The world-famous NYE celebration in NYC includes half a million freezing people huddled in the overcrowded Times Square watching the ball drop, but what do the locals do? We rounded up our favorite local-approved free and paid alternative celebrations that everyone will enjoy!

1. Themed Party at Pier A: Last New Year’s Eve, I attended the Pier A masquerade themed party and loved the no-stress upscale venue with delicious food and included drinks. There were multiple areas to dance and different songs in each area, and a jazz band that made ringing in the New Year with my best girlfriends extra special! Buy tickets here.


Sparklers NYC at night NYE

2. NYRR Midnight Run: Instead of drinking to the new year, celebrate in a healthier way by running the New York Road Runners’ annual Midnight Run. Start the four-mile run, which counts towards the New York City Marathon 2018 requirements, by dancing at 10 pm. This is the best way to start any healthy New Year’s resolution off on the right foot! Register here before 5 pm on December 31.


3. Free Cruise on the Staten Island Ferry: If you time it right, you can ride the free Staten Island Ferry, which offers the best views of the skyline and many fireworks displays. Make sure to get there early and bring warm layers!


New Year's Eve NYC

4. House of Yes’s The Grand Ball: Brooklyn’s House of Yes knows how to throw down an extravagant costume party! This 24-hour party dress code requires black, white, gold, or silver styles or costumes. Enjoy aerial and fire performers with live DJs all the way into New Year’s Day. Purchase tickets here.


The McKittrick Hotel Masquerade

5. The McKittrick Hotel Masquerade: Enjoy the interactive play Sleep No More and/or the Masquerade live performances and open bar events in the gorgeous vintage-style McKittrick Hotel. Dress in shades of gold, silver and black. Purchase tickets here.


6. Concert for Peace at Saint John the Divine: Sit back and enjoy relaxing musical performances in one of the most beautiful churches in NYC. Enjoy this festive NYE concert beginning with Haydn’s glorious Te Deum and songs about Mother Earth and chorales from mass. Learn more here.


fireworks NYC

7. NYE Fireworks in Prospect Park: Start the new year with a bang! Listen to live music from 10:30 pm at Grand Army Plaza before watching the free fireworks lift off at midnight. The event is free, but RSVP is requested here.


8. Coney Island Fireworks: Ride the subway out to Coney Island to enjoy free carnival rides and ice skating from 6 pm to 10 pm as a warm-up before live music and the fireworks display on the beach! Read our 11 Best Things to do in Coney Island.

Read Next: New York Gift Guide and The Ultimate Guide to SoHo


The Best Ways to Celebrate NYE in NYC

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