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NYC events in January 2021

Make the new year great by attending the best NYC events in January 2021 from concerts to new exhibitions

By Shaye Weaver and Collier Sutter
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Begin the fresh new year off on the right foot with our list of NYC events in January 2021 to plan your month. We’ve included the best events in January, from can’t-miss happenings to popular New York attractions. From new museum exhibits to celebrating Martin Luther King Day, check out these events and more sensational things to do in the winter.

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2021

Featured events in January 2021

prismatica
prismatica
Photograph: Cindy Boyce

Giant illuminated rainbow prisms on Broadway

News Art

2021 isn’t off to the most zen of starts, but a new work of art coming to the Garment District is hoping to bring a bit of soothing sparkle to midtown. Prismatica, an immersive art installation consisting of 25 rainbow-like prisms, will be installed this Monday on the Broadway pedestrian plaza between 39th and 40th streets, courtesy of the Garment District Alliance. The six-foot-tall prisms will reflect a kaleidoscope of colors as they move, creating a colorful environment for pedestrians to traverse. Along with the colorful reflections, musical sounds will create a truly immersive landscape along the public thoroughfare. 

 

Beetle House cocktail
Beetle House cocktail
Photograph: Courtesy Beetle House

Beetle House's outdoor fire-and-ice bar

News Drinking

NYC's Beetle House—a Halloweenesque, Tim Burton-themed restaurant and bar—now has a "fire-and-ice" bar where you can imbibe hot alcoholic drinks inside a warm and weatherproofed space. Located in the East Village at 308 E Sixth Street, Beetle House is serving up hot cider, hot toddies and other hot and cold drinks, including ice-cold, zero-degree vodka that creates a cloud of steam when infused with a hot cider martini with berries (called the "winterberry cider martini"). New seasonal drinks are on the menu in addition to cocktails like the "This Is Halloween" (Fireball, Sour Apple, Pumpkin Liqueur, Apple Cider, pictured below); "The Fleet Street Martini" (Fireball, sour apple pucker, cranberry juice, cranberry flavor sugared rim) and the "Chocolate Chocolate Martini" (Vanilla Vodka, Chocolate Syrup, Milk, Whipped Cream).

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Light Up Chinatown
Light Up Chinatown
Photograph: @nyclovesnyc

Light Up Chinatown

News City Life

As we enter another dark pandemic winter, a small group of Chinatown residents decided what their neighborhood needed was a little bit of light. Right now, hundreds of paper lanterns are glowing above Mott Street—between Canal and Bayard streets—casting a warm and inviting glow. Installed by the Light Up Chinatown Project, the new fixtures are intended to light up the street in these dark times, and also inspire New Yorkers and tourists to stop by and visit hurting restaurants and shops. The effect is magical—the lanterns mimic a celebratory atmosphere despite the difficult times and have already gained a lot of attention and Instagram posts. Each of the 250 lanterns represents a donation of $45 or more to the Light Up Chinatown project. 

Listen Bar
Listen Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Listen Bar

Listen Bar: Dry January 2021

Nightlife Online,

NYC’s Listen Bar is holding its own Dry January (virtual) parties each week with booze-free cocktail demos from its menu, musical performances, and guest experts on fresh topics from astrology and money manifestation to mindfulness and mixology. Musicians include Australian pop artist Banoffee, rock band Habibi, and Listen Bar’s own musician bartender and rising star J.Scott. A percentage of event proceeds will benefit several non-profit organizations focused on recovery for queer and trans-BIPOC, Indigenous people, as well as those in the music world.

 

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New York Responds: The First Six Months
New York Responds: The First Six Months
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

New York Responds: The First Six Months

Museums History Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem

New York Responds: The First Six Months at the Museum of the City of New York is an extension of the outdoor photography installation that opened this summer and features selections that were made by a community jury, reflecting the changes and challenges of life in New York City from March through August 2020. The exhibit showcases photographs, objects, videos, and works of art that document the impacts of Covid-19 and activism in 2020, including creative handmade masks and social distance markers; photographs of mutual aid efforts, including food donation, community fridges, and volunteers; a pan used in the 7 o’clock clapping for health care workers; photographs of activism for Black Lives Matter, including healthcare workers taking a knee; an innovative ventilator devised by medical personnel at The Mount Sinai Health System; and photographs of essential workers, including food delivery and public transportation.

