Your Comprehensive Travel Guide to Visiting New York in January

New York is, without a doubt, one of the most sought-after and popular tourist destinations in the world. It is home to some of the most famous and iconic attractions including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park, to name a few. The bustling streets of New York overflow with diverse cultures, buzzing with yellow taxis and the rhythm of life. The city’s eclectic blend of art, cuisine, and opportunity makes it an unparalleled global destination. While New York is buzzing all year round, let’s see what it has in store for January.

Is January a Good Time to Visit New York?

The weather in New York can be freezing cold during January. It is also a low tourist season, which means lesser crowds, making January a great month to visit the city.

Why You Should Visit New York in January

Why You Should Visit?

  • New York experiences a low tourist season in January, which means there are lesser crowds at attractions.
  • Snowfall during the month makes it a great time to enjoy activities like ice skating, ice sledding, and fun snowball fights.
  • The city celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday of January by hosting marches, parades, and cultural activities to honor his legacy.
New York in January

What to Look Out For?

  • Snowfall is common during January. Keep a check on weather conditions and any cancellations that might happen.
  • Temperatures can drop to -9°C at night making the weather extremely cold.
  • Watch out for winter markets for shopping opportunities, food, and seasonal treats.

Overview of the Weather in New York in January

New York in January

More About the Weather in New York in January 

How cold is New York in January?

New York experiences extremely cold temperatures in January with snowfall, ranging from light dustings to significant snowstorms. Temperatures usually range from -2 to -9 degrees.

Can you swim at beaches in New York in January?

You cannot swim at the beaches in New York in January because the water temperature is freezing cold, reaching as low as 3 degrees.

Does it rain in New York in January?

Yes. The month of January usually experiences a decent amount of rainfall in the form of light showers, steady rain, or occasional snow and sleet. 

Is New York windy in January?

Yes. Being exposed to the Atlantic, the city is usually prone to strong winds in January.

Best Things to Do in New York in January

New York in January Museum of Modern Art
New York in January Rockefeller Center
New York in January Bryant Park

3. Winter Village at Bryant Park

Sightseeing | Holiday Market

Winter Village at Bryant Park is a lovely seasonal attraction in New York, which transforms into a magical wonderland during winter. The village features a beautifully decorated ice skating rink, cozy igloos for dining, and a European-inspired holiday market with over 100 vendors selling handmade winter clothing, sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, decorative items and more.

New York in January Central Park

4. Central Park

City Landmark | Park

Central Park in New York becomes a scenic winter wonderland during the winter months. The landscape is covered with snow, creating a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy. The frozen lakes and ponds offer ice skating, sledding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing opportunities, while the walking paths provide a serene escape. The park's beauty and tranquility in winter make it a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike to embrace the seasonal charm. Visitors can visit the zoo, hike through the woodlands, or watch a show at the Swedish Cottage. 

New York in January Edge NYC
New York in January Broadway

Top Experiences & Things to Do in New York in January


Events in New York in January

New York in January Winter Jazzfest

Winter Jazzfest

Date: Jan - Feb

The Winter Jazzfest brings together top-notch artists from the music industry to put on spellbinding performances and entertain big crowds. You get to enjoy the talents of Alice Smith, Anna Webber, Ben Williams, Braxton Cook, and more, as they bring their soulful melodies and amazing music to the stage. This renowned music festival also includes a special show for kids and awesome marathon nights.

New York in January Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

When: Jan

Celebrated on the third Monday of January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the legacy of the civil rights leader. The day is celebrated with various events and activities like parades, marches, volunteer opportunities, and several educational programs focused on promoting equality and social justice. Museums and cultural institutions also host special exhibitions and discussions to commemorate Dr. King's contributions to the advancement of civil rights and racial equality in the US.

New York in January Three Kings Day Parade

Three Kings Day Parade

When: Jan

The Three Kings Day Parade in New York celebrates the Christian holiday also known as Epiphany. Held annually on 6 January, the parade features vibrant processions with participants dressed as the Three Wise Men from The Bible. Colorful floats, music, and dance performances fill the streets of East Harlem as the community comes together to commemorate the biblical journey of the Magi and the spirit of gift-giving.

