New York in January faces the coldest month of the year, but, white snow covers the city, New Yorkers and the few tourists are wrapped in mega scarves that cover almost all the expensive, the skating rinks survive the cold and the smoke from the fumaroles rises as if from the middle of the street, forming a beautiful postcard that highlights the powers that New York has: a city that is always pleasant to visit.
A city with so much to see that the degrees below zero do not matter, life goes on, day, night and with plenty of shelter. Do not miss this post where we will tell you the best things to do in New York in January, the ideal plans to cope with the cold and why it is a great opportunity to enjoy an almost (and rarely seen ) empty city.
What is the weather in New York in January
January in New York is literally the coldest month of the entire year.
Integrating the winter in New York, in January the temperatures range between -5 and 4 degrees Celsius although, be careful, it is a very humid cold, so the thermal sensation can even be minor.
But don’t despair! There are hundreds of plans to do in New York in winter and January is not a month that goes unnoticed, it is a great month to visit the city and we will also tell you why.
- Travel information: New York in January is a city that you have to take advantage of early on as it dawns around 7 in the morning and the sun goes down at 5 in the afternoon.
New York in January usually has a relatively stable climate: cold, yes, but snow storms are rare and, if they do happen, visitors are informed so that they can take cover, especially from the cold, for a few hours and then the city resumes its activities. It is commonplace, which is why all New Yorkers are used to bundling up during colder times. So what clothes to wear in New York in January?
What to wear to New York in January
First key point to take into account when traveling to New York in January: clothing. On many occasions we have said that New York is a great city to shop (and it is) but arriving with clothes “not so warm” and having to go to a store is not the best recommendation.
The most advisable thing is to bring the right clothes in your suitcase and enjoy the city from minute one, then there will be time to go through the shops of the city and look for the best discounts ( one of the great reasons to visit New York in January that we will tell you about).
Now, what clothes to take to New York in January is a fundamental part of the trip and the best recommendations are:
- A good warm jacket (or sweater) : “the photos will all come out the same” yes, but it will be the best protection against the intense cold of the city.
- Hat, gloves and scarf : the trident of good, the unforgettable of a trip to New York in January (or the first thing to buy at the airport) and part of the routine during a city tour.
- Thermal shirts: something fundamental, thermal shirts work as a perfect insulator.
A good coat is part of the essentials to travel to New York in January, a fundamental ally to be able to visit the city at any time of day, with snow or wind but to be able to enjoy the wonderful streets of the Big Apple.
What to do in New York in January
A great city, thousands of things to do and a climate that does nothing more than decorate the corners of this big apple that never ceases to amaze. What are the best things to do? to do in New York in January?
1. Ice skating on the most famous rinks
Since winter begins in New York, ice skating rinks open their doors inviting residents and travelers to enjoy the cold from another perspective, much more fun and getting inside local culture (yes, New Yorkers love ice skating).
The most famous skating rinks in New York:
- Wollman Rink, Central Park : New York’s great park is transformed, every season of the year. During the winter in the city, the snow covers every corner, creating a beautiful photograph. In the park itself, there is also an ice skating rink for those looking to enjoy the low temperatures.
- The Rink at Bryant Park: is probably the most famous skating rink in town and also free (actually, it’s free if one Bring your own skates, if not, you can rent them). Bryant Park is the park with the most Christmas spirit in all of New York where, until the first days of January, it is possible to enjoy one of the best Christmas-markets in the world.
- The Rink at Rockefeller Center: the third most famous rink in New York is located in front of the great golden statue of Rockefeller Center and, until the beginning of January, in front of the gigantic Christmas tree.
2. Take advantage of the best discounts of the year
January is a great month to visit New York, since, being the coldest month of the year, few are the travelers who dare to visit this city, therefore, it is considered “Low season” and discounts begin to fall like snow, in search of these tourists.
- Traveling clarification: We always say that New York is a great city to visit at any time of the year so, to say that there are few tourists, it does not mean that one feels like on a film set, but that there are tourists, but they are less than if compared to the summer in New York.
Clearances, discounts, offers and great possibilities of filling your suitcase with whatever you prefer. The large stores of the city are part of their mega sales during January and it is a great opportunity worth taking advantage of.
- Traveler tip: big stores like Macy’s or Century 21 have really cheap prices during January in New York, however, if you count With time to spare, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets is an open-air mall, almost an hour from Times Square, where the most exclusive brands are sold at very low prices.
3. Surprise yourself with the No Pants Subway Ride
Rarely in life have we seen people without pants on the subway, right? At least it is not something that is seen every day and New York emphasizes its versatility with the No Pants Subway Ride, a day in January where, as a tradition, New Yorkers who they join the old custom, they travel by subway without pants. Yes, just like that.
This tradition emerged more than 15 years ago where, 7 friends decided to travel by subway without pants as a joke and, as the years went by, they created an exclusive day in January to do it, adding every year, thousands of residents who join this curious tradition.
