New York City events calendar for January 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in 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 (1 p.m.)

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.

Chinese circus

January 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Dec. 5)

0.6 miles south

Cirque Ziva features colorful Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats juggling, tumbling, and diving through hoops at The New Victory Theater. Discount tickets.

Irish musical

January 1 - 4, 2015 (final week)

0.6 miles SW

Based on the film, Once is an emotionally captivating musical about love and loss, with folk music, dance, and humor at Jacobs Theatre.

Pippin the musical

January 1 - 4, 2015

0.6 miles west

This is the last week to see the high-energy acrobatic version of Pippin at Music Box Theatre.

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 at 4:30 p.m. (plus 5:30 & 6:30 p.m. on Fri. and Sat.).

Big Apple Circus

January 1 - 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. Discount tickets.

Disney on Ice

January 1 - 19, 2015

multiple locations

Movie characters act out stories and do acrobatics on skates at Princesses & Heroes. Discount tickets for East Rutherford, NJ, Newark, NJ, and Uniondale.

Holiday Train Show

Jan. 1 - 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. Discount tickets for weekdays.

Tony-winning musical

January 1 - 31, 2015 (Dec. 10 to Sept. 6)

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 January and February.

Sexy musical

Jan. 1 - 31, 2015 (Dec. 21 - April 5)

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.

Whisky tasting

January 1 - Feb. 14, 2015 (begins Dec. 13)

20 locations

With a $35 Good Whiskey Passport, you get whiskey drinks free at 20 different locations. Tips are extra.

Fresh jokes

January 2, 2015 (8 p.m.)

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.

Pirate show

January 2 - 3, 2015 (begins Dec. 20)

0.3 miles east

The Greatest Pirate Holiday Spectacularrr! is a musical comedy with audience input at Snapple Theater Center in Times Square. Get discount tickets at Goldstar and Groupon.

Basketball show

January 2 - 3, 2015

1.1 miles south

Harlem Globetrotters play at Madison Square Garden. Discount tickets.

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 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 21, 22. Dec. 5, 6, 19, 20. Jan. 2, 3, 9, 10. Discount tickets.

Experimental theater

January 2 - 17, 2015

2.6 miles south

See contemporary theater and dance performances and premieres at COIL in Performance Space 122.
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Free days at Wave Hill

January 3 - 31, 2015 (Tues. & Sat.)

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 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

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.

South Africa show

January 5 - 10, 2015

2.6 miles north

Talented South Africans sing and dance the history of their country in beautiful costumes in Africa Umoja at Symphony Space. Discount tickets.

Three kings parade

January 6, 2015 (11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

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.

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.

Italian opera

January 7 - 24, 2015 (begins Dec. 11)

1.1 miles NW

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

Jazz festival

January 8 - 10, 2015

NYC locations

Winter Jazzfest NYC includes 100 groups playing at 11 venues in the Village. Visit them all with a day pass.

Modern circus

January 8 - 10, 2015 (8 p.m.)

2.2 miles south

Watch nine innovative circus companies performing boundary-pushing acts at Circus Now: International Contemporary Circus Exposure, NYU Skirball Center.

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.

No pants on the subway

January 11, 2015

NYC locations

Liven up winter by joining thousands who take a No Pants Subway Ride as instructed on the website. Free.

Diverse music fest

January 11, 2015

2.2 miles south

Enjoy 12 musical acts on 3 stages from places as diverse as Africa, Bollywood, Hungary, the U.S. Deep South, and Turkey at globalFEST at Webster Hall.

French casserole cook-off

January 11, 2015 (1 to 4 p.m.)

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.

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.

Classical ballet

January 15 - 16 and 21 - 23, 2015

5.6 miles south

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

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. Discount tickets.

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.

Pinot Noir tasting

January 17 - 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. A winemaker’s dinner is on Saturday.

MLK tribute

January 18, 2015 (3 p.m.)

4.2 miles north

Register online and then arrive early for a panel discussion and music at WNYC’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration at the Apollo Theater 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 the Harlem Gospel Choir, with optional brunch, at B.B. King Blues Club. Discount tickets.

MLK celebration

January 19, 2015 (5 to 9 p.m.)

1.8 miles NW

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, an organizer of 1963 March on Washington, speaks at 5 p.m. A co-founder of Dance Theater of Harlem speaks accompanied by dancers at 7 p.m. during Artists Celebrate: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.

MLK tribute

January 19, 2015 (10:30 a.m.)

6 miles south

Activist and author Dr. Cornel West is the keynote speaker at Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with choir in BAM Howard Gilman Opera House at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Arrive early. Free.

Broadway discounts

January 20 - Feb. 5, 2015

0.5 miles west

Get 2-for-1 deals on select theater shows during Broadway Week. Buy tickets Jan. 9. 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.

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.

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. Discount tickets.

Antiques show

January 23 - Feb. 1, 2015

1 mile north

View and purchase exceptional antiques ranging from ancient Roman glass through mid-century modern from 70 exhibitors at the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory. No strollers on weekends.

Snow sports in the park

January 24, 2015 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

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.

Dance film festival

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

NYC locations

Dance on Camera shows 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. 1, 2015 (also Feb. 6 - 8)

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 children at Theater for the New City.

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