New York City events January 2020. Things to do in NYC.

New York City
Best events for 12 months

New York City events January 2020

Austrian music & dance

January 1, 2020 (2:30 p.m.)
1.1 miles NW
Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert brings the waltzes of Strauss to life with costumed dancers, singers, and an orchestra in David Geffen Hall.

Winter in Bryant Park

January 1 - 5, 2020
0.5 miles south
Winter Village at Bryant Park has a free ice skating rink with skates for rent, plus 125 holiday kiosks. Minors require an adult to skate.

Staten Island lantern festival

January 1 - 12, 2020
11.6 miles south via ferry
NYC Winter Lantern Festival has “1,000 lanterns sculpted into magnificent figures of luminescent art” on eight acres at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, with live cultural shows and interactive exhibits. Skating for an extra fee. Follow directions for free Staten Island ferry and shuttle bus.

Holiday Train Show

January 1 - 26, 2020
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 New York Botanical Garden.

The Nutcracker

January 2 - 5, 2020
1.1 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 David H. Koch Theater.

Fresh jokes

January 3, 2020 (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 for age 21+.

Christmas spectacular

January 3 - 5, 2020
0 miles
Radio City Christmas Spectacular features dancers, drones, 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.

Bull riding

January 3 - 5, 2020
1.2 miles SW
Professional Bull Riders take on the fiercest bucking bulls at Madison Square Garden.

Lights at the zoo

January 3 - 5, 2020
9 miles north
See animal lanterns, animated sculptures, and colorful designs lit by LEDs during Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo, with a holiday train, roaming carolers, and ice carvers.

Recycle electronics

January 4 - 5, 2020
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan
Get rid of your old TV, computer, printer, monitor, fax, VCR, phone, and cables during E-Waste Recycling. Bring it broken or unbroken, rain or shine. Free.
  • Jan. 4 at 469 President Street, Brooklyn
  • Jan. 4 outside Petco, East Elmhurst, Queens
  • Jan. 5 north plaza of Union Square, Manhattan

Three kings parade

January 6, 2020 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
3 miles north
Children wearing crowns join real camels, sheep, colorful puppets, musicians, dancers, and community leaders dressed as kings in the festive Three Kings Day Parade and Celebration in East Harlem. Free.

No pants on the subway

January 12, 2020 (3 p.m.)
NYC locations
Liven up winter by joining thousands who meet at Foley Square and then take a No Pants Subway Ride, followed by a 4 p.m. party at Bar 13. Free.

Diverse music fest

January 12, 2020 (6:30 p.m.)
0.6 miles west
Enjoy 12 musical acts on three stages from countries all over the world during globalFEST at The Copacabana Times Square.

MLK celebration

January 12, 2020
4.2 miles north
The Strategic King: MLK’s Visionary Leadership is a panel discussion about how Dr. King skillfully used “the media and politically strategic tactics to influence politicians and help pass key legislation in the Civil Rights Movement” plus music and a spoken word artist at the Apollo Theater. Free tickets.

Tasting event

January 14, 2020 (6:30 p.m., VIP 5:30 p.m.)
1.7 miles south
Wine & Spirits Magazine invites you to sample from “100 wineries who’ve performed at the very top of our tastings for a night of food, wine, and celebration” at $125 Top 100 Symposium at Union Park Events.

Jazz festival

January 18, 2020
NYC locations
“Experience the vibrant contemporary jazz scene” as 150 artists perform during Winter Jazzfest at Le Poisson Rouge and other venues. The 2020 “marathon” dates are Jan. 10 & 11 in Manhattan and Jan. 17 in Brooklyn. See separate page for talks.

Balkan festival

January 18, 2020
10.2 miles south
Zlatne Uste Golden Festival is a music and dance festival with 60 bands on 5 stages, vendors of Balkan art and textiles, and Middle Eastern refreshments at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn.

Adult night - train show

January 18, 2020
12 miles north
Sip a cocktail under holiday lights, see model trains circle a miniature New York, and warm up at the fire pit during Bar Car Nights at the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden for age 21.

Innovative theater festival

January 18 - 19, 2020
NYC locations
Watch cutting-edge theater from around the world, live and recorded, at Under the Radar. Attend a panel discussion after some performances.

New opera and theater

January 18 - 19, 2020
NYC locations
Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now offers eight visionary opera-theater and music-theater works, plus a few shorter performances. Some events are followed by post-show conversations.

