I think I have to be at least 21, right?

I couldn't find any information about this.

Is it possible to accompany a person, who's not 21 yet? Or do I have to be his/her mother/father?

  • 5
    Are you asking if there's a minimum age requirement to stand in Times Square at midnight?
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 10:13
  • @GayotFow Yes exactly!
    – 0lli.rocks
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 10:29
  • 1
    I don't think there is one, frankly :)
    – Aleks G
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 11:20
  • @AleksG It is possible to visit the Ball Drop at midnight as a e.g. 12-year-old child? (alone)
    – 0lli.rocks
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 11:22

3 Answers 3


It very much depends where you want to be for the drop.

Supernova hosts a party which is technically in Times Square, just high up, and ages 18+ may attend, or 16+ with an adult.

The Times Square Family Pass lets a family of any ages, although drinks will differ depending on age. Also you'd need to be with your family, presumably.

The Wikihow article also points out that the general access will see elderly and children as well as the usual revellers, but to remember that it's bitterly cold at that time of year. You also need to queue almost the entire day to get in.

Given the thousands of people, the surging crowd, drunkenness, night, the need to queue all day and the need to get back home afterwards, it'd be highly unadvisable for a child/teenager to do it on their own, however, with a family, it's certainly possible, and there are family friendly areas.

  • Thank you for your answer. The question is a general question. I have a more specific scenario: I am 22 and my brother is 17 and we want to watch the Ball Drop from Times Square itself. According to your answer it's possible that he joins me, right? (we now that we have to wait a lot and that it'll be very cold). Thanks in advance!
    – 0lli.rocks
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 11:43
  • 3
    Yeah, an all ages event. You may just find he can't get into certain bars, and would have to stick to sodas for the night :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 11:47
  • Given the crowd, and the opportunity, keep your valuables close, or better yet, in your room. This is America, Land of the Free (for the taking).
    – wbogacz
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 13:33

For just watching the ball drop and the festivities taking place in Times Square from within Times Square there is no age minimum. You just show up and go through all the police barricades to the "pen" where they put you. You cannot leave and return to the same place, if you leave you have to go to the latest "pen" the police set up.

It's quite chaotic getting in (I see it every year, I live four two blocks west of there) and there may be people around trying to sell fake tickets to get in. You can cut through some of it with tickets or passes to various private parties in restaurants, bars and hotels around there or hotel reservations. The police will ask to see those before they let you through.

And try to get there early if you want to see the ball or the stage early. As the afternoon and evening wears on, the police will be getting people in farther and farther back on Broadway. If you get there after the sun sets you'll be far enough back that you might want to carry binoculars to see.

  • Thank you for your answer! I am planning to be there at 2pm. I hope that will be early enough. It's no problem for me to stand at the same spot for hours.
    – 0lli.rocks
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 6:52
  • 2
    2pm would probably put you entering there around 47th to 49th Streets at 8th Avenue (if you don't know NYC geography, look on a map). Depending where you're staying you may have to circle around Times Square to get there as the area from 39th up to 59th/Central Park South and 5th Avenue over to 8th Avenue will be closed, including subway station exits in that area. Hope you have a great time! And if you see a short guy in a green coat with a big camera taking photos of crowds, smile, it could be me... Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 12:51

Like the other answers here say, there's really no age limit for people to be out on the street, and as the night wears on on it gets so hectic and full of people that Times Square, the busiest, most crowded block in NYC becomes literally un-walkable! So there's no age requirement for just "standing on Times Square" but I wouldn't be surprised if lost-looking "kids" are at least questioned by police and asked about their parents since it's madness: thousands of people, drinking champagne on the street, fireworks etc. It definitely looks cool on TV though!

On sort of a random whim last year I decided to take a week off and board an Amtrak train from Atlanta and arrive in New York for New Years. I arrived at Penn Station at 1pm with a bottle of champagne in my hand as I got off the train (I was 25). Looking like a typical tourist, from there all the way to my hostel, every New Yorker I talked to advised me against going to Times Square and told me that it wasn't worth it. I figured it was only because they lived here and had been there lots of time. Maybe so for some, but they were all right. Only two types of locals go there on New Years: crazy New Yorkers, and New Yorkers that work that night at Time Square businesses!

I went and got close but decided to turn back. It bitterly, freezing cold, and you literally are penned in and cannot easily move around. If you don't get there 8-12 hours hours before or you're not in a restaurant or in a private party etc, you're going to be far away, and penned in: You cannot go to the bathroom, you cannot move, you literally just sit there freezing until ~1am when the masses start to try to leave. It takes hours to make it back home too. So I would only recommend it if you can bear the cold and miserableness of queuing and standing for hours and are at least old enough to get into a private bar or something to stay out of the streets. Most other tourists I met that just went to Times Square gun-ho-style like me but stayed said they would never do it again!

  • Thank you for your answer! I am planning to be there at 2pm. I also read that a lot of people advise not to go there. But I am from Germany and it's my first time in NYC and I really want to do this once in my life! I am pretty sure, it's boring until 10pm but, at least for me, it's worth it once.
    – 0lli.rocks
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 6:55
  • 1
    You welcome, don't let me discourage you though! If you want do go, do it! Just be better prepared! Wear warm clothes haha Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 7:00
  • By the way, hotels and hostels get WAY cheaper right after New Years in NYC. I wish I had not even bothered booking a room for the night of the 31st. I barely sleep that night anyway, and the the rate/day went down more than half the next day! Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 7:06
  • 1
    Cool :) You're already more prepared than I was! New York is a very hot "concrete jungle" in the summer though, autumn (in my opinion) is the best time to go. Good luck in your trip! Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 7:14
  • 1
    Thanks again ;) Remember I am German :D we love to schedule and to plan things :D I will think about the season as soon as I know that there is a chance to get back to NYC :D (depends on money and time ;) )
    – 0lli.rocks
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 7:21

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