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New York in January Travel Guide: itinerary, tips, and what you can't miss

Start the year in New York with a busy schedule of incredible plans to enjoy the city: gastronomy, shows, monuments and much more!

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

8 min read

New York in January Travel Guide: itinerary, tips, and what you can't miss

New York under the snow | ©Todd Torabi

The beginning of the year is a good time to set goals. Like a blank notebook, we have the opportunity to fill the pages of our time with what makes us happy. And is there anything that makes you happier than traveling?

During the month of January in New York you can finish enjoying the holiday season, celebrate the Chinese New Year, take advantage of the best sales and much more. I leave you the list of resolutions in the form of the best plans for you to enjoy the city to the fullest.

1. Enjoy the offers on Broadway Week shows

Looking for the best deals on Broadway| ©Ludo Raedts
Looking for the best deals on Broadway| ©Ludo Raedts

While December is the most expensive month to visit New York, January is a time when you can definitely save more money than any other time of the year. First, because it is no longer high season, and second, because it is a month full of offers! And one of the most important ones are Broadway shows thanks to BroadWay Week.

For a couple of weeks you can find promotions as sweet as paying half price 2x1 on the most famous musicals like Wicked, The Lion King, Aladdin and many more. What are you waiting for? Don't forget to check the plays in advance because I warn you that it is very possible that the tickets will be sold out.

Book tickets to see a Broadway musical

2. Enjoy a jazz concert at the Winter Jazzfest

Presentation at the Winter JazzFest| ©Steven Pisano
Presentation at the Winter JazzFest| ©Steven Pisano

As you can see, in January you can enjoy amazing offers, but that's not the only thing you can enjoy! During this month the Winter Jazzfest takes place. If you love jazz, this festival invites you to enjoy dozens of concerts in the Village and other corners of New York. The star of the Jazzfest are the Friday and Saturday night concert marathons.

You can find jazz concerts in addition to three jazz marathons at various venues around the city. Two of them are on consecutive days and are held in Manhattan. Also in Brooklyn a marathon is held a week later. There is also a special children's concert during the day.

Surely if you go through the Winter Jazzfest you will want to know more about this style of music; the right place to do it is Harlem and these are the best places to hear jazz in this neighborhood.

Book a jazz tour in Harlem

3. Don't miss the last days of the after Holidays Sales

Taking Advantage of New York Deals| ©Gustavo Fring
Taking Advantage of New York Deals| ©Gustavo Fring

New York never rests and proof of this are the sales that come after the big holiday of the year, Christmas. If you don't need an excuse to window shop in the Big Apple, imagine what it's like to go in the middle of the sales season.

Until January 2, you can take advantage of endless offers in New York, and in places where they already have regular sales such as Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, a place where there are discounts all year round on top brands, you can enjoy even more discounts! Museums and tourist attractions are all well and good, but make no mistake: the outlets are a must-see when you go to New York. Make room in your suitcase because when your acquaintances find out that you'll be in New York during the sales season, they're going to order more than one thing from you.

Book a shopping tour in New York

4. Walk through snow-covered Central Park

Central Park covered with snow| ©Mack Male
Central Park covered with snow| ©Mack Male

January is literally the coldest month of the year in New York. The freezing temperatures and the usual rainy days cause the water droplets to turn into snowflakes that will cover the city and with it Central Park.

The great park is transformed every season, but winter is undoubtedly the time when the makeover is most significant. The trees are dyed white, the paths are filled with snow and the result is an endearing postcard photograph. Remember to come prepared with waterproof and warm clothes!

Book a tour of Central Park

5. Skate at New York's best view skating rink

Skating at New York's Wollman Rink| ©Charley Lhasa
Skating at New York's Wollman Rink| ©Charley Lhasa

As I mentioned in the previous activity, ice rinks are still located all over the city, and luckily they are not as crowded as during the Christmas season. During the month of January there are still many, such as Central Park, Rockefeller Center, but I want to recommend a very special one: the ice rink at the William Vale Rink Hotel. This ice rink is located on the 23rd floor of a skyscraper that will offer spectacular views where you can enjoy the skyline of the city.

And speaking of views... if you are lucky enough that New York is snowed in the month of January (something very likely) you can not fail to enjoy the views offered by viewpoints like Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center.

Buy tickets to climb the Top of the Rock

6. Taste the best menus in New York at a bargain price during the Restaurant week

Tasting a hot dog| ©Caroline Attwood
Tasting a hot dog| ©Caroline Attwood

After having devoured the best offers of Broadway musicals, it's time to devour the delicious menus of New York at an outrageous price thanks to Restaurant Week. For one week (which in reality is always a little longer) you will have access to the best restaurants in New York at a reduced price.

