New York City events calendar for January 2016. Best festivals, fairs, fun things to do, Martin Luther King Day events, kids activities, free entertainment, NYC, New York.

Best events for 12 months
New York City
Best events for 12 months
January 2016
January 2016

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

Mileage is from Rockefeller Center in downtown New York City, New York.

Poetry marathon

January 1, 2016

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.

Brunch on a yacht

January 1, 2016 (also Nov./Dec.)

3 miles south

Enjoy a buffet, live jazz, and two hours of views on the Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise by Hornblower Yachts, departing from Pier 40.

Discount tickets $57.

Polar plunge

January 1, 2016 (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.

Holiday cocktail show

January 1 - 2, 2016

0.7 miles SW

The three Christmas Spirits teach Scrooge how to make cocktails and give each audience member three cocktails at The Imbible: Christmas Carol Cocktails at Elektra Theatre.

Discount tickets $38.

Christmas spectacular

January 1 - 3, 2016 (also Nov./Dec.)

0 miles

Radio City Christmas Spectacular is 90 minutes of dance, fireworks, and a flying Santa at Radio City Music Hall. Pre-show, meet a Rockette or Santa, and admire 10,000 crystals hanging in the Grand Foyer. Discount tickets $35 to $55.

Dog-lover’s romantic comedy

January 1 - 3, 2016

0.2 miles west

Sylvia is a captivating canine who befriends Matthew Broderick in Central Park and changes his life (and his wife’s), at Cort Theatre. Discount tickets $29 to $95.

Irreverent puppet comedy

January 1 - 3, 2016

0.5 miles SW

Comedian Bob Saget stars in Hand to God, a sock-puppet comedy with adult language at Booth Theatre. Discount tickets $31 to $89.

Winter in Bryant Park

January 1 - 3, 2016

0.5 miles south

Winter Village at Bryant Park has 125 holiday kiosk shops, an ice-skating rink open until March 6, and a Tree Lighting Skate-tacular on Dec. 1. Free unless you rent skates.

Holiday Train Show

January 1 - 18, 2016 (begins Nov. 21)

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. Closed Nov. 23, 26, 30; Dec. 7, 25.

Discount tickets Dec. & Jan. $15, child $8.

Show-business comedy

January 1 - 30, 2016

0.6 miles west

Eight-year-old Tina will do anything to be the lead in the school play in witty and satirical Ruthless! The Musical at cozy St. Luke’s Theatre.

Discount tickets $29.

Stephen King thriller

January 1 - Feb. 14, 2016

0.6 miles SW

Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf star in suspenseful, stylish, and scary Misery at Broadhurst Theatre.

Discount tickets Dec. & Jan. $69 to $109.

Star Wars exhibition

January 1 - March 31, 2016

0.5 miles SW

See 77 costumes worn in all seven films at Star Wars and the Power of Costume at Discovery Times Square.

Discount tickets $28.

Popular musical: Fantasticks

January 1 - April 3, 2016

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 $39.

The King and I

January 1 - June 5, 2016

1.2 miles NW

The King and I is a beloved musical by Rodgers & Hammerstein set in 19th-century Bangkok. This revival at Lincoln Center recently won four Tony Awards. Discount tickets $59 to $119.

Blue Man show

January 1 - June 26, 2016

2.3 miles south

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

Discount tickets $56.

Family musical

January 1 - July 3, 2016

0.6 miles SW

Based on a book by Roald Dahl, Matilda the Musical is about a girl who dares to take a stand and change her destiny, at Shubert Theatre. Discount tickets $39 to $99.

Japanese-American musical

January 1 - Sept. 25, 2016

0.4 miles west

Allegiance is the story of George Takei, from his family’s confinement in World War II to his role as Lieutenant Sulu in Star Trek, at Longacre Theatre. Discount tickets $39 to $79.

Classic theater

January 1 - Sept. 30, 2016 (also Nov./Dec.)

0.7 miles west

Based on a 1912 novel, Daddy Long Legs is a musical about a girl’s correspondence with an anonymous benefactor as she matures into an intelligent and witty woman, at cozy Davenport Theatre. Discount tickets $50.

Fresh jokes

January 2, 2016

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, 2016 (begins Dec. 24)

0.5 miles NW

The Greatest Pirate Holiday Spectacularrr! is a musical comedy with audience input at Shetler Studios on West 54th. Discount tickets $25.

The Nutcracker

January 2 - 3, 2016 (begins Nov. 27)

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.

Funny Hitchcock play

January 2 - 3, 2016

1.7 miles south

39 Steps is a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock about a wrongly accused man racing to clear his name while evading the law. This comedic spoof is a fast-paced play at Union Square Theatre.

Discount tickets $20 to $45 for Nov.

Discount tickets $19 to $55 for Dec. & Jan.

Daily tree lighting

January 2 - 6, 2016

1.7 miles north

Watch the lighting ceremony for a Christmas tree adorned with 18th-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.).

Comic operetta

January 2 - 7, 2016 (begins Dec. 4)

1.1 miles NW

Die Fledermaus features scheming characters at a glittery masked ball in Vienna, at the Metropolitan Opera House. Discount tickets $25 to $107.

