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Times Square Is Off-Limits New Year’s Eve—Except to Those Who Book This Airbnb

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This sure beats standing outside in the New York cold for hours.

Courtesy of Airbnb

This sure beats standing outside in the New York cold for hours.

Airbnb just listed a once-in-a-lifetime rental underneath the Times Square Ball.

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Although Times Square will be closed to the public this New Year’s Eve, one lucky pair of New Yorkers will get to spend the night in a once-in-a-lifetime Airbnb directly underneath the sparkling Waterford-crystal ball. Together with Nasdaq, Airbnb is transforming the stock market index’s private outdoor terrace and indoor lounge in Times Square into a vacation rental for one night only.

High above Times Square, two guests from the same household will get to watch the ball drop and the confetti explode from the privacy (and warmth) of a geodesic dome on the terrace. If it gets a little too chilly in the bubble, guests will also have access to the indoor lounge, complete with a private bedroom, dining area, and, of course, New Year’s Eve hats, 2021 glasses, and horns for the midnight celebration.

There is also an indoor bedroom for those worried about this bubble getting chilly.

In addition to the rare accommodations, the people who nab this booking will also experience a personal serenade from Mariah Carey (performed virtually, of course), a dinner prepared by a private chef, and $5,000 to go on a shopping spree at any of the shops in Times Square or along Fifth Avenue.


Since this isn’t a contest, New York City residents will need to be fast when this $21 listing (in honor of the new year) becomes available to book starting Monday, December 21, at 9 a.m. EST at airbnb.com/happyholidays. Airbnb is limiting this booking to NYC residents who live in the same household to comply with local COVID-19 travel and safety regulations. The space will be cleaned according to CDC rules and Airbnb’s COVID-19 Safety Practices

The stay also includes dinner and $5,000 shopping spree.

Even if you’re not quick enough on the draw to book the one-night stay, you can still watch the festivities from home as they are broadcast on television and online. Hosted by Jonathan Bennett (whom you may recognize as Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls), the televised broadcast of the Times Square New Year’s Eve will also feature a (very 2020) performance of “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. The evening will be dedicated to the “Heroes of 2020,” including the first responders, frontline, and essential workers who put their lives on the line to serve their communities this year. 

To watch the performances and the ball drop from home, you can stream online at TimesSquareNYC.org, Livestream.com/2021, and TimesSquareBall.net. You can watch elements of the broadcast on TV through multiple networks, including ABC (Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest), CNN (New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen), FOX (New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast of 2021), NBC (New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly), and Univision (¡Feliz 2021!).

 >> Next: Alternative New Year’s Eve Celebrations Around the World

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