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New Year's Eve in New York City | Tina Case Photography

December 04, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Last December my family traveled from sunny California to experience the cold, wintery and festive holiday spirit that is unique to New York City. We brought in the New Year smack in the heart of Times Square.  Lots of friends thought we were nuts. Why would we want to be in the fray of the nose-to-arse crowds, paying top dollar to stay in a tiny hotel room?  Well, - because when my family travels we create incredible memories that boxed-gifts can't produce.  Here are a few tips and photos from that amazing journey, PLUS a video my middle daughter created from that experience.  Her video reaffirmed what my husband and I are doing is the best gift of all.  Creating memories.  

Our tips for traveling to New York during the Holiday Season (recapped at the bottom of the post):

  • Expect HUGE crowds - which also means pick pocketers.  Keep your valuables close by using a money belt or over-the-shoulder bag. Always be aware of your surroundings. 
  • If you can afford it, make reservations at a restaurant with a view of Times Square, such as Ruby Foos.  We had a delicious dinner that included a great street view of all the festivities and ball drop at midnight.  This was the BEST decision we made.  Compared that to standing in the cordoned-off spots where people start lining up a full day before the activities.  Those folks take a risk leaving their post to go to the bathroom or getting something to eat.

New Year's Eve in New York CityNew Year's Eve in New York CityRadio City Music Hall, home of the Rocketts. New Year's Eve in New York CityNew Year's Eve in New York CityWhat could be better on a cold day besides a warm pretzel and chestnuts roasting on a New York City cart? New Year's Eve in New York CityNew Year's Eve in New York CityOur favorite view of the city - Top of the Rock! New Year's Eve in New York CityNew Year's Eve in New York CityThe hustle and bustle of New York.

  • Take in the sites - from Times Square, 5th Avenue to Central Park, we did all of the quintessential touristy things and LOVED it.

Ice skating in Central ParkTrump Skating Rink Ice skating in Central ParkI had to get a photo showing I put on some skates! Central Park, NYCIce skating in Central ParkI love the juxtoposition of nature and urban of NYC. Bow Bridge in New YorkIce skating in Central ParkBow Bridge in Central Park Wedding in Central ParkIce skating in Central ParkThis couple was getting their photos in the park, and I captured this one. Ice skating in Central ParkTrump Skating Rink Urban landscapeIce skating in Central ParkI love the NYC Skyline against the pond in Central Park.

  • Expect to do a LOT of walking.  We are a FAST walking family.   We love to walk when we explore a new town.  New York is a great place to walk and walk and walk. Bring GOOD SHOES.  And comfortable socks!
  • Bring a camera - the best camera is the one you have with you. ALL of the photos in this post were taken with my favorite little pocket camera, the Canon S120 Powershot.  I typically bring my high-end DSLR (Canon 5DMark ii) but this time I opted for a small camera the entire trip.  I was a little reluctant thinking my shots would not be as good, but it turned out to be a great decision.  I love this little camera!
  • Check out the street performers in Central Park - this opera singer was fabulous.  Maybe it had to do with the echo under the bridge. There's also this humongous bubble-maker that we were mesmerized by.  

See all that Central Park has to offerSee all that Central Park has to offerSee all that Central Park has to offer, including the street performers. See all that Central Park has to offerSee all that Central Park has to offerI love how the little girl is looking up at the opera singer. Is she the little girl's mother? See all that Central Park has to offerSee all that Central Park has to offerIn a word - BUBBLES!

  • See a broadway show - check discount tickets at TCKTS or online ticket hubs.  Our whole family loved "Jersey Boys" - and get dinner at a place like the Russian Tea Room.

Russian Tea RoomCheck out the Russian Tea Room for a bite to eat!Check out the Russian Tea Room for a bite to eat - especially before a Broadway show!