Cocktails at the train show

January 2 - 16, 2016 (see dates below)

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 for age 21+. Open 7 to 10 p.m. on Nov. 21; Dec. 4, 5, 18, 19; Jan. 2, 8, 9, 15, 16. Discount tickets $27.

Racy Nutcracker

January 2 - 17, 2016 (also Nov./Dec.)

2.4 miles south

Nutcracker Rouge is a decadently sumptuous baroque burlesque production, including opera, circus, ballet, gorgeous design, and fine music at Minetta Lane Theatre.

Cocktail show

January 2 - 30, 2016 (also Nov./Dec.)

2.7 miles south

Your ticket to The Imbible includes 3 craft cocktails plus a comic romp through the history of spirits and cocktails at Soho Playhouse. Discount tickets $28.

Free days at Wave Hill

January 2 - 30, 2016 (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.

Black musical

January 2 - May 29, 2016 (weekends)

0.6 miles west

Sistas the Musical celebrates the history of an African American family using catchy hit songs from each era at St. Luke’s Theatre. Discount tickets $25.

Magic show

January 4 & 11, 2016

2.4 miles south

Five professional magicians perform card tricks and feats of wonder with plenty of humor at Monday Night Magic in cozy Players Theatre. Discount tickets $9 to $40.

Experimental theater

January 5 - 17, 2016

2.6 miles south

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

Three kings parade

January 6, 2016 (11 a.m. to 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.

Boat show

January 6 - 10, 2016

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.

Innovative theater festival

January 6 - 17, 2016

NYC locations

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

New opera and theater

January 6 - 17, 2016

NYC locations

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


January 6 - May 5, 2016 (also Nov./Dec.)

1.1 miles NW

La Bohème is Puccini’s story of youth, loss, and love, set in the Latin Quarter of Paris at the Metropolitan Opera House. Discount tickets $53 to $192.

Squash championship

January 7 - 14, 2016

0.5 miles south

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

Experimental art

January 7 - 17, 2016

3.8 miles south

American Realness Festival features 71 performances of 18 productions, plus exhibitions, mostly at Abrons Arts Center.

Travel show

January 8 - 10, 2016

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 $12.

Alternative wedding show

January 9, 2016 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

7 miles south

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

Classic drama about prejudice

January 9 - March 12, 2016 (Saturday)

4.5 miles north

A black family moves to the white side of Chicago in A Raisin in the Sun, a ground-breaking classic that became a movie starring Sidney Poitier, live at Harlem Repertory Theatre. Discount tickets $15.

French casserole cook-off

January 10, 2016 (12 to 3 p.m.)

2.5 miles south

Taste competing chefs’ 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.

Jazz festival

January 13 - 17, 2016

NYC locations

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

Jewish film festival

January 13 - 26, 2016

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.

Weird films

January 14 - 17, 2016

3.1 miles south

Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival [sound] screens dozens of unusual films at Tribeca Cinemas.

Balkan festival

January 15 - 16, 2016

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 15 - 17, 2016

0.4 miles SW

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

Bull riding

January 15 - 17, 2016

1.2 miles SW

Professional Bull Riders take on the fiercest bucking bulls at Madison Square Garden. Discount tickets $38.

Beer and whiskey tasting

January 16, 2016

2.2 miles south

Sample beer and whiskey with live entertainment (burlesque, jazz, circus) and food for sale at East Ville Des Folies - Acte Trois in Webster Hall.

Diverse music fest

January 17, 2016

2.2 miles south

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

MLK gospel show

January 18, 2016 (12:30 p.m.)

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 celebration

January 18, 2016 (3 to 5 p.m.)

4.2 miles north

WNYC’s Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration is a panel discussion and music at the Apollo Theater. Free.

MLK Day tribute

January 18, 2016

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 18, 2016

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. Fre

Restaurant Week

January 18 - Feb. 5, 2016

NYC locations

Get a special deal on a 3-course lunch or dinner at 300 restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week, not on Saturdays.

Broadway discount week

January 19 - Feb. 5, 2016

0.5 miles west

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

Ceramics show

January 21 - 24, 2016 (preview Jan. 20)

1.8 miles NE

New York Ceramics & Glass Fair features exhibits by 30 galleries at Bohemian National Hall.

Odd art

January 21 - 24, 2016

1.8 miles south

Outsider Art Fair shows self-taught art created outside the mainstream at Metropolitan Pavilion. See photos.

Dance festival

January 21 - 30, 2016

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.

Antiques show

January 22 - 31, 2016 (party Jan. 21)

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.

Film festival

January 22 - 31, 2016

9.3 miles north

The Bronx International Film Festival screens local and international films at Lehman College.

Snow sports in the park

January 23, 2016

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.

Pinot Noir tasting

January 23, 2016

2.8 miles south

Taste 100 pinots from 35 producers on Sunday at New York City Pinot Days at City Winery on Varick Street.

Wild films

January 28 - 30, 2016

1.2 miles north

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

Beer, bourbon, barbecue

January 30, 2016

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.

No pants on the subway

January 2016 (undated)

NYC locations

Liven up winter by joining thousands who follow the instructions for taking a No Pants Subway Ride. Free.
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© January 2016 calendar of events in NYC, NY. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in New York City, New York.