Alternative ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 in New York

Crowd cheers, ball drops, confetti flies in the air, and fireworks brighten up the night sky. Needless to say, Times Square in New York every year hosts the most iconic and exciting New Year’s Eve party. It turns into a bustling street celebration where millions express their joys and hopes in unison.

If you’re ready to paint the town red on the last day of 2018 in New York, but not excited about wearing an adult diaper to cope with the super long waits at Times Square, don’t worry, there are alternative ways for you to have a blast in this party town. Here are ways to leave the hot mess and to party in style instead.

New Year’s Eve fireworks cruise

Nothing sounds better than staying in the cozy and warm interiors of a magnificent ship, while watching the dazzling New Year’s firework spectacle above the Manhattan skyline.

After dinner, hop on the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise and embark on an unforgettable three-hour journey on Hudson River. Move to the beat of the resident DJ, chow on tasty hors d’oeuvres, and make a toast with bubbly Champagne. From the huge glass window, you will get a front-row seat to the breathtaking city skyline, Statue of Liberty, and the fireworks. Oh, and there’s an open bar too.

Watch the amazing fireworks at Prospect Park

If you’re on a budget but refuse to ring in 2019 without splendid fireworks, Prospect Park is your best choice. Located at Brooklyn, the park has had 39 years of New Year firework tradition that has drawn people to come for a rather low-key and casual celebration.

Get into the spirit with live entertainment from Quintessential Playlist and grab a free hot cocoa to keep yourself warm. As midnight approaches, slowly move to the Grand Army Plaza, West Drive or along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street for the best view of the fireworks. Why squeeze through overcrowded Times Square if you can get the same dynamic vibe here?

Dig into a buffet and get the best views from Applebee’s

What if we told you there’s a way to get the “real” Times Square New Year’s Eve experience without the hassle of crowds, long queues, and bad weather? Trust us, and make a reservation at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar.

The restaurant is conveniently located in the “lockdown zone” of Times Square and the ticket allows you to access the closed streets, and join a big party feast at Applebee’s which provides a buffet line, open bar, music and dance floor. To end 2018 on a high note, step outside to watch the famous ball drop and have a Champagne toast with your loved ones.

New Year’s Eve midnight run

If getting fit is on your New Year’s resolution list, why not actually take it seriously this time and start from the very first second of 2019? Hosted by New York Road Runners, the long-standing midnight run tradition will take place in Central Park from the stroke of midnight, with spectacular fireworks as the starting pistol.

The pre-race music party will start from 10pm. Runners can warm up their body with the dance, and write down their goals for the New Year on a resolution wall. Then start your 6.5km run with 15 minutes of fireworks. At the halfway mark, each runner will be given a sparkling cider to toast to the new year.

New Year’s Eve Viennese Ball

Waltz into 2019 with grace and elegance with the New York Philharmonic. If you’re not one to party, then celebrate the New Year by joining a classical concert instead. On Dec 31, the New York Philharmonic will bring Viennese waltzes and melodies to life at Lincoln Center, one of the most notable art performing centers in New York.

At the concert, you’ll be taken to glamorous 19th century Vienna, where melodies by renowned waltz music composers will immerse you in captivating music as everyone rings down the curtain on 2018.

, Alternative ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 in New York
Brooklyn Bridge on New Year’s Eve

Bonus advice:

Celebrating NYE in one of the most exciting cities on earth is definitely a brilliant idea. However, if not planned well, it can easily turn south— We’re talking about situations like getting stuck on a train when the clock strikes 12! Here’s some tips to keep in mind when planning your trip:

1. Arrive one day in advance

To avoid the trouble caused by traffic control on 31st December, the best time to arrive New York with ease would be a day before. If you can only arrive on that day, check in at the hotel at least before 3 pm is strongly suggested. For first timers in the city, get a New York CityPASS to tick the boxes on visiting all iconic attractions or hop on The Ride Bus Theater to marvel at rich and diverse street arts and performances along with major attractions.

2. Expect heavy traffic and transportation changes

Go to the event or venue early to make sure you don’t miss the starting time, due to the heavy traffic on that day. The subway would be the best option to go around the city, so download the MTA’s subway and bus apps to get the latest information on traffic updates!

3. Keep yourself warm

Normally around New Year’s Eve, the weather in New York is usually freezing cold. This year it’s expected to be the second-coldest of all time, around -11°C! Therefore scarfs, coats, touchscreen gloves, hats, thick wool socks and snow boots are strongly suggested.

4. Take a Selfie Stick and GoPro Camera

If you are heading to the crowded place or midnight run for the countdown, don’t bring a heavy single-lens reflex camera. Instead, get a selfie stick and GoPro Camera instead since they are easier to bring around and capture nice photos.

Now you’re officially ready to party hard in New York to welcome 2019! Make it one of the days that will turn into a good story to tell.

A version of this story first appeard on KKday here.