Come December 31st, hundreds of thousands of revelers will flock to Times Square to watch the famous Waterford crystal ball drop at the stroke of midnight. But the crowds, frigid temperatures, and long wait hardly seem like the best way to ring in 2017. Instead, we prefer these top parties—if only for the open bars.
The Best New Year’s Eve Parties in NYC
The Venue: Italian restaurant empire Cipriani converted a 1920s bank headquarters into one of the city’s grandest event spaces, with marble columns, 65-foot ceilings and, of course, a dance-floor.
The Details: Six hours of a premium open bar, a live DJ performance, passed hors d’oeuvres until 11:30 (grilled shrimp, prosciutto di parma, fig and mascarpone in phyllo) and a New Year’s toast with Cipriani’s very own prosecco. General Admission starts at $129.
The VIP Option: Bottle and cocktail service, VIP entry and guaranteed seating, from $199 to $229.
The Dress Code: Optional black-tie.
The Venue: Why spend the New Year on land when you can celebrate by sea? Hornblower Cruises operates several luxury yachts from Chelsea, taking them on multi-hour tours around lower Manhattan and out to the Statue of Liberty. Special New Year’s Eve sailings take to the river for uninterrupted views of the city’s fireworks display.
The Details: Four hours of a premium open bar, buffet dinner with tabled seating, DJ’d music and a New Year’s toast, for $250.
The VIP Option: The Admiral’s New Year’s Eve Gala Cruise features a top-shelf open bar and a five-course, seated dinner with a dessert station, for $375.
The Dress Code: No dress code required, but it’s New Year’s on a luxury yacht. At least wear your best boat shoes.
The Venue: Behind original filigree brass doors, revelers will find an inlaid marble dance floor. Classical architecture complete with soaring Corinthian columns and a stained-glass skylight, this is another former bank headquarters-turned party spot. As many as five rooms are open for the event.
The Details: Six hours of open bar with a live DJ and complimentary buffet station (cheeses, pastas, croquettes), from $119.
The VIP Option: Exclusive access to a private VIP lounge and priority admission for $129, though Mezzanine Platinum VIP ticket holders can score bottle service and reserved seating in the mezzanine.
The Dress Code: Cocktail attire.
The Venue: One of the city’s most beautifully situated restaurants, the two-story Bryant Park Grill is tucked behind the New York Public Library and overlooks Midtown’s largest park. It’s a refined alternative to the mayhem happening a few blocks away in Times Square.
The Details: Six and a half hours of open bar with a live DJ, passed hors d’oeuvres, a dessert buffet, and a New Year’s toast followed by a continental breakfast buffet at 1:00 a.m, for $119.
The VIP Option: Bottle service at reserved table seating and, best of all, VIP access to the restaurant’s rooftop garden overlooking Bryant Park, for $189.
The Dress Code: New Year’s Eve festive.