New York City events, festivals, things to do – January 2018

New York City
calendar of events

January 2018
best events in New York City

Holiday Train Show

January 1 - 15, 2018

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.

Innovative theater festival

January 4 - 15, 2018

NYC locations

Watch cutting-edge theater from around the world, live and recorded, at Under the Radar. Attend a panel discussion or a post-show discussion after some performances.

Fresh jokes

January 5, 2018 (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+.

Bull riding

January 5 - 7, 2018

1.2 miles SW

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

No pants on the subway

January 7, 2018 (3 to 5 p.m.)

NYC locations

Liven up winter by joining thousands who follow the instructions for taking a No Pants Subway Ride, followed by an after party at Bar 13. Free.

Experimental art

January 9 - 16, 2018

3.8 miles south

The New Yorker calls American Realness Festival “a sampler of boundary-pushing performance bordering on dance” with 38 performances of 10 productions, plus exhibitions, at Abrons Arts Center.

Jazz festival

January 10 - 17, 2018

NYC locations

Winter Jazzfest includes 150 artists playing at Le Poisson Rouge and other venues. Jan. 12 & 13, 2018 are marathon days.

Balkan festival

January 12 - 13, 2018

10.2 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 12 - 14, 2018

0.4 miles SW

Vogue Knitting Live features knitting classes and a vendor marketplace at New York Marriott Marquis.

Adult night - train show

January 13, 2018 (7 to 10:30 p.m.)

12 miles north

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

Family celebration of MLK

January 13, 2018 (11 a.m.)

14 miles west

Embodying the Dream includes workshops, storytelling sessions, sing-ins, and performances for all ages at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. Free.

Diverse music fest

January 14, 2018 (7 p.m.)

0.6 miles SW

Enjoy 12 musical acts on three stages from countries all over the world at globalFEST near Times Square.

MLK celebration

January 14, 2018

4.2 miles north

50 Years After MLK – A Dream Deferred is a panel discussion about Dr. King’s legacy and how his teachings affect us today at Apollo Theater, followed by a gospel performance. Free.

MLK celebration

January 14, 2018 (4 p.m.)

10.6 miles east

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is an annual music event starring “Sweet Honey in the Rock” at the Kupferberg Center in Queens.

MLK gospel show

January 15, 2018 (12:30 p.m.)

0.7 miles SW

Harlem Gospel Choir performs a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, joyous gospel show to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. at B.B. King Blues Club.

Children marching for MLK

January 15, 2018 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

4.2 miles north

Join 8th graders from Manhattan Country School on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March from Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial to their school on the Upper West Side, with stops along the way. Free.

MLK Day tribute

January 15, 2018 (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. Tickets are available in the lobby beginning at 8 a.m. Free.

New opera and theater

January 19 - 20, 2018

NYC locations

Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now offers eight visionary opera-theater and music-theater works, plus a few shorter performances. Discussions after some shows.

Odd art

January 19 - 21, 2018 (preview Jan. 18)

1.8 miles south

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

Squash championship

January 19 - 25, 2018

0.5 miles south

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

Antiques show

January 19 - 28, 2018 (party Jan. 18)

1 mile north

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

Broadway discount week

January 19 - Feb. 4, 2018

0.5 miles west

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

Blue Man show

January 19 - March 31, 2018

2.3 miles south

Blue Man Group puts on a colorful show that combines comedy, theater, music, and special effects for all ages at Astor Place Theatre.

Discount tickets $55 to $65.

Classic soul & Motown revue

January 19 - March 3, 2018

0.7 miles SW

A Decade of Soul features R&B music of the classic soul era performed live on stage at B.B. King Blues Club ($10 minimum food/drink at tables).

Discount tickets $12.

French casserole cook-off

January 20, 2018 (12 to 3 p.m.)

6 miles SE

Taste competing chefs’ versions of this slow-cooked casserole from the south of France made with meat and beans at Cassoulet Cook-Off at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg for age 21+. A ticket includes food samples plus cider, craft beer, wine, and spirits.

Long Island food & wine fest

January 20, 2018 (1 p.m., VIP noon)

28.6 miles east

Taste 150 wines, spirits, beers, and ciders at the Fine Wine and Food Fest, which also has gourmet food and craft vendors inside Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

Jewish film festival

January 20 - 23, 2018

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.

Free days at Wave Hill

January 20 - 30, 2018 (Tues. & Sat. before noon)

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.

Women in song

January 20 - Feb. 24, 2018

0.6 miles west

This One’s for the Girls is a high-energy celebration of women, featuring popular songs like I am Woman, Respect, and I Will Survive at cozy St. Luke’s Theatre.

Discount tickets $25.

Caribbean musical

January 20 - March 24, 2018 (Saturday 7 p.m.)

4.5 miles north

The residents of Jamaica fight the overreach of American commercialism in a show full of surprising sets, colorful costumes, and Calypso-inspired songs at Harlem Repertory Theatre.

Discount tickets $10 to $25.

Pig feast

January 21, 2018 (5 p.m., VIP 4 p.m.)

1.3 miles south

Cochon 555 is a stand-up tasting featuring dozens of chef-made dishes plus wine, cocktails, and beer at Second Floor NYC for age 21+.

Restaurant week

January 22 - Feb. 9, 2018

NYC locations

Get a special deal on a 3-course lunch or dinner at 300 restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week. Held in January and July.

Experimental theater

January 23 - Feb. 4, 2018

2.6 miles south

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

New musical

January 23 - July 1, 2018

0.7 miles SW

Anastasia transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of 1920s Paris as a young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past on an epic adventure at Broadhurst Theatre.

Discount tickets $94 to $134.

Boat show

January 24 - 28, 2018

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.

Convention for theater fans

January 26 - 28, 2018

1.5 miles SW

BroadwayCon promises “performances, panels, workshops, autographs, photo booths, Q&As, meet-and-greets, singalongs, and much more” for people who love live theater at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Winter Carnival

January 26 - Feb. 4, 2018

0.5 miles south

Winter Carnival includes an opening-night show, winter sports and games, skating, a brew house, a puppet show, and karaoke at Bryant Park. Free, unless you rent skates.

Snow sports in the park

January 27, 2018 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

1.2 miles north

Enjoy free skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding 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 or a legal guardian if under age 18. Rain date Feb. 3.

Beer, bourbon, barbecue

January 27, 2018

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 Street.

Travel show

January 27 - 28, 2018

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.

Discount tickets $8.