The best things to do on New Year’s Day in NY

The ball might’ve dropped and the parties may be over but NYC still has tons of fun things to do on New Years Day. 

1. Winter Spa at The William Vale

There’s no need to travel far and wide to experience a Scandinavian spa—The Willam Vale is has brought back its Winter Spa with four perfectly appointed, private, red cedar outdoor saunas and hot tubs for some cold weather self-care. Set up on the fourth floor of The William Vale, the Winter Spa lets you sweat your stress away, relax your muscles and remove toxins as you enjoy the view through the panoramic dome window, away from the frosty winter air. 

2. The Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge

New Yorkers, unafraid of braving the freezing waters of Coney Island, will return to the ocean for the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day this year—the first time since January 1, 2020. Every New Years Day for 118 years, swimmers sporting their skivvies or crazy costumes dive into the freezing Atlantic to symbolically wash away the year before.

3. Ice Skating

It’s time to lace up your skates—the best ice skating rinks in NYC are waiting for you. As one of the most beloved cities to spend the holidays in, NYC has plenty of indoor and outdoor rinks where you can glide and practice your toe jumps. 

4. Sharks at AMNH

The American Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibition has some serious teeth. The immersive new exhibit takes visitors “underwater” to meet some of the ocean’s diverse shark species, including the biggest predatory fish of all time—the megalodon. “Sharks” at AMNH introduces the “toothy, fearsome predators” that have captured the public’s imagination through films like Jaws and Deep Blue Sea and dives deep into the incredible diversity of this ancient group of fishes through dozens of life-size models (some as long as 33 feet) in an ocean-like gallery with wave-like lighting that moves across the floor. Once visitors enter the gallery, a 27-foot-long megalodon, dubbed the “Tyrannosaurus rex of the seas,” model greets them with its mouth wide open as if it is about to feed on them. Here, its giant teeth and overall size set the tone for the super cool and interactive exhibit.

5. Summit One Vanderbilt

Summit One Vanderbilt sits atop the new 67-floor One Vanderbilt super-tall—a 1,401-foot-high—skyscraper. As the city’s fourth-tallest building after One World Trade Center, Central Park Tower and 111 West 57th Street, it sits just west of Grand Central Terminal, where you first enter the experience underground. After a trip through a mirrored hallway with its own immersive elements, visitors take an elevator up to the 91st floor, where they’re 1,000 feet over the streets and sidewalks of NYC. Kenzo Digital has created a totally mirrored infinity room called “Air” that reflects the sky and city views over and over, making you feel like you’re walking in the sky or on another plane of existence. Looking above you and below you in this two-story space, you see your reflection repeating forever.

6. Afterlives: Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art

The Jewish Museum’s new exhibit explores the subject of art looting during World War II, focusing on the Nazi’s theft of artwork and the journey these some 1 million works (And 2.5 million books) took as they traveled through distribution centers, sites of recovery, and networks of collectors, before, during, and after the war.

7. Origami Holiday Tree

Festooned with more than 1,000 meticulously hand-folded paper ornaments, this year’s 13-foot-tall tree at the American Museum of Natural History is inspired by the theme “Gems of the Museum.” 

8. Cozy chalets overlooking the Rockefeller Center ice rink

30 Rock is now home to new cozy chalets that you can basically hang out in for free. The custom-built heated huts, of which there are eight in total, are presented in partnership with Coach and are completely free to use (no reservations are required either!) as long as you order some fare from Hombre Taco. From warm churros with Nutella and/or dulce de leche dip to hot chocolate and apple cider, the entire menu on offer sounds delightfully sublime. Once inside, you’ll be treated by beautiful interior decor by Coach. The brand has, in fact, outfitted each hut in its own holiday decor so you’ll basically never want to leave.

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