Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

What to Do on New Year's Day

15 ways to start 2017 right, from Broadway shows to a poetry marathon.

The Coney Island Polar Bear Swim.  

Take a Museum Trip
Begin the year on a triumphant note by celebrating one of the greatest boxers who ever lived. Muhammad Ali may have died in 2016, but his legacy and spirit live on through the artwork of LeRoy Neiman. See it for yourself at The New York Historical Society’s exhibit “Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing.” Meanwhile, film buffs can head over to the Museum of the Moving Image for a retrospective look at Martin Scorsese’s work, including Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, and Gangs of New York. Or check out how dinosaurs evolved into modern-day birds before the “Dinosaurs Among Us” exhibition closes at the American Museum of Natural History.

Go Ice Skating
Is it really winter without ice skating? The answer of course is yes, but it’s considerably less fun. There is no shortage of places to go with a couple of friends or the family for the start of 2017. The Rink at Rockefeller Center is always a classic, if you're willing to deal with the potential wait. If you also want to do a little post-holiday shopping, try Bryant Park, where you can take a spin on the ice and then hit up the Winter Village (open until March). Or for something a bit more scenic, both Wollman and Lasker Rinks in Central Park offer happy reprieves from concrete and skyscrapers. (Find more on our favorite ice-skating spots here.)

Stare at the Silver Screen
If you spent the end of 2016 bingeing on Netflix in hopes of forgetting what a terrible year it was, start fresh by getting off the couch and going out for a movie instead. Choose between Hook and When Harry Met Sally at Nitehawk Cinema’s special brunch screenings. No matter what you pick, a movie and some eggs Benedict never lets you down. For something a little stranger, head to the IFC Center for a midnight screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s trippy The Holy Mountain.

Catch a Show
January 1 is the very last chance to check a number of Broadway shows off your list. You can enjoy some old-school magic with The Illusionists: Turn of the Century at the Palace Theatre. Or see Roald Dahl’s classic children’s tale come to life in Matilda the Musical at the Shubert Theatre. From the co-director of The Book of Mormon, the Tony-nominated Something Rotten!, at the St. James Theatre, tells the tale of pair of brothers trying to outdo William Shakespeare with the world’s first musical. And it’s one of the last days to see the Cynthia Erivo’s powerful performance in the Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple. It closes January 8 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

Revisit Some Annual Happenings
The Poetry Project will put on its yearly New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading, featuring 12 hours straight of poetry from over 140 artists, musicians, and writers. (Advance tickets are available here.) The Coney Island Polar Bear Club will also host its New Year’s Day swim. Daring participants can take an icy dip in the Atlantic to raise money for Camp Sunshine, a retreat for kids with life-threatening illnesses, and their families.