January in New York City is a truly magical time, offering a unique blend of post-holiday charm and serene winter beauty. This month transforms the city into a picturesque winter wonderland, inviting visitors to explore its iconic locations under a blanket of snow.
From the enchanting ice skating rinks at Rockefeller Center and Central Park to the culturally rich offerings of Broadway shows, NYC in January is a must-visit destination for those seeking both adventure and cultural enrichment. It’s a time to enjoy the quieter, more peaceful side of the city, with fewer crowds and the chance to witness the famous New York landmarks in their winter glory.
Whether you’re strolling through the snow-dusted paths of Central Park, savoring the culinary delights during NYC Restaurant Week, or exploring the renowned art exhibits and galleries, January in New York City offers an unforgettable experience brimming with activities and sights that cater to all interests.
The Best Things To Do In NYC In January – Winter Adventures To Explore
In January, New York City offers a plethora of activities that cater to a wide range of interests, making it an exciting destination despite the winter chill. Here are some of the top recommendations:
- Shopping and Dining in Soho: Soho is known for its fantastic shopping scene, hosting a mix of popular retailers and unique independent shops. The area also has amazing cafes and restaurants, perfect for a break between your shopping excursions.
- Bottomless Brunches: New York City boasts an array of bottomless brunch options, offering a special and indulgent way to enjoy the city with friends.
- Stadium Tours: Explore various stadiums in and around NYC. These tours offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes look even if you’re not a big sports fan.
- Food Tours: Due to fewer crowds, January is a great time for food tours in NYC. Options include Chinatown and Little Italy tours, Hell’s Kitchen walking food tours, and more.
- Museum of Ice-Cream: A fun indoor attraction in Soho, the Museum of Ice-Cream features interactive exhibitions that explore color and flavor.
- Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week: Enjoy two-for-one tickets to Broadway shows and special prix-fixe meals at numerous restaurants nationwide.
- Winter Jazzfest: A week-long festival featuring over 700 artists performing at various venues across the city, making it a must-visit for jazz enthusiasts.
- Al-Fresco Dining Options: Heated outdoor dining experiences throughout the city.
- NBA Games: For basketball fans, catch a New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets game at Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center.
- Cozy Restaurants with Fireplaces: For a snug and warm ambiance, visit restaurants like Union Hall in Park Slope, The Hideout at Gallow Green in Chelsea, or The Lobby Bar at Ludlow Hotel on the Lower East Side.
- Governors Island Winter Village: Enjoy local food vendors, fire pits, holiday lights, ice sculpture shows, and more.
- Outdoor Spa in Williamsburg: The William Vale’s Winter Spa offers a Scandinavian-inspired wellness experience with red cedar saunas and panoramic city views.
- Winter Getaways: Consider a short trip to places like Lake Placid, Hunter, NY, or the Pocono Mountains for outdoor sports and cabin lodging.
- Jerry Seinfeld at the Beacon Theatre: Catch a performance by the iconic comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
- Disney on Ice at Barclays Center: A family-friendly event featuring beloved Disney characters performing on ice.
- Exploring Grand Central Terminal: January’s quieter atmosphere makes it a great time to discover the secrets of this iconic station, including the whispering walls.
- Outdoor Dining Options: Enjoy heated outdoor dining experiences across the city.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Experience the winter beauty of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with its snow-blanketed evergreen trees and wildlife.
- Ice Skating: Visit popular ice rinks like Wollman Rink in Central Park, Bryant Park Ice Rink, and others for a quintessential NYC winter experience.
- AirOtic Soirée: A unique circus-style cabaret dinner show featuring aerial acrobats.
- Pétanque at Carreau Club: Enjoy a game of pétanque, a bocce-ball-style French sport, at the nation’s first pétanque bar in Industry City.
- Bronx Children’s Museum: A new attraction for families, this museum offers engaging exhibits and activities for young children.
- Secrets of New York Tour: Discover hidden gems in lower Manhattan on this unique tour.
