24 In Travel/ Travel with Kids/ Wanderlust

New Year’s Eve in Times Square

Visiting Times Square for New Year’s Eve has always been a bucket list trip for me. Every year, I’d watch the ball drop, and wish that I could be at the big party in NYC. So this past January, I booked the trip!

I’ve stayed in Times Square on a trip with Miss Pickles, and loved the DoubleTree Suites hotel. I used my Hilton Honors points to book the room and found an airfare sale. A few short ( read: long) months later, WE’RE HERE!!!

  

  
  
    
    
    
    
  
 

 

 

 STAYING IN TIMES SQUARE FOR NYE

Preparations in Times Square for the coming new year start very early. In the early morning hours, barricades start going up, and street closings start. People start filling up the streets as early as 9 am! Yes, these individuals will stand for several hours in the cold, without access to bathrooms, for hours awaiting the ball drop.

  

  
So if you’re planning to venture out, let’s say for lunch as we did, prepare for a trek. The DoubleTree is at the corner of 47th Street and 7th Ave. The Hard Rock Restaurant is at 43rd Street and 7th Ave…so not far. About 0.6 miles actually, and ordinarily a straight shot. But NYE in Times Square is anything but ordinary. We walked down 47th to 6th and then over to 43rd and back to 7th because of the street closings and barricades.  

The restaurants in the surrounding area close early. Many were hosting private parties with views of the activities. For example, Bubba Gump was closing early in order to host a party with a $900 pp ticket fee! (say whaaaaa?) So, if you didn’t make it to the restaurant before about 2 pm, you were out of luck! We ate at Bubba Gump ( because it was open), and as a bonus got great views of Times Square, the preparations, and growing crowds.

       This was the crowd at 1pm….
After we finished, we had hoped to take the same route back to the hotel….NO MA’AM! So, we trekked up 44th Street to 8th Ave., then over to 49th Street. We had to show our hotel room key along with a pass (given by the hotel) in order to get through the barricades. So down 49th Street to Broadway-more barricades, and finally a personal police escort (otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere) through more barricades back to our hotel. Whew!

HANGING OUT IN TIMES SQUARE

NYC’s police department uses barricades to create “pens” down 7th Ave and surrounding streets. Some rules:

  1. Once you enter a pen area, there is no re-entry. Once you leave, you’re out.
  2. There are no porta-potty’s.
  3. The pens are closed by 11am.
  4. Some larger bags are confiscated at the pen entry and are not returned.

So here are my tips for navigating…

  1. Be aware that some train platforms close earlier than usual on NYE. So your train stop may not be available. And you may not be able to get back to your hotel depending on the time of day ( even with the passes/hotel keys).
  2. BRING PATIENCE. There are about 1 million extra people in TS on NYE. It takes longer to go everywhere
  3. Prepare to walk—alot. On NYE, the streets around TS are closed to car traffic ( except for emergency vehicles) for many blocks.
  4. The train schedule is altered, check the transit website for details.
  5. Keep your ID handy.
  6. Dress for the weather and for walking.
  7. Plan to get out and back to your hotel early. I had hoped we could do an activity before all the festivities started…nope!
  8. Reconsider trekking out with very small children (unless you are prepared to carry them), strollers, wheelchairs, etc. The sidewalks are incredibly congested.

All in all, I’m glad that I got the chance to cross this off my bucket list. It was great hanging out with my family, even though we were pretty much confined to the hotel. The energy in the area was incredible, and seeing the ball drop, and the confetti shower at the stroke of midnight, were definitely unforgettable. But I’ll chose another time for my next trip to NYC!

  That’s not snow…it’s confetti! Lots and lots of confetti.

Happy New Year from Dr. Peaches  & Miss Pickles!!

  

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen
    January 6, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    How exciting! Were you able to see the ball drop from your hotel room? I know how my little one likes to travel, so I can only imagine Miss Pickles’ reaction to all that. 😊

    • Reply
      dochnz
      January 6, 2016 at 12:57 PM

      So, not exactly. We used Hilton Honors points, so we didn’t get the stay in one of the “ball drop suites.” She was excited with the crowds and he could hear the concerts, etc. What she loved the most was the confetti drop! Which we did get an eye full!

