2 Love It

January 2016 events calendar for New York City

Plan your month with our events calendar of the very best activities, including free things to do and our picks from theater, the arts and music

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Eric Konon
January 3, Sledding in Prospect Park

Our events calendar for the first month of 2016 is the perfect tonic for a holiday hangover. Start the year off with a chilly dip in the ocean at the Polar Bear Club New Year's Day Swim in Coney Island, celebrate Martin Luther King Day, or free your legs from the tyranny of trousers at Improv Everywhere's No Pants Subway Ride.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2016

Featured events in January 2016

New Year's Day in New York

There is plenty to do in NYC on New Year's Day, so shake off your hangover and get ready to start off 2015 with a bang. Strip down to your skivvies and take part in the annual New Year's Day Swim at Coney Island, indulge in verse and good food at the 41st annual New Year's Day Marathon Benefit Reading, dance to techno beats at Victor Calderone's 12-hour New Years Day Matter Marathon and more.

Read more

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Lost in New York? Every Christmas, thousands of New Yorkers (and tourists) find their way to the bright and brilliant nexus of town, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Whether you’re stopping by the tree for ice-skating, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, or to see the Lighting Ceremony, you’re certain to feel the magic when you witness the wonder of the 78-foot, 10-ton Norway Spruce illuminated in over 45,000 LED lights.

Read more
By: David Goldberg

Martin Luther King Day events in NYC

Since it was first observed nationwide in January of 1986, the holiday commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has served as a reminder of his legacy to the causes of civil rights, nonviolent opposition and community service.

Read more
By: Evelyn Derico

The No Pants Subway Ride

In January 2002, Improv Everywhere's Charlie Todd produced the first-ever No Pants Subway Ride and posted the event on YouTube, where the short clip quickly gained popularity. Now it has turned into one of the group's most anticipated events, as thousands of New Yorkers continue the funny tradition on subway cars all across Gotham. Donning winter clothes, minus their pants, the straphangers share the same goal: to confuse bystanders.

Read more
By: Tazi Phillips

Free events in January 2016

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Rink

Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink is free and open late. Don’t get too excited—the admission may be gratis, but you’ll have to shell out $19 to rent skates (or BYO). Still, it’s a veritable winter wonderland: After your time on the ice, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius. If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours. Through March 1. RECOMMENDED: More rinks for ice skating in NYC

Read more
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park , Midtown West Until Sunday March 6 2016

“Greater New York"

Like the Whitney Biennial and the New Museum Triennial, MoMA PS1’s quinquennial “Greater New York” aims to capture that lightning in a bottle called the zeitgeist. That’s the hope anyway, since surveys of this type tend to be noisy affairs signaling—well, not nothing, exactly, but nothing terribly exciting, either, as the spirit of our age has been dispiriting for awhile now. Like the rest of their 0.01 percent cohort, collectors have been busily sucking up the world’s wealth, effectively reversing the revolution in culture, economics and politics that culminated in modernism.

Read more
MoMA PS1 , Long Island City Thursday February 11 2016 - Monday March 7 2016

Movement Research at the Judson Church

Judson Church has a long and storied connection to modern dance, and Movement Research's series continues to place this holy spot at the forefront of the form. A group of peer artists selects the program of experimental choreography, which tends to place its focus on those works that are still in process rather than finished products. This fall, the lineup includes I Am A Boys Choir, Nora Stephens, Xan Burley, Alex Springer and Mårten Spångberg (October 5); and Melanie Greene, Molly Heller (with Netta Yerushalmy), Odeya Nini, and Reyes Dance (October 19).

Read more
Mon Oct 5 - Mon Jan 25

Nobodies Talking Shit

Drag queens Lady Bearica Andrews and Ariel Italic plus DJ Accident Report are collectively the Nobodies. They (who?) are pooling their nightlife currency (or lack thereof) to rock your Monday night with trash talk and screenings at 10, followed by debaucherous drag performances and dirty dance music.

