We've got everything you need to know about the Ball Drop and all the festivities leading up to the big night.
Key Event Details
- Where is the Ball lowered?
- What streets will be closed for the celebrations?
- Will there be areas in Times Square designated for the disabled?
- Where is the best view?
- When should I get there?
- What is the schedule of New Year's Eve events in Times Square?
- What is the history of the Times Square New Year's Eve event?
- What can you tell me about the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball?
- What security procedures are in place?
- Are tickets needed for this event? Can I purchase a ticket to see the ball drop?
- WARNING: Please See Multiple Venue/Pay-One-Price/All Access Pass Alert
Food, Drinks, Shopping and Restrooms
- Will there be portable public restrooms available?
- Is alcohol or champagne allowed?
- Will there be food and drink vendors in the square?
- Will there be restaurants open in the area? Can revelers return to the same viewing areas after dining?
- Are theaters, stores and restaurants going to be open?
- Which Times Square restaurants and hotels have a view of a Ball?
- Where can I find information on Times Square New Year's Eve parties?
- What should I wear and what should I bring?
- Are tickets needed for this event? Can I purchase a ticket to see the ball drop?
- Will there be a Webcast?
- Can I view the Webcast from my mobile device?
- Are there still hotel rooms available in the Times Square area?
- How much confetti is dropped in Times Square on New Year's Eve?
- Can I volunteer to toss the confetti on New Year’s Eve?
The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball descends from a flagpole at the top of One Times Square. It can best be seen along Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and along Seventh Avenue, as far north as 59th Street.
On December 31, the New York Police Department will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway, and moving north as revelers arrive. The exact times that these blocks close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic will depend on when the revelers begin arriving. It is likely that there will be no vehicular traffic on either Broadway or Seventh Avenue as of approximately 3:00 p.m. Vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 6:00 p.m. above 42nd Street, as far north as 59th Street. If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue. Your chance of getting a viewing spot near the Ball (at Broadway & 43rd Street) increases the earlier you arrive. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary.
Yes. The designated viewing area is 44th Street and Broadway. You can gain access at 44th and 6th Ave. Please note, this area fills up quickly in the afternoon, so come early.
The earlier you arrive, the better your view and the closer you will be to the action. The sound system is set up in the Bowtie area (where Broadway and Seventh Avenue cross), and the video screens on One Times Square (where the Ball is lowered) are easily visible. There are additional screens set up throughout the event.
The best way to come to Times Square is via public transportation. To get to Times Square, the # 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, N, Q, R, W, V and S shuttle trains all service the Times Square area. Please note that the MTA has advised revelers not to use the 42nd Street Subway Station on New Year's Eve due to crowding conditions - you are advised to exit at one of the surrounding stations and enter Times Square on foot. It is expected that the MTA will keep all subway stations open on New Year's Eve. Some entrances and exits may be closed as crowd conditions require. Trains may also bypass some stations, depending on how the crowds build. The most up-to-date transit information is always available by calling the MTA at 511 or visiting www.mta.info.
Other useful sources of information:
Port Authority Bus Terminal (212) 564-8484
New York City Transit Authority (Local Bus Service) (718) 330-1234
Amtrak (800) 523-8720
Metro North (212) 532-4900
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) (718) 217- LIRR
For questions about access on New Year's Eve, please contact the NYPD sub-station at (212) 239-9803 or the Times Square Alliance Dispatch Office at (212) 452-5218. Please call ONLY on New Year's Eve.
Access to Times Square on the evening of December 31st will be from 6th Avenue or 8th Avenue only. No one will be allowed to cross Broadway/7th Avenue once the streets have been closed. If your destination is east of Broadway/7th Avenue, you must enter at 6th Avenue. If your destination is west of Broadway/7th Avenue, you must enter at 8th Avenue.
If you are attending a party or event within Times Square on New Year's Eve, be sure to contact the business to confirm special instructions you may need in order to access the entrance of the establishment.
South of 41st Street
- 37th & 7th Ave
- 37th & Broadway
- 38th & 8th Ave
- 38th & 6th Ave
North of 43rd street
- 46th from 8th & 6th Ave (press access)
- Emergency Vehicle Route (48th, 5th-9th Ave)
- 49th from 8th & 6th Ave
- 52nd from 8th & 6th Ave
- 54th from 6th Ave
- 55th from 8th Ave
- 57th from 7th Ave
- 57th from Broadway
- 58th from 8th & 6th Ave
- 59th from 8th & 6th Ave
- 39th from Broadway to 6th Ave
- 41st from 7th Ave directed westbound to 8th Ave
- 49th from 7th Ave directed eastbound to 6th Ave
- 50th from Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
- 53rd from Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
- 55th from 7th Ave directed eastbound to 6th Ave
Revelers begin to gather in the late afternoon on New Year's Eve, December 31. The best advice we can give is to get there as early as possible. We cannot predict how quickly the viewing areas will fill up. Prime viewing areas may fill up early in the afternoon.
At approximately 6:00 p.m. EST the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball will be raised to the top of the 77-foot flagpole at One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd Street). At exactly 11:59 p.m. EST, the Ball will make its 60-second descent down the flagpole to signal the start of the New Year.
Please Note: Revelers who arrive very early in the day, before the police have established viewing areas, may be moved by the NYPD when barricades are put in place.
The schedule for Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 will be made available in December 2016. For reference, you can find the 2015/2016 schedule of events here.
No. There are no portable restrooms in Times Square during the celebration.
No. Public drinking is illegal in New York City. Police will confiscate alcohol.
