Ring It In: Party Like It's New Years Eve in NYC

Ring It In: Party Like It's New Years Eve in NYC

Yes, the Swarovski crystal ball drops before the wild and jubilant masses in Times Square, but that isn't the only way to strut into the New Year like a New Yorker. These events—from raucous to refined, ticketed to free—are ways to make sure you don't drop the ball on ringing in 2015 (My New Years resolution? No more puns).

Fireworks in Prospect Park

First thing's first: Prospect Park is no Times Square—trees rather than towers; more natural than neon-lit; calming rather than commercial. For those who'd rather go bucolic than bustling can head to South Brooklyn to the landmark park's Grand Army Plaza for live entertainment and hot chocolate (starting around 11 p.m.) before a dramatic fireworks displays as the clock strikes midnight. Prime viewing spots include the park on the West Drive, and well as along Prospect Park West, btw Grand Army Plaza and 9th St. Admission free. See the Prospect Park Alliance's maps and details here.

WHEN: 11 p.m.-midnight
HOW MUCH: Free

Classical in a Cathedral

Not everyone may consider NYE to be a particularly pious holiday (you know...with all the champagne guzzling and midnight make-out sessions), but if holy is your thing, head to The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Ave., at W. 112th St., 212.316.7540) for its annual Concert for Peace. Religious readings and meditations meld with festive music by compositional greats. If the music isn't lure enough, the Romanesque/French Gothic structure (constructed between 1892 and 1941) itself is awe-inspiring—with 121,000 square feet and a height of 232 feet (it's the fourth largest Christian church in the world). This year's special guests are NBC's Harry Smith, singer-songwriter Judy Collins and composer Jason Robert Brown. And since the festivities end at 9 p.m., there's always time to release your inner demons at a bacchanalian party afterwards (see below).

WHEN: 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
HOW MUCH: limited quantity general admission, free; reserved seating, $30 and up

Get Crunk in 'da Club

New York is famous for it's ticketed NYE events, where nightlife venues traditionally open to the public close their doors for private blow-outs and open bars (YES, OPEN BARS!). It can be stressful to find a sweet spot to lounge, so buy in advance, high-rollers. Indayo Group, a boutique organizer of parties, has curated a top-knotch lineup of venues for your all-inclusive needs at www.NYEPARTYGUIDE.com. Check out the selection (more info and tickets here): Most of their options offer 5-hours of open bar (btw 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.), an hour of light hors deuvres, complimentary champagne toasts (midnight, of course) and live-streaming of the Times Square ball drop (one can never really escape it completely, after all). The hosting venues are varied, each with its own crowd and aesthetic: Gansevoort Hotel Meatpacking's The Chester and Plunge, VIP Room and FC Gotham Meatpacking, Level R at the Empire Hotel Rooftop, Yotel, Stone Rose Lounge above Columbus Circle, The Penthouse at the Hotel on Rivington, Boutique, and Studio at the W Union Square. 

WHERE: Various NYC nightlife venues; see www.NYEPARTYGUIDE.com for details.
HOW MUCH?: Prices and packages vary.

Feel The Music

The Artist Formerly Known As Prince once begged the people of the world to "party like it's 1999," but that was, like, 16 years ago so it's time to update your playlist. But the boogie-down sentiment still remains. Cool kids flock to Brooklyn Night Bazaar's (165 Banker St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn) NYE: Machinedrum+Friends 2015 for a 3-hour DJ set and plenty of bumping-and-grinding bodies. If you're not familiar, Brooklyn Night Bazaar is a weekend "fun" market (every Fri-Sat 7 p.m.-1 a.m.) packed with food stations, vendors and dance floors. Meanwhile, electronic music duo Disclosure hits Pier 94 (W. 55th St. at West Side Highway, tickets and info here) for a concert spectacular ("When the fire starts to burn, when it starts to spread..."). Those craving a little nostalgia can see the ageless, ever-fabulous Elton John at Barclays Center for a 9 p.m. concert opened by Bright Light Bright Light (tickets here).

If these events don't appeal to you, you can always just stay in bed with a blanket over your head and some room-service grilled cheese in hand. But that would just be sad. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now, go and ring it in. Ring-ding-ring-a-ling.