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: High Line Park

[caption id="attachment_1299" align="aligncenter" width="568"] High Line Park | @nycparks |[/caption] High Line Park One of the greatest luxuries in New York are the amazing and unique views that the city presents. It seems as though wherever you go, no matter the borough, you can find gorgeous opportunities to take photos. Of course we see the photos of monstrous buildings in the sky and even scenic photos of NYC's historic venues but perhaps one of the best photo opportunities in New York is a hidden gem... High Line Park. Views "The High Line", as it is often referred to, is a public park/walk-way in the sky that hovers over the city. The park is situated on what used to be railways stretching from below 14th street up to 34th street by the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Many people love walking on the High Line not only because of the amazing view from over the city but also for the sight of the neighboring Hudson River. Another famous neighbor to the High Line is the Whitney Museum, positioned right at the foot of the park on Ganesvoort street. [caption id="attachment_1301" align="aligncenter" width="511"] High Line Park | @highlinenyc[/caption] Activities are plenty at High Line Park no matter the season. Throughout the year you can catch temporary art installations and performances. In warmer months you can also enjoy the gardens which feature over 200 species of plants, and sun-bathing along the path which provides relaxing benches facing the river. One of the most popular stops along the path is the ramp between 25th and 26th street that allows visitors to sit right above the street and watch the traffic pass along. While walking through High Line Park, you'll also pass by Chelsea Market which is an interesting hub that hosts many different cuisines as well as stores and art shops... Just something to keep in mind if you want to grab a bite to eat after enjoying the High Line. [caption id="attachment_1300" align="aligncenter" width="500"] High Line Park | @highlinenyc[/caption] Hours The hours for the park change slightly depending on the season. Below you can see what times the park will be opening and closing throughout the year: Winter: 7am - 7pm Spring/Fall: 7am - 10pm Summer: 7am - 11pm If you're interested in walking through High Line Park, entrance is absolutely free, but tours are offered if you'd like to find out more about the history of the park.
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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Clipper City Tall Ship Returns

[caption id="attachment_1286" align="aligncenter" width="568"] Clipper City Tall Ship | Photo by @manhattanbysail[/caption] The weather has finally lightened up in New York City and it appears to be at just the right time. Now that we can finally hang up our coats and enjoy the sunshine, many people will be looking for a nice cruise to relax and view what NYC has to offer. Luckily, today marks the return of Manhattan By Sail's famous Clipper City Tall Ship and Shearwater Classic Schooner. Clipper City Tall Ship Although the original ship was decommissioned in 1890, the Clipper City Tall Ship was rebuilt just 4 years later by architects DeJong and LeBet. Some of the best views of lower Manhattan can be captured on the ship's 90 minute ride from the south end of Battery Park. The ship departs twice daily at 2:15 pm and 4:30 pm from now until October 9th and there's plenty of room as each cruise holds approximately 130 people on its 158-foot frame. Some of the great sights captured on the cruise include the Brooklyn Bridge, Governor's Island and also Ellis Island so make sure to keep a camera handy. [caption id="attachment_1288" align="aligncenter" width="542"] Shearwater Classic Schooner | Photo via @manhattanbysail[/caption] Shearwater Classic Schooner Another historic ship making it's return today is the Shearwater Classic Schooner. First launched in May of 1929, the Schooner has quite a long rap sheet. Aside from ushering a leisurely cruise, The ship has also served as a member of the United States Coast Guard's Coastal Picket Patrol during World War II and has been honored as a National Landmark in 2009. The Schooner sails everyday of the week, offering 90 minute cruises, similar to the Clipper City Tall Ship. Below is the schedule for the Shearwater Classic: Monday - Friday: 12:30 pm and 2:45 pm Saturday: 12 pm and 2 pm Sunday: 2 pm Be one of the first people to ride the Clipper City Tall Ship and Shearwater Classic Schooner this season using your New York Pass. Also, visit our website for more cruises being offered during this time of year.
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