Things to Do in NYC on New Year's Eve for Tourists

By Casey Makovich

Most people say that there is no place more magical to visit over the holidays than New York City – and we think they’re right! If you’ve never been to 'The Big Apple' for New Year’s Eve, 2018 is the perfect opportunity to experience NYC on New Year's Eve as a tourist. With so many distinct neighborhoods, famous landmarks and the excitement of a new beginning, we’re sure there's something for everyone in your group to enjoy this year. Whether this is your first visit to New York City or you’ve been to here a few times before, experiencing the sights on New Year’s Eve is one trip that you’re sure to remember for many years to come. Make sure you get the most out of your time in NYC with this comprehensive guide to enjoying the holiday festivities with the ones you love most and be sure to have a very Happy New Year!

10 Things to See and Do in NYC on New Year’s Eve for Tourists

Free Entry with The New York Pass®

Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions.

1. Check Out the Empire State Building

No trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to the historic and beautiful Empire State Building. This attraction draws about 3.5 million visitors each year and never disappoints! You and your group will be able to experience NYC with breathtaking, 360360-degreenoramic views and feast your eye on the historic city skyline. Getting in: Empire State Building tickets are included on the New York City Explorer Pass®.

2. Meet the Stars at Madame Tussauds New York

Spend a few hours hanging out with your favorite Hollywood actors, singers, and celebrities as you explore Madam Tussauds New York. This interactive wax museum features more than 200 lifelike figures that are waiting for their next selfie opportunity. Before you head out on the town for your holiday celebrations, be sure to stop in and snap a pic with your favorite stars. Admission: Madame Tussauds tickets are included with the New York Pass.

3. Take a Food Tour

New York City is one of the major food capitals of the world and with so many great dining options, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, Food on Foot Tours is here to take the guesswork out of planning your meals! Learn all about the delicious meals being served all over the city –one bite at a time. With so many different culinary styles to choose from in NYC’s great melting pot, we’re sure you won’t go hungry. Getting in: Food on Foor Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass.

4. Rockefeller Center Tour

Most people have seen the historic and beautiful Rockefeller Center on their TV and movie screens at some point and admired this beloved landmark for all it’s grandeur. Now, you can discover the treasure that is Rockefeller Center for yourself with this incredible guided tour. Learn about John D, Rockefeller’s visions and aspirations for this timeless space and have fun with the iconic holiday decorations too. Perfect for a few great holiday snaps, this is one tour in NYC that you won’t want to miss. Admission: guided Rockefeller Center Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass.

5. Top of the Rock Observatory

Once you’ve taken in the sights on the ground at the Rockefeller Center, be sure to head on up to the observation deck for another spectacular view of the city. After taking a few snaps of the gorgeous crystal chandelier in the lobby, head on up to the 70th floor to feast your eyes on the true jewels of NYC. Here, you’ll be able to get a look at everything from the famous skyscraper’s that dominate the city’s skyline to beloved landmark’s like Central Park! Admission: Top of the Rock observation deck tickets are included with The New York Pass.

6. Graffiti & Street Art Tour

This cool and interactive walking tour highlights some of the most interesting and iconic pieces of street art and graffiti that are located all throughout the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn. Get a real feel for NYC’s urban culture by taking a look at the artwork of some of the city’s most talented underground and alternative artists. Getting in: Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour of Brooklyn tickets are included on The New York Pass.

7. Grand Central Terminal Audio Tour

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to stand in the center of New York City’s famous Grand Central Terminal at rush hour? Thousands of people pass through the station each day on their way in and out of the city, making for a breathtaking sight at any time of the day. Since 1871, visitors have marveled at the majestic ceiling design in the terminal and now, with this interesting audio tour, you can learn all about the grand history of this NYC landmark. Admission: Grand Central Terminal Audio-Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass.

8. Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Have the little ones with you on your NYE adventure? Why not take some time out to ensure they’re enjoying the trip just as much as you are? Take a few hours to explore and play at the Brooklyn’s Children Museum before heading out to your evening activities. With fun interactive exhibits and plenty of opportunities for learning, everyone in the family will have a blast here! Getting in: Brooklyn Children's Museum tickets are separately ticketed and not included on The New York Pass.

9. Dave and Buster’s Times Square

Planning on seeing the ball drop in Times Square? Then you should definitely make a pit-stop at Dave and Buster’s first! This huge indoor arcade is fun for the whole family with great food, drinks, games and more.

