While it's "free" to stand in Times Square to ring in the new year, you might be shocked at just how expensive it can be to see the ball drop in New York City.

We've all probably thought about it: being one of over a million people in Times Square on New Years Eve counting down to the new year. And while it's free just to stand there (we'll forget about tolls, parking, and all of that stuff for the moment), you might want to party somewhere -- and that's when you'll get scorch marks on your Visa card.

  • Olive Garden, Times Square: a 5-hour party with a full buffet, open bars, and dancing will set you back $400 per person. Seats are first come, first serve, otherwise you'll be standing all night eating your bottomless bread sticks and the restaurant cautions the view of the actual ball drop is "limited."
  • Applebee's in Times Square: $375 for adults, $250 for kids.
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, which is a little closer to the action, was charging $799 per person for their party -- "was" because it sold out in a matter of days.
  • At the top of the Marriott Hotel in Times Square is a restaurant on the 48th floor called The View, which is probably the most perfect spot in the whole city. That perfection comes with a price: their 5-course dinner with live music will set you back $650 per person and tack-on an extra $130 per person for their open bar package. Oh, and if you want to spend the night at the Marriott, a room with one king bed will cost you almost $800 (and you have to check-in tonight to spend New Years there).

Suddenly, watching the ball drop on TV with a bag of chips doesn't seem like a bad idea...