Best things to do on New Year’s Day in NYC
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.
Hockey fans, assemble! The 10th anniversary of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be big, especially for Gothamites. The match is between two Empire State teams, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers. What makes this game so special is that it’s being played outdoors: Citi Field is bringing in an ice truck to create a temporary rink. Before the stick smackdown, there’s a free pregame festival for fans with giveaways, food and drinks at Lot F in Citi Field’s parking lot (9am to 1pm).
Bring a sword, a bow, an ax and a hangover to this daylong fan viewing, at which Videology screens all three extended editions of the legendary Middle-earth trilogy. With a total 726 minutes (that’s 12 hours) of screen time to watch, there’s no braver way for you to start your New Year than by surviving this saga. Just try to pace yourself: Not everyone can hold their liquor as gracefully as Legolas does. Rohirrim!
If your New Year’s resolution is to be more of a free spirit, this daylong art, mind and music bash is where you’ll find your release. Hosted by dance-party geniuses the Get Down and House of Yes, the eight-hour party lets you groove to live DJs, listen to poetry, marvel at dance and circus performances and clear your mind during yoga.
The garden lights up with its collection of trains that chug along a nearly half-mile track by 150 miniature NYC landmarks like the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall, all made of natural materials such as leaves, twigs, bark and berries.
Chances are your attention will be shorter than normal today, which is just fine: This 44th anniversary of the 12-hour literary soiree features bite-size readings and performances by around 150 poets, dancers and musicians.