Best things to do in the winter
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is worth braving the cold for. Not only is there free ice-skating on Bryant Park's 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink (you may bring your own skates or rent for $20), there's a bunch of new kiosks and eateries where you can grab a bite. There is also the new rink-side pop-up restaurant The Lodge with an indoor beer garden.
Each January, Winter Jazzfest, perennially one of the best concerts in NYC, hosts the genre’s top talent over several 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.
After reviving the Rumours lineup in 2014, the Mac is back. But all is not well in the land of dreams and crystal visions: Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham is on the outs with the group after scheduling disagreements with his band mates. In his place, ax slingers Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) and Neil Finn (Crowded House) join the crew for this tour. As a result, you can expect a few covers and rarities, like the bluesy "Oh Well" from the band's earlier, pre-Buckingham/Nicks incarnation, as well as a steady stream of hits.
Mel Marvin and Timothy Mason's musical take on Dr. Seuss's yuletide fable, in which a selfish creature overcomes his chronic cardiac deficiency, played two holiday seasons on Broadway during the Great White Way's green-monster craze of the 2000s. Now it returns to MSG in a production directed by Matt August and starring Gavin Lee, who recently shone as another green grump in Broadway's SpongeBob SquarePants.
Dive into the ancestors of the world’s most-beloved magical saga at this spectacular exhibition, which collects artifacts from the British Library, the New-York Historical Society and J.K. Rowling’s own archives. You’ll learn about the history of dragons, griffins and other essentials of Hogwarts lore, peer at rare notes and art from Rowling and illustrator Mary GrandPré, and view costumes from the current production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Brace yourself for a museum gift shop more packed than Honeydukes.
Get ready for one of the best NYC events in February: Chinese New Year! NYC will be chock-full of dragon dances, vibrant floats and yummy vendor foods during the annual celebration. Make sure to head to Chinatown for one of the best things to do in the winter, including annual Lunar New Year Parade & Festival.
Amy Heckerling adapts her own lovable 1995 movie, a Beverly Hills update of Jane Austen's Emma, into a jukebox musical comedy that repurposes '90s hits into character songs. Kristin Hanggi (Rock of Ages) directs; Dove Cameron, of Disney Channel's Liv and Maddie, stars as would-be matchmaker Cher.
Sure, you can catch Tchaikovsky's beloved ballet at the theater, or even at the multiplex with Disney's new adaptation. But for a distinctly NYC take on the Christmas classic, head to Bushwick's fabulously gothic Théâtre XIV to witness a truly wild spin. You may know Company XIV as the burlesque bastion behind shows like "Ferdinand: Boylesque Bullfight," and their ribald spin on Tchaikovsky promises the same level of high-drama choreography, tassel-twirling and magnificent costumes. Met Opera choreographer and company co-founder Austin McCormick assembles a lit team of opera singers, aerialists, circus performers and burlesque artists for this year's spectacle, running through January. Beyond the dazzling show, you're sure to be awed by the baroque theater space, which looks like a set from the Phantom of the Opera, along with the cheeky cocktail menu. Just be sure to keep an eye out for whoever (and whatever) comes crawling out from under Mother Ginger’s dress.
Revive your senses and find peace from the chaos of city life at this spacious, aromatic new yoga studio that offers self-guided and instructor-led ashtanga lessons, along with an infrared sauna, reiki sessions and more.
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.
In a certain sense, the Whitney’s retrospective of Andy Warhol (1928–1987) is redundant: If you want to see his work, just look around you. Warhol anticipated our free-market landscape of short attention spans and narcissistic social media engagements. His oft-quoted insight, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” nailed our penchant for disposable celebrity, foreseeing our Instagram influencers, YouTube stars and other assorted meme-sters. Another utterance—“Business is the best art”—predicated a contemporary art world in which meaning is subsumed by the global flow of capital. Warhol’s observations became an augury because we, as a society, wound up with the superficial culture we so richly deserve. Interestingly, Warhol was unabashed about indicting his own art for being part of the problem. “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol,” he once said, “just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.” Gnomic pronouncements were of apiece with Warhol’s sphinxlike persona, yet there was more behind the mask than he let on. His transformation from Andrew Warhola, son of working-class Slovakian transplants to Pittsburgh, to Andy Warhol, avatar of downtown midcentury cool, was a classic American tale of self-invention filtered through popular culture. Inspired by his mother’s kitchen, he elevated food packaging to fine art. He brought the ethos of mass production, that medium of blue-collar life, to hi
Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the largest cathedral in New York City and one of the loveliest; entering its elegant confines could cheer up even the grinchiest among us. At this nonreligious celebration of the season, watch dancers and musicians reenact ancient solstice rituals for a modern audience.
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.
After declaring bankruptcy in 2016 to widespread lamentations, the family-friendly circus came bouncing back to life at Lincoln Center last year, and now returns for its 41st season with a show that aim to throw some spotlights on women. New ringmaster Stephanie Monseu presides over a spectacle that includes a trapeze routine by the Flying Tunizianis, a trampoline act created by Andréanne Quintal, and an acrobatic duet, performed by Virginia Tuells and Ihosvanys Perez, in which she does most of the heavy lifting.
