After a monastic January (giving up all your vices and spending nothing since the holidays cleared you out), it’s time to cut loose and take advantage of all the NYC events in February. Use our events calendar to guide you to the best things to do in the winter this month: Get a delicious meal during NYC Restaurant Week, re-tox yourself at during New York City Beer Week with some of the best beer crawls and check out romantic things to do during Valentine’s Day.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar
Featured events in February 2017
Every year, New York’s usual anxiety and chaotic charm turns laissez-faire via The Crescent City for Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras in NYC is a typically rambunctious affair, featuring jazz music performances, funky shows, rich cajun cuisine, king cake and some of the best parties in New York. So, for your celebratory pleasure, here's our roundup of the city’s best Big Easy events.
This month, Chinatown gets stormed by dragons, dancers and some of the best Chinese food the city has to offer in celebration of the Lunar New Year. But before you get lost in the bang of firecrackers, check out some of the best things to do in Chinatown, NYC. Brace yourself for what’s sure to be a wild celebration with the Chinese New Year Parade!
The twice-annual discount dining event NYC Restaurant Week offers cheap dining deals at more than 300 restaurants in New York. From trendy newcomers to fine-dining standbys, the event draws bargain-hunting New Yorkers to try out new restaurants and revisit old favorites serving cheap eats.
Throw on your shoulder pads, perform your weird football ritual and get into the game with our guide to the best bars in NYC to watch the Super Bowl, plus how to chow down like a champion. And if you couldn’t give a hoot about the game, fear not! We’ve put together a list of the best football movies (and overall sports movies) to watch instead. Plus we’ll take you on a trip down memory lane with the greatest Super Bowl commercials of all-time.
No ticket to the shows? Don’t worry—feel like a fashion insider with our ultimate guide to NYFW. Tickets to the runway shows aren’t available to the general public, but newsflash: you don’t have to be part of the elite fashion world to feel like an insider. Maybe you don’t have a front-row seat to the shows or a spot reserved next to Anna Wintour, but don’t fret—we’ve got you covered. From free New York Fashion Week events you can actually attend to tips on how to get noticed by street style photographers, we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop.
Free NYC events in February 2017
More than 50 years since its inception, the Black Power movement’s influence can still be felt around the world, reverberating in modern activism, as well as hip hop, fashion, visual art and spoken word performance, is difficult to overstate. This insightful exhibition offers New Yorkers the chance to learn more about the movement’s roots, achievements and failures, as well as its enduring legacy.
Jeffrey Emerson, Jill Weiner and Brian Moran host this weekly night of stellar stand-up featuring a diverse range of comedians, including known names like Matteo Lane and Farah Brook and newcomers like Menuhin Hart and Melissa Diaz. The May 15 edition features Sally Ann Hall, Chanel Ali, Ryan Mulholland, Ethan Hall, Cres Hernandez and Sonja Savanovic.
At this massive grub hub, there’s only one rule: Come hungry. The Brooklyn Flea spin-off draws more than 10,000 visitors per day with a slew of 75 to 100 incredible food vendors. Our pro tip? Make sure you peruse the lineup before you go—those mouthwatering scents and the bevy of choices can make you dizzy (and the dense crowds can make you hangry).
The Night Shift, which describes itself as a “working class theater” group, hosts this inebriated monthly reading of Shakespearean monologues. Want to see if you can recite Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” after a few brews? Step up to the mike, or just sit back and soak in the iambs.
Snap photos, post them to Instagram or Twitter and tag your team to earn points in this week-long citywide scavenger hunt hosted by comedian Tyler Richardson. Photo tasks will be released the morning of May 27, with the hunt concluding at 11:59pm on June 2. R.S.V.P. on Facebook to get assigned to a team, then keep your eyes peeled and your phone at the ready.
Immerse yourself in the cultural delights of the Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican communities of Chinatown and the Lower East Side at this block party. While Peking Opera performers and klezmer bands take the outdoor stage, you can catch free language lessons, master your mah-jongg game and, best of all, learn how to prepare empanadas, Chinese dumplings and kreplachandchallah bread. Endless grub will be available for sale.
Nothing strengthens a relationship like wading into water and having to count on your partner to keep a skinny boat afloat, so bring your dad along to kayak on the Hudson. You'll get to go out on the water for 20-minute sessions, after a brief lesson, of course, which is just enough time to bond before your arms get tired.
After spending nearly a year getting sequins and glitter out of their bedsheets, NYC’s mermaids and seamen are ready to undo all their hard work. Join a packed crowd on Coney Island’s streets for an epic procession of wild floats, barely clad revelers and beachside celebrating. Now in its 35th year, the world’s largest arts parade welcomes partyers of all ages to rejoice in kitsch, camp and craft, but those who are serious about their scales can register to win iconic titles, including best sea creature, best motorized float, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid.
Music events in February 2017
Cloud Nothings play the sort of scruffy fuzz-pop you've heard a million times, but thanks to the vocal pathos and songwriting smarts of frontman Dylan Baldi and the wiry muscle of bassist TJ Duke and drummer Jayson Gerycz, this Cleveland crew achieves a rare resonance. The band follows up its debut and a Wavves collaboration album with a wearier, more introspective collection of tunes, Life Without Sound.
Rashad, part of the same Top Dawg Entertainment crew that includes Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, makes nuanced R&B-soaked hip-hop on his debut LP, The Sun's Tirade. Like his excellent 2014 mixtape Cilvia Demo, its a heady, hazy collection of emotionally all-in verses.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/CZR-E for The Come Up Show
This is the stage name of L.A. producer Jennifer Lee, who makes psychedelic hip-hop with skittering electronic beats. Fans of Flying Lotus will likely dig her sound (in fact, she’s signed to the producer’s label, Brainfeeder). Here she takes over Output's state-of-the-art sound system for a DJ set.
Rubblebucket funnels Afrobeat, funk and electronica into good-natured grooves, which have lately veered into offbeat avant-rock territory. With its most recent release the gloriously weird 2014 LP, Survival Sounds, this whimsically named group promises to bring the heyday of soul into our hipster times.
Swearin' leadperson Allison Crutchfield, whose delivery suggests a riot-grrrl take on the Guided by Voices oeuvre, recently signed her solo project to Merge Records. Hear songs from her debut, Tourist in this Town, as she takes the stage with Sam Cook-Parrott's fuzzy power-pop project Radiator Hospital.
“If they try to slow me down, I’ll tell them all to go to hell,” Brian King screams on “The House That Heaven Built,” the most blaring single from Japandroids' 2012 album, Celebration Rock. The band's been silent these past few years but no longer. The duo returns with a new album in tow, the spectacularly titled Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, that promises all the same cathartic audience sing-alongs of yore.
With Dangerous Woman, her third album, Grande proved herself adept at making a range of pop styles her own, from the reggae-pop of "Side to Side" to hazy trap-influenced "Everyday." Whether she's able to anchor a stadium-sized blow out hinges on your fondness for EDM-soaked singles such as “Break Free” and “Love Me Harder.” One thing's for sure: She has the voice for it.