How To Choose The Best New Year’s Eve Party And Package

No matter how rough the year was, we all want to go into the next full of optimism and possibly in a drunken stupor. This is the time when we celebrate with those closest to us, or a crowd of drunken strangers, as we welcome a New Year that is full of possibilities.

Although this is our annual tradition, finding a New Year’s Eve party and planning the night has always been a daunting task. And it quickly becomes a headache when selecting the right venue, the right ticket packages, and even discerning if the party will meet your high expectations.

Ideally, you already have the fundamental knowledge about NYE tickets from my article “Everything You Need to Know About New Year’s Eve Tickets.” So in this article, I’ll give you expert tips on “How to Choose the Best New Year’s Eve Party and Packages.”

After both organizing and promoting many New Year’s Eve (NYE) parties and events at top clubs and bars in NYC for over a decade, I’ve just about seen it all. From both the business aspect to the consumer aspect. And now I’m going to pass my expert knowledge from those experiences to you!

Note: If you are a tourist visiting the U.S.A., or haven’t been partying much and aren’t aware of the current state of the nightlife after the pandemic, then you should read my article, How NYC Nightlife Has Changed.” It may have a significant impact on your party planning decisions.

Imagine The Perfect New Year’s Eve Experience

New Years Eve Party at Karvouna Mezze Hosted By Nez and Noel Ashman Always The VIP | How To Choose The Best New Year's Eve Party And Package | Always The VIP

Deciding what party experience you are looking for is the first and most important choice of them all. It’s the whole reason you are willing to leave home and brave the NYE party madness!

So, the first thing you should do when looking for a New Year’s Party is to have the mental image of the ideal New Year’s Eve experience. Then you can go on your hunt to chase down that purple dragon.

  • Do you want to be dressed down, elbow to elbow in a dive bar where you could literally fall into a hole in the wall?
  • Do you want to be totally uninhibited at a rave in your grungiest of threads in an underground Brooklyn warehouse party?

If you’re looking for a luxurious setting to flaunt your tuxedo or form-fitting cocktail dress as you gyrate to deep house music thumping in the background at one of the top clubs in the city, then you’ve already narrowed down your search a lot.

After selecting the experience and ambiance you want, it is time to search for parties that match that criteria.

Research The Parties

These are 5 things that you should be sure to research to find the right party that will fit the experience that you are looking for:

  • Pictures or videos of the venue online
  • Past party reviews
  • The type of music they play on normal party nights
  • Guest performers and DJ’s
  • The venue’s ambiance

Looking for pictures and videos of the venue online is a great place to start. And you can quickly get a sense of the party with user-generated videos from social media.

But pictures alone rarely tell the whole story, and are not always the most helpful to distinguish one venue from another when they are very similar. So, if you haven’t been to any of them yet, you should plan a visit to the locations on the top of your list in advance, during a party night, to gauge the vibe in-person.

You can also make a good prediction about how popular a party will be by checking for any special guest DJs, celebrity hosts, or performance groups scheduled to appear at that location or nearby parties. Besides the awesome experience of attending a party with your favorite DJ or rapper, celebrity appearances may draw a crowd to other parties in the vicinity and make it a hotspot for further celebrity sightings.

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All of this information will help you get a sense of the crowd that will be there, the ambiance, how to dress, and the overall experience that you can expect from the parties you are researching.

PRO TIP: When looking for parties with celebrities, never pay extra for someone who is just making an “appearance.” An appearance doesn’t mean that they will perform or even be visible to the crowd. They could be in a hidden private VIP room or just dropping by. This is a common, and misleading, promotional tactic that I have seen many parties employ to inflate their ticket prices.

Select The Right Venue Type

Hammerstein Ballroom Event Space for NYE Party Hosted By Always The VIP scaled | How To Choose The Best New Year's Eve Party And Package | Always The VIP
Hammerstein Ballroom Event Space – NYE Party Hoster by Always The VIP

The next step to finding the perfect New Year’s Eve party is choosing the type of venue. Once you have narrowed it down to the parties that fit your expectations, this can be a simple process of elimination.

6 Common NYE Venues To Choose From

These are generally 6 types of NYE venues that you will choose from:

If, for example, you want a discrete and classy experience, then you would likely select an upscale lounge. If you are plugged into a network to get invitations to private parties, then that would give access to a wide variety of venue options.

After you have narrowed your choices down to a few select parties and venues, you are now ready to start thinking more about costs.

If you are wondering why we selected venues before we started thinking about budget, it is because we prioritize your experience over the price. And since you handpicked these parties, you will feel more comfortable with the investment you are making in them.

Pro Tip: With recent restrictions, such as mask or vaccination requirements, stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, your best chances of a successful night will be at private parties. Safety restrictions vary state by state, and some have more regulations than others for indoor venues and public gatherings.

