Head to the bright lights of New York City for one of the most iconic new year's eve parties in the world - the famous ball drop in Times Square.
While definitely one for the bucket list, waiting around in large crowds for hours on end without access to adequate bathroom facilities might not be everyone's idea of a great time, but yuo can be sure that the Big Apple has plenty of other things going on to help you bring in the new year in style.
Times Square is the major component of the New Year's Eve celebration, where huge crowds gather to wait all day for the world famous ball drop, and new year 2018-2019 will be no exception. The Waterford crystal ball is located on the roof of One Times Square and begins it's slow descent at precisely 11:59 pm, triggering fireworks at the stroke of midnight when it finally reaches the bottom.
Toshiba's Times Square billboard screen also displays a timer of the countdown with the crowd joining in to count out the final ten seconds.
If you're heading to Times Square then we strongly recommend the Balldrop Pass - it's going to set you back in the region of $250 but includes admission to parties in multiple venues in Times Square and the surrounding area, featuring the top party DJ's in NYC, plus many of the venues have free food and drink, and the pass also gives you access to a raft of special offers and deals valued at up to $1000 - seems rude not to!
The Times Square fireworks and ball drop are immediately preceded by the iconic Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year with Ryan Seacrest, where massive stars perform for the crowds and the same worldwide viewers on TV and online. The show also includes live streaming video sections from the Billboard Hollywood Party, offering the biggest names from both locations at the same time.
There is also typically a section of the show brought live from another city in the central time zone - the last couple of years this has been the Jackson Square party from New Orleans, although in the past they have also headed to Nashville. We'll bring you this year's remote venue once it's confirmed.
The CNN coverage live from Times Square on New Year's Eve will again be hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin - the pair have been doing this so long now the show is actually named "New Year's Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin" and you can watch the TV broadcast and also watch it as a live online stream.
One iconic new year's eve party well worth attending in New York is the Supernova Ball Drop at the Novotel New York Times Square - this party offers live direct views of the ball drop as well as live entertainment, premium open bar and a dance floor with top DJ - get more details and buy your tickets online here.
Away from the hubbub and general chaos in Times Square, there is also a big fireworks display in Prospect Park, across in Brooklyn. There is entertainment throughout the evening at the Grand Army Plaza, followed by the pyrotechnics come midnight.
With the island location of Manhattan providing plenty of possibilities for maritime-based fireworks viewing then it's no surprise to find a numger of cruise options for your new year celebration. Top choices for this year include the Bateaux New York NYE Fireworks Dinner, which offers a winning combination of fine dining, live music with imaginative culinary creations, extensive wine list and star-quality entertainment.
Alternatively we also really like the look of the Spirit of New York NYE Fireworks Dinner, which comes complete with dinner buffet, premium open bar, DJ Entertainment, party favors, champagne toast at midnight and midnight fireworks, a great way to welcome 2019 on the water!
This is one place you're going to have no trouble finding live coverage of no matter where you are in the world - why not try getting a taste of the atmosphere throughout the day on the live streaming web cam feeds on the excellent Earthcam site, which has a special section dedicated to the event, with live streaming views all around Times Square
The full event is also webcast live online here:
If you're looking for a hotel with a view of Times Square so you can watch the ball drop without getting jammed up in the crowds then we can personally recommend the Residence Inn Central Park - make sure you pay the extra for a Times Square view room, although there is also an outdoor terrace on the gym level with very good views.
You can search for deals at all of the best New York hotels here.
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