- Dining in the Dark: Experience a unique dining event where you eat blindfolded, enhancing your other senses.
- Cubism and the Trompe L’Oeil Tradition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Explore this special art exhibition before it ends.
- Winter Village at Bryant Park: Enjoy bumper cars on ice, a lodge bar with food and cocktails, and cozy igloos.
- Cat Cafes: Spend time with furry feline friends at various cat cafes across the city.
- Scandinavian-inspired Outdoor Spa: Relax in a private red cedar sauna or soak in a hot tub with stunning views of the New York City skyline at The William Vale hotel in Brooklyn.
- Manhattan’s First Public Beach: A new beach on the Gansevoort Peninsula with amenities like a sports field, dog run, and fitness area.
- See a Broadway Show: There are dozens to choose from. You can’t go wrong.
- NYC Restaurant Week: Enjoy prix-fixe meals at numerous restaurants across the five boroughs. NYC Restaurant Week in 2024 will have its winter session from January 16 to February 4. Reservations for this session will open on January 9, 2024.
- Dining in the Dark: A unique blindfolded dining experience in Brooklyn.
- Bumper Cars on Ice at Winter Village: An exciting twist to traditional ice skating, along with cozy igloos and a lodge bar.
- Loreley Beer Garden’s Snowy Winter Wonderland: A German-themed bar in Lower East Side offering a cozy winter ambiance.
- Thunderbird American Indian Dance Concert: A cultural event featuring traditional music and dances.
- A Concert at Madison Square Garden: Experience a live performance at MSG.
- Musical Explorers Family Concert: Discover music from around the world at this interactive concert.
- Three Kings Day Parade: A colorful and family-friendly event in Harlem & Washington Heights featuring real camels.
- : Famous from ‘When Harry Met Sally’, this deli offers a unique New York dining experience with less crowding in January.
- Ice Skating in Central Park: Wollman Rink offers a picturesque skating experience.
10 NYC Food Tour Companies To Help You Expand Your Tastebuds
January in New York City is a time of magical winter charm and culinary exploration. Despite the chill, the city buzzes with unique activities and food experiences, making it a perfect destination for travelers and food enthusiasts.
As you plan your January adventure in NYC, consider diving into the rich and diverse food scene through various food tours. These tours offer a chance to savor delicious bites and provide insightful stories about the city’s history and culture. From the historic streets of Little Italy, the vibrant buzz of Chinatown, and from upscale Michelin-starred dining experiences to cozy local bakeries, New York’s food tours are an unmissable aspect of the city’s winter charm.
Here, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 food tour companies in NYC for January, complete with tour highlights, pricing, and booking information. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these tours promise a delightful gastronomic journey through the heart of New York City.
- New York’s West Village Food Tour
- Duration: 3 hours
- Highlights: 6 food tastings, including Hudson Bagels and Faicco’s Italian Specialties
- Price: Varies
- Contact: Book via Viator
- New York City Donut Tour
- Duration: 2 hours
- Highlights: Donuts & Coffee tastings
- Price: $75 per person
- Contact: Book via Underground Donut Tour
- Famous Fat Dave’s 5 Borough Eating Tour on the Wheels of Steel
- Duration: 2+ hours
- Highlights: 4 to 7 stops with 5 to 10 generous tastes
- Price: $300 per person
- Contact: Book via Famous Fat Dave
- Michelin Progressive Meal
- Duration: 3.5 hours
- Highlights: Tastings at three Michelin-Starred restaurants
- Price: $500 per person
- Contact: Book via Avital Experiences
- Little Italy Food Tour
- Duration: 2 hours
- Highlights: Food tastings from four local restaurants
- Price: $50+
- Contact: Book via GetYourGuide
- Brooklyn Food Tour
- Duration: 3 hours
- Highlights: Visits to mom-and-pop shops, Italian cafes, Middle Eastern bakeries, and more
- Price: $79+
- Contact: Book via GetYourGuide
- Flavors of Chinatown
- Duration: 3 hours
- Highlights: Upscale Asian eats
- Price: $79
- Contact: Book via FareHarbor
- Nolita’s Delicious Past & Present
- Duration: 3 hours
- Highlights: Exploration of Little Italy’s evolution into Nolita
- Price: $79
- Contact: Book via FareHarbor
- Food Strolls Guided Tours
- Greenwich Village Food Tour
- Duration: Varies
- Highlights: Tastings including Artichoke Pizza, Varsano’s Chocolate, Molly’s Cupcakes
- Price: Not specified
- Contact: Check more details at Free Tours by Foot
Each tour offers a unique perspective on NYC’s diverse culinary landscape. Whether you’re in the mood for donuts, Michelin-starred dining, or a cultural food journey through historic neighborhoods, there’s a tour that caters to your taste buds. Remember to check the respective websites, contact the tour operators for the most up-to-date information, and make reservations.
