Few things sparkle brighter than Manhattan in the winter. The days feel shorter and the nights are long with endless events, holiday parties, and places to see. There is no shortage of reasons to celebrate. Rather than seeking refuge from the cold on your couch, get out into the city this winter for some of the can’t-miss events in arts and culture for the coming season.

December

New York International Motorcycle Show
December 11-13
Javits Center
655 West 34th Street, NYC
Get to know what’s new in the world of motorcycles and gear while touring the show or attending a seminar or interactive show. Whether you’re a new or experienced rider, you’ll enjoy seeing top-of-the-line cruisers, street bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, ATVs, and side-by-sides at this year’s motorcycle show.

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January

Polar Bear Club New Year’s Swim
January 1st at 1:00pm, $20 suggested donation
Coney Island

Start the year off with a splash by plunging into the ocean on January 1st with hundreds of other New Yorkers while thousands of onlookers cheer you on. The annual event raises money for Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Last year the Polar Bear Plunge raised nearly $75,000, enough for 25 families to attend retreats. If you won’t be in town but still want to dip, check this list of plunges. If you would like to contribute, donate here.

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Martin Luther King Jr Day

Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM) Monday, January 18th

Free event — Tickets available at 8am at BAM

The BAM’s tribute to Martin Luther King has become an annual event, and is the largest NYC event held in his honor. This event, which has been an ongoing tradition since 1990, is meant to honor the dream and legacy of MLK. A choir and keynote speaker will be in attendance as well, so come be a part of the incredible event that is uniting artists and activists alike.

MLK from bam.org

MLK Photo Courtesy of bam.org ​

The No Pants Subway Ride

January 2016 – specific date TBD.

Free to participate

As the temperatures drop, so too should your pants. The No Pants Subway Ride courtesy of Improv Everywhere is making its way back into town. This year is the 15th annual rendition of the No Pants Subway Ride, where participants don all of winter’s necessities: gloves, a hat, scarf, winter jacket, the works…all but pants, of course. It started out 15 years ago with 7 guys playing a prank, and it is amazing to see how much this event has grown in popularity. It now spans over 60 cities and has tens of thousands of participants. Anyone can participate. Check the Improv Everywhere website for details about how to get involved.

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No Pants Photo Courtesy of huffintonpost.com

National Boat Show

January 6-10

Jacob Javits Convention Center

$15 Adults, Children 15 & younger free w/ purchase of Adult admission ticket

Winter may be upon us, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop enjoying our love of boats. Since we’re likely not spending time on the water, this event is the next best thing. Visitors will have the chance to view a large variety of boats and have the opportunity to speak with dealers and manufacturers as well. For those looking to purchase, this is one of the best places to do so. Sign up online and enter for a chance to win a $500 show shopping spree; winner will also receive 2 free tickets to the event.

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Image Courtesy of nyboatshow.com

Outsider Art Fair

January 21-24th

Metropolitan Pavilion

All Access Pass: $53.74, one day pass $22.09

The Outsider Art Fair focuses on one sole fact, its featured artists have raw creativity. “Outsider Artists” are not the elite group of artists who boast a high status in the art world. They are from all different areas of life, culturally and professionally, and are in a range of age groups. Allow yourself to be inspired by, and in awe of, the unique art displays gathered into the beautiful venue that is the Metropolitan Pavilion.

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Image Courtesy of outsiderartfair.com

Lunar New Year

February 14th

Starting at 1pm

Sara D. Roosevelt Park

Don’t miss this outstanding, exciting display in Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This party in the street is home to some beautiful festive floats, amazing vendors, lively performers, and delicious treats. Open to the public, free, and perfect for all age groups, this is an event you won’t want to miss out on where you can welcome the Year of the Monkey with friends and family.

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Lunar New Year Photo Courtesy of nycgo.com

Mahayana New Year

January 24th

The Mahayana New Year is the celebration of the Buddhist New Year, a time to reflect upon the past year and focus on mindfulness in your life for the coming year. If you are interested in celebrating, check the New York City Mahayana Temple Calendar of Events as the date gets closer.

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Image Courtesy of Anna T. on Yelp.com

February

Chinese New Year

February 8th

One of the most important traditional festivals in the Chinese culture is the celebration of the Chinese New Year. In 2016 the new year celebration begins on Monday, February 8th and ends on the 22nd. This year brings the year of the Monkey. There will be an exciting New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival taking place in Chinatown beginning at 11:00am on the 8th. This dazzling display will include hundreds of thousands of firecrackers, singers and dancers, and delicious food vendors.

