As I write this column, we are 28 hours away from the event that an estimated 1 million people, mostly out-of-towners, will freeze their hindquarters to attend. I am referring of course to the ball drop atop One Times Square, signaling the end of one year and the start of a new one.

You can always avoid the shoving, the pickpockets, and the insane wait (expectant crowds have already begun camping out for a live glimpse of the festivities) by paying for a table at a Times Square restaurant or other viewing venue. But if you go that route, be prepared to part with some serious cash.

According to the website Ball Drop, the most expensive viewing platform is this year is the Marriott Marquis Times Square, where you can expect to pay up to $12,500 per couple. The fee covers a special live performance; a VIP party on the eighth floor; a live DJ; a 5-hour premium open bar with buffet, dessert stations, and late night snacks; and “available options to watch the live ball drop.” Does that mean jockeying with the next guy to gain a view through a window? If $25,000 is too rich for your blood, you can partake of Marriot’s New Year’s Eve hospitality with fellow cheapskates for a mere $1,350.

For something still more modest, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is selling seats with a view for $1,015. Admission includes an all-night premium open bar and a full entrée buffet that includes a dessert bar. To keep New Years Eve loud, the restaurant has hired an upbeat DJ and promises live entertainment.

Then there is Applebee’s, which has two (count ’em!) Times Square locations. What sets Applebee’s apart from other viewing parties is that kids are welcome, although it’s hard for me to imagine that any parent would bring his or her child to an event like this. Again, a live DJ will be on hand, and the cost of admission covers five hours of access to an open bar and an all-you-can-eat buffet of Applebee’s favorites. The cost? $799.

Finally, there is Olive Garden, which is charging a positively budget-rate New Years party fee of $450 a head. Your ticket includes a complimentary buffet, open bar, live entertainment, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, but (big but) the event’s organizers cannot guarantee that you will have a live view of the ball drop!

Happy New Year!