New York City events calendar for January 2015. Best festivals, fairs, fun things to do, Martin Luther King Day events, kids activities, free entertainment, NYC, New York.

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January 2015

Enjoy the best New York City events, festivals, and things to do in January 2015 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from Rockefeller Center in downtown New York City, New York.

Poetry marathon

January 1, 2015

2.3 miles south

Hear 140 poets read works from 2 p.m. until after midnight at New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading at St. Mark’s Church in-the Bowery.

Polar plunge

January 1, 2015

19 miles south

Join the Coney Island Polar Club when they wade into the Atlantic Ocean to celebrate the new year with a New Year’s Day Swim or watch from shore. Donation.

Winter in Bryant Park

January 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Oct. 21)

0.5 miles south

Winter Village at Bryant Park features 125 holiday shops in kiosks and an ice skating rink that stays open until March 1. Free unless you rent skates.

Daily tree lighting

January 1 - 6, 2015 (begins Nov. 25)

1.7 miles north

Watch the lighting ceremony for a Christmas tree adorned with 18-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs at the Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Fresh jokes

January 2, 2015

8 miles south

Hear 50 comics each present a first new joke of the year at 50 First Jokes at the Bell House in Brooklyn.

The Nutcracker

January 2 - 3, 2015 (begins Nov. 28)

1.2 miles NW

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition with old-fashioned costumes, a tree that grows before your eyes, crystal-shaped snowflakes, fine choreography by New York City Ballet, and Tchaikovsky’s captivating music at Avery Fisher Hall.

Cocktails in the conservatory

January 2 - 10, 2015 (begins Nov. 21)

12 miles north

Sip a cocktail under holiday lights; see model trains circle a miniature New York, and watch ice carvers at Bar Car Nights at the Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Garden.

Experimental theater

January 2 - 17, 2015

2.6 miles south

See contemporary theater and dance performances and premieres at COIL in Performance Space 122.

Free days at Wave Hill

January 3 - 31, 2015 (Tuesdays & Saturdays)

12 miles north

Enjoy Wave Hill cultural center and its 28-acre public garden overlooking the Hudson River in the Bronx on Target Free Days. Free entry if you arrive by noon.

Alternative wedding show

January 4, 2015

5 miles SE

Find vendors of handmade items and innovative services for unique weddings at Lovesick, plus fashion makeovers, neo-burlesque performances, live music, and a bar at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Three kings parade

January 6, 2015

3 miles north

Children wearing crowns join real camels, sheep, a donkey, colorful puppets, musicians, and community leaders dressed as kings in the festive Three Kings Day Parade and Celebration in East Harlem. Free.

Big Apple Circus

January 7 - 11, 2015 (begins in Dec.)

1.1 miles NW

Metamorphosis is a classic circus show with animals, aerialists, contortionists, jugglers, and magicians in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center.

Innovative theater festival

January 7 - 18, 2015

NYC locations

See cutting-edge theater from around the world, live and recorded, at Under the Radar. Some have post-show talks or after-parties.

Jazz festival

January 8 - 10, 2015

NYC locations

Winter Jazzfest NYC includes 100 groups playing at 11 venues in the Village. Buy a day or weekend pass.

New opera and theater

January 8 - 17, 2015

NYC locations

Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now offers seven visionary opera-theater and music-theater works.

Experimental art

January 8 - 18, 2015

3.8 miles south

American Realness Festival features 75 performances of 19 productions, plus both onsite and offsite exhibitions, at Abrons Arts Center.

Asian dance

January 9 - 10, 2015

0.7 miles SE

See groundbreaking artists perform at Contemporary Dance Showcase: Japan + East Asia at Japan Society.

No pants on the subway

January 11, 2015

NYC locations

Liven up winter by joining thousands who follow the instructions for taking a No Pants Subway Ride. Free.

Diverse music fest

January 11, 2015

2.2 miles south

Enjoy 12 musical acts on 3 stages from countries all over the world at globalFEST at Webster Hall.

