While December is an exciting time to live in New York, you still have to find things to do after the festivities are over and the famous tree has come down. Don’t get complacent! We’ve got your back, as we’ve pulled together a list of things to do in NYC in January that will surely bust you out of your post-holiday slump.
1. Go Ice Skating
The holidays aren’t the only time that you can go ice skating. Many rinks, like Prospect Park and the new Glide rink by the Brooklyn Bridge, are open for months after. Be sure to book in advance and bundle up to make the most of the skating and the views. Many also offer an open cafe, with hot chocolate and light bites to keep you fueled through your skating session.
2. Take a Museum Stroll
Winter is one of the best things to do in NYC in January. It’s the perfect time to see museum exhibits at the Natural History Museum or the Met. You can pick a neighborhood and visit all its museums or pick a style of art you want to see. I love taking trips to the Brooklyn Museum and seeing what new exhibits they have on rotation.
3. Go to the Movies
New York City has many movie theatres, including indie and mega cinemas. There is no shortage of seats to watch a movie and take a break from the cold. AMC Theatres also offers a discounted blank ticket to redeem at any 2D movie when you’re worried about the cold or the storms. If you’re looking for an elevated experience, be sure to check out Alamo Drafthouse or Nitehawk, where you can see a movie and get a meal delivered to your seat.
4. Explore the Bookstores
New York City also has many bookstores to slip into when the weather gets cold. Some personal favorites are Bluestockings Cooperative, The Ripped Bodice in Brooklyn, and the iconic Stand Bookstore in Union Square. Be sure to check out all of them and support local businesses.
5. Cozy Up in a Coffee Shop
There’s no better time to cross various coffee shops off your bucket list than January in New York. We recommend checking out favorites like the Bean or Mudspot or finding space in the library of Ground Central to sit and cozy up. Try a seasonal drink, cafe hop, or sit and get warm at any of New York’s beautiful spots.
6. Enter the Broadway Lottery
The lottery is one of the best ways to see Broadway shows. The lottery is provided for many shows through websites and apps like Broadway Direct or Lucky Seat. Apply for as many as you like and win discounted tickets to some of Broadway’s hottest shows.
7. Go Bowling
There is a bit of theme here, and the theme, of course, is activities you can do inside. Between the very famous Bowlero in Times Square and the lesser-known Gutter in Williamsburg, there are a lot of different places you can bring your friends for a few games. Be sure to bring your best bowling game, and enjoy cocktails, light bites, and fun with friends.
8. Try Your Hand at Mini-Golf
This is another good time to try some indoor mini-golf places. Swingers is an enjoyable, Manhattan-based mini golf spot that’s perfect for a date or bringing your friends. If you’re looking for something with more of a theme, check out Shipwrecked in Brooklyn.
9. Check Out Local Comedy
New York City is among the best places to check out local comedy. There is a rotating schedule of comedians, so you can be sure not to see the same act twice. Be sure to check out the Comedy Cellar or the Amateur Night at the Apollo, which boasts some of the best up-and-coming comedians.
10. Enjoy the Governors Island Winter Village
Governors Island is just a short ferry ride from downtown Manhattan and is well worth the visit. Be sure to check out the beautiful views and the 7,500-square-foot ice skating rink, warm up by one of the fireplaces, and play various lawn games. While you’re on Governor’s Island, you can also check out the QVC spa or walk along the waterfront.
11. Go Roller Skating at the Oculus
If you’re tired of ice skating and being out in the cold, look no further than the Oculus’ first-ever roller rink, the Winter Whirl. For $30 an adult, you get 45 minutes of roller skating, with rentals included. Here, you can take in the holiday cheer and the winter decorations as you skate under the Oculus. If you tire of skating, you can check out the surrounding shops and restaurants while staying warm inside the Oculus.
12. Go to Coney Island (Seriously)
New for this year, Coney Island’s Luna Park is open for the winter. Until January 7th, Luna Park’s inaugural “Frost Fest” will be open to visitors. Visitors can check out many thrilling winter activities, like Rudolph’s ice skating rink, rides, holiday lights, a holiday market, photos with Santa, and a lot of festive fare. Coney Island is no longer just for the summer!
13. Listen to the Sounds of the City in the Winter Jazzfest
The annual Winter Jazzfest runs from January 11th through 18th, 2024. It features over 100 bands that will play at dozens of venues across the city. Be sure to check out the schedule in advance and see if any of your favorite artists will be playing.
14. Visit the Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park
Bryant Park is one of the hotspots during the holiday season. While the Christmas Village and shops will close on January 2nd, the ice skating rink, The Lodge Bar and Food Hall, and the fun igloos will stay open until March 2024. Bumper cars on ice are slated to return on January 13th, which makes Byrant Park one of the best things to do in NYC in January!
15. See the Winter Antiques Show
The Winter Antiques show at the Park Avenue Armory runs from January 19th to January 28. It is the première art, antiques, and design fair in America, featuring many of the world’s top experts in the fine and decorative arts. In its 70th year, the show will feature works spanning 5,000 years and will be presented by over 68 internationally renowned dealers.
16. See the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden
The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is a fun and immersive experience that will delight visitors and their families. This fun and incredible annual show is running until January 15th, 2024. Here, more than 25 G-scale model trains and trolleys hum along nearly a half-mile of track. Enjoy walking the beautiful gardens and take in the splendor of the artistry.