Read more
Mon Nov 30 - Mon Jan 25

Open Performance

One of New York's crucial R&D dance events, Movement Research's series of work-in-progress and experimental showings is centered around audience discussion and creating new models of feedback and support. Melinda Ring moderates October 13 for an evening that includes work by Chris Ferris & Dancers, Rina Espiritu and Marti Flicker; Camilo Godoy moderates on October 20, when the bill includes Leanna Grennan, Kathleen Kelley and Jessica Leigh Smith; and Molly Poerstel moderates on October 27, when Kat Brown, Greer Dworman and Victoria Tricoche perform.

Read more
Tue Oct 13 - Tue Jan 19

Ramzi Fawaz + Phil Jimenez: The New Mutants

Professor Ramzi Fawaz discusses queers in comics like X-Men and Fanatastic 4 and launches his new book, The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comic. He's joined by comic artist and writer Phil Jiminez, known for his work on Wonder Woman and Infinite Crisis.

Read more
28 Jan 2016

Music events in January 2016

Cass McCombs

Cult-fave song man Cass McCombs excels at both wistful psych-pop and scrappy lo-fi indie rock, constructing lyrical dioramas of Western mythos out of Americana imagery and dust bowl tradition. We’re hoping to hear some deep cuts from the itinerant enigma’s latest alluring head-scratcher, the sprawling collection of B-sides and rareties, A Folk Set Apart.

Read more
07 Jan 2016

Barb Jungr and John McDaniel: Come Together

One of the world's great cabaret singers, England's Barb Jungr is a genuine original, deploying warmth, high drama and sensitive musicality to reinvent everything she sings. Between songs, she is disarmingly garrulous, funny and candid; when she sings—in a warm, breathy voice acutely attentive to rhythm—she is serious but free of pretense. Now she teams up with musical director John McDaniel (The Rosie O'Donnell Show) to dig into the rich catalog of the Beatles. What could be fabber?

Read more
Fri Oct 30 - Thu Jan 14

Metz + Bully

Exuberantly unhinged noise-punk trio Metz blew many minds, if not speakers, with its incendiary self-titled Sub Pop debut back in 2012. The Toronto band returns to New York this year to air some tunes off last year's fittingly titled II, joined by Nashville grunge-rock outfit Bully, which echoes ’90s acts like the Breeders.

Read more
Wed Jan 13 - Thu Jan 14

Winter Jazzfest 2016

WJF, a perennial highlight of NYC's annual jazz calendar, hosts its signature Greenwich Village marathon on January 15 and 16, preceded by two kick-off events—Dutch jazz-punk outfit the Ex at LPR and jazz-funk ensemble leader Kamasi Washington at Webster Hall—and one encore gig with sax quartet Rova.

Read more
Wed Jan 13 - Sun Jan 17

Ratatat

Ratatat's electronic/instrumental works richly combine in miniature displays of computerized emotion, like synthetic laments to the passage of the ’70s and ’80s. Those electro-rock contortions on the duo's self-titled debut scored big points with the critical establishment in 2004, and as you can tell on last year's, Magnifique, the formula hasn't changed much since then—we're certainly not complaining.

Read more
14 Jan 2016

Seth Sikes Sings Mostly Judy Garland

Theater elf Sikes, best known as an assistant director, takes the stage himself for a nervy evening of Judy Garland stories and songs (including some in the original key), backed by a terrific band.

Read more
Thu Dec 24 - Fri Mar 18

Arts events in January 2016

“Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action”

Following in the footsteps of such boldfaced names as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, Andrea del Sarto (1486–1530) changed Florentine painting by adding an element of realism that represented a marked departure from the sublime idealizations of the High Renaissance masters. The difference is especially notable in the artist’s drawings, 50 of which are exhibited here. Although hugely successful in his own time, Del Sarto’s reputation was in decline by the 18th century and has only been revived in the last half-century—a historical lapse that accounts for his obscurity. This show, the first monographic survey of the artist’s work, aims to put him back in the spotlight.

