1. Conquer your hangover with soothing tunes and a little hair of the dog at one of Manhattan’s live-music brunches. Stop by Lucille’s at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill for a Southern-style prix fixe menu and the sounds of Louie Armstrong, or visit the West Village lounge Garage for some sure-to-please live jazz and surf-and-turf eggs Benedict.
2. Looking for something a little more contemplative? Join the New York Audubon Society for its 30th annual New Year’s Day beach walk. The journey begins at Fort Tilden in Breezy Point, followed by a hike up the “hawk watch” for a view of the ocean and New York Harbor.
3. Or take in the sights from the sea itself aboard Spirit Cruises. Enjoy a grand buffet, D.J.’s, singing waitstaff, and breathtaking views of the Hudson and city skyline. Lunch and dinner cruises are offered and depart from Chelsea Piers.
4. More of an indoor person? Survey years past at one of the city’s great museums. View the vibrantly colored paintings of Matisse at the Met’s newly opened retrospective, or take in our nation’s aesthetic history at the year-old American Wing. Have kids? Travel even farther back in time at the Museum of Natural History’s dinosaur exhibit, or momentarily escape winter inside the lush and tropical Butterfly Conservatory.
5. Miss any of the big movie releases over the holidays? Catch the highly anticipated Les Misérables with Oscar-favorite performances by Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, or hear DiCaprio’s latest accent as the Southern plantation-owning nemesis in Tarantino’s Civil War flick, Django Unchained.
6. If that movie-theater popcorn and candy are too big a temptation for your newly declared resolution, start the year off sweating with a class at SoulCycle. The cultishly adored spin classes provide a full-body workout and the motivational inspiration you’ll need to begin 2013 on the right foot.
7. If group fitness isn’t your thing, how about cardio on ice? The Rink at Rockefeller Center will be open throughout the day, backlit by holiday lights and, of course, that famous tree. Once you’re sufficiently skated-out, drop by the Rock Center Café, the Sea Grill, or Cucina & Co. to warm up, grab a bite, and do some people-watching.
8. Looking to escape the holiday crowds? Head north to the New York Botanical Garden to spend the day exploring 250 acres of magnificent trees and exotic flowers. Be sure to check out their annual Holiday Train Show for a dose of fairy-tale nostalgia, as well as the monumental sculptures by the acclaimed Spanish artist Manolo Valdés.
9. Or join the crowd at the Poetry Project's 39th Annual Marathon Benefit Reading. If you're in a particularly creative mood, feel free to enter their contest to read your own poem at the event's close. Get stage fright? Brooklyn Brewery will be on site providing beer to ease your nerves, or just last night's hangover.
10. And of course, there's always the Coney Island Polar Bear Club's annual plunge into the Atlantic. The icy swim is a beloved tradition hosted by the oldest “winter bathing club” in the United States. Be sure to bring warm clothes for after the swim and a camera to prove you did it!