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The 24 best things to do in the winter in NYC

Come rain, sleet or snow, New Yorkers have plenty of festivals, live music and (of course) beer to keep them warm

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Thomas Hawk

The city that never sleeps doesn’t hibernate through the colder months. There’s a plethora of exciting things to do in the winter to keep everybody busy that’s not already hanging out in the coziest restaurants and bars in NYC or being lazy as f**k in a loungey spot. Don’t forget that New York is absolutely gorgeous in winter—and enjoy all the undies subway rides, dog shows and sweet concerts the season has to offer.

Best things to do in the winter by date

1

New Year's Eve Reflections Gala

Going all in New Year's is a risky proposition, but this is a safe—though expensive—bet. This is a top-notch black-tie event at an elegantly restored Gilded Age hotel. Each room is decorated with a living tableau of performance artists who will converge on the stage in the main ballroom for midnight performance.

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31 Dec 2015
2

“Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting”

Burri (1915–1995), a postwar Italian abstractionist, was for using of throwaway materials including plywood, plastic sheeting, and burlap. But the quality that truly distinguishes his compositions is his violent treatment of the canvas, which is often torn or spotted with holes burned through the surface in a way that evokes, perhaps, the still fresh memories of World War II.

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Until Wed Jan 6
3

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.

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07 Jan 2016
4

Jana & Lauren Presents

With the beginning of the new year comes the end of this monthly mainstay at the Magnet (sob). For the past few years the show has served as a great spot for local comics to try out their weirdest and silliest characters, but it's third anniversary bonanza in January will also be the last show. In the past guests like Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show), Adam Wade (Inside Amy Schumer) and Jo Firestone (Punderdome) have all taken turns donning alter egos, and this final bash is sure to be a doozy.

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Fri Dec 4 - Fri Jan 8
5

No Pants Subway Ride

If you’re looking to show off those sweet undies you got from Santa to someone besides your significant other or your cat, you’ll get your chance when Improv Everywhere’s annual prank invades the NYC rails. Brave the cold and show up to meeting spots in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens; from there, the horde takes to the subway in their skivvies. Expect to be on a lot of Instagram feeds.

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10 Jan 2016
6

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.

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Wed Jan 13 - Thu Jan 14
7

Winter Jazzfest 2016

Winter JazzFest, a perennial highlight of NYC's annual jazz calendar, hosts its signature Greenwich Village marathon on Friday 15 and Saturday 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.

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Wed Jan 13 - Sun Jan 17
8

Drag Queens of Comedy

Your ass may be freezing, but you can warm your spirit by the fiery fury of the funniest queens in the business. Bianca Del Rio, Lady Bunny, Willam, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, Ginger Minj and more are gathering on one stage to help you tuck away all your worries and laugh 'til your mascara runs.

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16 Jan 2016
9

Gad Elmaleh

After the holidays it’s hard to imagine shelling out cash to go on a vacation, but for two months Joe’s Pub is bringing a very popular piece of Paris to the city: Gad Elmaleh. Maybe you’ve never heard of him, but Elmaleh is France’s most famous stand-up comedian—think Jerry Seinfeld in the ‘90s big. Elmaleh worked tirelessly for months to translate his show to English and perfect his American-comedy timing and that preparation wasn't for naught.

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Joe's Pub at the Public Theater , Downtown Sunday February 7 2016 - Sunday March 27 2016
10

Cochon 555

The 18-city, nose-to-tail culinary tour lands in New York for its eighth year, sating 500 hungry guests with craft brews and 2,000 pounds of heritage-breed hog. While you feast through 36 porcine dishes and endless booze, five chefs—including Danji's Hooni Kim, the Cannibal's Francis Derby and Casa Mono's Anthony Sasso—will throw down in the kitchen for the coveted title of "Prince or Princess of New Porc City."

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Sun Jan 24 - Mon Jan 25
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Comments

14 comments
Kuldeep S
Kuldeep S

There is nothing better than enjoy Radio City Rockettes or Broadway on Christmas break. Tickethub.co is offering great prices on broadway and other theater tickets. Try it at http://www.tickethub.co/

mk
mk

Where is this list?!?!?!

Mandy
Mandy

How about warming up indoors with a language class? Fluent City offers some awesome classes for adults in Spanish, French (plus 8 other languages). I took Spanish and I am thinking about Hebrew next. Plus it makes an awesome holiday gift for a friend. Check it out at http://www.fluentcity.com

Denise Hopkins
Denise Hopkins

awsome! I love studying and learning about New York. Some day I plan on traveling to New York, so when I do go I will know all the places I want to go, and know something about it. I will also know things to do and attend diffent times of the year. If I go in the summer, I'll know what I want to do and where I want to go. If I go in the winter I'll know what I'll do, so this web page is so helpfull. Thank you.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Make this page searchable by date!!!!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Went to Park Here and fell in love, will be going back many times and bringing friends.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I checked out Park Here (#1 on the list) over the weekend and it di not meet expectations at all. I am disappointed at the list after that. If that is the number one thing to do in NY over the winter, I cannot imagine what the other things are like.

Austin Scott Brooks
Austin Scott Brooks

Great list of stuff to do and see! NYC is by far one of the greatest places for finding anything to do, any season of the year.

Anonymous
Anonymous

the ifc center is also playing miyazaki films for the holidays!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Oh, if only it was frigid, Park Here would seem even cooler. When, oh, when will winter come?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Park Here is by far the most unique indoor pop-up park ever! Love the Fatboy headdemocks (hammocks)! Gives New Yorkers what they need... Peace and relaxation during the freezing winter!