The Messy Nessy Guide to spending New Year’s Eve in New York starts off with what not to do! That would be to go see the dropping of the ball in Times Square! Despite being probably the most famous way to see in the New Year in all of America, the dropping of the giant, LED, Waterford crystal ball on the roof of One Times Square is something locals know to definitely avoid. Somewhere near a million people cram into the iconic New York landmark, which is grisly at the best of times.
So where to see in 2018? Luckily we’re providing a handy unique guide that won’t involve standing in the freezing cold for hours on end, squashed in with a million strangers in a space designed for about a fifth of that, but will point you in the direction of secret lavish balls, burlesque delights and cosy neighbourhood bars. Advance planning and reservations are heartily recommended!
1. Shanghai mermaid’s New Years Eve
The pro move for New Year’s Eve, is to get ahead of the curve and celebrate on the now annual tradition of New Year’s Eve Eve! Shanghai Mermaid host the most opulently themed, vintage balls and parties all year long, in secret locations that are redolent of the faded grandeur of the City. Past parties have had such swish themes as a Victorian Seance, Mermaid Fairytale Balls, and Jazz Age casinos. Meticulously put together, with swinging live jazz, this year’s New Year’s Eve Eve party will be held at the beautiful Church of the Holy Apostles in Chelsea. With a Hollywood Silent Film theme, come dressed in your finest Clara Bow or Douglas Fairbank’s attire!
All the information you need is here.
2. Michael Arenella at the Clover Club
The man behind the summer’s swinging Jazz Age Lawn Parties, and friend of Messy Nessy Chic, will be bringing his peerless music to one of Brooklyn’s most exquisite cocktail bars, the Clover Club in Carroll Gardens. The Clover Club is in equal parts a cosy, neighbourhood bar, whilst retaining that swish, vintage cocktail bar elegance. If you like your New Year’s Eve toast with a perfectly made mint julep in hand, accompanied by New York’s premiere crooner, the Clover Club is the place to be!
All the info is here.
3. The King’s Winter Masquerade at Sleep No More
The mysterious McKittrick Hotel is home to one of the city’s most magical evenings out – the highly immersive and engaging Sleep No More. Part play, part self guided exploration through a haunted, ruined hotel, the night is played out to the spooky accompaniment of Bernard Hermann’s Hitchcock scores. The hotel is also home to the peculiar Gallow Green bar and restaurant, entered in through a full sized 1930s train station platform. This New Year’s Eve they will be hosting a lavish masquerade party, starting after the evening’s performance of Sleep No More.
4. 80s Party at the City’s Most Beautiful Tiki Bar
This year, “the Upside Down” is taking over the East Village (hey, stranger things have happened, right?) at the area’s chicest tiki bar, Mother of Pearl.
If you’re a Stranger Things fan, the venue is being transformed into the Hawkins Middle School’s festive winter Snow Ball on one level, and an otherworldly ‘Upside Down’ on the other.
And don’t forget to come dressed to impress in your best early 80s attire.
There’s a “Stranger Drinks” open bar cocktail celebration and all ticket purchases included access to it as well as a champagne toast at Midnight and passed appetizers all night long. Early Bird Tickets are on sale now for $100.
Get your ticket here.
5. McSorley’s Old Ale House
In a city filled with historic bars, McSorley’s Old Ale House holds a special charm. Since opening in the mid 1800s, walking inside is like stepping back in time to the New York of Bill the Butcher, and the old gangs of the notorious Five Points. Sawdust is still on the floor, and snug bar rooms are filled with the dusty memorabilia and photograph’s of Manhattan’s past. Serving only their own light or dark beer, and a menu, whose highlight for me is the block of cheese, packet of Jacob’s crackers and half a raw onion, McSorley’s Old Ale House is still heated by a creaking old cast iron stove. With the snow outside, the narrow windows looking out onto East 7th street steamed up, New Year’s Eve in McSorley’s will be much the same as when 1917 turned into 1918 a century ago, and there’s nothing quite as charming as that.
6. The Roxy Hotel Surrealist Ball
Inspired by the legendary 1972 Surrealist Ball put on by Marie-Hélène de Rothschild at her Chateau de Ferrières, the Roxy Hotel nods to all things Dali, with an extravagantly costumed art ball. Champagne, lavish headpieces, and whatever surrealist touches your imagination can create, all held inside a sumptuous hotel in Tribeca. Event info here.
So that’s 6 out of 12 of our NYE ideas for New York City, and you can unlock all of our secret suggestions in a beautiful mini e-guide we’ve made for the occasion. Just enter your email below and we’ll deliver it to your inbox faster than you can say Happy New Year….