Remember To Save On Attraction Admission

Lots of the fun things to do in NYC on New Year's Eve for Tourists mentioned in this post are included on The New York Pass. Whether you’re interested in learning more about art and culture, you want to check out the city’s skyline from multiple angles or you’re all about the fun and games –there really is something for everyone in your group to enjoy during the NYE holidays. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, consider using the New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way you can do more when you sightsee and make the most of your time in New York City. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.

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Attraction of The Week: South Bronx Tour

[caption id="attachment_1311" align="aligncenter" width="977"] South Bronx | @Curbed[/caption] South Bronx Renaissance Tour The South Bronx has long been known as a cultural centerpiece in New York and the diverse community within the borough shows that this won't change any time soon. Generations in the Bronx have seen the birth of Hip Hop, legendary Yankees teams, economic growth as well as the decline and rebirth of their neighborhoods. People on the outside looking in may view the Bronx as a historic borough within New York, but the outsider's point of view can be very different from that of someone walking and living within the area. Thanks to Inside Out Tours, there is an official tour of the South Bronx that gives us insight to not only the attractions within the Bronx but also the story that depicts the rise, fall and rebuild of the borough. The guides on the tour will also speak on what role the community has played in revitalizing the South Bronx. Highlights Some of the highlights from the South Bronx Renaissance Tour include the Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx Walk of Fame and of course the Yankee Stadium. Along the 3 hour tour, you'll be passing through Concourse and seeing the creative art deco and graffiti put on display by some of New York's talented young artists. A tour guide will be in charge of the group and will be providing explanations of the artistic scenery and historic venues that you will be passing on the tour. [caption id="attachment_1314" align="aligncenter" width="828"] Bronx Museum of Art | @arquitectonicaintl[/caption] - The Bronx Museum of Art showcases 20th century contemporary pieces and boasts a collection of over 800 pieces. Throughout the year, the museum holds exhibitions that incorporate foreign artists and collaborators. Since being founded in 1971, the Bronx Museum has worked to make art more accessible to those in the area. - On the Bronx Walk of Fame, you'll see the names of famous South Bronx residents that have been immortalized for their contributions to the community. The borough holds an annual celebration called Bronx Week in which they induct a new group of residents to inhabit the Walk of Fame. Some of the notable names along the Walk of Fame include Colin Powell (U.S. Secretary of State ), Joy Bryant (Actress) and Regis Philbin (TV Host). - We're all aware what occurs at the Yankee Stadium... But for those who don't follow Baseball, the Yankee Stadium is where the iconic MLB, team the New York Yankees play. People in New York (not just the Bronx) take great pride in the Yankees and their 27 world series championships. [caption id="attachment_1313" align="aligncenter" width="991"] Yankee Stadium | @mlb[/caption] Getting There If you're interested in taking the South Bronx Renaissance Tour, there are groups that up meet on Thursdays and Fridays at 10am in front of Grand Central Station (near the Park ave and East 42nd street intersection). The tour also conveniently offers Spanish tour guides on Fridays. Prior to meeting for departure, please make sure that you have purchased a Metro Card for the Subway as the group will be taking the train from Grand Central. For more information on the South Bronx Renaissance tour, you can visit our attraction page and reserve your spot!
Go City Expert
New York
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2 Days in New York City - A Sample Itinerary with The New York Pass®