Seen at the Russian Tea RoomSeen at the Russian Tea RoomSeen at the Russian Tea Room Seen at the Russian Tea RoomSeen at the Russian Tea RoomSeen at the Russian Tea Room Seen at the Russian Tea RoomSeen at the Russian Tea RoomSeen at the Russian Tea Room

  • Take a train!  We rode the train from Washington, D.C. to NYC - leave the driving to them!

Penn Station in NYCAmtrakTake the train to NYC - we rode from Union Station in D.C. to Penn Station Penn Station in NYCAmtrakTake the train to NYC - we rode from Union Station in D.C. to Penn Station Penn Station in NYCAmtrakTake the train to NYC - we rode from Union Station in D.C. to Penn Station

  • Check out the MET - Metropolitan Museum that is!  SO much to see, too little time. 

  • Take in a Broadway play - and if you cannot afford it, hang out at the end of a performance to get autographs of the stars as they exit the theatre.  We didn't watch "Cabaret," but we did get Alan Cummings' and Emma Stone's autographs!

If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre! If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre! If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre! If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre! If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre! If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre! If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!If you cannot afford to see a Broadway show, stand in line to get some autographs after the actors exit the theatre!

  • Check out the window dressings - they are TOOO cool.

Window displays in NYCWindow dressings in NYCWindow dressings in NYC

Cool window dressings in NYCCool window dressings in NYCCool window dressings in NYC

  • Nosh at one of the BEST Deli's in NYC EVAH - Russ & Daughters!​​

Russ and Daughters in NYCRuss and Daughters in NYCRuss and Daughters in NYC Russ and Daughters in NYCRuss and Daughters in NYCRuss and Daughters in NYC Russ and Daughters in NYCRuss and Daughters in NYCRuss and Daughters in NYC

  • Bring in the New Year in Times Square - Ruby Foos was a GREAT venue to enjoy dinner and easy access to view the Ball Drop!

Bring in the New Year at Times Square!Bring in the New Year at Times Square!Bring in the New Year at Times Square! Bring in the New Year at Times Square!Bring in the New Year at Times Square!Bring in the New Year at Times Square!

  1. Expect HUGE crowds - which also means pick pocketers.  Keep your valuables close by using a money belt or over-the-shoulder bag. Always be aware of your surroundings. 
  2. If you can afford it, make reservations at a restaurant with a view of Times Square, such as Ruby Foos.  We had a delicious dinner that included a great street view of all the festivities and ball drop at midnight.  This was the BEST decision we made.  Compared that to standing in the cordoned-off spots where people start lining up a full day before the activities.  Those folks take a risk leaving their post to go to the bathroom or getting something to eat.
  3. Take in the sites - from Times Square, 5th Avenue to Central Park, we did all of the quintessential touristy things and LOVED it.
  4. Expect to do a LOT of walking.  We are a FAST walking family.   We love to walk when we explore a new town.  New York is a great place to walk and walk and walk. Bring GOOD SHOES.  And comfortable socks!
  5. Bring a camera - the best camera is the one you have with you. ALL of the photos in this post were taken with my favorite little pocket camera, the Canon S120 Powershot.  I typically bring my high-end DSLR (Canon 5DMark ii) but this time I opted for a small camera the entire trip.  I was a little reluctant thinking my shots would not be as good, but it turned out to be a great decision.  I love this little camera!
  6. Check out the street performers in Central Park - this opera singer was fabulous.  Maybe it had to do with the echo under the bridge. There's also this humongous bubble-maker that we were mesmerized by.  
  7. Check out the MET - Metropolitan Museum that is!  SO much to see, too little time. 
  8. See a Broadway show - check discount tickets at TCKTS or online ticket hubs.  Our whole family loved "Jersey Boys" - and get dinner at a place like the Russian Tea Room.
  9. Nosh at one of the BEST Deli's in NYC EVAH, Russ & Daughters!  Get there early, they get jammed packed.
  10. Bring in the New Year in Times Square - Ruby Foos was a GREAT venue to enjoy dinner and easy access to view the Ball Drop!

Have questions on how to experience NYE in NYC?  Leave a comment - or tell us your best tip!


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