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How to Watch the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square

Times Square at night with the New Year's Ball enlarged in the forefront.

Since 1907, watching the New Year’s Eve Ball drop in Times Square has been a bucket list item for millions of people.

Here are some tips and tricks to surviving the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square.

It will take patience.

It will take perseverance.

It will take bladders of steel!

Is it worth it? Let me know!

For the most up-to-date information about rules, regulations, and guidelines, check out the Times Square website.

To help make sense of how the Time Square New Year’s Eve ball drop works, I actually created a YouTube video to walk you through the process. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and let me know if this video was helpful!

Here are the basics.

WHERE TO ENTER for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball drops from the top of a tall building on 42nd street. People will start congregation at 42nd and work their way UPTOWN. (New York-speak for NORTH.)

There will be security checkpoints on Eighth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. YOU MUST ENTER THROUGH THESE CHECKPOINTS.

As blocks fill up, the checkpoints will move uptown as well. The security checkpoints for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square will always stay on Eighth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. They will simply move north as the revelers join,

If you think you will be clever and get off at a subway stop between these checkpoints, think again. As the space fills up, the subway entrances and exits will be closed as well. It is totally up to the NYPD when they close off these exits.

WHEN TO ARRIVE for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

When to arrive for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square is a risky gamble. As crowds gather, the blocks will be closed off. Sometimes the best blocks can be closed off as early as 10 a.m.! In general, it is advisable to arrive no later than noon for the New Year’s Ball Drop.

It is completely up to the NYPD’s discretion when the blocks are closed off. Be respectful and follow their instructions.

WHAT TO BRING to the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.

To help you figure out what to bring to the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square, I actually created a nifty checklist!

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Checklist

Perhaps just as important as knowing what to BRING to the New Year’s Ball Drop is knowing what NOT to bring!

NOT ALLOWED AT THE NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL DROP IN TIMES SQUARE

*Weapons * Alcohol * Large Bags and Backpacks * Folding Chairs * Umbrellas

Make sure to check the official Times Square website for the most up-to-date information!

Also, remember, there are NO BATHROOMS to use. You won’t be allowed out of your holding pen to use the bathrooms at local businesses. You will need BLADDERS OF STEEL! You can do it! I have faith in you!

Make sure to check the weather and dress appropriately. You will probably want to bring layers so you won’t overheat or get too cold after the sun sets!

Have you braved Times Square on New Year’s Eve? Share your experiences, tips, and tricks in the comment section to help others have a Rocking New Year’s Eve!