Stadium Tour Information
When visiting New York City, you can explore some of the most iconic sports venues through stadium tours. Two key stadiums offering tours are Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium.
- Madison Square Garden Venue Tours: Known as “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden offers a behind-the-scenes look at this historic venue. While the specific details of the tour weren’t available on the official Madison Square Garden website, you can typically expect to explore various areas of the stadium, learn about its history, and possibly see where some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment have performed.
- Yankee Stadium Tours: Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees, offers a range of tour options. These tours give you an insider’s view of the ballpark, allowing access to non-public areas and a chance to learn about the storied history of the Yankees. The Classic Tour at Yankee Stadium typically includes visits to Monument Park, the Yankees Museum, the Press Box, and the dugout. Unfortunately, the exact duration and cost of the tours weren’t available from the source, but you can expect a comprehensive experience at one of baseball’s most famous venues.
- Citi Field Tours: Home of the New York Mets, Citi Field offers Non-Game Day Public Tours, which are approximately 60 minutes long. These tours feature highlights such as the Piazza 31 Club presented by True Vodka, Suite Level, Delta Sky 360° Club, Warning Track, and the Press Conference Room. The cost for adults is $20, and for children 12 and under, it’s $15. Children under 3 years of age can join for free. These tours provide a great way to explore the stadium and learn about the Mets’ history.
To book these tours, visit the stadium’s official website or contact their customer service for the most current information and availability.
- Madison Square Garden Venue Tours: Madison Square Garden Official Site
- Yankee Stadium Tours: Yankee Stadium Official Site
- Citi Field Tours: Citi Field Official Site
Each of these tours offers a unique perspective on the rich sports culture of New York City, making them a must-visit for sports fans and enthusiasts.
Is NY Still Festive in January?
In January, New York City retains a festive atmosphere, especially in the early part of the month. This festive spirit is mainly due to the continuation of holiday celebrations and decorations that start in December. Here are some aspects that keep NYC festive in January:
- Holiday Decorations: Many of the holiday decorations and lights stay up through early January, adding a festive glow to the city streets and landmarks.
- Winter Village at Bryant Park: This holiday market and ice skating rink typically remain open through early January, offering a winter wonderland experience.
- Ice Skating Rinks: Iconic ice skating rinks like the one at Rockefeller Center and Central Park usually remain open in January, providing a quintessential New York winter experience.
- Broadway Shows: The Broadway theatres continue their regular schedules in January, offering a variety of shows that cater to different tastes.
- Museum Exhibits and Cultural Events: NYC’s museums and cultural institutions often have special exhibits and events that continue into January.
- Restaurant Week: While not specifically festive, NYC Restaurant Week often happens in January, offering special menus and deals at restaurants across the city, which can add to the overall lively atmosphere.
- The Rockefeller Center Tree remains on display until January 13, 2024, at 10 p.m.
While the post-holiday period may see a reduction in certain activities and decorations, New York City’s dynamic nature ensures that there is always something exciting happening, maintaining a sense of festivity and vibrancy even in the colder months.