Join this scantily clad, one-mile Valentine’s Day dash to raise funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which has raised $94,589 in the past. Make sure to register (and wear some form of undies) to participate.
Dyker Heights residents take the holidays very seriously: The houses in this nabe are decked out with thousands of lights, life-size toy soldiers, inflatable Santas and more. Take in all the best displays on this 3.5-hour bus tour.
Fiery trumpeter Hargrove, who's played with the likes of Erykah Badu and Common, airs his soulful neobop in an all-star quintet format consisting of saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, pianist Orrin Evans, drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Eric Revis.
The Museum of Modern Art’s much-anticipated Bruce Nauman retrospective is here, and to call it exhaustive would be an understatement. If the show’s organizers haven’t assembled the entirety of Nauman’s output over 50 years, they’ve accomplished something pretty damn close. Occupying MoMA PS1 from top to bottom, with a floor at the Midtown Modern thrown in for good measure, the exhibit covers Nauman’s essential role in U.S. art, especially during the late 1960s, a period which produced video, installation, performance, body and conceptual art. Nauman had a hand in developing them all. Starting out as a painter, Nauman switched to sculpture, though not in the conventional sense. Initially perplexed about which direction to take, he concluded that, since he worked in an art studio, anything he did there could be considered art—a performative corollary to Marcel Duchamp’s notion of the Readymade. In this respect, Nauman was his own Readymade, and because he treated himself as an object, effacing his subjectivity in the bargain, he became, in effect, the anti–Marina Abramovic: not a dramatic actor in his work, but a kind of void—hence this show’s title, “Disappearing Acts.” An early filmed performance from 1967–68 serves as a prime example, with Nauman, seen shirtless from the waist up, applying makeup to his face and body—first in white, then in pink, next in green and finally in black. The result is something of a paradox, as Nauman stands out from the wall behind him while
Get camera-ready for Fashion Week. NYC will be filled with a stampede of posh editors, bloggers, stylists and shutterbugs. Tickets to some of the major 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. Maybe you don’t have a front-row seat to the shows or a spot reserved next to Anna Wintour, but don't fret—we’ve got you covered.
Floating electronic beats, meticulously layered samples and dream-pop melodies—sounds like a common synth-pop formula these days, but as Empress Of, singer-songwriter Lorely Rodriguez sounds nothing short of singular. The artist follows her stellar 2015 debut, Me, with another stunner, Us. From the lush groove of "Love for Me" to the moody funk of "When I'm With Him," Rodriguez excercises restraint, leaving ample space in her arrangements to highlight her strong vocals. Across ten expertly deployed tracks, she finds a new softness without losing her music's danceable pulse for a sound that's well matched to her intimate, bilingual missives on romance, friendship and fitting in.
The New York Botanical Garden explodes into a tropical floral extravaganza for the annual Orchid Show. Take in the thousands of blooms on display, and don’t forget to make a pit stop by the Shop in the Garden for your very own orchid to take home.
The erstwhile angry young man—since 2014, an official Madison Square Garden franchise, like the Knicks and Rangers—is tacking on date after date in what’s threatening to become an endless run.
No St. Patrick’s Day in NYC would be complete without staking out a spot at this parade, which makes another glorious march up Fifth Avenue. (The event is even older than the United States; it was started by a group of homesick Irish conscripts from the British army in 1762.) More than 2 million onlookers show up for the annual spectacle.
Twice a year, NYC Restaurant Week takes over our fair city, allowing penny-pinchers like us to stuff our guts like royalty at top eateries for only a fraction of the usual cost. With three-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus and reservations available via OpenTable, it’s easier than ever to get into that new French bistro you’ve had your eyes on and nearly 400 other mouthwatering gems.
Whether you dig football or not, the big game is, if anything, an ace excuse to gorge and get sloppy. And if football isn’t really your jam, there’s always the Puppy Bowl, a televised gaggle of adorable doggies in a mock stadium. Who are we kidding? We’re mostly here for the puppies.
Every year, New York's usual anxiety and chaotic charm turns laissez-faire via the Crescent City for Mardi Gras. NYC’s Fat Tuesday is a typically rambunctious affair, featuring jazz performances at some of the best jazz clubs in the city, plus more funky shows. There also rich cuisine from Cajun restaurants, king cake and some of the best parties in New York.
More winter things to do
Interested in ski trips near NYC? Take the bus or train to hit the slopes in ski paradises near New York in no time.
For a cool new hobby, take one of the city’s best ice-skating lessons for a spin on the rink this winter
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors! Brave potential frost bite for some city fun in the snow.
Grab your galoshes and check out the best places to go sledding (and where to get boozed-up afterward)
Winter food & drink
Kiss Swiss Miss goodbye—the best hot chocolate in NYC features fiery chilies, marshmallow “flowers” and, yes, booze
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
The best rooftop bars open during the winter range from a mountain ski lodge to a cigar lounge overlooking Times Square
Winter events guides
See our comprehensive guide to the Academy Awards, including this year's Oscar nominations, predictions and interviews
Excited about the fall season? Broadway Week 2017 in NYC offers great deals on the best Broadway shows and musicals.
Celebrate Black History Month in NYC at these events that shine light on the history and talents of African-Americans