No. There will be no licensed food and beverage vendors in Times Square. However, there are hundreds of restaurants in and around Times Square (see below). Be sure to call ahead and check the restaurants hours to make sure they are operating the evening of December 31.
Will there be restaurants open in the area? Can revelers return to the same viewing areas after dining?
Many restaurants located in the Times Square area will be open on New Year's Eve - be sure to consult our Restaurant Guide to locate a restaurant, and make your reservations well in advance. Please remember that if you dine at a local restaurant, you will not simply be able to come out and watch the Ball lowering at midnight. Revelers will arrive in Times Square early in the day, and while you are dining, designated viewing areas will fill up on a "first come, first served" basis. Furthermore, no one is allowed to stand in the emergency lanes or on sidewalks. Please remember that if you leave your viewing area to dine in a restaurant, you will not be able to return to your spot in a viewing area.
A list of the 2015/2016 New Year's Eve Parties in Times Square can be found here.
Some Broadway theaters will be open on New Year's Eve. You can check the schedules for Broadway and some Off- Broadway shows at www.telecharge.com, www.broadway.com, or www.ticketmaster.com. Stores and restaurants will be open at their own discretion, so please call them ahead of time. Please remember that if you leave your viewing area to dine in a restaurant, you will not be able to return to your spot in a viewing area.
- Renaissance New York
- DoubleTree Guest Suites
- Marriott Marquis
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
- Olive Garden
- R Lounge
- Novotel New York Times Square
- The Knickerbocker
At the entry points, and at the spectator viewing areas, each person will be searched with a hand-held wand.
- Knapsacks and large bags are not permitted. All bags will be searched. Persons declining search will not be admitted into the area
- “Plain clothes” officers will be deployed throughout the event
- Newspaper/circular type vending machines will be removed prior to the event
- Manhole covers are to be sealed shut (41st-50th Streets, 6th-8th Avenues)
- All waste receptacles will be removed on Broadway and 7th Ave. from 34th to 59th streets
- Sector commanders will survey their posts and direct the removal of accumulated garbage prior to the event
- Sanitation to remove bagged garbage (bottles, etc) throughout event
- Request Postal Service to service all mailboxes 34 to 59, on 7th & Broadway
- Radiation detectors will be deployed for use during the event
- Mobile Field Forces are available for immediate response if needed
- Rooftop posts are positioned along the event as well as overseeing the access points
Special instructions will be issued to each post covering the following topics:
- Suspicious packages
- Search guidelines
- Monitoring crowds
- Escorting Residents / Theater / Dinner Guests
Revelers have been celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square since 1904. To learn more about the celebration's history, check out our History page.
Check out the New Year's Eve Ball page.
Dress warmly. Remember that you could be spending an extended period of time outdoors in potentially below-freezing conditions. You should be well-prepared and well-insulated. Many layers, synthetics (such as Goretex and polypropylene), wind-resistant and water-repellant outerwear and a good hat are the keys to staying warm.
Finally, remember to drink lots of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Not only is public drinking illegal in New York City, but both caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate you. Dehydration is very common and can sneak up on you in cold weather.
No. The Annual New Year’s Eve celebration is a free event open to everyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no public viewing spaces available for sale. However, to get the best view, arrive early in the afternoon. Some private parties are held in many of the restaurants and hotels in Times Square and tickets are required in advance. Please check here for parties on New Year's Eve.
Yes. You can enjoy the LIVE, six-and-a-half-hour, commercial-free mobile stream of New Year’s Eve in Times Square powered by Livestream, including live musical performances and the ability to participate in the celebration from your Android or iOS mobile device. There are a few options available for live viewing from your mobile device:
- The official Times Square Ball App is also available worldwide for free download through Apple’s App Store and via Google Play for mobile phones and tablets. The Times Square Ball App can be found in Entertainment, Travel, and News categories.
- Visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org from your mobile phone or tablet starting December 31 at 5:55pm EST and watch the live mobile stream from our homepage.
- Lastly, you can download Livestream for mobile, available through Apple’s App Store and via Google Play for mobile phones and tablets, and connect to the New Year's Eve live webcast.
For more information on the official Times Square Ball app, click here.
There are more than 17,000 hotel rooms in the Times Square neighborhood - ranging from large hotel chains, to small quiet retreats or suite hotels for extended stays. There are also several youth hostels situated in and around the Times Square area. Book your stay early! For a complete listing of hotels in the area visit our Hotel page. You can contact the hotels directly about rates and availability, or contact your travel agent for more information and reservations.
More than 1 ton of confetti is dropped in Times Square to bring in the new year.
Unfortunately, no. Our confetti master and his team have it covered.
WARNING: MULTIPLE VENUE/PAY-ONE-PRICE/ALL ACCESS PASS ALERT
There are companies that offer Multiple Venue/Pay-One-Price/All Access passes which advertise access to Times Square on New Year’s Eve that is actually not possible. These companies advertise this pass as allowing the holder to visit numerous venues throughout Times Square on New Year's Eve. Such Multiple Venue/Pay-One-Price/All Access passes presume the holder will be able to get past police security lines. In years past, such pass holders were refused access beyond police check points, leaving the holder frustrated and without a place to go. It is reasonable to assume that the police will take the same stance this year.
Additionally, the Alliance has been informed that scalpers sold these passes on the street for exorbitant prices and in some instances the passes were counterfeit. The Times Square Alliance works very closely with the New York City Police Department and Times Square businesses to allow access to individual establishments. For a list of parties hosted by Times Square businesses visit our web site.