10 ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2021 in NYC without the Times Square crowds

Posted On Wed, December 22, 2021 By

Posted On Wed, December 22, 2021 By In Events, Features, holidays

Photo by Edoardo Tommasini from Pexels

New Yorkers are emerging and socializing, but we’re still being cautious. That means you might not feel like mixing and mingling with a massive crowd of revelers from all over the planet. If you’d rather enjoy a more subtle celebration, check out the events we’ve listed below. Note that while the parties and performances were still on the calendar at publication, some venues are canceling more populous events in the name of extra caution, so double check before heading out. For all events, you can be sure mask and vaccine-proof protocols will be in place, so plan accordingly.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

New Year’s Eve at Georgia Room
The buzzy new Georgia Room (named for Georgia O’Keefe) at the Freehand Hotel in the Flatiron district is having its first New Year’s Eve party, rolling out live jazz, specialty hors d’oeuvres, famous DJs, and an open bar. Cocktail attire is requested, doors at 9 p.m.

New Year’s Eve at the Standard High Line
The west side’s by-now classic boutique hotel Standard High Line is offering–count ’em–four ways to party into the new year: a culinary journey with caviar, burlesque, bingo and bubbles at the Biergarten, an over-the-top glam-fest of drag shows, and a DJ throwdown at Le Bain.


Credit: Kenny Rodriguez for The McKittrick Hotel

The Grand Hotel NYE at The McKittrick
From the masterminds of cult immersive-experience “Sleep No More,” the celebrated McKittrick Hotel event venue at 530 West 27th Street invites you to “arrive dressed to dazzle” and enjoy live performances and an open bar all night.

Gala Galactica at House of Yes
The creative Bushwick collective known as House of Yes is gearing up for a Brooklyn evening of “intergalactic art, celestial elegance, and dancefloor exploration,” with DJs, dancing and so much more. Dress in your finest glamorous galactic looks and prepare for “extraterrestrial extravagance and curious cosmic creations.”

Guided by Voices at Brooklyn Made
Robert Pollard’s Guided By Voices has managed to remain indie cult favorites since 1983, even after several breakups and subsequent reboots. They’ve released a flurry of albums in recent years, and they’re still the perfect intimate rock-show band to share a party space with–and the low-key Bushwick venue Brooklyn Made is just the space. For a more mainstream concert experience, rock in 2022 with The Strokes at Barclays Center.

 NY Night Train 14th Annual NYE Ball
Welcome the first moments of 2022 with New York City’s favorite underground New Year’s Eve tradition: This year’s event promises multi-room fun at Jonathan Toubin’s fabulous new(ish) underground nightspot TV Eye NYC. The perpetually youthful progenitor of Soul Clap and New York Night Train promises another one for the ages with live music, dancing and DJs, treats, a champagne toast, and four open bars in the wilds of Bushwick.

Photo courtesy of EDGE

Ring in the New Year at 1,000+ feet above NYC
Thrill-seekers can start the year off on a “high” note by hanging over the edge of the highest open-air building climb in the world. City Climb, high atop 30 Hudson Yards, offers breathtaking views of New York City from a set of open-edged stairways and platforms on the outside of the building. It’s an exclusive adventure: Only eight spots are available. The digital queue is here, beginning at noon on December 22. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is also offering a sky-side view of 2022. Tickets include unlimited access to three floors until 2 a.m., signature cocktails, a champagne toast, a light show, and more.

Join the Time’s Up annual New Year’s Eve Bike Ride
Spend New Year’s Eve on two wheels! This year’s bike ride and an after-party courtesy of the direct-action environmental organization TIME’S UP! promises to be a positivity-focused gathering with an eye to the future. The ride heads up to Belvedere Castle in the middle of Central Park to wrap up with a free New Year’s Eve dance party.

NYRR Midnight Run
If you’re thinking you’d like a running start to 2022, the annual four-mile midnight run around the Central Park inner loop with the New York Road Runners may be the opportunity you’re looking for. The race kicks off after a countdown at 11:59, timed with a fireworks display in the park. Entry fees start at $70 for non-NYRR members with discounts for members. And if you’ve still got some calories to burn, head to Brooklyn’s shoreline; you can be sure the infamous Coney Island Polar Bear Club will be taking their New Year’s Day plunge.

Good Riddance Day
You’ll need to venture into Times Square for this event–but on December 28th (before the New Year’s Eve mob). That’s when Good Riddance Day is taking place between 12 and 1 pm. Inspired by the Latin American New Year’s Eve tradition of stuffing dolls with objects that represent unpleasant memories and setting them ablaze, visitors get an opportunity to toss, shred and smash “any unpleasant, embarrassing, and downright unwanted memories from the past year” or anything you’d like to scrawl on an official Good Riddance Day form. This cathartic event happens on the Broadway plaza between 45th and 46th streets, and it’s free.

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