French casserole cook-off

January 11, 2015

2.5 miles south

Taste competing chef’s versions of this slow-cooked casserole from the south of France made with meat and beans at Cassoulet Cook-Off at Jimmy’s No. 43.

Holiday Train Show

Jan. 13 - 19, 2015 (begins Nov. 15)

12 miles north

Watch model trains zip around miniature New York landmarks made of plant materials, and enjoy kids’ activities at the Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Garden.

Jewish film festival

January 14 - 29, 2015

1.5 miles NW

The New York Jewish Film Festival showcases films that investigate, record, and celebrate the Jewish experience at Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center.

Zombie escape

January 14 - Feb. 22, 2015

1.2 miles south

You and 11 others are Trapped in a Room with a Zombie on a chain and have one hour to solve clues and escape, at 355 7th Avenue.

Weird films

January 15 - 18, 2015

3.1 miles south

Philip K. Dick International Film Festival of Science Fiction, Fantastic Film, Science and the Supernatural screens dozens of unusual films at Tribeca Cinemas.

Classical ballet

January 15 - 23, 2015

5.6 miles south

Mariinsky Theatre of Russia performs an entrancing Swan Lake at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.

Crazy art auction

January 15 - Feb. 27, 2015

0.6 miles west

See a funny play about Chump’s Auction House, and then bid on art using fake money. Lucky bidders can keep their treasures at Going Once! Laughing Twice! at St. Luke’s Theatre on W 46th. Discount tickets.
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Balkan festival

January 16 - 17, 2015

8 miles south

Zlatne Uste Golden Festival is a music and dance festival with 60 bands on 4 stages, vendors of Balkan art and textiles, and Middle Eastern refreshments at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn.

Knitting show

January 16 - 18, 2015

0.4 miles SW

Vogue Knitting Live features knitting classes, fashion shows, and vendors at New York Marriott Marquis.

Bull riding

January 16 - 18, 2015

1.2 miles SW

Professional Bull Riders take on the fiercest bucking bulls at Madison Square Garden.

Squash championship

January 16 - 23, 2015

0.5 miles south

See world-class squash players compete at Grand Central Terminal in the Tournament of Champions.

Beer tasting

January 17, 2015

4.1 miles SE

Taste 12 IPA beers and vote for your favorite at the Mystery IPA Contest at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn.

MLK volunteer day

January 17 - 19, 2015

multiple locations

Volunteer in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Free.

Italian opera

January 17, 21, 24, 2015

1.1 miles NW

La Traviata is a bittersweet love story by Verdi at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Salsa sensation

January 18, 2015

2.4 miles SW

Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra is an 11-piece Latin band that plays indie rock in unusual and beautiful salsa style at Subrosa club.

Pinot Noir tasting

January 18, 2015

2.8 miles south

Taste 100 pinots from 35 producers on Sunday at New York City Pinot Days at City Winery on Varick Street. (Saturday winemaker’s dinner is sold out.)

MLK celebration

January 18, 2015

4.2 miles north

WNYC’s Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration is a panel discussion and music at the Apollo Theater. Online reservations full. Standby line at event. Free.

MLK gospel show

January 19, 2015

0.7 miles SW

Celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. at a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, joyous gospel show performed by Harlem Gospel Choir at B.B. King Blues Club. Food minimum at tables.

MLK Day tribute

January 19, 2015

6 miles south

Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. includes a keynote speaker and choir in BAM Howard Gilman Opera House at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Tickets are available onsite at 8 a.m. Free.

MLK Day concert

January 19, 2015

10 miles south

Pre-register and arrive early for a seat at “A Shared Dream” Tribute & Concert, which includes a gospel singer, bands, and more at Brooklyn College. Free.

MLK film

January 19 - 29, 2015

NYC locations

Selma [sound] is the powerful story of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the struggle for civil rights. Schedule.

