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The Weekend It List: Dec. 28-31

Your time off is precious.

We happen to spend our on-the-clock hours combing through the many options NYC has to offer, so let us help you maximize those days off. Every week, we distill the very best the weekend has to offer.

And, to get the Weekend It List delivered to your inbox, sign up at

drop it.

Whether you're one of the projected 1 million
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stephanie Keith

Whether you're one of the projected 1 million people heading to Times Square to see the ball drop at midnight -- or choose to watch from the cozy comfort of your couch -- there's a lot to know before you go/watch.

If you're braving the cold to be in the middle of it all, the best viewing locations are where Broadway and Seventh Avenue meet. And you'll want to bundle up, bring a slicker (the early forecast is predicting rain, and umbrellas are forbidden), avoid caffeinated beverages and bring snacks. Remember: Once you get there in the morning (yes, morning), you cannot leave your post and expect to return.

All of us can agree that part of the draw of the drop is the performance lineup -- this year, Christina Aguilera, Britpop band Bastille (known for the single "Pompeii"), country duo Dan + Shay and New Kids on the Block are taking the stage.

To be fully informed and dazzle your friends/pass the time with trivia, our explainer on all things Times Square ball drop will ensure that you're ready to ring in 2019 properly.

And to really get into the weeds of it all, learn about how the confetti master -- real title -- orchestrates the release of more than 3,000 pounds of tissue paper by hand to ensure the new year gets off to a colorful start.

eat it.

A new year, new meal plan. And we
Photo Credit: Bubby's

A new year, new meal plan. And we say: Eat more brunch. Lucky for everyone, plenty of restaurants are offering special weekday options on Jan. 1. (Some are even taking reservations.)

Both of Bubby's Manhattan locations are serving up a "12 Days of Brunch Specials" menu, including Swedish pancakes with lingonberries. Or maybe you'll head to the Meatpacking District's The Wild Son, which is debuting a CBD cocktail menu on New Year's Day. Just as trendy, brunch spot Sunday in Brooklyn has its smoked salmon with rye sour cream and toast. You have many options, and all are tasty.

(If you need a warmup, trust that we have bottomless brunches to recommend for the weekend.)

If we're rushing you a bit into 2019, let us pause to peruse the custom meals being served on New Year's Eve. You can eat early bird style or dive into a multi-course prix fixe; just don't forget the sparkling whatever -- and do remember to make a reservation.

And if you want to say a sweet farewell to 2018, we also have a number of suggestions on the dessert front. Bacon cannoli, Mandarin orange-black pepper croissants, chocolate-raspberry cake ... all the stuff that helps us reflect on another year in the rearview mirror.

sing it.

Spending the evening at a concert hall comes
Photo Credit: Getty Images for Essence/Bennett Raglin

Spending the evening at a concert hall comes with perks, heat and working restrooms included.

A number of artists -- like Macy Gray, Phish and The Lone Bellow -- have created their own holiday traditions by performing at the city's biggest venues year after year.

Settling into their own competing residencies, they offer more intimate settings for counting down to 2019, especially compared to the bustle of that Seventh Avenue main stage. Gray, who you know best for her 1999 hit "I Try," takes over Iridium on 51st Street for two nights, while Phish returns for a four-day run at The Garden.

Even "Better Now" singer Post Malone and self-proclaimed chef Snoop Dogg are getting into the NYE action, with shows set for Barclays Center and Terminal 5.

celebrate it.

Going out on the town to ring in
Photo Credit: Danielle Vito

Going out on the town to ring in the new year doesn't have to be expensive. Plenty of New York City bars and restaurants are hosting parties for free or at a low cost so you don't have to fork over your rent money to have a good time.

We put together a roundup of more than 20 parties that cost $100 or less to help out. Bierhaus NYC, for instance, is throwing a bash with a three-hour open bar, unlimited wings, live music and burlesque for $80 a head. The New York Adventure Club is meeting at a fancy Gilded Age mansion for a Prohibition-era-style celebration for only $30-$35 per person.

See? It's possible to save some dollars for 2019 while taking the party beyond your living room. So go ahead and celebrate in style.


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