- Traveler fact: the day of the No Pants Subway Ride is announced in December and can be checked at official website.
4. Visit one of the New York Museums
Resting from the cold somewhere with heating is a great opportunity to cope with the winter in New York and what better idea than to take advantage of that time to visit a museum in the city.
Museums are as varied as the city itself, of contemporary and modern art, history, science, memorials and even celebrities made of wax.
- Traveler tip: besides being one of the best things to do in the city when it is cold, during different days of the week, There are some Free museums in New York that are ideal for adjusting your travel budget and enjoy these attractions of the city.
5. Photographing Central Park with snow
Does it snow in New York in January? Yes (and a lot) and what better postcard to photograph than the magnificent snow-covered Central Park, the squirrels among the trees and the little ones assembling the classic dolls.
The hills that, during May, become a scene for picnics like one of the best things to do in New York in spring, they are dyed white and become slippery slopes where children enjoy the cold.
- Traveler advice: not all hills in Central Park are safe to slide, you have to take into account which ones are demarcated.
6. A beer tour of Brooklyn Brewery
The “heated plans” are also a key factor to enjoy the city in winter and a great alternative is to visit the emblem of Brooklyn, tasting a delicious craft beer and knowing its history and production.
Brooklyn Brewery, as its name says, is located in the homonymous neighborhood and the brewery, is practically a historical site within the region. Tours are organized every day inside the brewery with the possibility of tasting each of its types of beers, produced by hand.
- Traveler tip: generally, on Saturdays tours are offered free of charge, which also corresponds to one of the best things to do for free in New York. It is always advisable to check their website as the free days may vary.
7. Enjoy Broadway musicals at low prices
Is that possible? Well, visiting New York in January, yes it is. Broadway musicals are recognized worldwide and coveted by travelers visiting the city but, let’s be honest, the ticket prices are not for low cost travelers.
However, in New York in January, the situation changes and generally, during the last week of the month, Broadway Week is presented, a whole week where you can buy 2×1 tickets for the most famous musicals in the world.
- Travel tip: almost every year, Broadway Week tickets go on sale the first week of January (one month before), so you have to be attentive since the tickets… they fly!
8. The best views with a drink in hand, in the rooftops
Photographing the city from above, enjoying a signature drink and not getting cold, seems like a great plan to do in New York in winter and especially in January, so the rooftop bars (or terrace bars) should be in the list.
Many of these rooftops have devised fantastic solutions and alternatives to cope with the cold, either with their glazed interiors or forms of heating.
Rooftops to visit in New York in January:
- The Press Lounge, Hell’s Kitchen (at the Ink48 hotel).
- Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel
- 230 Fifth Bar
- The Monarch (18th floor of the Marriott Courtyard Herald Square).
9. See the brave at the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge
If visiting Coney Island is one of the best things to do in New York York in summer, visiting it in January is quite an experience. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is an association of winter swimmers who, since 1903, meet on the shores of Coney Island to literally swim in winter in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
In addition to doing it privately every Sunday between November and April, there is a day in January that commemorates the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge, where anyone who wishes can join the club and be part of this frozen experience.
- Travel information: the exact day of the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge is announced on the official website.
10. The best restaurants at the best prices: NYC Restaurant Week
Discounts on musicals, shops and … restaurants! During a week in January, and since 1992, the best restaurants in New York open their doors at affordable prices < / strong>, generally with fixed values for lunch and dinner to be able to enjoy the best gastronomy at relatively affordable prices.
Generally, the values for lunch are around 22 dollars and for dinner, 46 dollars, although it may vary depending on the restaurant and the past year.
11. Admire the Holiday Train Show in the Botanical Garden
The city in miniature, little trains touring the most diverse scenes in the Big Apple and a great plan to do in New York in January and especially with children.
Located in the Bronx and following a great Christmas tradition (which runs towards the end of January), the Holiday Train Show, the little train of the Botanical Garden takes place more than 30 years ago, traveling through 175 typical New York scenarios such as the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge or the Rockefeller Center created with natural materials such as cinnamon sticks, pineapples and even seeds.
- Travel information: in 2021, the Holiday Train Show opens its doors from November 20 to January 23, 2022. Tickets go on sale to the public on October 5, 2021.
12. Enjoy winter sports
January in New York is the time of basketball, ice hockey and the beginning of the American football season, what better way than to cope with the cold with a heated game, becoming part of the local culture and enjoying classic American traditions in a classic game.
New York Giants or Jets? New York Rangers or New York Islanders? New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets? Any of the tickets can be obtained on the official pages but, if you are looking for a recommendation, a great alternative is to look at the Madison Square Garden page and enjoy any sporting show present, in the most famous stadium in the city.
Visiting New York in January is a great opportunity to visit a city in the form of a postcard : snow, coats and few tourists walking through its streets but full of activities and places to visit. Definitely a city to visit at any time of the year.