Afternoon classical concert

January 20, 2015

1.2 miles NW

Signum Quartet is a young group of award-winning German musicians who play Haydn, Berg, and Brahms at Merkin Concert Hall.

Broadway discounts

January 20 - Feb. 5, 2015

0.5 miles west

Get 2-for-1 deals on select theater shows during Broadway Week. Repeats in Sept.

Boat show

January 21 - 25, 2015

1.5 miles SW

See new boats, marine gear, and accessories plus workshops and TV celebrities at the New York Boat Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Ceramics show

January 21 - 25, 2015 (preview Jan. 20)

1.8 miles NE

New York Ceramics & Glass Fair features exhibits by 36 galleries at Bohemian National Hall.

Cocktails & food

January 22, 2015

6 miles south

Good Spirits pairs fine spirits with local restaurant food at the Invisible Dog Art Center for age 21+.

Dance festival

January 22 - 31, 2015

6 miles south

FLICfest (Feature Length Independent Choreography) is a festival of feature-length dance, with complete works by six choreographers, plus informal late-night cabarets, at Fort Greene in Brooklyn.

Pig feast

January 23 - 25, 2015 (Jan. 25 sold out)

NYC locations

Cochon 555 has a dinner at Root & Bone on Friday, another at The Cannibal 11th Ave. on Satuday, and a culinary competition and stand-up tasting at Andaz 5th Ave. on Sunday, to promote sustainable farming.

Travel show

January 23 - 25, 2015

1.5 miles SW

Hear travel tips from experts, browse hundreds of travel booths, watch cultural performances, and try international foods at the New York Times Travel Show in Javits Convention Center.

Antiques show

January 23 - Feb. 1, 2015

1 mile north

View and purchase exceptional antiques ranging from ancient Roman glass to mid-century modern from 73 exhibitors at the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory. No baby strollers on weekends.

Snow sports in the park

January 24, 2015

1.2 miles north

Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and games during Winter Jam, when the Central Park bandshell area is covered with blown-in snow. Bring equipment or borrow it free. Bring photo ID for sports. Free.

Beer, bourbon, barbecue

January 24, 2015

2 miles SW

Sample beer, taste bourbon, hear bluegrass music, and eat barbecue at the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival in Manhattan at 608 W. 28th St. Sells out.

Breakdancing

January 24 - 25, 2015

10 miles east

Watch the world’s best compete at the qualifying event on Saturday or the championship on Sunday in World Bboy Battle #1 at Queens Theatre.

Talk of love and sex

January 24 - Feb. 14, 2015

0.7 miles west

Men and Women Talking Love and Sex is a play that follows a relationship from the giddy beginning to the bitter end, with running commentary from observant friends at Davenport Theatre. Discount tickets are available at Goldstar and LivingSocial.

Madcap comedy

January 24 - Feb. 22, 2015

0.4 miles west

See James Earl Jones in the Broadway revival of the zany crowd-pleasing play You Can't Take It With You at the intimate Longacre Theatre. Discount tickets.

Award-winning drama

January 24 - March 1, 2015

0.4 miles south

Disgraced is a play “about the stories we tell our friends, the secrets we tell our lovers, and the lies we tell ourselves” at Lyceum Theatre. Discount tickets are available from Goldstar and LivingSocial.

National Lampoon musical

January 24 - March 28, 2015

2.5 miles south

Fans of the TV show Saved by the Bell are laughing at Bayside! The Musical!, a raunchy, low-brow parody by National Lampoon at Theatre 80. Discount tickets.

Adult Disney spoof

January 24 - April 3, 2015

1 mile SW

Distorted Diznee wows with high-energy dancing, comedy, dazzling costumes and lip synching by drag queens dressed as Ariel, Snow White, and Mary Poppins at Laurie Beechman Theatre. Discount tix.

Sexy musical

January 24 - April 5, 2015

0.7 miles SW

50 Shades! The Musical is a humorous satire of the bestseller “50 Shades of Grey” with song, dance, and adult lyrics at Elektra Theatre. Discount tickets.