New York in January Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

When: Jan

The Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show is a lovely seasonal attraction held at the New York Botanical Garden in early January. It features a magical display of model trains traveling through a miniature landscape of iconic New York landmarks, made entirely from natural materials. Visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the trains as they weave through the enchanting and beautiful botanical setting, creating a delightful and vibrant experience.

New York in January Winter Restaurant Week

NYC Winter Restaurant Week

When: Jan - Feb

The NYC Winter Restaurant Week is a highly anticipated and really popular culinary event that takes place in New York City twice a year. In this event, some of the finest restaurants in the city offer diners the opportunity to enjoy prix-fixe menus at a much discounted price. Participating restaurants showcase their specialties, allowing locals and visitors alike to feast on a diverse array of delectable dishes that are guaranteed to take you on a heavenly gastronomical journey.

New York in January Lunar New Year Parade and Festival

Lunar New Year Parade and Festival

When: Jan - Feb

The Lunar New Year Parade and Festival is a vibrant celebration of the Chinese New Year and Asian culture. Held in Chinatown in Manhattan, the event features colorful floats, dragon and lion dances, martial arts performances, traditional music, and cultural displays. Enjoy a festive atmosphere, feast on delicious Asian cuisine, and take part in the joyous spirit of the Lunar New Year, marked by stunning visuals and lively activities.

Shopping in New York in January

Shopping in New York in January can be a fantastic and fulfilling experience, especially if you're looking to find great deals and discounts during the post-holiday sales. You can find bargains on a wide range of items, including clothing, accessories, electronics, and home goods. As the month progresses, stores start clearing out their winter merchandise to make room for the spring collections, making it an excellent time to find deals on winter apparel like coats, sweaters, boots, and accessories.

Keep an eye out for sample sales, where designers and brands offer discounted prices on their products. These sales are usually held at specific venues and offer the chance to find unique pieces at lower prices. Iconic department stores like Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Saks Fifth Avenue often have special promotions and sales during this time. Consider visiting the Winter Village at Bryant Park for its famous holiday market offering artisanal products and handmade crafts.

Know Before You Visit New York in January

Travel Essentials
What to Wear?
What to Pack?
New York in January Travel Essentials
New York in January What to Wear
  • New York is extremely cold in January, which is why you must carry warm clothes like heavy coats, sweaters, scarves, hats, and gloves.
  • Wear thermal layers, socks, and comfortable shoes.
  • Raincoats and waterproof boots are recommended since New York experiences rainfall during the month.
New York in January
  • Don’t forget to pack your phone charger and power adapters.
  • Pack thermal layers, woolen socks, gloves, and heavy coats to protect yourself from the freezing cold temperatures.
  • A few areas of New York can be dirty, which is why you should pack hand sanitizers as well.
  • Carry your medicines and first-aid essentials, including band-aid.
  • Pack a chapstick and lotion to prevent dry lips and hands.
New York in January transportation

Getting Around New York in January

By Subway: The subway system is the most efficient and cost-effective way to get around New York City. It runs 24/7 and connects all major attractions and neighborhoods.

By Taxi: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are readily available in the city. They provide door-to-door transportation and offer a warm and convenient option during winter.

By Bus: The bus network covers areas not served by the subway. The buses are heated, making them a comfortable option in winter. You can also avail of the hop-on hop-off bus tours, which provide narrated tours of the city's attractions and offer the flexibility to explore at your own pace.

By Ferry: You can use the NYC Ferry service to travel between Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, while soaking in scenic views of the city's waterfront.

New York in January stay

New York offers a variety of accommodation options that will suit any budget. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there is something for everyone in the city.

