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Last-Minute Tips For Celebrating New Year's Eve Downtown

By Irene Plagianos on December 31, 2012 3:59pm 

 NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 31: A general view of atmosphere during New Year's Eve 2012 in Times Square on December 31, 2011 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 31: A general view of atmosphere during New Year's Eve 2012 in Times Square on December 31, 2011 in New York City.
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Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Need some last-minute New Year's plans that don't involve the throngs of Times Square revelers? Lower Manhattan offers some fun alternatives for ringing in the New Year without breaking the bank.

For a cheap and picturesque New Year's event, head to Battery Park City to catch a great view of the fireworks over the Statue of Liberty.

Revelers can also take a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry around midnight to watch New Year's fireworks over the harbor. Boats leave from Whitehall Ferry Station every 30 minutes, and the ride is 25 minutes each way. If you want to throw down some cash — and if there's space left — a number of boat lines, including the New York Water Taxi, will also be cruising the river.

Feel more like walking-in the New Year? New York Talks and Walks leads a tour over the Brooklyn Bridge that, weather permitting, offers a fantastic view of the city skyline, the fireworks over the East River, and other firework displays across the city. The party procession meets at 160 Broadway and offers multiple walks between 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. Cost is $50 in person, or $40 if you pay online.

If an active New Year's Eve appeals to you, but walking is too slow, take a festive bike ride from Washington Square Park to Belvedere Castle in Central Park with riding group Time's Up. The ride, which starts at Washington Square Park (under the arch) at 10 p.m., is free and finishes with an party under the stars — and the park's fireworks.

For those who literally want to ring in 2013, Trinity Church — the long-ago epicenter of the city's New Year's celebration — will be tolling its bells for 20 minutes before and after the stroke of midnight. Unfortunately though, the historic church isn't open, so you'll need to listen to the chimes from the street.

Then again, if you want to wake up with your ears ringing — and are wiling to pay for it — there's still time to buy tickets to an electronic music extravaganza a few blocks north of the South Street Seaport, at Pier 36. DJ Armin Van Buuren hosts the event. Tickets start at $175, but drop to $135 after 1 a.m., and include a 3-hour open bar beginning at 9 p.m. For drop-off spots (taxis aren't allowed in front of the venue) visit the party's site.

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