Free to pricey last minute New Year’s Eve plans Downtown

Downtown Express file photo by Milo Hess
Downtown Express file photo by Milo Hess

Looking for a last-minute option for a fun New Year’s Eve? Here are some local opportunities to make the most of those final hours of 2013:


Your cheapest bet for seeing Downtown fireworks is historic Battery Park or the southern end of Battery Park City, particularly Wagner Park. You can also take the Staten Island Ferry, which leaves from the Whitehall Terminal at 4 South St. The fireworks will rise from behind the Statue of Liberty, and the ferry, while sure to be crowded, will get you great close-up views.

The ferry, which is free of charge, will operate on its normal schedule for New Year’s Eve.

If you’re up for shelling out some cash, there’s also the Empress Yacht Cruise, which leaves from Pier 36 (299 South St.) at 8:30 p.m. and will spend four hours traveling along the East River and around New York Harbor. A ticket for $165 gets you access to to the yacht’s open bar, DJ music and dancing and a midnight champagne toast.


Trinity Wall Street’s Twelfth Night Festival of classical music includes a 5 p.m. concert on New Year’s Eve, in the church’s main location at 74 Trinity Pl. The acclaimed Clarion Choir will perform Rachmaninoff’s greatest choral masterpiece, “The Vespers,” a lush, transcendent setting of ancient Russian Orthodox chants. Tickets are $25.

And for a completely different musical experience, you can stay right inside Pier 36, where they’ll hold an all-night electronic music bash, featuring the world’s top DJs and a three-hour open bar. The event runs from 8 p.m. – 4 a.m., and tickets start at $165.


Before you check out the fireworks or head home for your own New Year’s Eve party, there are also the two new ice skating options Downtown — the See/Change Ice Rink, at Front and Fulton Sts. in the South Street Seaport, and the Rink at Brookfield Place, at the foot of the Winter Garden in Battery Park City. Both rinks are open until 10 p.m. on New Year’s Ever, although only the Seaport’s skating option is free — Brookfield’s costs $15 per session.