ClubZone Guide to NYE in Times Square

times square nye

Despite the love and harmony felt on New Years Eve, planning for NYE in Times Square is fraught with pitfalls, and can turn into a complete disaster if you aren’t prepared. From freezing your balls off in zero degree weather, to dying of thirst as you wait hours for a drink from the open bar – even if it’s included in your ticket price – there are many threats poised to ruin what should be one of the best party nights of the year.

Follow our top tips to ensure you are prepared for when the ball finally drops at midnight.

How to Survive NYE in Times Square

Even though it can be a logistical nightmare, New Year’s Eve in New York just isn’t the same unless it’s celebrated in Times Square. Get proactive and take precautions to ensure that you survive NYE 2013 in style, and charge headfirst into January 1st unscathed.

1. Buy the right ticket
This is by far the most important pre-NYE task. Do you want an exclusive and upscale experience for your New Year’s Eve, or are you looking for fun and freedom with entrance to multiple parties on the Times Square NYE circuit? You’ve got to make this decision in advance; you get this wrong, and you’ll find yourself drinking through your sorrows instead of singing to your dreams.

2. Arriving on time and unscathed
Access to Times Square becomes very restricted at New Years. Transportation is slow, crowds are large, and lines are long. Plan ahead to minimise delays:

Times Square Access Points
On the big night, you can only access Times Square through certain access points. Be smart and check ahead of time with the venue or party organizer exactly which you need to go through and which streets lead to that access point. Get very specific directions to avoid all difficulties on the night.

Road Closures
The New York Police Department is going to close access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway, moving north as soon as the crowds begin to arrive. Be aware that exactly when these roads will be blocked to pedestrians and vehicles all depends on how things go the night before, so be prepared to go with the flow, arrive early, and change plans as necessary.

The Times Square Setup
Before arriving, choose where you want to camp out for the night based on what is important to you to have a good time. Remember, the sound system will be located in the Bowtie area (at the cross of Broadway and 7th Avenue) whilst the video screens will be set up on One Times Square (where the Ball is lowered), so plan your spot based on the experience you want to have. Want to dance to loud beats, or do you want to chat away with your friends and loved ones as the clock ticks overhead?

Public Transportation
By far the best way to get to Times Square is the subway. All subway stations should remain open on New Year’s Eve, but some entrances and exits might be closed as crowds start to take over the area. Be aware that some trains might bypass certain stations, so visit the MTA website  for more information before you set out on your journey.

3. Dealing with crowds
Three very simple, but important tips…

  • Arrive between 1pm-5pm. If you get there too late, you might not be able to see the ball drop at midnight, or even be able to enter Times Square at all if the crowd reaches the limits. That would be a disaster, so get there early!
  • Get out of the area as soon as the ball drops. Millions of people need to get home or back to their hotels and if you hang around for too long after midnight, it might take you hours to get through the crowds.
  • Smile! You will get pushed, you might not get to see all that you would like, and you are going to be in the middle of the madness for many hours in the cold. Remember, you are at one of the worlds biggest NYE celebrations, and the best way to head into 2013 is with a smile on for everyone around you.

4. Having fun
NYE in Times Square is supposed to be fun, but some people can find it overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you have FUN on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

  • If New Year’s Eve is all about the entertainment for you, then you have to arrive super early and secure a spot close to the stages that are assembled in Times Square.
  • There are NO portable bathrooms in Times Square. This means go to the bathroom before you leave and drink little while you are there.
  • NYE in Times Square is always really cold. If you are standing outside for 10+ hours in low temperatures, you will need lots of layers, a hat, a scarf, gloves and a good pair of boots that have a thick sole. It might help to bring a thermos with a hot drink, and make sure you have plenty to eat, too. New York City winter weather is not to be messed around with.

5. What NOT to do
Here are three big DON’Ts for the evening…

  • Unlicensed alcohol is NOT allowed, so don’t carry it on you. If the police catch you with alcohol, they may well throw you out, and your night would come to an abrupt and lonely end.
  • DON’T arrive late. There might be so many people by 8pm that you’re not even let in through the barriers to Times Square itself. Do not risk it!
  • After you’ve secured your place past the NYPD checkpoints, DON’T take a walk past the barriers. If you decide to leave to grab something to eat or drink, and even pay a visit to the bathroom, you will not be allowed to get back in.

6. The Times Square NYE experience of a lifetime
If the idea of arriving at 1pm in an attempt to secure a good view of the ball drop really doesn’t appeal to you, take advantage of the following NYE exclusive opportunity: clubZone can help you to reserve a ticket in an exclusive ball drop viewing area. You will be guaranteed an excellent view of the ball as it drops without having to camp out in the square the night before!

Written by Kayleigh Lum

Times Square Ball Drop Schedule


New Year’s Eve in Times Square rocks! When the ball drops and the wishing wall confetti explodes, it’s time to party, get high on nostalgic sentiment, and get busy planning future dreams. If you haven’t checked half the things off of your resolutions list, we feel you, bro. But don’t worry! Just make a new one and include the most important things, like going to the gym every day and starting that new diet next Monday.

Let the celebrations begin!

For over 108 years, an obsessive love for the beginning of the end has kept NYE celebrations in Times Square firmly on the world’s top annual party calendar. The city, just a little (or a lot) crazier than usual, buzzes with love, excitement, and anticipation for what’s to come.

Every year hundreds of thousands of New Year’s Eve fanatics congregate in Times Square to celebrate the party from the perfect spot, make the perfect memory and start the new year with a BANG!  Some even camp out 24 hours before!

Will you dare to be one of those crazed NYE fanatics pitching camp in Times Square on 31st December 2013? Don’t say you haven’t been warned if you arrive at 8pm only to find that you have to stand miles away from the celebration.

Traditional sequence of events

  • 3:00 PM: Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic and everything becomes real. NYPD is there to guide all the revelers to each viewing section and keep the peace. As over one million people tend to gather around to watch the Ball Drop, the crowd fills the Times Square neighborhood along Broadway and Seventh Avenue moving uptown from 43rd Street to as far as Central Park.
  • 6:00 PM: a giant switch will be flipped to light the Ball, and then it will start to ascend amid stunning pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square.
  • Around 6:30 PM: the Times Square Alliance hands out celebratory balloons, hats and scarves for free
  • 7:00 PM: the hourly countdown begins, celebrating other nations striking midnight. Time to make friends with everyone around you and maybe even find someone for the midnight kiss!
  • 11:59 PM on the dot: The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball starts its descent and then…
  • 12:00 PM: BANG! Times Square EXPLODES as the world-famous New Year’s Eve confetti is released from the rooftops of buildings throughout Times Square, the music plays, and a brand new year full of possibilities begins. It’s pyrotechnic party madness, baby!

Getting your New Year’s Eve magic juuuust right

New Year’s Eve is always the biggest celebration of the year, so prepare for the party well in advance and make sure youchoose your ticket wisely! Select from the very best of 2013/2014 NYE Times Square Tickets available by following the suggestions shared by the clubZone nightlife industry peeps in-the-know.