NYC Walking Tours Available In January
New York City offers a diverse array of walking tours that you can enjoy in January. Here are some notable options, each offering a unique perspective of the city:
- Lower East Side Free New York Walking Tour (NYC Insider Guide): Explore the vibrant Lower East Side, known for its rich history, bustling restaurants, and unique shops. The tour offers an opportunity to delve into the neighborhood’s past and present. More information can be found on the NYC Insider Guide website.
- Greenwich Village Free New York Walking Tour (NYC Insider Guide): Discover the hidden gems of Greenwich Village, including historical sites, architectural marvels, and local eateries. This tour runs year-round with various themes like Foodie, Kids, As-Seen-on-TV, and architectural tours. Check the Village Alliance Information Booth or visit villagealliance.org.
- Union Square: Crossroads of New York Tours (NYC Insider Guide): Union Square Partnership and Big Onion Walking Tours offer a free 90-minute tour, exploring the social and political history of Union Square. The tour meets every Saturday at 2pm in front of the Lincoln Statue in Union Square Park’s South Plaza. For more details, call (212) 517-1826.
- Sugar Hill and Washington Heights Tour (Time Out): This tour takes you through Sugar Hill, renowned for its role during the Harlem Renaissance and home to influential African American figures. The tour highlights the area’s architecture and cultural significance. Bookings can be made via GetYourGuide.
- Lower East Side Bagel Tour (Time Out): A food-focused tour that starts with a classic New York bagel and includes stops at famous eateries like Katz’s Delicatessen. It’s a perfect blend of culinary and cultural exploration. Bookings can be made via GetYourGuide.
- Manhattan to Brooklyn NYC Walking Tour (Time Out): This tour starts in Manhattan and takes you across the Brooklyn Bridge, offering views of landmarks like the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. You’ll then explore the Dumbo neighborhood, famous for its art galleries and Jacques Torres Chocolate Factory. Bookings can be made via GetYourGuide.
- The Superhero Walking Tour of New York (Time Out): Perfect for comic book fans, this tour covers NYC landmarks that have been pivotal in superhero stories. You’ll visit places like the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, and the Chrysler Building, all significant in various superhero comics and movies. Bookings can be made via GetYourGuide.
- Iconic Sights Photography Walking Tour of NYC (Time Out): This tour is designed for photography enthusiasts, offering a chance to capture the city’s iconic sights with professional guidance. Destinations include Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, and Times Square. More information and bookings can be found on Time Out Activities.
- Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour (Time Out): Explore the cultural and culinary heritage of Chinatown and Little Italy. This tour delves into the history of these neighborhoods and their immigrant influences. Bookings can be made via GetYourGuide.
Each tour offers a unique way to experience New York City, combining history, culture, and culinary delights.
NYC Bus Tours
Exploring New York City in January by bus is a great way to see the sights while staying warm. Here are some bus tours you can consider, complete with details on what they offer, costs, and how to book:
- TopView Sightseeing® Bus Tours: They offer a variety of routes, including Downtown, Uptown, Brooklyn, and a Night Tour. The Night Tour route, for instance, takes you through Times Square, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and Little Italy to enjoy the city’s lights and architecture. Additionally, they offer a Liberty Cruise, which includes a visit to the Statue of Liberty. Passes can be purchased for different durations, such as 2-day, 3-day, or 5-day options. Prices and exact tour details can be found on TopView NYC.
- Hop-On Hop-Off 48 Hour Pass by TopView®: This pass includes the Downtown and Uptown Hop-On Hop-Off tours, the Statue of Liberty Cruise, and the Holiday Lights Tour with an Entertaining Host. Additional benefits like Central Park bike rental and entry to the Museum of the City of New York are also included. The regular price is $99, but there is an online deal for $65. More information and booking options are available on the TopView NYC website.