Knitting show

January 18 - 19, 2020
0.4 miles SW
Vogue Knitting Live [website has sound] features knitting classes and a vendor marketplace at New York Marriott Marquis.

Odd art

January 18 - 19, 2020
1.8 miles south
Outsider Art Fair displays self-taught art created outside the mainstream at Metropolitan Pavilion. Photos.

Chinese lantern festival + market

January 18 - 26, 2020
10.2 miles east
See 120 lantern exhibits, watch cultural performances, browse the marketplace, and shop at food vendors during Hello Panda Festival at Citi Field. Free to age 3.

Discount tickets

Jewish film festival

January 18 - 28, 2020
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. Closed Fridays.

Free days at Wave Hill

January 18 - 28, 2020
12 miles north
Enjoy Free Admission to Wave Hill cultural center and its 28-acre public garden overlooking the Hudson River in the Bronx on Tuesday and Saturday. You must arrive before noon, but you can stay all day.

Big Apple Circus

January 18 - Feb. 2, 2020
1.2 miles NW
The famous Big Apple Circus has high-wire aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, clowns, contortionists, rescue animals, and a band in a heated tent at Lincoln Center.

Discount tickets

Free comedy show

January 18 - Feb. 20, 2020 (Thursdays 8 p.m.)
0.8 miles west
The Bomb Shelter Comedy Show promises “comedians with national TV credits,” free pizza, and no drink minimums at The Gaf West, in Hell’s Kitchen.

Free tickets

Tony winning musical

January 18 - June 13, 2020 (Saturdays)
4.5 miles north
Pippin is a high-flying acrobatic version of the classic story about a young prince who encounters colorful characters on his quest to find a life of passion and adventure at Tato Laviera Theatre in Harlem.

Discount tickets

MLK gospel show

January 20, 2020 (12:30 p.m.)
0.6 miles west
Harlem Gospel Choir performs a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, joyous gospel show to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. at Sony Hall.

Children marching for MLK

January 20, 2020 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
4.5 miles north
Join 8th graders from Manhattan Country School on a 2.9 mile Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March from Harriet Tubman Memorial to their school on the Upper West Side, with stops along the way. Free.

MLK Day tribute

January 20, 2020 (10:30 a.m.)
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. The lobby opens at 8 a.m. Free.


January 20 - Feb. 24, 2020 (Mondays 8 p.m.)
2.4 miles south
Monday Night Magic stars five professional magicians performing card tricks and feats of wonder with humor at Players Theatre for age 12+.

Discount tickets

Star Wars: The musical

January 20 - March 29, 2020
0.7 miles west
Created by “a couple of Star Wars nerds,” A Musical about Star Wars is “the ultimate tribute to the fandom, the legacy, and the galaxy of the greatest story ever told” at St. Luke’s Theatre.

Discount tickets

Retro rock musical

January 20 - April 19, 2020
0.6 miles west
Rock of Ages is a love story set on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and filled with 1980s songs by Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, etc. at New World Stages.

Discount tickets


January 20 - May 24, 2020
0.6 miles west
“A gut-busting hit” [The New York Times], The Play that Goes Wrong features actors who fail hilariously while trying to stage a 1920s murder mystery at New World Stages.

Discount tickets

Restaurant week

January 21 - Feb. 9, 2020
NYC locations
Get a special deal on a 2-course lunch or a 3-course dinner at 365 restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week. Saturdays excluded, Sundays included at some restaurants. Held in winter and summer.

Broadway discount week

January 21 - Feb. 9, 2020
0.5 miles west
Get 2-for-1 deals on select theater shows during NYC Broadway Week. Repeats in Sept.

Boat show

January 22 - 26, 2020
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.

Podcast festival

January 22 - 26, 2020
8 miles south
Brooklyn Podcast Festival “is a celebration of innovative, engaging, and informative podcasts of all genres, the artists who create them, and the community surrounding them,” mostly at The Bell House and Union Hall.


January 23, 2020 (8:15 p.m.)
1.5 miles west
Watch the Chinese New Year Fireworks show over the Hudson River visible “from both Midtown Manhattan and New Jersey sides.” The launch site is on the Hudson River near West 43rd Street. Free.

Risque Nutcracker

January 23 - 26, 2020 (8 p.m.)
7.4 miles SE
Nutcracker Rouge is a glittery burlesque-inspired blend of theater, cirque, drag, and dance portraying an erotic and opulent version of the holiday ballet in Brooklyn for age 21+.

