NYC New Year’s Eve Events That Aren’t Times Square

Movies portray the Times Square ball drop like it’s some magical event that everybody needs to experience. But, pardon my language, that is a load of BS.

On an average day, Times Square is already a nightmare. No matter the weather, it’s teeming with tourists and people dressed as Spongebob, Pikachu, Batman, Superman and more, all ready to charge top dollar for the privilege of taking a selfie with them. It’s a pickpockets’ dream. Now imagine thousands of tourists penned together on the coldest night of the year. Welcome to hell aka Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Below is a list of NYC events that will be way more fun than Times Square. These events are gonna be a crazy good time.


The Nude Party & Champagne Superchillin’ @ The Loft at City Winery

Both these bands guarantee a great night. Don’t believe me? Just read about the many times I’ve had wild nights with them here or here. (If you can’t wait to experience what is the chaos of The Nude Party, they’re having a holiday party upstate with The Black Lips too. )


(Le) Poisson Rouge)

This venue is already awesome. To make it even better on NYE they’re offering a five-hour open bar and giving out party favors at the end of the night. Live DJs play the killer dance floor all night so you can dance the year away.



DJs like Mano Le Tough, Tensnake, Connie Yin AKA Constar play all night and the club offers free champagne to toast the new year at midnight.


NY Night Train 12th Annual New Years Ball @ Home Sweet Home

Presented by legendary NYC DJ Jonathan Toubin, this party will have you swinging your hips with the coolest people in the city. I was there until sunrise last NYE, so it comes highly recommended. The first half of the night features an exclusive live show with a mystery-lineup and you can only purchase tickets if you know who to talk to. After the bands though, it’s non-stop dancing open to the public.


Blac Rabbit, Cold Fronts and Fruit & Flowers @ Mercury Lounge

The famously hip rock ‘n’ roll NYC venue Mercury Lounge bids adieu to 2018 with a lineup of killer garage/indie bands. (If you can’t wait to scope the place out, go to their Indie Dance Party as a holiday festivity teaser.)


Nothing, Weekend & Teen Body @ Knitting Factory in Brooklyn

If shoegaze and post-punk is your thing, close out 2018 at one of Brooklyn’s most well-known venues Knitting Factory. They’ll also have DJs playing the whole night after the bands.


The Get Up Kids, Active Bird Community & Retirement Party @ Rough Trade

Guys, it’s The Get Up Kids. Can I hear a “hell yeah” from all my mid-‘90s/early ‘00s emo/indie rockers? This is sure to be an awesome night.


Margo Price @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

End the year twangy and romantic with Margo Price’s outlaw cowgirl vibes.


Cardi B @ Knockdown Center

Honestly, this is an amazing venue to see Cardi B. The rooms and outdoor areas aren’t only great for secret make-out sessions in dark corners, but they’ll give you a great view of Cardi from anywhere in the place.