Times Square Ball Drop

New Year’s Eve in NYC: Top Tips For The Times Square Ball Drop

Planning to ring in the arrival of 2020 with the world’s biggest New Year’s celebration? New York’s famous NYE celebrations centre around the Times Square Ball Drop, so we’ve put together top tips you need to know. Roughly 1 million people are packed into the square, waiting along with billions of TV viewers to watch the Waterford Crystal ball drop at midnight.

From how early you really need to get there to toilet tips, follow this guide and you’ll have the best New Year’s Eve ever…

Tips For Watching The Times Square Ball Drop

1. Get to Times Square as Early as Possible

Street closures begin during the mid-afternoon, and those who score the best spots typically arrive before 3pm; the ball rises to the top of the flagpole at 6pm; by 10.30pm, it’s nearly impossible to find a spot with a view of the ball.

Times Square Ball Drop

2. Bring Snacks!

You can’t get your spot back in the crowd if you give it up, so make sure you eat beforehand and bring something to eat while you wait.

3. Go to the Toilet Well in Advance

There are no public bathrooms in the viewing area, so be sure to go before you arrive. Some people bring portable potties, but each to their own…

4. Don’t Get Off the Subway at Times Square/42nd Street

Subway is the easiest way to reach the celebration, but try to detrain at a stop other than Times Square/42nd Street and walk the rest of the way. That subway station in particular becomes uncomfortably crowded on New Year’s Eve and often has entrances closed and/or controlled by the NYPD.

5. Leave Your Handbag/Backpack at Home

The police won’t let you past the barricades with a bag, so don’t bother bringing it – you’ll only have to ditch it! Wear a coat with plenty of pockets.

6. Wear Comfy Shoes

You’re gonna be standing there for a longgggg time, so don’t wear your high heels! It’s also going to be very cold, so dress in layers and have a warm hat and coat.

7. Can’t Handle the Wait? Consider A Bar/Hotel at Times Square

Tickets for private parties in bars and hotels on the square are pricey, but you’ll be able to watch the ball drop at midnight from wherever you are. Plus, you can drink alcohol (there’s none allowed at the Ball Drop area itself!).


Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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