Watching the Ball Drop at Times Square? Here’s What You Need to Know

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New Year’s is rapidly approaching and it’s time to start planning your big celebrations. If you’re heading to the Big Apple to watch the ball drop, you’re far from alone—in recent years more than 2 million people have gathered in Times Square to witness that iconic moment each New Year’s Eve. Here’s our best advice on how to keep it fun.

It’s a ticket-free event

Don’t be fooled by people selling “tickets” to the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. It is a free event open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. With thousands of people expected to show up on New Year’s Eve, it’s a good idea to line up very early.

BYO snacks or eat earlier

If you intend to party all night long in Times Square, that’s fine. Just don’t expect any midnight snacks —with all the crazy crowds, food carts wouldn’t be able to set up anywhere close to the event. So bring your snacks, or fuel up earlier in the evening at one of the many restaurants dotting the area. You can come early, take a stroll around and find your next meal before the ball drops!

Arrive as early as possible

Times Square is one of the most exciting places to be during New Year’s Eve, but it can get very crowded, especially at midnight. The earliest revellers grab the best viewing spots. So aim to arrive as early as possible in the afternoon (or even morning!) on Dec 31st to secure your spot.

Don’t bring a big bag

In order to ensure the safety of both attendees and passersby, the city administration has implemented a number of measures. Security checkpoints will be set up around Times Square, and all bags will be searched. Please remember that large bags and knapsacks are not allowed in the viewing areas, so leave them at home or in your hotel room.

No booze allowed

It’s illegal to consume or possess an alcoholic beverage outside of licensed venues in New York City, and this is strictly enforced at the Times Square NYE celebration. All alcoholic beverages will be cast into the abyss by police officers roaming the area. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time, though—party safe with a bottle of bubbly or another fun, non-alcoholic drink.

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