Winter Village at Bryant Park
Winter Village at Bryant Park
Photograph: Courtesy Angelito Jusay Photography

The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Things to do Markets and fairs
The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park will be open for shopping and food. Its 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink that's free to use (if you bring your own skates) is the highlight, while about 60 shopping and food kiosks are there to peruse—all at one of the best NYC parks. This year will be slightly different given new health and safety protocols, but this guide contains all the information you need to know, including when the market officially opens (and closes) to the public.
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About Time: Fashion and Duration
About Time: Fashion and Duration
Photograph: Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“About Time: Fashion and Duration”

Art Design The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park

The Metropolitan Museum is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and in light of all of those years passing by, the Costume Institute is mounting this exhibition about fashion’s relationship with time. The show explores how fashion’s history is both linear and cyclical: On the one hand, there’s no more reliable marker for a particular period than the clothes being worn at the time; yet on the other hand, fashion itself often looks to the past for inspiration. The Met reaches into its vast collection to explore how fashion often moves forwards by moving back. Each "minute" in the clock room represents a pair of garments—one from our present and one from that past that served as inspiration for the piece.

Art on the Ave Upper West Side
Art on the Ave Upper West Side
Photograph: @artontheavenyc

The Art of Healing Gallery Walk

Art Outdoor art Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

Discover the artwork of 27 artists along Columbus Avenue from West 67th to 77th Streets, Saturday through January 31, 2021, as part of Art on the Ave NYC. Curator Lisa DuBois of X-Gallery in Harlem chose works from more than 220 submissions that reinforce the gallery walk’s timely theme, “The Art of Healing.” New Yorkers can access recordings of each artist describing their work and an introductory message from actor Michael Imperioli by scanning a QR code on individual storefront windows. Also included is an educational component featuring downloadable lessons accessible through the Art on the Ave website.

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city winery
city winery
Photograph: Courtesy City Winery

City Winery's private igloos at Rockefeller Center

News Drinking

Frankly, we all could use more wine right about now—but we especially could use more wine while nestled inside a cozy, heated igloo dome while overlooking a picturesque New York winter scene. Luckily, City Winery is offering just that with the opening of not one but two pop-up experiences at Rockefeller Center. The first is an open-air wine garden on the plaza level, complete with light bites, local sips (City Winery vino, Montauk tapped bears), and those iconic private igloos, which can be reserved for 90-minute stints for up to eight people, and will set you back $150 minimum during lunchtime (1–3:45pm) or $250 minimum during dinner (4–8pm).

On Location Tours Mrs. Maisel
On Location Tours Mrs. Maisel
Photograph: Courtesy On Location Tours

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" private tours

Things to do Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

On Location Tours is launching a new private tour for fans (a max of three people) of the popular Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel that'll take them around in a 1957 Studebaker Commander, which has been featured in all three seasons of the award-winning series. The driver and the tour guide, who will be dressed as Midge, will whisk tourists to the show's haunts: the butcher shop, the deli, the classic pre-war building she and her family live in and more. 

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pier 17 the greens winter cabins
pier 17 the greens winter cabins
Photograph: Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corporation/Giada Paoloni

The Greens at Pier 17

Restaurants Pier 17, Financial District

The Greens at Pier 17, the socially distanced dining destination that made a splash this summer thanks to its Instagram-ready, reservable mini lawns, is transforming into a new experience for the colder months on Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport. Each week, 28 individual 12’ by 10’ winterized dining cabins will be up for reserving. Each cabin will be able to fit up to 10 guests and will be decorated with fun winter décor and amenities including virtual fireplaces, electric heating, cozy banquettes and, of course, jaw-dropping, floor-to-ceiling views of NYC from its prime location on the East River waterfront. Guests will be able to enjoy seasonally themed dishes and cocktails while looking out on a mountain range sculpture installed on The Rooftop at Pier 17 stage (for the full alpine escape experience.) While the all-day menu will be provided by the on-site rooftop restaurant R17, the cocktails have been created by the newly crowned second best bar in the world Dante. 

