Happenings Guide

Happenings Guide Header

We welcome a new year with an opportunity to renew, restart and refocus. We’re grateful for the resiliency of our fellow New Yorkers and our city’s ability to endure challenging times. Although we’ve experienced life differently in 2020, New York has continued to provide us with world-class culture, arts and entertainment, and culinary experiences.

2021 brings hope for a new chapter and a shift to focus on healing, but we continue to remain vigilant in following all the necessary safety protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The second edition of our Hybrid Happenings Guide accommodates those who want to enjoy the magic of winter both outdoors and from the comfort of home. So layer up or get cozy under a blanket, and check out all the special events New York has to offer this season.

Grab your skates, because there is nothing like the magic of ice skating engulfed in the beauty of New York’s skyscrapers. If ice skating isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to get outdoors and sightsee…by foot!


Credit: The William Vale

Ice Skating with a View | Various locations, reservations required

Book a 1-hour time slot at Bryant Park and enjoy shopping at Winter Village, an outdoor market with dozens of artisans open through March 7th. In Brooklyn, try IC Ice Rink at Industry City or the Vale Rink at William Vale, where you can marvel at iconic views of the Manhattan skyline from 23 stories up.


Credit: Unsplash

AIANY Around Manhattan Tour | Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers

On this 3-hour cruise hosted and narrated by a member of the American Institute of Architects, you’ll circumnavigate the island of Manhattan from a 1920s style yacht (passing under all 18 bridges) while learning about the city’s monuments, architecture, parks and infrastructure.


Credit: Unsplash

Walk the Highline | Weekend reservations required

Get your steps in on the Highline. The park opens at 7am on weekdays without reservations and Saturdays and Sundays are free, but in order to maintain crowds, they ask that you book your visit in advance online.


Credit: CityRealty

Little Island @ Pier 55 | Coming Spring 2021

Nearly one-decade in the making and set to open this spring, Little Island at Pier 55 in Hudson River Park is an oasis coming to the west side. The floating park will have seating lawns, gentle slopes, winding paths leading to dazzling views, and a variety of spaces for performances, play, and relaxation.


Credit: Unsplash

Snowtubing and Brewery Bus | Now through 3/27

Book the perfect winter activity with the NYC Snow Tubing and Brewery Bus. Reserve tickets for a 2-hour tubing session at Mountain Creek, followed by a visit to a local brewery with dinner and round-trip transportation from NYC included. 2

From opera at home to a virtual jazz festival, New York’s music and theatre scene is just as vibrant as ever.


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Nightly Met Opera Streams | Various dates, virtual

While their stage is dark, the Metropolitan Opera is making a different encore presentation from their Live in HD series available for free for a limited time. Stream each performance for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. The schedule includes complete performances from the past 14 years starring all of opera’s greatest singers.


Credit: Dumbo Improvement District

LIGHT YEAR | First Thursday of every month

DUMBO comes alive with LIGHT YEAR, an ongoing program of video art projected onto The Manhattan Bridge at Anchorage Place and Pearl Street. Through curated exhibitions, LIGHT YEAR connects viewers to a global selection of contemporary video and technology-based work.


Credit: NYC Winter Jazzfest

Winter Jazzfest 2021 | Through 3/11, virtual

The 17th annual NYC Winter JazzFest will take place online for the first time this year. This season will feature artists across disciplines in performance and conversation about the issues of our time. All programs are FREE and open to the public.4

New York’s al fresco dining program saw success last spring and summer, and in September, the Mayor announced it was here to stay. The city’s top restaurants have revamped their outdoor concepts to offer safe and warm dining experiences throughout the colder months. Here are a few of our favorites that have perfected the cozy winter vibe.


Credit: The Howard Hughes Corporation

NYC The Greens at Pier 17 | 89 South St. in Seaport

Returning to The Rooftop at Pier 17 is The Greens, a socially distant outdoor dining concept. Enjoy winter food and cocktail favorites in your very own dining cabin with up to 10 friends. New reservation dates are released every Monday at 10AM for the following week’s reservations.


