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New York City's Most Epic New Year's Eve Events

By Janet Upadhye | December 28, 2012 10:05am

NEW YORK CITY — Times Square lays claim to the title of the world's biggest New Year's Eve party, and this year's ball drop festivities will be no exception with performances by Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees and PSY.

But for New Yorkers who would rather steer clear of the Midtown crowds, DNAinfo.com New York rounded up some of the most epic parties, from Staten Island to The Bronx, with everything from heated pools, to yacht rides, to human cannon balls.

Bikini-Clad Pool Party

The Grace Hotel in Times Square has an alternative party to the nearby ball drop ceremony, centering around the hotel's 22-foot heated indoor pool with a swim-up bar.

The hotel’s New Year’s Eve party offers stadium seating near the pool for those who don’t want to get wet. There’s also a lounge and dance floor one story above, with balcony access so partygoers can get a peek at who’s splashing in the pool below. 

The hotel provides disposable swimwear, but according to its website, “hot women and men have been seen to get in the pool in their undergarments.” The party goes from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and has a one-hour vodka open bar, DJs, New Year’s Eve countdown and surprise party favors. Tickets range from $30 for general admission to $125 for a poolside VIP table.

Bike Rides and Castles

TIME'S UP!, a grassroots environmental group, is organizing a cyclist-friendly ride into the New Year complete with party hats and green glitter. The tour starts at Washington Square Park at 10 p.m. on the Manhattan side and at 10 p.m. on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge. Riders from both sides converge and ride to Central Park’s Belvedere Castle where they can catch a fireworks show and unleash noisemakers at a 45-minute DIY bash at the castle, leaving time to cycle off to the next party. The ride is free. For more information visit TIME'S UP! website.

Ride into 2013 on a Yacht

The Jewel Yacht crew hosts a New Year’s Eve party floating down the East and Hudson rivers, complete with three-hour open bar, DJs and a firework display seen from the deck. The family-friendly party features a dinner buffet and views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Ellis Island, among other landmarks. Tickets start at $165 per person and include three hours of open bar, Champagne toast at midnight, fireworks show and a full dinner/dessert buffet. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit The Jewel Yacht website here.

Heated Rooftop Party

The DL in the Lower East Side is hosting a New Year’s Eve party on its rooftop. With a heated enclosure, the rooftop gives partygoers great views of the city and Williamsburg Bridge without the winter cold. Tickets include a four-hour top shelf open bar, Champagne toast, hors d'oeuvres, party favors, and a live streaming televised view of the Times Square ball drop. Tickets start at $125 person with after-hours tickets price at $40. For more information or to buy tickets click here.

Running into the New Year

For those who want to get a jump-start on their New Year’s resolutions, the New York Road Runners host its annual New Year's Eve four-mile run in Central Park. The festivities begin at 10 p.m. and runners are encouraged to come in costume to enjoy dancing, music and a parade at the Central Park Bandshell. The run starts at 11:45 p.m. and kicks off with a fireworks show. Tickets are $65 for non-members with deals for members and seniors. To register and check out the course visit the Road Runners website

Sparkling Cider and Bach

Bargemusic, New York City’s only floating music hall, is hosting a classical New Year’s Eve party with Mark Peskanov on violin and Steven Beck on piano playing Bach Sonatas 1-6 on the East River. Bargemusic, which is docked at Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn, offers first-class music with front-row seats to Lower Manhattan views and unparalleled acoustics. Sparkling cider, cookies, and chocolate will be served at this cultural ringing-in of the New Year with ticket prices starting at $35. To reserve a seat visit Bargemusic's website

Acrobats and Burlesque in 1920s Paris

Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, Brooklyn hosts a 1920s Paris-themed New Year’s Eve Party with “sultry can-can dancers, soaring trapeze artists, eastern European acrobats, powerful chanteuses and handsome chaunteurs, writers, poets and muses and sensual burlesque dancers.” A block away from the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Galapagos has an indoor man-made lake where an aerial works show will take place above the water’s surface. Time Out New York calls the night’s line-up “Some of the city’s sexiest acts,” and party organizers promise the show will be followed by “an elegant night of dancing as New Year's Eve continues with blurred boundaries and hazy focus into the wee hours of the night.” $150 tickets include a full bar and the show. For more information visit Galapagos Art Space’s website.

Gender-bending and a Monkey

Knitting Factory is hosting Murray’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza in Williamsburg featuring a "circus of burlesque bombshells, ballsy and bawdy singers, and legendary performance artists." The host, who calls himself Mr. Murray Hill, is a nightlife legend, comedian and renowned entertainer, according to his website, and The New York Times named him “Downtown's New 'It' Boy." Back by popular demand, his show also features a monkey. At the stroke of midnight, hundreds of balloons fall from the ceiling of this Williamsburg staple music venue. Tickets start at $35 and can be bought here.

A Circus of Human Cannon balls and Chainsaw Juggling

The Queens Theater in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is hosting a holiday show for the whole family. Named the ‘Squirm Burpee Circus,” this show features “classic slapstick comedy, high-skill circus acts and a plot straight out of American Melodrama,” according to the theater’s website. Not to mention outlandish costumes, feathers and music. Tickets costs $32 and a family four-pack costs $99. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets can be bought online

Over 60 Years of New Year’s Eve in a Queens Ballroom

Since 1959, Dante Caterers in Jackson Heights, Queens has been hosting a New Year’s Eve party in their elegant ballroom replete with an open bar, full dinner buffet, music and dancing and a dessert table with goodies ranging from cakes and pies to Jell-O molds. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tables with noisemakers and hats wait for guests at each ballroom table. Tickets costs $95 and reservations must be made in person. For more information call 718-446-1310 or visit Dante Caterers website.

Salsa Dance Party

Salsa Con Fuego, a premier Latin club in University Heights, Bronx hosts a night of salsa dancing, Latin beats, and a midnight champagne toast to ring in the New Year. Dress to impress at this bash, where $20 gets partygoers one hour of open bar, hors d'oeuvres, a world renowned DJ and live countdown to 2013, Bronx style. For more information or to purchase tickets check out the party's website.

Fireworks on the Staten Island Ferry

For those that want to be on the water with sweeping views of New York City but can't afford to party on a yacht, the Staten Island Ferry offers a free alternative. From the deck of the ferry, riders can see fireworks in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey. Catch the ferry at Whitehall Terminal near Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and ride to Staten Island and back. For a full schedule visit the ferry's website.