Lock-in A Group To Party With

New Years Eve Party with friends at Hammerstein Ballroom - Hosted By Always The VIP
New Years Eve Party with friends at Hammerstein Ballroom – Hosted By Always The VIP

Partying with friends is always a great option, and it enhances any night out. Rolling with groups also adds a welcome layer of safety, as well as an opportunity for ticket discounts, which we’ll discuss later on.

However, making New Year’s Eve plans with a large group of people can be a stressful experience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had groups reach out to me for New Year’s Eve tickets at the last minute since their friends couldn’t agree on a location.

Avoid Last Minute Plans

Typically, NYE ticket prices increase as New Year’s Eve draws near. So, you should always avoid making last-minute plans when possible.

Last-minute plans can have you end up paying 3-5 times more than the original ticket prices! I’ve often seen it where NYE tickets start at $40, then increase to $200 by the night of New Year’s Eve!

So, do your research at least a month in advance, and buy tickets promptly to catch any early-bird sales. This is also a time when ticket sellers are open to negotiating discounts for large groups (15 guests or more). When NYE approaches, ticket sellers are not as flexible.

So, get your friends on board and start planning for NYE well in advance to catch the best deals. But be sure to stick to reliable friends who will commit to your NYE plans.

Once you have a firm group size, you can start setting a budget for the night.

Set A Realistic Budget

It’s always prudent to set a realistic budget that fits your expectations. If you want a luxury experience, but are looking to spend under $50 on a New Year’s Eve party, then places like top nightclubs and lounges shouldn’t be on your radar.

Even if you can grab a low-cost, admission-only ticket, drinks at these types of venues easily run $10-$15 each and will run you over a $100 threshold quickly.

So if you want to spend your New Year’s Eve at one of the top dance clubs in the city, then be prepared to pay a premium for it.

Here’s a breakdown of how much New Year’s Eve party tickets cost on average in a city like NYC:

VenueAverage NYE General Admission Ticket Price
Private Party/Event Space$0-$100+
Pub or Bar$25-50
Upscale Lounge, Restaurant, or Rooftop$50-$100
Popular Nightclub$50-$100+
Boat Party$75-$100+
Underground Party$50+
Average NYE Party Ticket Prices in NYC –

Private NYE Parties Vs. Public NYE Parties

Since private parties could be promotional and sponsored by brands, companies, and even your friends, it is possible that they could be free to attend.

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On the other hand, bars, lounges, nightclubs, and organizers for underground parties are looking to make a big profit. This is one of the most lucrative nights of the year for any nightlife business, so they want to max out capacity and milk every dollar possible!

Now that you have a budget in mind, you can narrow down your venue options even further!

Select The Right New Year’s Eve Package

A New Year’s Eve party package includes 2 things, the ticket granting you admission and any additional perks included as a package. And choosing the best New Year’s Eve party ticket really comes down to one question. Do you want to stand in the crowd or watch it from your VIP section? This makes the decision a relatively simple one.

The Balcony View from an Ultra Vip Section at New Years Eve Party at Hammerstein Ballroom Hosted By Always The VIP | How To Choose The Best New Year's Eve Party And Package | Always The VIP
Balcony View from Ultra Vip Section at Hammerstein Ballroom NYE Party – Hosted By Always The VIP

Select From The 3 Types of NYE Tickets

There are essentially only 3 core New Year’s Eve ticket types that you will choose from:

  • General Admission Ticket
  • Open Bar Ticket
  • VIP Bottle Service Ticket

Here is a breakdown of examples of some of the different New Years Eve packages that would be included with general admission tickets (with the average prices included):

Comparing New Years Eve Party Ticket Prices At Different Venues Always The VIP | How To Choose The Best New Year's Eve Party And Package | Always The VIP

You will often find many variations of these 3 core types. This is because organizers typically make many tickets for different group sizes:

  • Bottle package options (e.g. middle shelf vs premium top-shelf liquor brands)
  • Table sections options (standing table vs. seated table)
  • Location-based sections (e.g. balcony vs. ground level)

The variations can be endless. Which adds a layer of complexity and confusion to ticketing and pricing.

Important Bottle Package Details You Should Check For

When you buy a bottle package, naturally you will assume that you’re going to be sitting some of the most luxurious and comfortable seating in the spot. Eh, wrong!

Never assume that your bottle service will put you in a booth with a glowing table and comfy sofa to stand on. Every venue and party may have different types of table seating. Some may have standing pub tables, while others have seated sofas. And they normally charge a different rate each, offering the best for guests who spend more or have bigger groups.

Refer to the image below to see what I mean.