  • Reply
    staciesayzso
    January 6, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    That would have been an awesome experience! I hate crowd and a million folk would have kept me right in that nice hotel lol.

    • Reply
      dochnz
      January 6, 2016 at 6:32 PM

      Yeah, it was the most!

  • Reply
    Joanna
    January 7, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Happy New Year. I’m a new yorker and I stay FAR away from Times Square during NYE. I went last Tuesday to Toys R Us with my niece and nephew and the crowd was too much for me. Looks like you guys had a fun time though.

  • Reply
    Miss Jamila
    January 7, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    I’ve always liked the idea of spending New Year’s in New York City but I don’t like it that once you’re in you can’t re enter. But looks like a lot of fun.

    • Reply
      dochnz
      January 10, 2016 at 1:52 AM

      There was an incredible energy all around… Very exciting!

  • Reply
    Ty Knighten
    January 8, 2016 at 2:18 AM

    Wow! What fun! I’m not sure if I will ever do this but the tips you gave are great. Who knows…,maybe I’ll get there one year!

  • Reply
    Shantel Turner-Collins
    January 8, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    New Years Eve in New York is at the top of my bucket list, especially now that I only live 4 hours away!

  • Reply
    Nappy Natural Girl
    January 9, 2016 at 12:51 AM

    My son would one day like to experience New Years Eve in NYC…. I think he needs to be a little older to really enjoy it… So many people.. Looks like you guys had a blast.

  • Reply
    Vashti@veepeejay.com
    January 10, 2016 at 12:18 AM

    This looks like such fun! I have never been to NYC fort the holidays but I want to see the ball drop at least once 🙂

    • Reply
      dochnz
      January 10, 2016 at 1:51 AM

      It is a bucket list thing to do, but I’m one and done with NYE there. 🙂

  • Reply
    Nancy
    January 12, 2016 at 7:40 AM

    Thank you for posting your awesome photos! I did NYE in Times Square twice when I was a kid but we moved so much and ended up getting stuck in the Midwest. I never have made it back but it’s so nice to see a first hand account of it. The maps and photos make me feel like I was there!

    Have an amazing 2016!

  • Reply
    Sherryl Wilson
    January 12, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Staying in New Year’s Eve in Times Square is also on my bucket list. I spent a week in NYC this summer and it was crazy. I can’t imagine the crowds on New Year’s Eve!

  • Reply
    royaltyinreality
    January 12, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    This is so amazing! This is also on my bucket list, or maybe was. I’d heard about people getting out there super early, but had no idea they also didn’t have access to bathrooms! That’s actually insane! I’d love to see the ball drop from a nice cozy (overpriced) ball drop suite!

    xoxo,
    Roxy

  • Reply
    Bintu (@recipespantry)
    January 12, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    Visiting NYC for New Year’s Eve is on my bucket list, too! Not with all those crowds, though. I’d definitely book a ball dropping view room and wrap up in a fuzzy bathrobe with room service instead!

  • Reply
    Krystal // The Krystal Diaries
    January 12, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    Looks like you had a great time on NYE! You picked a great year to do it. It was the warmest is been here that night in years!

  • Reply
    Miss Millennia Mag (@MissMillMag)
    January 14, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Happy New Year. Looks like you had a great time in New York City!

  • Reply
    Bella
    January 22, 2017 at 5:37 AM

    This is crtaysl clear. Thanks for taking the time!

  • Reply
    Patsy
    January 22, 2017 at 5:47 AM

    I’m relaly into it, thanks for this great stuff!

  • Reply
    Gatsy
    January 22, 2017 at 5:59 AM

    Your posting is absoeutlly on the point!

  • Reply
    Maryellen
    January 22, 2017 at 5:59 AM

    I can’t hear anhntiyg over the sound of how awesome this article is.

  • Reply
    Margery
    January 22, 2017 at 6:07 AM

    That inshgit would have saved us a lot of effort early on.

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