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What to Do in New York City in January 2024

By The Center Magazine StaffDec 21 2023
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Even as the holiday decorations get put away — and the city is at its quietest — New York continues to provide magic, excitement, and a number of events to fill your calendar through the end of winter. After all, it is the city that never sleeps, and there are no exceptions. Tie up your skates and take a turn or two around The Rink, or reserve a table at 5 Acres or Le Rock and feast on delicious Restaurant Week deals. Better yet, heighten your sense of adventure at The Beam Experience, Rockefeller Center’s newest attraction. It allows visitors to recreate the iconic photo “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper,” originally snapped while 30 Rockefeller Plaza was being built in 1932.

If The Beam reignites your interest in local history, get back to ground level stat and head to the Polonsky Exhibition at the New York Public Library, where you can continue to relive the city’s defining moments through rare relics. Or opt for a different type of retrospective experience and sing along to Madonna’s first-ever greatest hits tour at Madison Square Garden. Reflecting and learning from the past is one of the wisest ways to start a new year, after all.

Read on for our top five picks of the best events happening around New York City in January.

Wondering what’s going on at Rockefeller Center in January? Scroll through our upcoming events, and sign up for The Center Newsletter to get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

NYC Restaurant Week

January 16 – February 4

Not willing to spend a month’s rent on dinner, but dying to try that restaurant everyone is talking about? Forget $30 appetizers and an entrée that costs more than a shopping spree at Bergdorf’s: NYC Restaurant Week has you covered. Happening twice each year, Restaurant Week (which actually spans an almost three-week period), is your chance to sample all those seemingly out-of-reach hotspots. Restaurants throughout all five boroughs offer special multi-course menus at a fixed price, helping diners expand their gastronomic choices while bringing in new business. Note that not all restaurants participate in both lunch and dinner menus, and Saturdays are typically excluded. You can check back here on January 9 to see which restaurants are participating, browse menus, and find out how best to snag that corner table. But first, let us give you a little inside scoop. Multiple Rockefeller Center restaurants will be participating, including 5 Acres, an American spot with to-die-for burgers and all-day comfort food, and Le Rock, a buzzy brasserie from the team behind Balthazar and Frenchette.

Photo by Seth Hoffman via Unsplash
Photo by Seth Hoffman via Unsplash

Sporting events at Madison Square Garden

Throughout January

Basketball and hockey fans will have plenty to keep them busy this January as the Knicks and Rangers face off against their rivals at Madison Square Garden. Both will have the home team advantage several times over the course of the month, so don’t miss the opportunity to root them on to victory. Other games to watch include three Big East Conference match-ups featuring St. John’s Red Storm. The college team, led by head coach Rick Pitino, will take on Providence, Marquette, and Villanova in their bid to win entry to March Madness. From January 5 to 7, Professional Bull Riders: Unleash the Beast will bring the 35 best bull riders in the world to the arena to battle through a fierce rodeo event. Multi-day tickets are available.

Courtesy of New York Public Library
Courtesy of New York Public Library

New York Public Library’s Polonsky Exhibition

Ongoing

The New York Public Library is a treasure trove of educational artifacts with 56 million wonders to explore — more than even the most inquisitive of scholars could browse in a lifetime. The Polonsky Exhibition offers the rare opportunity to see its most impressive items curated into one mind-boggling display, divided into meaningful themes. The exhibition includes artwork, photographs, rare books, historical documents, and recordings that tell stories of the past 4,000 years, all with the goal of bringing great minds together and forming a clearer understanding of the path toward a brighter future. There are special sections dedicated to work created by women and the global influence of New York City through the centuries, and a free audio guide is available in multiple languages.

Photo by Alev Takil via Unsplash
Photo by Alev Takil via Unsplash

Broadway Week

January 16 – February 4

Grab a date and plan for dinner, a show, and deals all around, because Broadway Week is Restaurant Week’s perfect match. Every theater buff’s favorite event, it puts two-for-one tickets to the city’s most spectacular stage performances on offer twice a year. The full lineup will be announced January 9, but expect to see new, star-studded titles like “Pictures from Home” with Nathan Lane; family-friendly options including “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”; longtime favorites such as “Moulin Rouge” and “The Book of Mormon”; and dance-in-the-aisle musicals like “MJ”, the story of Michael Jackson. Count on nearby Rockefeller Center for the perfect pre-show cocktails and bites at Pebble Bar or Jupiter, or extend the excitement with a late-night dinner at 21 Greenpoint or Lodi after the final curtain call. It’s only a brisk walk away.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Madonna: The Celebration Tour at Madison Square Garden

January 22, 23, and 29

The Queen of Pop is back in NYC celebrating four decades of music with her rescheduled summer tour dates. Madonna brought The Celebration Tour — which eventually kicked off in London in October and made its way through Europe — to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in December for a sold-out crowd of 14,000 fans, but it’s not too late to score the hot ticket at MSG. This is 65-year-old Madonna’s first-ever retrospective tour, focused on fan-favorite hits instead of a new album, and her lifelong followers are loving indulging in the nostalgia of it all. Expect fashion, drama, steamy dancers, tributes to other iconic performers, and truth bombs about the singer’s complicated path to superstardom.

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