With The New York Pass, you can tailor a sightseeing itinerary to your own interests. This two-day New York City sightseeing itinerary below is just an example of how you can use your New York Pass to visit attractions and save big on admission. Follow the itinerary below, or, just use it as inspiration to start planning your trip and visit any and as many of the other included attractions as you want. This sample two-day itinerary includes: Big Bus Classic Panoramic Tour Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island 9/11 Memorial & Museum Top of the Rock American Museum of Natural History and more... DAY 1 Big Bus Classic Panoramic Tour The best way to start your trip—get acquainted with New York City’s top attractions, landmarks, sights, and layout on a comprehensive, bus tour with live narration. You’ll be able to hop on or off at any of the 25+ stops along the tour’s 3 bus routes: Uptown, Downtown, and Midtown for the full New York City experience. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Immigration Museum Take a ferry from Battery Park and visit the Statue of Liberty to see it up-close before heading over to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Explore the history of immigration to the United States, with a specific focus on the immigration process through Ellis Island and the 12 million immigrants to were processed at Ellis Island, walk through the institution's historic halls and galleries, and more. 9/11 Memorial & Museum Located at the World Trade Center site, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is a poignant testament to the terrorist attacks and tragic events of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. A visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is educational and emotional. The galleries feature artifacts from the wreckage, photographs of the events that illustrate the events’ timelines, stories and first-hand accounts from survivors and family members of victims, and more. You’ll be able to pay tribute to the victims and service members who perished on 9/11 at the memorial site, where there are two twin reflecting pools with man-made waterfalls inscribed with the names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks. Madame Tussauds New York Meet all your favorite celebrities and interact with A-Listers at Madame Tussauds New York, right in Times Square. You’ll get to get up close and pose with Lady Gaga, Morgan Freeman, Carmelo Anthony, some of your favorite Marvel superheroes, and more as you explore the museum’s five floors of themed rooms. Get as close to the stars as you want, there are not bodyguards to shield you away! Insider tip: Madame Tussauds opens 1 hour early, exclusively for New York Pass holders. Top of the Rock Head to the 70th floor of historic Rockefeller Center for 360-degree, sweeping views of Manhattan and beyond from the famous Top of the Rock observation deck. On your way up, you’ll get to learn about the history and symbolic significance of the iconic building and Rockefeller’s vision for the building complex. When you step out onto the three-story observation deck, you’ll have unbeatable views of all the New York City skyline landmarks. Insider tip: download the free app or use the multi-media displays to help identify buildings and landmarks in view. DAY 2 The Ride Experience New York from the best seat in the city and see the streets transform into a live, Broadway stage. You’ll board a custom-made bus with stadium-style seating and large windows for unobstructed views of street performers on their various ‘stages’ throughout the city. This 75-minute traveling theater features fun, interactive entertainment and takes you to some of the top sights in New York, including Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, Central Park, and more. Central Park Bicycle Rentals Explore Central Park’s 843 acres on two wheels with a guided bike tour—you’ll get to see more than you would by foot and your knowledgeable guide will make sure you see all the top sights. American Museum of Natural History Visit one of the largest natural history museums in the world and learn about everything from extinction to the evolution of plant and animal life around the world. From our origins as a human species to Siberian Tigers and a 122-foot titanosaur (a 70-ton herbivore), you can get up close to it all at the AMNH.
Kirsten McCroskrie
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MoMA Opening Anniversary

[caption id="attachment_1293" align="aligncenter" width="390"] Museum of Modern Art | MoMA[/caption] MoMA Widely regarded as one of the great art museums that the world has to offer, the Museum of Modern Art is a treasure in New York City. On May 10th of 1939, the museum opened the doors to its new permanent home at 11W 53rd Street. Prior to this, the museum had been renting space from the Heckscher building which is now The Crown Building located at 730 5th avenue. The move was very necessary for the MoMA as they continued to grow and collect more pieces of modern and contemporary art. However there were still plans of improvements and additions to be made to the museum. Additions In 2006, the Japanese architect and designer Yoshio Taniguchi put together a design that would add 630,000 square feet to the MoMA’s building. This gives the museum a very spacious feel, allowing you to enjoy each piece as you walk from one exhibit to the next. The extra space in the museum also comes in handy for one of the most popular museums in the world being that they receive so many visitors throughout the year. In 2015 the Museum of Modern Art welcomed north of 3 million guests who stopped by to admire their collection. [caption id="attachment_1295" align="alignleft" width="500"] Museum of Modern Art | @themuseumofmodernart[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1296" align="alignright" width="500"] Museum of Modern Art | @themuseumofmodernart[/caption] Collection Over the decades, the MoMA has been able to put together quite an impressive collection of pieces that they have displayed within the museum. Their library consists of over 15,000 paintings now. Some of the notable artists that have been showcased in the MoMA's collection include Frida Kahlo, Roy Lichtenstein and of course Pablo Picasso. Throughout the year, visitors are welcome to view the changing exhibits at the MoMA. The museum's hours are as follows: Sunday - Thursday (10am - 5pm) Friday (10:30am - 8pm) Something that New York Pass holders will really enjoy about visiting the MoMA is the Fast Track Entry. The museum offers a Fast Track line which is accessible with your NY Pass. You'll be able to avoid the long general admission line and join a shorter line for entrance. That way, you can get right to enjoying the museum. If you're interested in visiting the Museum of Modern Art, visit our webpage for more information.
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