What’s New Years in the U.S. without the annual Times Square event in the most famous city in the world? For many people, traveling to NYC for New Year’s Eve is on their “bucket list.” Maybe you’ve moved to the U.S. on an O1 visa. If you’re one of these people who don’t mind a huge crowd, blasphemous cold weather and a whole lot of standing, this is your gig!
Plan to be There Early…No, REALLY Early
People from around the world gleefully make their way towards the event in Times Square on December 31st. Many may live in the city or surrounding Burroughs and if so, you may have already hit up Times Square on New Year’s Eve and swore to NEVER DO IT AGAIN. Others absolutely love it and go every year. If you’re planning on going, then you’ll want to get there really, really early. The surrounding blocks fill up with loads of partyers quickly. If you wait until it’s dark, you may find yourself 10-15 blocks away from the actual ball drop. Try to get to the midtown area early and plan to stay there all day. If you want to be one of those happy few with over-sized “2016” glasses on your face on TV talking to Ryan Seacrest, get an early start and prepare to stand around for a long time.
Wear Comfortable Shoes and Don’t Bring a Bag
Comfortable shoes are a must, as you will be on your feet for hours, long after the ball has dropped. Also, the police won’t allow you to bring any bags past the barricades, so you will need to cram your pockets with necessities like your cell phone and wallet.
It’s Going to be Cold
You may luck out and be in NYC the one New Year’s Eve that it’s hot…but most likely you will be a frozen popsicle standing outside waiting for the ball to drop. Bundle up. Stuff your pockets with hand warmers and snacks or grab some hot coffee/chocolate from a nearby café and try to stay warm, but…
Restaurants Will be Expensive
If you were thinking about avoiding standing out in the cold and elect to wait it out in a nearby restaurant, think again. Popular chain restaurants increase the price of their products near Times Square on New Year’s.
After the Ball Drop…
Turn around and face uptown to see the fire work display occurring in Central Park. For that matter, Central Park may be a great alternative to spending your time in Times Square. If you’re the type who likes night running, Central park offers a midnight run to participate in, complete with a free cup of coffee.
What Else is There to Do?
If Times Square isn’t the way you want to spend your New Year’s Eve, fortunately, you’re in the coolest city in the world. There’s no shortage of things to do. Nycgo.com has a list of various events going on other than Times Square: http://www.nycgo.com/articles/what-to-do-on-new-years-eve-2015-2016
Take advantage of your time in the U.S. as an O1 visa recipient. Times Square in New York City on New Year’s Eve is an American staple and something everyone should enjoy once in a lifetime!