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NYC events in January 2022

Make the new year great by attending the best NYC events in January 2022 from concerts to new exhibitions

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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Begin the new year on the right foot with our list of NYC events in January 2022 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 2022

Featured events in January 2022

  • Art
  • Midtown West

Award-winning graphic novelist Peter Kuper's intricate drawings of insects—bees, ants, cicadas, butterflies, silkworms, beetles, dragonflies, and more—show them "flying, crawling, and interacting with the various rooms of the Library’s 42nd Street building, where they will be showcased. "This bug’s-eye view of the building’s Beaux-Arts architectural details illuminates the iconic spaces in a completely original way." Kuper has been working on an upcoming graphic novel, INterSECTS, and had the chance to explore the building and its rooms while they were empty during the pandemic. It was there that he realized that the building would be a perfect vehicle for his concept.

Viewers of his work can access commentary by experts online and via QR codes, such as Jessica Ware on dragonflies, Gene Kritsky on cicadas, Michael Engel on bees, Barrett Klein on scarab beetles, and Mark W. Moffett on ants with Mexico’s leading poet/novelist, Homero Aridjis, reading his poem "A Una Mariposa Monarcha."  The audio talks are accompanied by the insect-inspired music of David Rothenberg. All of this plus downloadable coloring book art will be available on January 7 at nypl.org/intersects.

"There are roughly 10 quintillion insects on Earth," Kuper says. "They touch everything we do in our daily lives, our economy, our very survival. Yet most of us barely notice their existence except to swat them away. I have been fascinated with these amazing creatures my whole life, so to be able to do research at the Library investigating them and how they’ve interacted with humans over the centuries was a true passion project. To then have the opportunity to incorporate the Library’s iconic spaces into that artwork is incredibly meaningful. I hope visitors not only enjoy the images and see the Library anew, but they’ll particularly view arthropods through a new lens, and appreciate the beauty and mystery of these tiny giants that are essential to our planet and our lives."

  • Things to do
  • City Life

For the first time in its history, the BBG is welcoming visitors through January 9 to its very own light installation called "Lightscape," presented in partnership with Sony Music. Lightscape is a celebration of light that incorporates art and music that people from all cultures and beliefs can enjoy, especially as the days get shorter. Garden-goers will walk through a colorful forest of illuminated trees and come across a pond where lasers shoot across and reflect off the water and a Cathedral of Light tunnel, as well as see a Fire Garden on Lily Pool Terrace, a Field of Light and an animated light installation covering Cherry Esplanade. The colorful light displays highlight the garden’s trees, landscapes and architecture with more than 18 distinct works of art, including a series of works by local artists in the Plant Family Collection. All in all, there are about one million lights featured in the show. Visitors can grab hot chocolate or apple cider to enjoy on their walk and can make their own s'mores. (The apple cider also comes spiked, if you so desire.)

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

The glasshouses overlooking the East River at Watermark Winter Wonderland at Pier 15 in downtown Manhattan are up and running. Once you get to the destination—which is a huge, 7,500-square-foot waterfront venue—you'll walk through a beautiful illuminated tunnel before entering one of the many cozy private glasshouses, which you can reserve right here. In addition to the phenomenal views of Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Williamsburg bridges, guests will delight in trying out the delicious cheese fondue, perhaps, or order the build-your-own-s'mores dish. 

  • 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 more than 100 shopping and food kiosks are there to peruse—all at one of the best NYC parks. You can even go ice-less curling and rent an igloo to sip on warm drinks this year!
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  • 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.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Governors Island, which recently announced that it will be open to the public year-round for the first time in its history, has opened its first-ever winter village with glittering lights, a 5,000-square-foot ice rink, sled rentals, warm drinks near fire pits and winter programming as well. The massive ice rink will be open Fridays, weekends and on New York City public school holidays from noon to 5pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm, with extended hours available for youth, adult and nonprofit sports leagues and associations. There will be themed events as well as Free Admission Fridays! Sleds will be available to rent alongside bikes from Blazing Saddles NYC. Governors Island will also have winter activities including cornhole, can jam and giant Jenga as well as winter arts and cultural programming and a dazzling display of holiday lights throughout Colonels Row. There will also be a fun and historic photo opp with a Coast Guard-era fire truck at the Winter Village.

 

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The Arts of Buddhism at The Brooklyn Museum
Photograph: courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

The Arts of Buddhism at The Brooklyn Museum

As of January 21, the Brooklyn Museum will have a new gallery dedicated to the Arts of Buddhism collection. It'll juxtapose artwork with nearly 70 objects from 14 countries dating from the second century C.E. to the early 2000s. Many of the works on display will be sculptural depictions of Buddhas and other enlightened figures, as well as ritual tools and ornaments made for use in Buddhist temples and a small selection of paintings. Among the objects newly on view are several of the Museum’s masterpieces, including a rare eighth-century image of the goddess Tara from Odisha, India; a Chinese silver reliquary dedicated by a Buddhist monk and his mother; and a gilt-bronze seated Buddha from southern China. There are also at least nineteen objects that have never before been on display at the museum. In addition, as part of the inaugural installation of the gallery, a pair of important Japanese mandala paintings, dating to the fourteenth century, will be on view for the first time in twenty-five years.

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Pier 17's signature winter rooftop cabins are back. Each 10x10 custom-built structure can accommodate up to eight people and there will be a total of 32 cabins on the rooftop to choose from. Expect the comforting environments to include a virtual fireplace, banquette-style seating, heaters and, perhaps most excitingly, stunning views of the New York City skyline. It doesn't get much better than this. In terms of decor, the heated spaces remind of ski-related destinations. In fact, you'll notice a life-sized sculpture of a mountain range built on the stage space on premise alongside a whole lot of twinkling lights. Pier 17 has basically turned into the nearest mountain vacation to Manhattan. You can reserve your own little oasis right here. Keep in mind that a fee of $20 will be applied to all reservations. A portion of those proceeds will, however, benefit local not-for-profit partners.

Looking for more things to do?

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  • 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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