Are you planning on joining the festivities on the big night, or do you have other questions about the event and the Ball Drop? Check out the list below of frequently asked questions about everything you need to know.

You can also head to our what's happening section to learn more about events going on throughout the month of December in the lead up to celebration. On social media, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be part of the journey as we count down to the new year, and be sure to tell us how you're celebrating with Times Square New Year's Eve by using #BallDrop in your posts!

NYE FAQ

Where is the Ball lowered?

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.

Are tickets needed for this event? Can I purchase a ticket to see the Ball Drop?

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.

What streets will be closed for the celebrations?

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 3:00 p.m. or earlier above 42nd Street and 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 increases the earlier you arrive. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary.

Will there be areas in Times Square designated for the disabled?

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.
If you have specific needs, please email info@timessquarenyc.org with the details. 

Where is the best view?

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.

When should I get there?

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 pole 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.

What is the schedule of New Year's Eve events in Times Square?

The schedule for Times Square New Year’s Eve 2018 will be released in December 2017. The information will be posted on the NYE Schedule page.

What is the history of the Times Square New Year's Eve event?

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.

What can you tell me about the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball?

Check out the New Year's Eve Ball page.

What security procedures are in place?

At the entry points, and at the spectator viewing areas, each person will be searched with a hand-held wand.

  • Knapsacks, large bags and umbrellas 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
     
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 website.

Will there be portable public restrooms available?

No. There are no portable restrooms in Times Square during the celebration.
 

Is alcohol or champagne allowed?

No. Public drinking is illegal in New York City. Police will confiscate alcohol.

Will there be food and drink vendors in the square?

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.

Are theaters, stores and restaurants going to be open?

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.

Which Times Square restaurants and hotels have a view of the Ball?
  • Renaissance New York
  • DoubleTree Guest Suites
  • Marriott Marquis
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
  • Olive Garden
  • R Lounge
  • Novotel New York Times Square
  • The Knickerbocker

Please check our Dining and Hotels pages for contact information for the above venues.

What is the best way to come to Times Square?

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, M, N, Q, R, W, and S shuttle trains all service the Times Square area. Note that certain trains do not run on weekends. 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.

How do I enter Times Square 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.

Access Points:
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

Pedestrian/Subway Chutes:

  • 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
     
What should I wear and what should I bring?

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.

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