Night of Lights—Tonight!
December 31, 2013

Few nights offer a better excuse than New Year’s Eve to bundle up, push bedtime way back, and head outdoors to enjoy the brisk night air. Watching the famous ball drop in Times Square is certainly the best known option for outdoor revelry worldwide, but given the massive crowds, we’ve never even attempted that activity within the Square itself. One semi-insider spot to see the ball drop is from the intersection of 59th Street and Seventh Avenue. If you get there early enough—by 11 p.m. in our experience, but this was a few years ago—you can find a place just inside the park where you can see ball directly ahead, a mere 14 blocks to the south. 

Central Park Fireworks

Five-four-three-two-one… Turn around!  If you do go to 59th Street to try to see into Times Square, turn around immediately after midnight to watch an awesome fireworks display over the Lake in Central Park. This has become our New Year’s Eve spot, right along the western shoreline. The view would be equally grand from any place along the Lake or within the Ramble. 

Prospect Park Fireworks

Grand Army Plaza is the place to go starting at 11 p.m. for hot refreshments and entertainment, prior to the launch of fireworks at midnight. According to the Prospect Park Alliance, the best locations for seeing the display include Grand Army Plaza, inside the Park on the West Drive, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.

Statue of Liberty Fireworks

To mix a little patriotism into your New Year’s celebration, head to the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park, or Battery Park to watch New York Harbor light up with a grand fireworks display behind Lady Liberty.

New Year’s Day

With museums and other indoor spaces closed on New Year’s Day, parks, long urban hikes, and traversing a bridge between boroughs are all great ways to spend the first day of 2014. In addition to the events we listed in our previous post, consider the following events on New Year’s Day itself: the Wild Garden Exhibit in the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in northern Central Park; A Storybook Christmas at Bartow Pell featuring numerous decorated trees in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx; and the New Year’s Day Open House at the Merchant House Museum in Manhattan.

How do you like to ring in the New Year? 



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