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What to Do on New Year’s Day

17 museums, theaters, and local favorites that are open on January 1.

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See Frank Stella’s Harran II, 1946 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; gift, Mr. Irving Blum  

See Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art might be closed on the first day of the New Year, but a few other museums are keeping doors open. Catch the big-gun Frank Stella retrospective at the Whitney, named one of the best art shows of 2015 by Jerry Saltz, or “Picasso Sculpture” at the Museum of Modern Art, a.k.a. “one of the great learning experiences of your seeing life” — both close February 7. Otherwise, there are family-friendly exhibits about Pixar at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Internet cats at the Museum of the Moving Image.

A Day at the Museum
If you have any energy post-brunch — and art isn’t your thing — you’re in luck. History and science enthusiasts can peruse “Superheroes in Gotham,” a must-see survey of the birth of comic-book superheroes in New York at New-York Historical Society or the annual GingerBread Lane and photomicrography exhibits — one featured photo is a bee’s eye covered in dandelion pollen — at New York Hall of Science. Or head to the American Museum of Natural History to explore “The Secret World Inside You,” an exhibit where visitors tour the human body inside and out.

Trek Outside
Those who want to keep the holiday spirit going should go to the New York Botanical Garden. January 18 is the final day of the annual Holiday Train Show with hours extended until 7 p.m. This year features an additional 3,000 square feet of wintry cheer with new trains, bridges, and tracks. Everyone else can stick to Central Park and take a walking tour of the best views: the Lake, Bow Bridge, Bethesda Terrace, the Mall, Literary Walk, and more. Tickets can be purchased here.

Closing Broadway Shows
Theater geeks can knock these shows off their lists — each closes January 3. Robert Askins’s well-reviewed Hand to God at the Booth Theatre features foul-mouthed sock-puppet anti-hero Tyrone. Sylvia brings Matthew Broderick, Julie White, and newly minted Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford together in a warm-and-fuzzy comedy at Cort Theatre. A Busby Berkeley–inspired musical, Dames at Sea, tells the story of a girl stepping into her first Broadway musical at Helen Hayes Theatre. Nearing three hours long, Helen Edmundson’s adaptation of Thérèse Raquin is Keira Knightley’s foray onto Broadway at Studio 54.

Screen Time
If you’re not at home streaming all the new additions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, and Hulu, then venture to Nitehawk Cinema to ring in the New Year with a midnight screening of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Or check out Only Yesterday, a film from a Japan's acclaimed Studio Ghibli animation house, at IFC Center. Produced by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, the film is having its first-ever theatrical run in North America.

Annual Happenings
Every year, the Poetry Project puts on its New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading, 12 hours of performances by more than 140 writers, musicians, dancers, and artists. Past events have included luminaries such as William S. Burroughs, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, and Philip Glass. Tickets are available online. Also, Coney Island Polar Bear Club hosts its annual New Year’s Day Polar Dip, an icy swim in the Atlantic, to benefit Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Early registration is recommended.


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