Different Types of Seating For Bottle Service - Always The VIP
Different Types of Seating For Bottle Service – Always The VIP

Additionally, here is a chart with some common variations of New Year’s Eve Party tickets and a few important details that event listings often leave out:

Ticket NameSeparate VIP LineTable TypeSeating TypeTable Reserved All Night
General AdmissionNot IncludedStanding Room OnlyStanding Room OnlyNot Included
2-Hour Open BarNot IncludedStanding Room OnlyStanding Room OnlyNot Included
VIP Bottle Service for 6IncludedStanding Pub TablePub chairsNot Guaranteed
Ultra VIP Bottle Service for 10IncludedPrivate SectionCouch or sectional sofaIncluded
Common NYE Party Ticket Packages –

If you don’t see any of these details in the fine print of a New Years Eve party listing, then ask about them, especially if you’re about to spend big bucks

Eliminate Hassle With Bottle Service Packages

Vip Section with Bottle Service at PHD Hosted By Nez and Always The VIP | How To Choose The Best New Year's Eve Party And Package | Always The VIP

This is also a great option even if everyone is not a fan of your bottle selection. For example, if your selection was a bottle of vodka, but your friends prefer whiskey. In this case, your friends still have the option to hop on a line at the bar to grab their preferred drink. This in turn also helps your bottle survive a bit longer.

The bottle service option all comes down to your comfort and convenience. And, in my professional opinion, it is where you get the most value. After all, you should want to spend the majority of your night partying and celebrating with friends, not waiting on lines and worrying when your next drink is coming.

Close The Night Out Right With An “NYE End of Night Plan”

After following all of these recommendations, and selecting the perfect NYE deal, we want it to end on a good note. A bad ending to a great night can ruin the entire experience, and leave you thinking, “I should have stayed home.”

So always think ahead; Consider that, by the end of the night, you might be blackout drunk.

No one wants to ring in the New Year with a horror story about your 3-hour drunken journey home, how you fell asleep on the train and got robbed, or how you woke up in a strange place next to a stranger.

To prevent any mishaps or bad experiences, and end the night right, make an “NYE End of Night Plan:”

  • Research the travel route back home
  • Schedule a cab/ride-share
  • Book a hotel room
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Research The Travel Route Back Home

Don’t just map out how far a party is from home and the directions. Check the travel routes to see if there are any planned street closures, temporary suspensions in mass transit, or other travel impacting concerns going into effect on New Year’s Eve.

For example, NYC is notorious for shutting down train lines and blocking off entire avenues so people have to walk half a mile just to catch a train. Having to transfer 3 times to get to the right train is never fun.

Schedule A Cab/Rideshare For The Next Move

Catching a cab right after a New Year’s Eve party ends is a recipe for extended wait times and paying jacked-up prices. You and just about every other person who crawled out of their respective parties are hammering on their smartphones for rideshares.

So be smart and plan by booking a reservation with a cab/limousine service or your favorite ridesharing app to pick you up at least 30 minutes before the party ends.

Pro Tip: New Year’s Eve parties generally start dying out around 2 AM. After the ball drops, the open bar is closed, the bottle service is done, and the crowd is winding down. So this is a good time to schedule your pickup.

Book A Hotel Room And Make An Afterparty!

After spending about 5 hours drinking and jumping around non-stop, anticipate that you just might be too wasted to make it back home. So, if staying over at a friend’s house isn’t in the cards, then consider booking a hotel room.

Even if you don’t book a room in advance, at least find one that you would be comfortable at, is within walking or crawling distance of the party venue, and is within your budget. Just keep this information on hand in case you need it.

By reserving a hotel room, you won’t be one of those people randomly asking everyone “Where’s The After-Party?” Instead, split the room cost with friends and make your very own afterparty, NYC underground party style!

Either way, it’s better not to worry about a potentially dangerous trip back home or standing on a street corner trying to figure out your next move at 4 am. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

Pro Tip:  So check in before you go to the party and stock your hotel room with a few bottles and mixers in advance. Then you will have your keys in hand at the end of the night, and ready to pass out in your room or keep the party going!

If you take heed of these tips, then you will surely make a great choice for your New Year’s Eve party extravaganza, and end it in great form. You only do this once a year, so if you go out, go big. Or just stay home and go big all the same!

If you are looking for a tool to help you quickly decide between an open bar ticket and bottle package, use my newly released, “Open Bar Vs. Bottle Service Calculator.” It will quickly compare both options in less than a minute and let you know which is the best deal!

And if you are on the hunt for an NYE party, check out my curated list or subscribe to my email list for exclusive nightlife and invitations.

PS: No matter what’s going on in the world, we can’t deny our nature to be social creatures. We have a need to be connected, have fun, and be uninhibited to take our minds off of the daily drudgeries in our lives. So try not to be too hard on each other, those who organize events, and those who just want to enjoy a night out.

Cheers to your health and have an incredibly Happy New Year!

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About Author
C. "Nez" Byrd

An expert club promoter, innovative marketing executive, and entrepreneur from NYC. The founder of Always The VIP LLC, a top nightlife trend website, and creative mind leading growth marketing strategies for SaaS, B2B, and B2C companies. He is a sought after blogger, having written authoritative articles on email marketing, SEO Due Diligence, and the nightlife industry who finds deep joy in creating memorable experiences to connect people of all colors together.

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