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.

Polar plunge

January 1, 2016

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.

Christmas spectacular

January 1 - 3, 2016 (begins Nov. 13)

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.

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.

Dog-lover’s romantic comedy

January 1 - 24, 2016 (begins Oct. 2)

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 $32 to $95.

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.

Cocktails in the conservatory

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 75 performances of 19 productions, plus both onsite and offsite exhibitions, 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 $15.

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.

French casserole cook-off

January 10, 2016

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.

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.

Snow sports in the park

January 16, 2016 (uncertain)

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 and whiskey tasting

January 16, 2016

2.2 miles south

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

MLK volunteer day

January 16 - 17, 2016

multiple locations

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

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 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. Free.

Ceramics show

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

1.8 miles NE

New York Ceramics & Glass Fair features exhibits by 36 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.

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.

Fresh jokes

January 2016 (undated)

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.

Experimental theater

January 2016 (undated)

2.6 miles south

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

Asian dance

January 2016 (undated)

0.7 miles SE

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

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.

Weird films

January 2016 (undated)

3.1 miles south

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

Bull riding

January 15 - 17, 2016

1.2 miles SW

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

Beer tasting

January 2016 (undated)

4.1 miles SE

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

Broadway discount week

January 2016 (undated)

0.5 miles west

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

Cocktails & food

January 2016 (undated)

6 miles south

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

Winter Carnival

January 2016 (undated)

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).

American Indian show

January 2016 (undated)

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.

MLK celebration

January 2016 (undated)

4.2 miles north

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