Judging by all the awesome things to do in winter, the city that never sleeps doesn’t hibernate through the colder months. There’s a plethora of exciting events, including a winter carnival and festivals to keep everybody entertained that’s not already spending their days inside the coziest restaurants and bars in NYC or lounging inside a sauna at one of the best spas. Don’t forget that New York is absolutely gorgeous in winter, so don’t be afraid to admire all the snow-covered trees at the best NYC parks, and enjoy fun winter celebrations including dog shows, book fairs and Winter Jam.
Best things to do in the winter
If you’re looking to show off those sweet undies you got from Santa to someone besides your significant other (or your cat), you’ll get your chance when Improv Everywhere’s annual prank invades the NYC rails. Brave the cold and show up to meeting spots in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens; from there, the horde takes to the subway in their skivvies. Expect to be on a lot of Instagram feeds. Sun, January 8, 2017 at 3pm.
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.
At this annual bash, stuff your face with all-you-can-eat whole-roasted pig, broken down into dishes like tender pork brisket and zesty ribs by pit-masters coming from the deep South to downtown Manhattan. Between gut-sticking platters, swig limitless pours of craft suds and hooch, including rare, twenty-year-old bourbons. Feeling bold? There’s a bacon-eating contest where you can test your marathon-eating abilities for bragging rights and swag.
Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at two key neighborhood fetes organized by the Better Chinatown Society. During the New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony (Jan 28), hundreds of thousands of the sparkly explosives will be set off to ward off bad spirits for the year, then a cultural festival—with dance performances, Chinese food and more—takes over Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The Lunar new year parade (Feb 5) is also a can’t-miss event.
These pups may be cute, but their owners have spent tens of thousands of dollars to train, primp and groom them for this moment. Coo over more than 3,000 dogs representing hundreds of breeds and varieties at this annual caninefest, where dogs are judged across seven divisions (hound, toy, nonsporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier). If you can’t score a ticket, you can still get your fix via online streaming during the day and TV coverage of the evening competitions.
Times Square, the obvious place to take your interests to an almost unhealthy extreme, becomes a veritable temple to knitting for a full weekend during Vogue Knitting LIVE!. Craft nuts can shop for patterns, hooks, needles and every kind of yarn (care for some bison or possum fiber?) at an international marketplace or check out dozens of classes and lectures catering to all levels of stitching mastery.
If your life, your love and your lady is the sea, then you’ll be more than satisfied by this five-day nautical convention, which features a vast variety of yachts, sailboats and more, along with features like a “Be A Diver” scuba pool, Annapolis School of Seamanship seminars and a boating simulator.
The Parks Department reminds us why we should love the colder months with Winter Jam, its annual winter sports festival in Central Park. Attendees can learn or take part in snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding on the manufactured white stuff. (Or they can just sip hot chocolate and enjoy the outdoors.) Sat, January 28 from 11am to 3pm.
As New York Fashion Week 2017 (Feb 9–17) enters the city, so will a stampede of posh editors, bloggers, stylists and shutterbugs. 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. 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.
More winter things to do
Check out this list of 16 events, exhibitions and activities happening this winter. It might just motivate you to leave your apartment next weekend.
To help our fellow denizens beat the freezing-temp blues, we’ve concocted a list of products and practices that’ll help anyone snap into a good mood
Winter food & drink
From returning favorites like Sippin' Santa's Surf Shack to ski-lodge–inspired newcomers, these are the seasonal boites you have to hit up before year's end.
The holiday season might be over, but the cheer lives on. The Standard East Village is maintaining its five alpine yurts (a.k.a. cozy, makeshift tents) in its Winter Garden until March 1, 2017
Winter events guides
Archive things to do in the winter content
This Soho restaurant serves modern Japanese fare with a touch of French influence. The minimalist menu offers diners a few different options: They could either go for the omakase ($125), the prix-fixe menu ($55) or order a la carte. On a recent visit, the prix-fixe meal included seasonal sashimi, mackerel with truffle oil and Dijon mayonnaise, miso egg drop soup and several other dishes. If you’d prefer to pick out each dish yourself, you might be tempted by the wagyu beef with bell pepper jam ($39), uni with soy reduction and wasabi ($18) or the fluke with mountain yam ($13). To drink, order a bottle of sake ($31–58)—what else? The drink menu includes both beer and wine, as well.
Venue says: “Modern Asian eatery reside in downtown Soho. Prix Fix $55 per person for 7 courses”