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9 Great Things to Do in New York in January

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While the holiday season might be in the past and winter is in full swing, there are still a lot of great things to do in New York in January.

Whether you want to enjoy the beauty of a New York winter, taste delicious food, or enjoy some great cultural activities, there’s no excuse to go into hibernation.

After searching through hundreds of events throughout the state, here are 7 of the best for those looking for something fun to do in January.

(Article updated December 13, 2023, for events in January 2024.)

First Day Hikes Throughout New York – January 1

Trees in a snow covered forest
Take a First Day Hike this New Year’s Day.

Start your year off right with a First Day Hike.

These hikes are held at state parks throughout New York and are a great way to get outside with rangers and other like-minded individuals to start off the new year. The hikes offered range from one to five miles and are generally family-friendly events.

 Find out about all of them on the website for the New York State Park system.

Lights on the Lake in Syracuse – Through January 12

Driving through a lit castle at Lights on the Lake in Syracuse NY
Lights on the Lake in Syracuse is open through mid-January.

Not ready for the holiday season to be over? If so, you’re in luck as Lights on the Lake in Syracuse is open through January 12.

This fantastic drive-through Christmas light display features a two-mile-long display that features hundreds of fun and festive scenes along the shores of Onondaga Lake.

Find out more information and get tickets on the event’s website.

Winter JazzFest in New York City – January 10-18

New York City’s Winter JazzFest will be returning this January, and if you love jazz music, this is an event that you won’t want to miss.

With hundreds of different musicians, this festival will have way more music than you could possibly listen to in a week. However, you can certainly try to check out as many as you can amidst the event’s many great venues.

Find out more on the event’s website.

Long Lake Winter Carnival in Long Lake – January 13

A panoramic image of Long Lake with fall foliage in the distance.
Long Lake will be the site of a great winter carnival this January.

Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, the town of Long Lake welcomes you for a full day of winter fun during its annual winter carnival.

The carnival features some of Long Lake’s most unique snowy activities including cardboard sled racing and frying pan tossing. This family-friendly event will also offer activities for the kids.

The carnival will conclude with a fireworks display at 6:00 pm.

For more information on this event, visit the carnival’s website.

NYC Broadway Week in New York City – January 16 – February 4

New York City
Experience NYC Broadway Week this January.

Taking place just twice a year, NYC Broadway Week is a chance for theater & musical lovers to experience some of the best shows on Broadway at a discounted rate.

During the event, you can purchase one ticket to any participating show and get one free. Tickets for NYC Broadway Week shows go on sale on January 9.

For up-to-date information on this event and for a list of participating Broadway shows, click here.

Ellicottville’s Winter Blues Weekend – January 18-20

Need to shake off the winter blues? Then a visit to Ellicottville’s Winter Blues Weekend is just the remedy! Local venues in the area will be hosting blues musicians & bands from all over the area at this free two-day event.

While you are in Ellicottville for the blues weekend, be sure to check out the town’s local shops and restaurants, like Ellicottville Brewing Company, as well.

For up-to-date information on this event, visit their website.

Salmon River Winter Festival in Pulaski – January 19-21

If you are looking for a full weekend of family winter fun, then make plans to attend this year’s Salmon River Winter Festival located in Pulaski in Oswego County.

Show off your snowman-building skills by entering their snowman contest and do a little taste testing at the chili and wing competitions. The festival also features snow sculptures and children’s activities.

For more information on this event, click here.

While in the area, don’t miss the short walk to Salmon River Falls.

Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival in Albany – January 25-27

The Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival is a three-day event showcasing local chefs and restaurants from around the region.

In addition to the Grand Gala Reception & 5-course Dinner held on Saturday, the festival will also feature cooking competitions, tastings, & an art auction.

For a full schedule of events and to purchase your tickets online, visit the festival’s website.

Go Skiing Throughout New York

Skiing in New York
Skiing is a great wintertime activity throughout New York.

Did you know that there are nearly four dozen ski areas spread throughout New York State?

Other than in New York City and Long Island, there are ski areas in every region of the state, and January is a great time to head out and enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and more fun activities at these resorts.

Find out more information about New York ski areas here.

Looking for more events in New York? Check out our picks for the best things to do in New York in December and things to do in New York in February.

Do you have a favorite thing to do in New York in January that isn’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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