- Big Bus Tours New York: Big Bus Tours offers open-top sightseeing tours, providing an exciting way to see New York City’s famous landmarks. They have pre-recorded commentary available in multiple languages and offer two main routes: the Uptown Loop (Blue Route) and Downtown Loop (Red Route). For the most up-to-date information on tour start times, frequency, and ticket purchases, visit Big Bus Tours New York.
- Holiday Lights Tour with TopView®: This tour focuses on the city’s holiday lights displays, available from late November to early January. The tour includes stops at iconic locations like Rockefeller Center and Times Square. The regular price is $69, but there is a discounted rate of $45. For more details and booking, check out TopView NYC.
- USA Guided Tours NYC: USA Guided Tours in NYC typically offer a variety of guided tours that explore different aspects of the city. The duration of the tours may vary depending on the specific tour package you choose. Some tours may last a few hours, while others could be half-day or full-day experiences. They cover popular attractions like Times Square, Central Park, Fifth Avenue, and more.
- ONBOARD NYC bus tours offer an immersive and comprehensive New York City sightseeing experience. A fleet of comfortable and well-equipped double-decker buses allows visitors to explore the city’s iconic landmarks, neighborhoods, and attractions. Their informative and entertaining tour guides provide live commentary, sharing fascinating insights into the history, culture, and stories behind the famous sites, ensuring a rich and educational tour experience. ONBOARD NYC offers various tour options, including hop-on-hop-off tours, themed tours, and night tours, allowing travelers to customize their visits to match their interests and schedules. It’s a convenient and enjoyable way for tourists to discover New York’s vibrant and diverse cityscape.
NYC Pop Ups – Limited Time Only
New York City offers a variety of exciting pop-up events in January 2024 that tourists can enjoy. Here are some of the highlights:
- The Bean: Located at 56 Leonard St, this NYC version of The Bean is free to visit and offers a unique visual experience as it appears wedged underneath a building.
- The Friends Experience: Situated at 130 East 23rd St, this is a flagship location celebrating the iconic TV show “Friends.” For $45, visitors can enjoy two floors of interactive experiences, including posing on the iconic orange couch and exploring original props and costumes from the show.
- Museum of Ice Cream: Found at 558 Broadway, this museum features multi-sensory installations, including a floating table, a pink “Celestial Subway,” a three-story slide, and the largest Sprinkle Pool yet. Tickets start at $39 and it’s recommended to book at least two weeks in advance due to popularity.
- Sloomoo Institute: Located at 475 Broadway, this is a sensory playground centered around slime, offering an artistic universe for all ages. Tickets are $39 and the institute is open every weekend from 10 am to 5 pm.
- Jump for Joy: Bouncy Castle of Breasts: This unique experience at the Museum of Sex (233 5th Ave) features a bouncy castle made of giant inflatable breasts. Admission is $3.50 in addition to museum admission.
- LuminoCity Festival: This is a massive wonderland of lights inspired by the Chinese Lantern Festival, held at Randall’s Island Park. It offers a narrative journey through various themed worlds, along with an open-air Mini Gallery and food trucks.
- Holiday Train Show at NYBG: This show at the New York Botanical Garden features over 170 New York landmarks built on a 0.5-mile-long track. The exhibit showcases the intricate craftsmanship of model railways and is highly recommended for its unique experience.
- Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Experience one million sparkling lights along a holiday trail at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, featuring a Winter Cathedral tunnel, the Fire Garden, and a Sea of Light.
- Candytopia: This Willy Wonka-inspired pop-up offers a whimsical experience with candy sculptures, sweet-based art, and interactive activities like a marshmallow pit and an infinity mirror room.
- The FRIENDS™ Experience New York: A permanent pop-up for “Friends” fans, featuring interactive experiences, props, and costumes from the show, along with a Central Perk cafe.
These events provide a wide range of experiences, from immersive art installations to themed interactive spaces. Most of these events require tickets, so it’s advisable to book in advance to secure your spot. For more information on booking tickets and specific dates, you can visit the websites of each event or use platforms like Eventbrite and Fever for more details.
