Wondering how to ring in the New Year without emptying your bank account? If you're in New York City, it can easily be done.
For those who enjoy classical music, St. Bartholomew's Church in midtown is holding an organ concert featuring works by the composers Bach, Debussy and Elgar, starting at 11 p.m.. At midnight will be an arrangement of Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. The church is located at 325 Park Avenue, at 51st Street.
Going window shopping is one way to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the winter -- and the New Year -- without spending a penny, as long as self-restraint is exercised. Check out the outdoor holiday shops at Bryant Park, Union Square and more for vivid colors, unique designs and crafts and some festive holiday cheer. These markets close within the first few days of the New Year, so don't miss out.
Seeing the ball drop at Times Square is also a free event, although the hours are long and may be uncomfortable, given the lack of public restrooms and food venues. Arrive by 3 p.m. to secure a spot, and dress appropriately for the weather. Fireworks erupt from the top of One Times Square every hour.
Brooklynites can venture to Prospect Park for live music starting at 11 p.m. Thursday, free hot cocoa and fireworks. The best viewing spots for the fireworks are Grand Army Plaza or along the western edge of the park, according to the website NYC On The Cheap. Coney Island is also celebrating with fireworks at midnight and a party that begins at 9 p.m.
For Manhattanites, Central Park will also have a display of fireworks, plus live music, face painting and other giveaways, starting at 10 p.m., as part of the New York Road Runners' Midnight Run.