Our NYC events in January calendar is the perfect tonic for a holiday hangover. Start the year off right by checking out the best events at popular New York attractions, including the best NYC concerts in January and new theater performances. From taking a chilly dip in the ocean at the Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Swim in Coney Island to celebrating Martin Luther King Day, or freeing your legs from the tyranny of trousers at Improv Everywhere's No Pants Subway Ride, there are so many wonderful things to do in the winter here.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2018
Featured events in January 2018
There is plenty to do in NYC on New Year’s Day, so shake off your hangover and get ready to start off 2018 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 annual New Year’s Day Marathon Reading and more.
Each January, Winter Jazzfest hosts a stellar lineup over five nights. Its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon brings vets and up-and-comers, hordes of music fans and a palpable air of excitement to an array of cozy downtown venues. The shows aren’t individually ticketed, so a wristband grants you access to any of each night’s shows—as long as a given club doesn’t hit capacity, that is.
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.
Would you believe us if we told you a dip in the Atlantic is great for a hangover? Even if you don’t buy it, cheering those brave—or crazy—enough to take the plunge will stir you from your stupor. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club’s annual New Year's Day Swim invites hundreds of swimmers (without the benefit of blubber, underfur or guard hairs) to venture out into the ocean. All that’s required to take part in this brisk tradition are warm clothes, sneakers you don’t mind ruining (or surf boots, if you’ve got them) and the fortitude to actually go through with it. Meet on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn. Suggested donation $25.
Music events in January 2018
The turntable whiz hits Brooklyn Bowl to ring in 2018 with his dense, party-fueling beats. He was last heard on the 2016 soulful sixth album, Dame Fortune, in which the "Mad Men" theme producer lays out his ominous hip-hop production behind contributions from artists including R&B guitarist Son Little and spitfire North Carolina rapper Phonte.
As Moor Mother, Philly artist Camae Defstar makes music that bespeaks a punk ethos—sonic chaos and a revolutionary spirit—but relies on noise instrumentation: field recordings, analog sequencers and distorted drum machine collaged into witchy lo-fi "dark rap." Here she pairs with anarchic local noise-maker Dreamcrusher and a special guest.
Halal is a creative overachiever in music, video and event production and anything and everything in between. Devoted to New York's underground scene, she is the creator of the party series Mutual Dreaming and stages the annual weekend festival Sustain-Release. Catch her darkly hued, hallucinatory techno at this eight-hour set.
Few sounds in rock are more loaded with promise than the shrill feedback drone that precedes this band's every gig. The New Orleans sludge-metal group started three decades ago as a bad joke and slowly evolved into an institution, amassing a global following and even turning up on Treme. Here, the masterful riff wranglers, soldiering on after vocalist Mike IX Williams's recent liver transplant and the death of longtime drummer Joey LaCaze, turn up in support of their fine 2014 self-titled comeback LP.
Brooklyn composer-songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone's San Fermin touches down to deliver sweet, brass-fangled baroque folk—like Dirty Projectors jamming with DeVotchKa. Prepare yourself for an circuitious journey through Leone's nimble, expansive story-telling, chock-full of grand epiphanies and subtle truths.
Each January, Winter Jazzfest offers a crash course for anyone interest in exploring NYC's jazz scene. Its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon brings vets and up-and-comers, hordes of music fans and a palpable air of excitement to an array of cozy downtown venues. The shows aren't individually ticketed, so a wristband grants you access to any of each night's shows—as long as a given club doesn’t hit capacity, that is.
For more than a decade, frontman-songwriter Max Bemis has transformed his neurotic woes and exceedingly dirty thoughts into an ongoing alt-rock opera that's brash, barbed and frequently hilarious. Tonight you'll get the best of both worlds, as Bemis presents SA tunes new (heard on its latest LP, I Don't Think It Is) and old.
Looking for more things to do?
Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano
Over the past few years, New York City has indulged its obsession with ‘old-style’ Italian red-sauce joints trying hard to look like they sprung fully-formed out of central casting. Although it only opened October 2015, Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano meets the mark effortlessly. The foyer of this 140-seat restaurant features photos of the big man with his celebrity friends, including Cher, Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, and Billy Crystal. Tables are filled with businessmen tired of the steakhouse, bridge-and-tunnel families, and ‘wise guys’ enjoying dinner over a few laughs. The dark wood walls absorb the din, and low lighting tempers the conspiratorial mood. In addition to a full bar, they offer a very civilized collection of Classic Cocktails, several featuring Palminteri’s own BiVi Sicilian Vodka. A Classic Manhattan ($13.95), with Michter’s Straight Rye, Italian Sweet Vermouth and Angostura bitters, was mixed by an expert hand. They also offer a 250-bottle wine list, with an impressive roster of by-the-glass options. Palminteri takes pains to feature dishes from his native Sicily, especially seafood. An appetizer of Calamari Fritti ($12.95) showcased lightly-battered rings of squid with zesty marinara, and a special appetizer of creamy Burrata ($13.95) was a riff on the classic Insalata Caprese. A hearty selection of risotto and pasta dishes includes Linguini Nero (MP), lobster and mixed seafood over al dente black linguini. A Bronx Tail ($49.95) —a mammoth 16 oz
Venue says: “Upscale Italian eatery featuring classic Italian meat, seafood and pasta dishes, as well as antipasto and traditional Italian desserts.”