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Leaders of the Shift
Leaders of the Shift

New York City is the capital of the world on New Year’s Eve. From the ball drop at Times Square on Dec. 31 to the Polar Bear swim at Coney Island on Jan. 1, the Big Apple overflows with fun events that attract tourists and media attention from around the planet.

However, many festivities are simply too expensive and crowded. Others are off the list because of traffic and public transportation problems. After all, who wants to be stuck on an F train or the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge when the clock strikes midnight?

To keep readers on the right track, QNS presents the following guide to New Year’s Eve in Queens.

The hottest rapper of the moment, Cardi B, will be at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth with a 9 p.m. projected start. The Bronx-raised entertainer got two nominations for the recent Grammy Awards, and her song “Bodak Yellow” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September 2017. Plus, four DJs will provide beats, and attendees will consume hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight. Prices range from $60 to $187.50.

Meanwhile over in Flushing Meadows, Terrace on the Park will groove on two levels. Grand Ballroom tickets cost $150 apiece for cocktails, dancing, dinner, dessert and champagne. The Penthouse tickets are $25 more expensive and they offer the same amenities and food, but famous Polish DJ KACPER will rock the night.

Resorts World Casino New York City will kick off an all-day celebration at 12:30 p.m. with an NFL game on the borough’s largest HDTV (500 square feet!) at Bar 360, the huge, circular watering hole/performance space. Former New York Giants punter Sean Landeta and CBS sports announcer Marc “Moose” Malusis will be on hand. There will be live entertainment throughout the venue starting at 4 p.m. Then at 8 p.m., Bar 360 will become restrictive for the NYE 2017 Party, and all guests must have a $35 ticket, which includes party favors, one drink and a champagne toast at midnight. The racino’s artists of the year, Front & Center Band, and Latin freestyle crooners TKA K7 will perform around 9 p.m. Then at 11 p.m., the Central Park section will host the New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball with food by Chef Garfield and music by DeeJay Roy and Jamaican Rastafari musician Freddie McGregor.

One of the borough’s best bargains is at Thai Rock, where $55 gets Thai food — of course — and the psychedelic cosmic Rock ‘N Roll band Leaders of the Shift. The Rockaway restaurant also hosts its locally famous balloon drop, and owner Rob Kaskel will throw in champagne, hats, noisemakers and a surprise.

On the other side of the borough in Long Island City, Z NYC Hotel will present its second annual I’m Too Old For a Club New Year’s Eve Celebration. For $95, revelers of all ages get buffet dinner and a deluxe open bar (9 to 11 p.m.), dueling piano performances (10 p.m. to 2 a.m.), a midnight toast, party favors and confetti poppers.

In the same neighborhood, the Ravel Hotel will charge $30 for its rooftop party. (Remember, the rooftop has a straight-on view of Roosevelt Island and Midtown Manhattan.) Attendees will have access to an open bar from 8 to 9 p.m. with small plate food stations until 2 a.m., party favors, and a live ball drop.

The borough’s only hostel, The Local in Long Island City, will pour unlimited draft beer and wine for four hours and serve hors d’oeuvres, dessert, and a champagne toast at midnight for $50. And at the LIC/Astoria border, the Mellrose Ballroom will go with a triple threat: Bollywood Disco King Bappi Lahiri on Dec. 29; DJ Active with hip-hop, R&B and Soca music on Dec. 30; and a rooftop party on Dec. 31.

In Queens, there’s no mourning on the morning after.

The good times roll with the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in an outdoor rink inside Citi Field on  Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. Two National Hockey League teams – the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers – will play a sanctioned game in an outdoor rink with the Buffalo-bred rock band Goo Goo Dolls performing during the first intermission.

Caregivers and children can watch The LEGO Batman Movie and enjoy some family time designing superhero costumes and masks at a drop-in animation workshop at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District on New Year’s Day, starting at 11 a.m.

Finally, the Pajama Brunch at Bourbon Street is another great option. Starting at 11 a.m., the Bayside restaurant will serve a prix-fixe meal with Mimosa, Bloody Mary and Screwdriver options. The Michelle Marie Trio will perform jazz, too.

Robes, pajamas and even slippers are heartily encouraged.

Editor’s note: As part of the Winter Classic, Denmark-based Mikkeller teamed up with Buffalo’s Thin Man Brewery to create Filthy Flow IPA, a beer that will be on sale in cases and four-packs at Citi Field on Dec. 30 from noon to 6 p.m. To purchase the brew, park in Lot G and go to the right field gate on 126th Street. This is a one-time chance, but Mikkeller plans to open a fully functional brewery with a restaurant and store inside Citi Field in early 2018.

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