Dance show and party

January 24 - April 12, 2015

2 miles south

Wayra: Fuerza Bruta is a spectacular mix of club, circus, rave, and underwater show where you stand and dance at Daryl Roth Theatre. Discount tickets.

Family comedy

January 24 - June 27, 2015

0.6 miles NW

Kids howl with laughter at funny improvised skits, and some join onstage at family-friendly Improv 4 Kids [sound] at Broadway Comedy Club. Discount tickets.

Popular musical

January 24 - June 28, 2015

0.2 miles west

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical entertaining audiences since 1960, at intimate Snapple Theater in Times Square. Discount tickets.

Blue Man show

January 24 - June 28, 2015

2.3 miles south

Blue Man Group is back with a new stage show that combines comedy, art, and science with visual effects and music at Astor Place Theatre. Discount tickets.

Classic musical

January 24 - Sept. 1, 2015

0.6 miles SW

On the Town is a joyful 1940s musical comedy about three sailors on a whirlwind tour of NY full of song, dance, and romance at Lyric Theatre. Discount tix.

Feel-good musical

January 24 - Sept. 6, 2015

0.6 miles west

Kinky Boots is based on a true story about a shoe factory owner and a drag queen, with a joyful and inspiring score by Cyndi Lauper at Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Discount tickets for February.

Award-winning show

January 24 - Dec. 31, 2015

0.5 miles SW

STOMP has high-energy dance, acrobatics, comedy, and nonstop rhythym from unusual instruments at the Orpheum Theatre. Discount tickets are available for Feb. 3 - 4 and Feb. 10 - 26.

Brazilian jazz

January 25, 2015 (12:30 p.m.)

2.3 miles SW

Hear a tribute to the sultry bossa nova song The Girl From Ipanema, which won a Grammy 50 years ago, at Highline Ballroom. Food is extra.

Racy Nutcracker

January 25 - 31, 2015

2.3 miles south

Nutcracker Rouge is a decadently sumptuous baroque burlesque production, including opera, circus, ballet, gorgeous design, and fine music at 428 Lafayette St.

French opera

January 27 - March 21, 2015

1.1 miles NW

A young French poet pines after a prima donna and recalls lost loves in Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the Metropolitan Opera House. Subtitles. Discount tickets.

Piano concert

January 28 - 31, 2015

1.2 miles NW

Famous pianist Emanuel Ax performs Chopin, Bartok, Stravinsky, and Rachmaninoff at Avery Fisher Hall. Discount tickets.

Wild films

January 29 - 31, 2015

1.2 miles north

New York Wild Film Festival shows 20 films about wildlife and wild places at The Explorers Club.

Odd art

January 29 - Feb. 1, 2015

2.2 miles

Outsider Art Fair shows self-taught art created outside the mainstream at Center548 in Chelsea. See photos.

Winter Carnival

January 30 - 31, 2015

0.5 miles south

Winter Carnival includes winter sports, lessons, ping pong, skating, and an outdoor kids’ dance party at Bryant Park. Free (unless you rent skates).

Monster trucks

January 30 - 31, 2015

9 miles NW

Big trucks with big wheels make big noise at the Monster Jam in East Rutherford, NJ.

Dance film festival

January 30 - Feb. 3, 2015 (gala Jan. 28)

NYC locations

Dance on Camera screens documentaries, features, shorts, experimental works, and music videos that combines dance with cinematography in innovative ways, selected by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

American Indian show

January 30 - Feb. 8, 2015

2.5 miles south

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers play traditional music, dance in elaborate dress, and tell stories. The audience can join the Round Dance, and then the cast mingles with kids at Theater for the New City. Tickets.

Beer tasting

January 31, 2015

6.3 miles NW

Sample 150 beers from 20 countries in an afternoon or evening session at International Great Beer Expo at Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ.
Next month:February 2015

January 2015 calendar of events in NYC, NY. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in New York City, New York.     steve.davis@events12.com