William Vale rink
William Vale rink
Photograph: Courtesy The William Vale

Skating at Vale Rink

News City Life

The William Vale has once again transformed its 23rd-floor outdoor rooftop into a skating rink—an experience that comes with a side of panoramic views of New York City.  The true first-ever open-air rooftop ice skating rink in New York, Pier 17, is closed this year. But luckily you can still head to Brooklyn.  Sessions at Vale Rink are now open just in time for the holidays. Guests are required to make reservations in advance to allow for reduced capacity during skate sessions (which run 50 minutes per group). You can snag tickets here.

 

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Into the Woods concept at SERRA by Birreria
Into the Woods concept at SERRA by Birreria
Photograph: Courtesy of SERRA by Birreria

Eataly's winter rooftop restaurant

News Eating

Eataly Flatiron's SERRA by Birreria will take you to a magical forest with its wintertime concept, SERRA Stellata - Into the Woods, debuting today. Taking inspiration from the great outdoors and being in the open airthe restaurant is named stellata, which means "starred" in Italian, to give inspiration to people to "look up" and admire the winter starry nightthe open-air rooftop will feel fittingly woodsy with Adirondack chairs, birdhouses, and white-and-gold "foliage." The woodlands theme continues with the food-and-drink menu. Get a taste of Italian winter via polenta crowned with wild-boar ragù, blistered dumpling squash filled with fontina or taleggio and braised leaks drizzled with balsamic. On the beverage front, smoke plays a starring role: Joining smoked beers and barley wines, many cocktails will be prepped tableside and ingredients will be presented in smoked bottles. (Try a trio of Negronis, each with varying intensities of smokiness.)  

 

Brian Clark: The Art of Light Museum of Arts & Design
Brian Clark: The Art of Light Museum of Arts & Design
Photograph: Courtesy Jenna Bascom

"Brian Clark: The Art of Light"

Art Museum of Arts & Design, Hell's Kitchen

Get immersed in the vivid, saturated and dramatic stained glass works of Brian Clarke, who has been one of the world's most prominent stained glass artists. You can walk between and around 20 free-standing, glass screens that almost come to life with changing light. Since the early 1970s, Clarke has collaborated with some of the world’s most prominent architects to create stained-glass designs and installations for hundreds of projects worldwide. 

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The Stettheimer Dollhouse: Up Close mcny
The Stettheimer Dollhouse: Up Close mcny
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York, by Ali Elai of Camerarts, Inc

The Stettheimer Dollhouse: Up Close

Things to do Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem

Museum of the City of New York is bringing back one of its most popular items — The Stettheimer Dollhouse, a lavish, highly-detailed dollhouse with rarely seen miniature 20th-century modernist artworks. Carrie Stettheimer, along with her sisters Ettie and Florine and their mother Rosetta, was the host of an influential avant-garde artistic salon in early 20th century New York. The sisters, who were also known as the “Stetties,” weaved together the fashion and style of early 20th century New York in miniature form across 12 rooms, from the Limoges vases in the chintz bedroom to the crystal-trimmed candelabra in the salon. In fact, some of the leading figures of modern art in New York in the 1910s and 1920s, including Marcel Duchamp, Gaston Lachaise, Margaret and William Zorach, and others gifted miniature works for the dollhouse.

Gilberto Rivera Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration
Gilberto Rivera Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration
Photograph: Courtesy MoMA PS1/Matthew Septimus

"Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration"

Art MoMA PS1, Long Island City

PS1 is taking an important look at the life of people in prisons and those no longer behind bars through their art that deals with issues of state repression, erasure, and imprisonment, as well as the COVID-19 crisis in U.S. prisons. Installations include Rorschach-like portraits of black Americans who were killed in police-involved shootings, a mural made of 39 prison-issued sheets at 40 feet long and 15 feet tall and more. The exhibition is a powerful exploration of the social and cultural impact of mass incarceration.