Read more
Wed Oct 7 - Sun Jan 10

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

The mercurial Jefferson Mays (Tony winner for I Am My Own Wife) plays multiple members of an aristocratic clan in this new musical by Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman, based on the same novel that inspired Kind Hearts and Coronets. A distant and disinherited member of the D'Ysquith family slays his way to the earldom.

Read more
Thu Oct 1 - Sun Jan 17

Open Performance

One of New York's crucial R&D dance events, Movement Research's series of work-in-progress and experimental showings is centered around audience discussion and creating new models of feedback and support. Melinda Ring moderates October 13 for an evening that includes work by Chris Ferris & Dancers, Rina Espiritu and Marti Flicker; Camilo Godoy moderates on October 20, when the bill includes Leanna Grennan, Kathleen Kelley and Jessica Leigh Smith; and Molly Poerstel moderates on October 27, when Kat Brown, Greer Dworman and Victoria Tricoche perform.

Read more
Tue Oct 13 - Tue Jan 19

“Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom”

The history of Ancient Egypt spanned 3,000 years—a period that saw several cycles of collapse and renewal, including the transition from the Old to Middle Kingdoms, which saw pharaonic authority re-established after 125 years of civil war and chaos. The onset of the Middle Kingdom also marked the beginning of a cultural renaissance, examined here in a presentation of 230 objects drawn from 37 museums and collections in North America and Europe, as well as the Met's own considerable holdings. The biggest exhibit of ancient Egyptian art in years, “Ancient Egypt Transformed” could be rightfully described as a blockbuster show.

Read more
Until Sun Jan 24

Movement Research at the Judson Church

Judson Church has a long and storied connection to modern dance, and Movement Research's series continues to place this holy spot at the forefront of the form. A group of peer artists selects the program of experimental choreography, which tends to place its focus on those works that are still in process rather than finished products. This fall, the lineup includes I Am A Boys Choir, Nora Stephens, Xan Burley, Alex Springer and Mårten Spångberg (October 5); and Melanie Greene, Molly Heller (with Netta Yerushalmy), Odeya Nini, and Reyes Dance (October 19).

Read more
Mon Oct 5 - Mon Jan 25

"Frank Stella: A Retrospective"

Certainly one of the most recognizable names in American art, Frank Stella once famously proclaimed of his paintings that “what you see is what you see,” by which he meant that they neither framed a scene nor opened a window onto one. Nor did they constitute flat abstract planes whose domains extended only as far as the edge of the canvas. Instead, his paintings were things, objects in a room like any other, be it a statue or stick of furniture. This proposition—painting as wall relief—turned out to allow for an incredible, sometimes florid, variety of pieces that started out in the late ’50s and early ’60s as relatively restrained contoured canvases and ended up as today's dizzying array of shapes, colors and forms, protruding into space—often three-dimensionally. The arc of Stella's 50-plus-year career is revisited as the Whitney marshals some 120 objects for this, the most comprehensive survey of his art ever mounted.

Read more
Fri Oct 30 - Sun Feb 7

“Picasso Sculpture”

Whatever you may think of Picasso (1881–1973), his role in transforming Western art is unassailable, if poorly understood. Whenever most people consider his accomplishments, they usually think of his paintings, which is only natural since he studied as a painter. But as this magisterial survey at MoMA makes clear, he was just as innovative in another medium, one in which he received no formal training: sculpture.

Read more
Until Sun Feb 7

Zhang Hongtu

This show represents the first U.S. survey of Zhang Hongtu, a Queens-based Chinese artist who left his homeland in 1982 to avoid his country's government censors—a move that was understandably prudent since his best known work, the “Mao” series, mocks the ubiquitous portraits of the Great Helmsman found on the mainland. That work is here, along with other pop-cultural satires of life and politics in contemporary China.

Read more
Queens Museum , Queens Wednesday February 10 2016 - Sunday February 28 2016

“Greater New York"

Like the Whitney Biennial and the New Museum Triennial, MoMA PS1’s quinquennial “Greater New York” aims to capture that lightning in a bottle called the zeitgeist. That’s the hope anyway, since surveys of this type tend to be noisy affairs signaling—well, not nothing, exactly, but nothing terribly exciting, either, as the spirit of our age has been dispiriting for awhile now. Like the rest of their 0.01 percent cohort, collectors have been busily sucking up the world’s wealth, effectively reversing the revolution in culture, economics and politics that culminated in modernism.

