Once the excitement of the holidays is gone and the confetti from New Year's Eve is cleared out of Times Square, the City takes on a calmer feel—as serene as NYC gets. But plenty of stellar events and exhibitions take place citywide in January, making it the perfect time to visit. Whether it's basketball, music, dance, art or ice-skating, our list below will keep you busy for the first 15 days of the year.
For more, visit our weekly "Free in NYC" and "Top Five Events" features; check out our sports, fashion, nightlife and concert roundups; see our list of annual events; or search for an event in our calendar.
Dance & Fashion
The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, 212-217-4558
This exhibition explores the crossover between the worlds of fashion and dance and their influence on each other. Items including Christian Dior's and Pierre Balmain's ballet-inspired gowns will be shown alongside Valentino's designs for the New York City Ballet. Ensembles from designers like Rodarte, Prabal Gurung and Halston will also be on display.
Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plaza, Seventh Avenue and 32nd Street, 800-745-3000
Having read the words Harlem Globetrotters, chances are you already have "Sweet Georgia Brown" (their whistled jazz theme music) in your head. Such is the team's indelible impact. The Globetrotters—known for their irrepressible tomfoolery (most basketball teams don't dump colorful confetti on the opposition) and preposterous winning percentage—seldom fail to elicit oohs, aahs and smiles from an adoring public.
Terminal 5, 610 W. 56th St., 800-745-3000
If your New Year's resolution was to start wearing purple, you might want to begin 2015 with this raucous group of immigrant punks. The band, which formed on the Lower East Side and seems to tour nonstop, performs tonight at Terminal 5; you'll likely hear songs from their newest album, Pura Vida Conspiracy (as well as, of course, their 2006 single "Start Wearing Purple"). Man Man and Ana Tijoux open the show.
Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art
Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 718-592-9700
In traditional Tibetan culture, the concepts of individuality and artistic self-expression were almost nonexistent. Instead, a more formal system of artistic production helped perpetuate Tibetan culture and religion, and the art that was created was submitted anonymously. In contemporary Tibetan art, the individual has taken on a more assertive role, using his or her craft as a crucial means of self-expression. This Queens Museum exhibition explores this change, displaying works from Tibetan artists around the globe. Today's the last day to see the show.
Ice-skating is synonymous with winter in New York City. And once the holiday season comes to a close, the rinks are still open but much less crowded. Visit one of the best-known seasonal sites for skating, like the venues in Bryant Park, Central Park or Rockefeller Center, or opt for a place that's open year-round, such as the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, City Ice Pavilion in Queens or Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn.
Three Kings Day Parade
Upper East Side, Manhattan
For more than three decades El Museo del Barrio has celebrated the Three Kings Day tradition with an annual parade. This year's edition begins at 106th Street and Lexington Avenue and travels north along Third Avenue, ending at 115th Street and Park Avenue. The procession features camels, colorful puppets, floats and thousands of students and community members as participants.
Under the Radar Festival
The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., 212-539-8500
This annual festival, produced by the Public Theater (though taking place at a handful of locales around town), celebrates its 11th anniversary in 2015. It features a variety of new theater from the US and the rest of the world. With a lineup of emerging talents and old hands, Under the Radar offers a crash course in exciting, independent and experimental theater. Today is the kickoff for the 12-day event.
Hansel and Gretel
The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, 212-362-6000
The timeless story of two children facing off against a wicked witch takes on a whole new life in this Metropolitan Opera production. Audiences will be wowed by the incredible visuals in this show—including a setting of giant chefs, suit-wearing trees and an industrial kitchen where the witch meets her inevitable fate. This witty production of Engelbert Humperdinck's children's classic is sure to delight kids and adults of all ages; tonight's your last chance to see this iteration.
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, 212-870-5570
New York–based dance and music company Shen Yun returns to Lincoln Center, applying its visually stunning art form to stories and legends from the past 5,000 years of Chinese culture. The colorful and animated backdrops, gorgeous costumes, thrilling orchestra music and awe-inspiring dancing make this a production you won't soon forget.
Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, 718-638-5000
Featuring more than 160 pairs of designer heels—some dating as far back as the 16th century—this exhibition explores the evolution of feminine footwear. View stunning modern examples by the likes of Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. Highlights include Marilyn Monroe's Salvatore Ferragamo stilettos; an 8-inch-high black leather platform bootie designed by Rem D. Koolhaas for Lady Gaga; silk, metal and glass heels made by Roger Vivier for House of Dior; and an absurd collaboration between Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí, the result of which is actually a headpiece. Six short films inspired by high heels accompany the show.
El Greco in New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, 212-535-7710
This partnership between the Met and the Hispanic Society of America is one of two winter exhibitions in New York City celebrating the life and work of El Greco on the 400th anniversary of his death. See pieces like his View of Toledo and Portrait of an Old Man—a rare opportunity to explore so many of the artist's works in one place (especially outside outside Madrid's Museo del Prado or the El Greco Museum in Toledo, Spain). Make sure to also see El Greco at the Frick.
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., 718-817-8700
If the dead of winter has you missing the flowers and plants of spring and summer, don't fret: the New York Botanical Garden has something in store for you. More than 50 plant-related books and objects will be on display at the Mertz Library's Rondina and LoFaro Gallery, giving you a chance to view colorful prints, illustrated manuscripts and all kinds of flora-related art. The exhibition is in conjunction with the release of the lavishly illustrated Flora Illustrata book, copublished by the NYBG.
New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders
Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plaza, Seventh Avenue and 32nd Street, 800-745-3000
Catch all the forechecks and slap shots when two of the area's hockey teams face off on MSG's ice. Come fall 2015 the Islanders will be playing their home games at Barclays Center, and their proximity to the Rangers will likely make the 40-year-plus rivalry a little more intense—though it already raises temperatures plenty. The first meeting of the season went the Isles' way; see if the Rangers can exact some revenge.
New York Jewish Film Festival
Presented by the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, this global survey of innovative and provocative movies focusing on the Jewish experience is back in 2015 for its 24th installment. A number of films presented in years past have gone on to be distributed nationally in theaters and on TV (in fact, Ajami, a tense crime thriller that unfolds on the streets of Jaffa in Israel and was featured in the 2010 festival, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film).
Mad. Sq. Art: Tony Cragg
Madison Square Park, 23rd to 26th Streets (between Fifth and Madison Avenues), 212-538-1884
This public art program—which has brought work by dozens of top contemporary artists into Madison Square Park—now spotlights the elemental bronze pieces of Tony Cragg. Cragg's Walks of Life consists of three larger-than-life sculptures within the park, all of which fuse abstraction and figuration.