It is true that New York is an expensive city, but on these dates you can eat at very good prices even in Michelin-starred restaurants. Some of them have fixed prices for lunch and dinner, so don't you think it's a good opportunity to take a bite of the Big Apple? Of course,don't forget to book, tables are flying!

7. Make the most of the last days of Christmas in New York City

Celebrating Chinese New Year in New York City| ©Kyle T.
Celebrating Chinese New Year in New York City| ©Kyle T.

Although the month of December is the month to celebrate Christmas par excellence, January is not far behind in terms of activities typical of this time of the year. Cold weather abounds in the city and there are still some of the Christmas trees and more activities such as skating rinks or model trains, along with the most emblematic trees and Christmas markets where you can find great prices due to the end of the holiday season. Take advantage!

The Chinese New Year, a different kind of Christmas

And you may already know that, while in the West the end of the year is part of Christmas, in China they have a slightly different calendar. They celebrate Chinese New Year and can you guess? Well yes, you are in luck because it is usually in January or February. Check the exact date before your trip and do not hesitate to visit Chinatown to live this unique experience.

8. Take the subway during the "No Pants Subway Ride" Day

Waiting for the subway on the No pants subway ride| ©Jessica Fejos
Waiting for the subway on the No pants subway ride| ©Jessica Fejos

The No Pants Subway Ride will leave you speechless... and pantless! One day a month every January, this curious event is celebrated in which the subway is filled with people without pants. The origin of this story is located in 2022 when seven people got on at different stations and rode the amount of seven stops without pants. Each year that number has been increasing until it has become a phenomenon.

To find out when it is celebrated and more information about this curious day you can visit the official website and if you do not want to get lost in the subway take a look at our New York Subway Guide. Of course, I am not responsible for the cold that you can incubate if you join this initiative that, in my point of view, would be more appropriate for a month of less cold.

9. Visit New York's top attractions at the best price during Must See Week

At the gates of the MET| ©Hellotickets
At the gates of the MET| ©Hellotickets

In every vacation destination there is a "Must See" list, a list of places you can't miss if you are going to visit that place. Well, New York was not going to be less and if you visit the Big Apple in January you are in luck because this month you can enjoy the Must See Week, a week in which many of the attractions and many of the best museums in New York offer impressive discounts.

In total you have more than 70 unique experiences at bargain prices. One example is that you can purchase tickets to the Empire State Building, the One World Observatory, the Whtney Museum and many more with 2-for-1 ticket offers. These days you will mingle with New Yorkers as they are the first to take advantage of these discounts so buy your tickets in advance because these offers sell out very quickly!

10. Experience an uncrowded city on Martin Luther King's Day

Empty streets of New York on Martin Luther King's Day| ©Jazz Guy
Empty streets of New York on Martin Luther King's Day| ©Jazz Guy

Martin Luther King is one of America's most iconic figures. He led a racial revolution that started the change that still lasts today in terms of racial discrimination. The third Monday of January commemorates his figure and for New York is a holiday where businesses and schools are closed, although the main tourist attractions are still open.

It is a great day to see the city at leisure, without the hustle and bustle of people going to work and the stress that during the rest of the year is installed in the Big Apple. However, if you have the opportunity my recommendation is that you check the calendar to be part of some of the events that are organized around the figure of this American hero; it can be a very authentic experience.

Weather in NYC in January

New York Winter| ©Stuardo Herrera
New York Winter| ©Stuardo Herrera

As I mentioned, January is the coldest month of the winter in New York. Temperatures hover between -5ºC and 4ºC but in addition, the characteristic cold of New York is very humid and the wind chill is even lower. In addition to wearing warm clothes, buy warm socks and T-shirts because you are going to be quite cold.

That's why you should make the most of all the hours of sunshine. This time of the year dawns around 7AM and the sun disappears on the horizon around 5PM, which leaves us a day of about 10 hours to enjoy the Big Apple to the fullest. Because even though the city never sleeps... the sun does!

Prices in NYC in January

Paying for the shopping| ©Jack Sparrow
Paying for the shopping| ©Jack Sparrow

That the cold abounds at this time of year is an opportunity to travel to New York even for the coldest, and is that flights and hotels usually have more affordable prices for tourists to continue visiting the city. And if you add all the activities I have explained above... you have no excuse!

Although a trip to New York will never be cheap, if you plan it in advance and make coincide all the "special weeks" that take place in this month, of course the visit will be much more profitable.