Discount tickets

Israeli films

January 23, 25, 26, 2020
7.7 miles south
Brooklyn Israel Film Festival “showcases the best and brightest Israeli filmmakers, and takes a deep dive into the many experiences of Israeli life” by screening four feature films at Kane Street Synagogue.

Italian opera

January 23 - Feb. 7, 2020
1.1 miles NW
Set in romantic Paris, La Traviatais a bittersweet love story by Verdi, sung in Italian with projected translations at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Discount tickets (weekdays)

Convention for theater fans

January 24 - 26, 2020
0.3 miles NW
BroadwayCon promises “performances, panels, workshops, autographs, photo booths, Q&As, meet-and-greets, singalongs, and much more” for people who love live theater at New York Hilton Midtown.

Monster trucks

January 24 - 26, 2020
15 miles west
Big trucks with big wheels make big noise at the Monster Jam at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

Discount tickets

Fly Fishing Show

January 24 - 26, 2020
33.5 miles SW
The Fly Fishing Show has casting demonstrations, classes, celebrity speakers, fly-tying materials, rods, and reels at New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, NJ. The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) on Friday evening requires a separate ticket.

Jazz cruise

January 24 & 31, 2020 (Fridays 6 p.m.)
2.4 miles SW
Enjoy skyline views, jazz performed by a trio, and a complimentary drink during a two-hour Evening Jazz Cruise Aboard Manhattan on a 1920s-style yacht departing from Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers.

Discount tickets

Winter festival

January 24 - Feb. 2, 2020
0.5 miles south
FrostFest includes an Ice Ball, a skating show, skating in kilts, bumper cars on ice, ice carving, karaoke, live music, food, and drinks at Bryant Park. Mostly free.

Antiques show

January 24 - Feb. 2, 2020 (party Jan. 23)
1 mile north
Shop for exceptional antiques ranging from ancient Roman glass to mid-century modern from 70 exhibitors at The Winter Show at Park Avenue Armory. See the schedule for special evenings. No baby strollers on weekends.

Wine tasting

January 25, 2020 (1 and 6 p.m.)
2.1 miles SW
Taste hundreds of wines from around the world with with live entertainment, interactive games, and food for sale during New York City Wine Fest at The Tunnel for age 21+.

Discount tickets

Chinese firecrackers & culture

January 25, 2020 (11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
3 miles south
New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival [website has sound] includes thousands of firecrackers to scare away evil spirits and a festival with dancers, singers, and food vendors at Sara Roosevelt Park. Free.

French casserole cook-off

January 25, 2020 (1 to 4 p.m.)
5.2 miles SE
Taste slow-cooked casserole traditionally made with meat and beans in the south of France, vote for your favorite competing chef, and drink beer, cider, and spirits during Brooklyn Cassoulet Cook Off at Biba of Williamsburg for age 21+.

Taste of Long Island

January 25, 2020
28.6 miles east
Raise Your Glass promises “unlimited samples of wine, beer, spirits, sangria, and cider” plus food for sale, live entertainment, and dacing at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale for age 21+.

Discount tickets

Jets football festival

January 25 - 26, 2020
1.5 miles south
A ticket to family-friendly Jets House includes food, beverages, live music, ping pong, appearances by New York Jets players, entertainment by the cheerleaders, and autograph sessions at SPiN New York.

Travel show

January 25 - 26, 2020
1.5 miles SW
Hear travel talks by experts, browse 500 travel booths, taste international food, and watch cultural performances at the New York Times Travel Show in Javits Convention Center. (Friday is for professionals.) Children age 18 and younger are free.

New York Times Travel Show in Javits Convention Center. (Friday is for professionals.) Children age 18 and younger are free.

Discount tickets (1 day $13.75)

Discount tickets (2 days $15.00)

Chinese New Year - classical concert

January 28, 2020 (7:30 p.m.)
1.1 miles NW
New York Philharmonic performs works by Chinese and American composers to celebrate Lunar New Year at David Geffen Hall.

Whiskey tasting

January 31, 2020 (7:30 p.m.)
7 miles SW
A ticket to Jersey City Whiskey Festival includes samples of 100 styles of whiskey and spirits (including vodka, gin, tequila), with live music and food for sale at Harborside Plaza in Jersey City, NJ for age 21+.

Discount tickets

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