10 Popular NYC Family Restaurants to Eat In January
New York City boasts a plethora of family-friendly restaurants that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Here are ten popular options where families can enjoy a meal together in January 2024:
- Café Grumpy (Multiple Locations): Known for its excellent coffee, this local chain’s motto is “if you come in grumpy, you leave happy.” It’s a great spot to start your day, especially for families needing a caffeine boost.
- Papaya Dog (West Village): A quintessential New York experience, this spot is perfect for a quick, casual bite featuring the city’s famed hot dogs. It’s located in the heart of Greenwich Village.
- Rebecca’s Cake Pops (Lower East Side): Offering lollipop-sized cakes in kid-friendly designs, it’s a delightful destination for families with a sweet tooth.
- Tangy Noodle (Chelsea/Meat Packing District): This Chinese and Asian restaurant is praised for its neighborhood charm and offers a range of dishes suitable for a family meal.
- Japan Village (Greenwood, Brooklyn): Featuring 10 vendors, this Japanese culinary playground offers a variety of foods like ramen, sushi, and yakitori, making it an exciting choice for families.
- Hometown Bar-b-que (Red Hook, Brooklyn): This smokehouse offers delicious BBQ with global influences and is accommodating for families, with a large, spacious dining area.
- Albadawi (Brooklyn Heights): A Palestinian restaurant known for its family-style dining and large portions, it’s a great choice for a hearty meal. They offer dishes like ouzi lamb and bamia.
- Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Harlem): With outdoor seating in warmer months and a welcoming atmosphere for dogs, it offers a variety of American BBQ sauces and a kids menu. It’s budget-friendly and great for casual dining.
- Junior’s (Time Square): Famous for its over-the-top cheesecakes, this restaurant is a hit with kids and offers a classic New York dining experience.
- Peachy Keen (Theater District): Known for its 1970s-themed décor and comfort food like fried chicken and pork chops with peach glaze. It’s an exciting choice for families, especially those planning to visit Broadway theaters.
Remember, it’s always a good idea to check for the most current information and make reservations where possible, as restaurant operations can change. Enjoy your culinary adventures in NYC!
Where To Get Hot Chocolate With The Kids
New York City in January is the perfect time to indulge in some of the best hot chocolate experiences the city has to offer. Here are five popular spots where you can warm up with a delicious cup of hot cocoa:
- Lysêe (French-Korean Pastry Shop): Known for its visually stunning desserts, Lysêe also offers a unique dairy-free hot chocolate made with Valrhona chocolate. It features notes of nutty buckwheat and is topped with a flower-shaped, homemade bruleed marshmallow, making it a delightful treat.
- Venchi (Italian Chocolate Company): With over 140 years in the business, Venchi is an Italian institution found in multiple locations across NYC. Their hot chocolate is made using authentic rich Italian chocolate and is known for its irresistible richness. You can also add hazelnut spread or a touch of rum to enhance the flavor.
- Bar Pisellino (Italian Restaurant in West Village): Offering a local take on the Italian caffè, their hot chocolate is notably rich and topped with slow-melting whipped panna. It’s a dedicated dessert-like treat that’s perfect for those who enjoy a very chocolatey experience.
- Dominique Ansel Workshop (Bakery in Flatiron): From the creator of the Cronut, this bakery offers a Blossoming Hot Chocolate that is as delicious as it is Instagram-worthy. A flower-shaped marshmallow “blooms” in the hot drink, making it a hit among visitors.
- MarieBelle (Chocolate and Candy Shop in Soho): This boutique serves hot chocolate made with cacao shavings, offering a unique and luxurious experience. They brew single-origin South American cacao beans with water or milk to form a rich texture. The shop also offers a variety of chocolate styles, including the Aztec Hot Chocolate, which is one of Oprah’s Favorite Things.
These hot chocolate spots in NYC are not just about the drink but also about the experience. Whether you prefer a classic hot cocoa or a more exotic blend, these locations offer a cozy retreat from the winter cold, perfect for warming up and enjoying some of the city’s best treats.