5. Arrive early
There is no limit on how early you can arrive and hang out in Times Square for a good spot, but we will clue you in that 4:30pm is when the best sections begin to fill up. Keep in mind that you won't be able to use the restroom for another 8-9 hours if you're set on staying put. If you actually want to see Times Square and maybe even the ball, do not arrive later than 6pm. It's after that the viewing areas outside of Times Square proper begin to fill up, so we guess you'll just have to get a catheter.
4. Bring provisions
Although no large bags or backpacks are allowed, we recommend stuffing some bags of Chex Mix and maybe a bottle of water or two into your coat, orhorror of horrorsusing a fanny pack or sling bag. Energy or nutrition bars would be the best bet, since even standing outside in the cold temperatures and mentally freaking out about your view (or lack of) is burning enough energy already.
3. Eat dinner and use the restroom before heading into Times Square
There are no public restrooms in Times Square, and you can bet that even if the restaurants in the area let you in, you'd be waiting in a line so long that it'd have you missing the ball drop. We say have a light (but warming, like soup and hot chocolate) meal in the vicinity and take advantage of that restaurant's restrooms. Then head straight from dinner into Times Square.
2. Save energy for the trip home
Unless you're paying through the nose to stay in a hotel nearby Times Square, you'll have a tiring journey back to bed. When the Times Square festivities are over, the subways get crowded with tourists and those from other parties all drunk and ready to hit the sack. If you've spent the entire evening jumping up and down and screaming "2014 woo!," the ride on the clogged subway or in a taxi on equally clogged streets might be hell. Don't overdo it in the Square; half the battle is getting home.
1. Dress warmly
This is New York City in early January. There's a reason this is our #1 rule for enjoying the Times Square ball drop; and you'll understand when you arrive and realize heydespite being surround by a million or so others, it's freaking cold outside.
We know the weather has been nice lately, but it doesn't feel so warm in the middle of the night, when you've been outside for hours and hours. And even if you work up some nice heat by do-si-doing with the people around you, there is a dangerous thing called cold sweat. It causes hypothermia, and that is not the way to ring in the New Year, so leave your spandex Batman outfit at home. The forecast right now is showing low 40s, but at least it's projected to be clear.