Read more
MoMA PS1 , Long Island City Thursday February 11 2016 - Monday March 7 2016

More events in January 2016

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

You'll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which—after more than eight decades—still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the leggy, spunky Rockettes. In recent years, new music, more eye-catching costumes and advanced technology were introduced to bring audience members closer to the performance.

Read more
Fri Nov 13 - Sun Jan 3

Origami Holiday Tree

Festooned with more than 500 meticulously hand-folded paper ornaments, this year’s tree is inspired by the museum’s new “The Power of Poison” exhibit, meaning you’ll spot toxic mushrooms, poison ivy, spiders, snails and jellyfish. In addition to the venomous flora and fauna, the stationery has been fashioned into popular literary characters well versed in lethal substances, including Macbeth’s witches and Sherlock Holmes. Do some sleuthing of your own in the exhibit proper, where you can use forensic clues (and museum iPads) to solve mysterious poisoning cases.

Read more
Until Sun Jan 10

Drag Queens of Comedy

An all-star lineup of hilarious gender benders take the stage for some delightfully bitchy comedy and music. Performers include Bianca Del Rio, Sasha Soprano, Ginger Minj, Lady Bunny, Willam, Alaska Thunderfuck, Coco Peru, Shangela and Pandora Boxx.

Read more
16 Jan 2016

Holiday Train Show

Watch choo-choo’s go vroom-vroom in a circle. In NYBG's wildly popular diorama, more than a dozen model railway trains traverse an incredibly detailed New York City scene, including landmarks like the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall, made of natural materials such as leaves, twigs, bark and berries.

Read more
Tue Dec 1 - Wed Jan 20

Sarah Silverman and Friends

Need any further evidence that comedy’s lowbrow is becoming accepted in the hallowed halls of high culture? Silverman takes her acerbic, off-color act to the BAM opera house. Bring Mom—if BAM approves, she’d be wrong to disagree.

Read more
22 Jan 2016

Superheroes in Gotham

Masked marvels may be dominating Hollywood, but their real-life origin stories, inspirations and publishing history could only come from New York City. Witness the cosmic leaps superheroes like the X-Men and Thor have taken from the sketchbooks of struggling young artists like Jack Kirby in postwar Manhattan to radio, TV, film and beyond. Explore the evolution of fandom and the growing cosplay culture at the East Coast's largest comic convention, New York Comic Con. This exhibit offers you the chance to look to the skies and around your neighborhood for the world's mightiest supergods.

Read more
New York Historical Society Until Sunday February 21 2016

The Big Quiz Thing

Show off your impressive stash of trivial knowledge, or your ability to come up with smart-alecky witticisms, at this live trivia game show. Hosted by quizmaster Noah Tarnow, the event includes audio and video puzzles. If you don’t know an answer, create a clever one for a potential Smart-Ass Point. The winning team receives nerdy bragging rights—and a cash jackpot! This special flashback version features some of this year's best (and most difficult) questions.

Read more
Q.E.D. , Astoria Tuesday March 1 2016

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Rink

Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink is free and open late. Don’t get too excited—the admission may be gratis, but you’ll have to shell out $19 to rent skates (or BYO). Still, it’s a veritable winter wonderland: After your time on the ice, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius. If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours. Through March 1. RECOMMENDED: More rinks for ice skating in NYC

Read more
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park , Midtown West Until Sunday March 6 2016

The Butterfly Conservatory

There are more than 18,000 known species of butterflies, classified into five families. Meet gems from three of those famillies, including the Pieridae (white and sulphur butterflies), the Papilionidae (black and yellow swallowtail butterflies) and the Nymphalidae (psychedelic-colored longwing butterflies) as they fly around you in the museum's verdant vivarium compound.

Read more
American Museum of Natural History , Upper West Side Until Sunday May 29 2016

Comments

0 comments