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Infamous Fotografiska
Infamous Fotografiska
Photograph: Courtesy Andres Serrano and Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris & Brussels

"Infamous" at Fotografiska

Art Photography Fotografiska, Gramercy

Infamous, a solo exhibition by renowned artist Andres Serrano on view at Fotografiska, is a visual exploration of the history of racism in the U.S. via 30 photographs of racist artifacts, including race-based and racist memorabilia. Serrano acquired KKK hoods, consumer products depicting caricatures of Black people, violent documentary photographs, and more, most of which were previously owned and purchased directly from the homes of Americans. Serrano hopes to confront the country’s racist history and have Americans consider racism's influence on culture and society today. The museum will support these conversations through programming, includingwith the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Brian Clark: The Art of Light Museum of Arts & Design
Brian Clark: The Art of Light Museum of Arts & Design
Photograph: Courtesy Jenna Bascom

"Brian Clark: The Art of Light"

Art Museum of Arts & Design, Hell's Kitchen

Get immersed in the vivid, saturated and dramatic stained glass works of Brian Clarke, who has been one of the world's most prominent stained glass artists. You can walk between and around 20 free-standing, glass screens that almost come to life with changing light. Since the early 1970s, Clarke has collaborated with some of the world’s most prominent architects to create stained-glass designs and installations for hundreds of projects worldwide. 

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Martin Luther King Day Tribute at BAM
Martin Luther King Day Tribute at BAM
Photograph: Elena Olivo

Martin Luther King Day in NYC

Things to do

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.

Artechouse celestial
Artechouse celestial
Photograph: Courtesy ARTECHOUSE

'Celestial' at ARTECHOUSE

Art ARTECHOUSE, Chelsea

Pantone's Color of the Year (Classic Blue) is at the center of ARTECHOUSE's latest multimedia exhibit—"Celestial." Visitors to the underground attraction will be taken on a "journey beyond the skies."  Classic Blue, according to Pantone, brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. The new installation aim to do the same through sights, sounds and sensations.

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15th annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
15th annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Lunar New Year

Things to do

It's the year of the Ox! For Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year), NYC's restaurants will be celebrating this year with Chinese delicacies and events where you can experience more of what the country has to offer.

Glass cabins at Watermark Bar
Glass cabins at Watermark Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Watermark Bar/Dianna DelPrete

These waterfront glass cabins offer seriously stunning East River views

News Eating

FiDi's Watermark Bar is offering glass cabins along Pier 15 overlooking the East River waterfront and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. The panoramic views alone are enough to warm us up without the use of outdoor heaters. (But don't worry, each "house" is fully warmed and weather-controlled.) 
Available on a first-come, first-serve basis, the glass cabins can fit as many as 10 diners, who can share stuff like cheese fondue, grilled skewers, a s'mores kit, and hot cocktails (boozy cocoa, hot cider) inside. 

Looking for more things to do?

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Red Door Spa
Photograph: Courtesy Red Door Spa

The best spas in NYC

Health and beauty Spas

It’s no secret that New Yorkers are stressed, but when it comes to unwinding, we’re pretty competitive about that too—that’s where the best spas in NYC come in. The city boasts some of the most luxurious spas in the country, but affordable spa treatments also abound. So get inspired with birthday party ideas in NYC or date night ideas in NYC and book yourself a treatment at one of our favorite New York City spas.

RECOMMENDED: A complete guide to Spa Week in NYC

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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/A.Strakey

26 gorgeous photos of New York in winter

Things to do

Is there any city quite so dramatic, romantic and inspiring as New York in the snow? We're going to go ahead and say no—NYC wins the crown. And when you peep at these beautiful photos, we think you'll agree with us.

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Secret library Hemmelig Rom
Photograph: Courtesy Jason Koxvold

The most secluded getaways from New York City this winter

Travel

With a long winter before us, escaping New York City on a secluded getaway is at the top of our list. We're craving a respite from the busy lives we lead in NYC and are seeking to snowshoe in the Adirondacks, walk solo in Rhode Island, roast marshmallows at an isolated campsite in the Catskills, and more. These spots make for ideal trips during times of global crisis and not. As fun-filled as camping sites, cycling and hiking trails are, there is something about going a bit farther away that makes for more memorable times—especially given the current travel restrictions in placeSo, without further ado, in no particular order, here are the best secluded getaways to take from New York to escape the crowds. 

NOTE: Although our list has been vetted, re-opening guidelines in the New York area are constantly changing. Reach out to specific venues and destinations before planning a trip. 

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