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Lunar New Year Parade Photo Courtesy of nycgo.com

Valentine’s Day

Times Square

February 14th

What’s more romantic than celebrating your love on Valentine’s Day in NYC? With an endless list of places to go and things to do (check the Time Out New York page about a month before), consider skipping a long wait in line at Serendipity and try something new. Love & Paint is a one-of-a-kind experience where you and your lover check into a luxury soho luxury hotel, enjoy couple’s massages, and then retreat to your own personal art studio (your hotel room) where you will use your bodies as paintbrushes to create a 60”x72” masterpiece. This can be done any time of year but it’s an especially fun treat for Valentine’s Day.

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Mardi Gras  

February 9th (Fat Tuesday)

Can’t make it to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras next year? No worries, NYC has got you covered. Fat Tuesday rolls into town on February 9th (the day before lent begins), bringing with it a slew of parties and celebrations throughout the city. If you’re feeling ambitious consider staging your own bar crawl and hit them all! Bourbon Street Bar & Grill is a fan favorite, as is Virgil’s Real Barbecue –which has been known to have a menu just for Mardi Gras focused on classic New Orleans dishes. I will be posting more notable Mardi Gras events here as the time gets closer.

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Image Courtesy of Timeout.com

Restaurant Week

January 18th-February 5th

The famed NYC Restaurant week kicks off January 18th-February 5th,. This is an event all New Yorkers, foodies or not, look forward to. Restaurant Week allows patrons to taste a restaurant’s menu, 3 courses worth, at a fixed rate for lunch or dinner at hundreds of participating restaurants in the city. A full list of participating restaurants will be announced in January. A week of indulgence, no one will blame you if you try to hit as many restaurants on the list as you can within the week!

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Super Bowl

February 7th

This year will mark the 50th Super Bowl and for the first time ever, the “50” will not be in Roman numerals. Whether you’re tuning in for the game or just for the commercials, this is one day where we will all be glued to the TV. This year the game will be taking place at the San Francisco 49ers’ home stadium for the first time since 1985.

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Fashion Week

Feb. 11-Feb 18

Fashionistas and socialites revel in New York Fashion Week, a time to don your best outfits and marvel at designers’ latest collections. This season, Fashion Week debuts on February 11th and comes to a close on the 18th. Manage to get yourself into an invitation-only event and rub elbows with some of the fashion industries elite from top models, to photographers and of course, designers.

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Image Courtesy of Aveda

Annual Fleet Empire // State Building Run-Up

February 3rd

This February marks the 39th annual Empire State Building Run-Up. An incredibly challenging run and race, this “course” involves a race up 86 flights of stairs, that’s 1,576 stairs to be exact. Try your hand at beating the fastest runners, who can make it up those 1,576 stairs in just 10 minutes. Runners from all over the world enter hoping to be selected to become a part of the ESB Run. The runs are broken up into individual “heats”, some of which include celebrities and NYC based real estate brokers like myself.

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Run-up Photo Courtesy of esbync.com​

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

The Piers 92/94 & MSG

Feb. 15th – Feb 16th

This year celebrates the Westminster Kennel Club’s 140th annual Dog Show. Taking place on Monday February 15th – Tuesday, February 16th, the dog show’s daytime sessions will be commencing at The Piers 92/94 from 8am – 4pm, while its evening sessions (where best in show will be announced) will be held at MSG from 6pm – 11pm.

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Image Courtesy of Petful.com

Ash Wednesday

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

February 10th

Located in the heart of New York City, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of New York City’s most famed cathedrals. On Ash Wednesday, thousands of Catholics will head over to the cathedral to receive their holy ashes. If you are planning to go to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, dress warmly as you could be waiting in a line that wraps around the block outside.

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Image Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

Nirvana Day (aka Parinirvana Day)

February 8th or 15th

An annual event, most commonly celebrated on February 15th or February 8th . This is a time of remembrance of the day of the Buddha’s death and his entrance into Nirvana. This day is often used as a time to reflect upon Buddha’s teachings, the way in which people commemorate this day varies from place to place — some celebrate with festivals while others choose a more mindful route in a Buddhist temple or monastery. Kadampa Meditation Center in NYC offers a meditation class on February 15th at 7pm.  

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Dharma Wheel, Image Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

 

Written by Lance Nguyen