  • Budget Hotels: The Brooklyn Riviera Hostel, The Central Park North, Hotel Executive Suites, Shefah Hotel
  • Mid-Range Hotels: The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel, The Andrew Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Ridgefield Park, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott North Bergen
  • Luxury Hotels: Hampton Inn Manhattan, DoubleTree by Hilton New York Times Square South, Cambria Hotel New York, EVEN Hotel New York
New York in January food

New York has a diverse food scene with something to satisfy and please everyone’s tastes and preferences. It is home to many amazing restaurants serving dishes from across the globe.

  • Le Bernardin: Renowned for its exquisite seafood dishes, Le Bernardin holds three Michelin stars and offers an elegant dining experience.
  • Xi'an Famous Foods: Offering authentic and flavorful Chinese cuisine, Xi'an Famous Foods is a great choice for delicious and affordable hand-pulled noodles and dumplings.
  • Dhamaka: Dhamaka is a modern Indian restaurant that showcases the diverse and bold flavors of Indian cuisine. It offers a contemporary dining experience with an array of creative and traditional dishes that reflect the country's culinary heritage.
  • Peter Luger Steak House: A classic and iconic steakhouse in Brooklyn, Peter Luger has been serving mouthwatering steaks for over a century, making it a favorite among meat lovers.

Hacks & Tips to Visit New York in January

  • New York is extremely cold in January so  dress warm with layers, including a heavy coat, gloves, scarf, and a hat to stay comfortable while exploring the city.
  • Stay updated on the weather forecast before your trip and be prepared for possible snow or icy conditions.
  • Plan indoor activities like museums, Broadway shows, or shopping centers to stay warm and entertained.
  • Use public transportation, especially the subway and buses. They are the most efficient ways to get around the city.
  • January is an off-season for tourism, which means that you may find more affordable hotel rates and better deals on attractions.
  • Purchase tickets in advance to secure your spot.
  • Stay flexible with your itinerary since the winter weather can be quite unpredictable due to the extreme cold.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting New York in January

Is January a good time to visit New York?

Yes. January is a good time to visit New York if you can bear the extreme cold. The month sees the lowest tourist crowds making attractions and hotels cheaper and easier to access.

What are the best things to do in New York in January?

Visit the holiday market at Winter Village in Bryant Park, go museum-hopping, or try ice skating at popular rinks. Watch Broadway shows and visit Central Park and the Edge NYC for breathtaking views of the city.

Is New York cold in January?

Yes. New York can be extremely cold in January with temperatures ranging between -2 and -9 degrees.

How hot is New York in January?

New York does not experience warm or hot weather in January. The weather is cold with snowfall with high chances of rain.

Can you swim in New York in January?

No. You cannot swim in New York in January because the water temperature is freezing cold.

Is it sunny in New York in January?

There are low chances of a perfect sunny day. Usually, the month of January sees a mix of sunshine and clouds with slight rainfall.

What clothes to wear in New York in January?

New York experiences extreme cold in January, which is why you must wear warm clothes like heavy coats, sweaters, scarves, hats, and gloves.

Is it rainy in New York in January?

Yes. New York experiences quite a bit of rainfall in the month of January.

Is New York expensive to visit?

New York is usually one of the most expensive cities to visit but January sees low tourist footfall as it is an off-season for tourism, which means accommodations and attractions are much cheaper to book.

How safe is New York?

New York is fairly safe. Avoid going to deserted areas alone at night and watch out for pickpockets in busy streets.

What can I see in New York in January?

There are quite a few attractions you can visit in January like the Museum of Metropolitan Art, Guggenheim Museum, Central Park, The Edge NYC, and Times Square, to name a few. You can also catch a Broadway show.

What are the major events in New York in January?

Some of the major events in New York in January include the NYC Winter Restaurant Week, Lunar New Year Parade and Festival, Winter Jazzfest, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to name a few.

What is the average temperature in New York in January?

The temperature in New York ranges from -2 to -9 degrees in January.

What are the best things to do with kids in New York in January?

If you are visiting New York with kids, you can take them to the American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Governor’s Island, New York Aquarium, Children’s Museum of the Arts, and Lincoln Center. You can also take them ice skating or make them watch a puppet show or a Broadway show for kids.