NYE Times Square

Hey all.

So my wife and I are heading over to the US from Australia in December for a month long road trip starting in New Orleans and ending in New York City for NYE.

I've been reading a lot about TImes Square (which we have both been to once before) at NYE and we don't like the idea of being in a pig pen for 12+ hours so we are looking for somewhere to go.

We are in our late 20's and early 30's so we would like to go somewhere fun but not too crazy and would have access to see the ball drop either from inside or access to go outside and watch it. Our budget is up to $500 each.

Would anyone have any suggestions?? I know that the locals tend to find other things to do but its not everyday we are NYC for NYE.

Thanks in advance!!