Twelve for 2012: A Dozen Non-Times Square NYC New Year’s Eve Events

Bridget Leahy |

Get your party pants on for New Year's Eve celebrations around the city. But don't worry -- we don't expect you to brave Times Square. Check out our alternatives. Flickr/showbizsuperstar

Is a crowded pen of a million people in Times Square not your idea of the perfect way to ring in the new year?

In honor of 2012, MetroFocus came up with 12 alternative New Year’s Eve celebrations so you can party without the pandemonium. These eclectic events span all boroughs and all budgets, so peruse our picks below for the perfect party plan.


1) New Year’s Eve Bike Ride and Outdoor After-Party

Washington Square Park Arch, Manhattan, 10:30 p.m.

Fireworks will light up Central Park at midnight on New Year's Eve. Roll over to Bethesda Terrace after the New Year's Eve Bike Ride for the best viewing spot. Flickr/Bryan Thatcher

Guests will ride from Washington Square Park to Belvedere Castle in Central Park for a free New Year’s Eve dance party and spectacular fireworks show. Decorate your bike and dress festive.

2) Staten Island Ferry Fireworks “Cruise”
Whitehall Terminal, Manhattan, see holiday schedule for times

Instead of a pricey fireworks cruise, hop on the Staten Island Ferry for a free, firework-filled ride from Battery Park to Staten Island and back. Hang out on the deck to view fireworks in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey.

3) New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Manhattan, 7:00 p.m.

This simple affair celebrates the new year with dance, prayer and song by the light of hundreds of candles held by attendees. While the 90-minute ceremony ends before midnight, the peace and quiet offers a perfect way to wind down 2011.

4) Fireworks at Grand Army Plaza
Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, 11:00 p.m.

Enjoy a less-crowded fireworks display in Prospect Park. The family-friendly festivities, including live entertainment and dancing, kick off at 11:00 p.m., with the fireworks starting at midnight.


5) Sing in the New Year
Karaoke Shout, Astoria, Queens, 8 p.m. – 4 a.m.

Karaoke your heart out with the help of a $12 bottle of champagne (a New Year’s Eve special!) at this 2-year-old Karaoke hot spot in Astoria. It’s $7/hour per person for private rooms (there’s a minimum number of people required depending on the room size). So whether your karaoke song is “I’m Every Woman” or “Don’t Stop Believin,'” start practicing and get read to rock this New Year’s Eve.

6) Emerald Nuts Midnight Run
Central Park South near 72nd St., Manhattan, Midnight

The Emerald Nut Run is a 4-mile race around Central Park. Do double duty with a night of fun and fitness at this NYE celebration in Central Park. Flickr/Karigee

Start the new year on a good foot with a 4-mile race around Central Park. Add to it a costume contest, a pre-race dance-a-thon and volunteers lining the course with Dixie cups of champagne, and this race might as well be a party too! Race registration is $40-$55. Apply here.

7) Brooklyn Bridge Walk into the New Year
160 Broadway between Liberty and Courtlandt streets, Manhattan/Brooklyn, 9:45 p.m.

Take a tour of Brooklyn before the clock strikes 12. Multiple guided tours, beginning at 10:15 p.m., will take guests around the City Hall area before heading to the Brooklyn Bridge — a prime viewing spot for firework shows in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Tour tickets are $50.

8) The Glitter Ball
Irondale Center, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, 9:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.

Gemini & Scorpio, a Brooklyn-based event-planning duo, host their 10th annual New Year’s Eve costume party with a  glamorous, Studio 54-themed celebration.  The night features go-go and burlesque dancers, body painting, tarot card readings and a magician. Dig through your closets for anything gold and glittery because costumes are a MUST. Tickets are $35- $50, 21 and older.

9) Hedda Lettuce Xanadu Sing-Along
Clearview Cinemas, Chelsea, Manhattan, 10 p.m.

Green-wigged drag queen Hedda Lettuce is hosting a screening of the ’80s cult classic “Xanadu” at Clearview Cinemas. Hedda will lead a theater-wide sing-along of the film’s chart-topping musical hits. After the film, the big screen turns to the live action in Times Square for the 2012 countdown. Tickets are $25.


10) Back to the Eighties New Year’s Eve Show
Canal Room, Manhattan, 9:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.

Ring in the new year with a blast to the past! Eighties cover band Rubix Kube will be performing heart-pounding hits from the decade of punk, parachute pants and Pac-Man. Tickets are $99.

Jivamukti Yoga Method founders, David and Sharon, will lead a special yoga session on New Year's Eve. Flickr/Cactusbones

11) Jivamukti Yoga School Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration
Jivamukti Yoga School, Manhattan, 5:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

“Ohhmm” your way into the new year with a peaceful night of Jivamukti Yoga. This soothing celebration treats guests to a yoga class with the school’s founders, a vegan meal and a dance party. Guests end the year with massages and meditation during Mauna, the practice of silence.  Tickets  are $95. Register online or call 212-353-0214 Ext. 0.

12) New Year’s Eve Countdown Cruise
SkyPort Marina, Manhattan, 9:45 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Escape the city for a few hours on a celebratory cruise around Manhattan. The Paddle Wheel Queen transforms into a floating nightclub complete with two DJ’s, a top-shelf bar and  champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $165, 21 and older.

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