Times Square Countdown: Times Square is the place to be (or avoid) as the clock counts down to midnight. Thousands celebrate in the square with musical performances, confetti, balloons and fireworks. The ball is lowered from a flagpole at the top of One Times Square. The best spot to see it is along Broadway (from 43rd-50th Street) and along Seventh Avenue (up to 59th Street). The square gets jammed quickly so arrive early if you want the best views. The full lineup of performances is available Dec. 26. Visit www.timessquarenyc.org to read more about the free celebration.
Midnight Run: For those of you who love running, this is the New Year’s event for you. Meet at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park for a pre-race festival that begins at 10 p.m. for registered runners and guests. The festival includes music and dancing. The four-mile run begins on the strike of midnight, just as the fireworks light up the night sky. Tavern on the Green is hosting a special party for the runners. There are two options: a pre-race party at 8 p.m. and a post-race party at 12:30 p.m. This includes drinks, snacks and dancing. Space is limited, so visit tavernonthegreen.com for reservations. Visit www.nyrr.org to register for the run.
NYE’s Bike Ride: Grab your bikes (or skates) and meet at 10 p.m. at Washington Square Park for a special New Year’s Eve bike ride. Riders will gather under the arch and ride to Belvedere Castle in Central Park for a free dance party and fireworks. Riders are encouraged to dress festively, bring noisemakers and food and drink. If you want to skip the ride, meet at 11:45 a.m. at Belvedere Castle. The ride begins at 9:45 on the Brooklyn side of Williamsburg Bridge and picks up more bikers at Madison Square Park at 10:20. Meet at any of the three locations. Visit times-up.org/rides/new-years-eve-ride for more information.
Kwanzaa Celebration: The Apollo Theater celebrates Kwanzaa for the 10th year running on Dec. 31 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. The festivities feature the New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam Force’s of Nature Dance Theatre. The celebration includes music and dance, honoring family, community and culture: the principles of Kwanzaa. Radio host Imhotep Gary Byrd will run the evening, which also celebrates the 35th anniversary of Forces of Nature. Tickets are $20. Visit www.apollotheater.org to learn more.