Credit: Unsplash

Le Village de Lafayette | 380 Lafayette St. in Nolita

Cozy up in a private heated snow chalet at the beloved Lafayette Grand Café and Bakery all winter long. Pre-fixe dinner and brunch fares offer an array of classic French dishes and cocktails, along with optional fondue add-ons. Check out the menus and book a table here.


Credit: Marea

Après Ski at Marea | 240 Central Park South in Midtown

Michelin-star seafood restaurant Marea has transformed its curbside set-up into a glamorous, après ski-inspired winter wonderland. Brave the cold with faux-fur shams and seat heaters, while tucking into a 2-course prix fixe and a gratis hot whiskey cider.


Credit: Scarpetta

Scarpetta Chalet | 88 Madison Ave. in Nomad

Scarpetta at The James – Nomad Hotel is ready for winter service with a new outdoor chalet concept. Semi-enclosed private dining bays at the modern Italian restaurant are festively decorated and offer overhead heating. Join them on Saturdays for a special brunch series that changes each week.


While many museums and art galleries have reopened their doors, some cultural institutions have transitioned their 2021 seasons entirely or partially online. Here are a few notable ways you can still participate in New York’s arts and culture scene this winter.


Credit: Artechouse

Celestial at ARTECHOUSE | Through 2/21, 439 West 15th St.

At the crossroads of art, science and technology, ARTECHOUSE is the first innovative platform of its kind for experiential and multimedia art exhibitions. Celestial, the newest installation on view, takes visitors on a journey of Pantone’s Color of the Year 2020, Classic Blue, exploring the distinct, elemental experience related to the unique qualities of the color.



The Art of Light | Through 2/21, 2 Columbus Cir.

British artist Brian Clarke showcases more than 100 works of stained glass, compositions in lead, and related drawings at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design. Animated by changing light and stained with exuberant colors, more than 20 free-standing, glass screens will transport audiences to the very frontier of what is possible in stained glass today.


Credit: 92Y

92Y Now | Through 6/17, virtual

For over 140 years the 92nd Street Y has connected culture, arts, and entertainment with powerful conversations. The institution is now offering online programs for its community to enjoy from the comfort of home. Check out the schedule here for past and upcoming events, which include discussions on science and pop culture, cooking classes, music performances, and more.


Credit: Outsider Art Fair

Outsider Art Fair | 1/28 – 2/7, virtual and in-person events at various locations

7 curated exhibits will fill 5 galleries across Manhattan with pieces from self-taught artists. The 29th edition of New York’s Outsider Art Fair will include a hybrid of virtual viewing rooms on the fair’s website as well as limited, timed reservations for in-person visits to ensure safety.

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Credit: Garment District Art on the Plazas

Prismatica | 1/11 – 1/30, Broadway from 41st to 36th St.

A glowing winter kaleidoscope has arrived in the Garment District with Prismatica, an immersive art installation comprised of 25 pivoting rainbow prisms. As pedestrians walk through the exhibition, the 6′ tall prisms fill the plazas with reflections and music for an ever-changing light show.


Credit: Architect’s Newspaper

Moynihan Train Hall | 360 West 33rd St.

The 255,000-square-foot train hall adjacent to Penn Station has finally opened its doors. The $1.6 billion project transformed the more than 100-year-old structure into a world-class transit hub with an acre of glass ceiling lets the sun shine down on art installations by Kehinde Wiley, Stan Douglas and Elmgreen & Dragset.

OUTDOORS 10.40.05 AM

If we have learned anything in the past 12 months, it is that New Yorkers are tough. In order to maintain how strong we are, we must take care of ourselves: our bodies and our minds. In this section you, you’ll find resources for virtual fitness, mental health and well-being, as well as COVID-19 vaccination and testing centers.


Credit: Canva

Taking Care of Body and Mind

Stay physically and mentally fit through Eventbrite’s collection of online wellness classes, ranging from yoga, core, and mindfulness. NYC Well is also providing free digital mental health resources for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Browse their services here.


Credit: Canva

Resources for New Yorkers

The NYC Vaccine Finder is a one-stop site to find your nearest COVID-19 vaccination site and schedule an appointment. This overall resource guide for New Yorkers offers specific information on testing locations, food assistance, child care, and more.

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