night minimum stays are required, 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 an open bar featuring a buffet. 

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 New Year’s Eve classic "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" will also broadcast the countdown to the ball drop, with musical performances beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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