Being so close to Manhattan can be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on how you look at it. On New Years Eve, people turn to one or the other view; either you love the fact that the biggest street party of the year is right across a river, or you hate it.
If you will be in the Queens area, there is no need to venture into the island of Manhattan, but feel free if you wish. Aside from the Times Square madness, there are still more activities, places to see, and things to do across the East River. From world-renowned nightclubs, restaurants, Broadway shows and virtually everything in between, NY contains it, and draws millions of visitors from all over every day. New Years Eve guarantees that you will have a myriad of options to have fun, feast on multi-course meals, and drink merrily. The lists of events can be overwhelming to some, and if you hesitate too long, you could miss out, as things sell out and the closer the calendar comes to the 31st, the prices rise. Your best bet to avoid these problems is to check out sites like NewYearsEve.com, where you can get in-depth descriptions of all happenings in the City and even score some discount tickets.
The Queens Borough, however, does not need Manhattan to show visitors a good time. One of the biggest things hindering Gotham is the cost. Many people choose to live and reside in Queens for its lower rates on everything, and NYE festivities are no different. There are tons of upscale restaurants, chic clubs and trendy lounges for you to watch the countdown from, and Queens regularly rivals Manhattan as the Best Island in City that Doesn’t Sleep. There will be more than enough people from all demographics in Queens on New Years Eve, especially the 20-somethings that are quickly filling it up. Like all other parts of NY, most places with hot parties and large audiences will require paid admission purchased in advance; NewYearsEve.com will have this section covered as well.
If you will be traveling in or out of Queens during the holiday, don’t drive. Due to the heavy congestion of visitors and the fact that drinking is a preferred activity of many on NYE, public transportation is the best way to get to your destination. The subways are the preferred mode of travel throughout New York City on New Years Eve. For the last several years, all subways, MTA trains from the north and LIRR trains from the east run fare-free routes and extra trains on New Year's Eve. If you know your way around the trains or can read a subway map and schedule, this can be a speedy, mode of transport. Expect it to be crowded, though.
While Times Square is a world-renowned tradition, one that is watched by one billion people, it is not the only place to go on the last night of the year, although the crowds and hype make it seem that way. Try Queens for a night and you always have the option of crossing over from Long Island anyway—though you won’t need to.