What to do in New York in January

By Go City Expert

The holidays are long gone, and the only thing that keeps you going is your daily mocha latte and the thought that one day, rumor has it, a season called spring will appear. But fear not! January brings its own delights (and we do mean delights, not just “things to get you through an annoying month.”) From popups to pastries, stick with us for ways to make the month fun, not just merely tolerable.

Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 20

Civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was known for his non-violent approach to advancing civil rights; he was assassinated in 1968. Now in its 34th year, the largest event of its kind brings together artists, activists, and community leaders at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House to celebrate the life of the famed civil rights leader. A combination of talks, music, an art exhibit, and more, the event is free and open to the public.

Winter Lantern Festival

Until Jan 12
For starters, there’s the Winter Lantern Festival at Snug Harbor in Staten Island. If you still need easing away from the holiday lights and festivals, this is a good one to check out. More than 1,000 lanterns morph into incredible luminescent art and a variety of amazing shapes and figures, from plants to animals and mythical creatures. The exhibit includes eight acres of lights (!) plus interactive exhibits and live shows.

The Progressive New York Boat Show

January 22-26
Next up, the New York Boat Show at the Javits Center is an annual tradition, with a surprising amount to offer both boat lovers and those who are just along for the ride - figuratively speaking. The show's main draw, of course, is dozens of boats for sale, from kayaks to yachts, but visitors will also find miniature boat building for kids, food and drink, including a Nathan's hot dog cart and a Boar’s Head sandwich station, and even a career day, about jobs in the marine industry. It’s one of the many annual things to do in New York in January that marine and sailing enthusiasts should look out for.

Winter Jazzfest

Until January 17
Over the course of nine nights, visitors to Winter Jazzfest are treated to jazz performances at a series of venues across the city, including, this year, ones in Brooklyn. One wristband gives visitors entry to any venue—as long as it isn’t full. Visitors will have the opportunity to see more than 100 performers, including drummer/bandleader/artist-in-residence Mark Guiliana, and Brazilian musician Seu Jorge.

Lunar New Year Celebration

January 25
Celebrate the start of the Year of the Rat, the first in the Chinese zodiac cycle, at the Queens Botanical Garden. The Lunar New Year celebration includes crafts, activities designed for the whole family, and a lucky plant sale. FYI, the plants are lucky, not the sale. Performances are also on the docket, and past events have had such offerings as a taekwondo demonstration and a dance performance. The 39-acre site may not be as well-known as the gardens in the Bronx or Brooklyn, but this is a good opportunity to explore it, even during the winter.

Tomatoland

Now on
Have you ever wondered what New York seems like to a tomato? No, neither have we. And yet, we now have Tomatoland, a 4,000 square foot pop-up designed to educate visitors about the environment and excess consumption. Visitors are treated to such exhibits as Refrigerator World, which highlights our use of exceas packaging; Noodle Swing, where attendees can sit in a swing suspended from a giant fork and try on costumes; and a Ketchup Pool, which offers travel in a bottle-cap car to meet some green-tomato cousins. The exhibit also includes places perfect for photo ops as well as some interactivity.

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Image courtesy of Tomato Land[/caption]

Frost Fest

January 24
If it’s January, it must be time for...bumper cars on ice! Yes, that’s a thing, and a good one. You can spin, twirl, and bump your way across the ice at the Bryant Park ice rink, and, starting January 24, you can also take a spin if you go there for the 10-day Frost Fest, a series of programs including live entertainment, an Igloo experience, and a silent disco.

NYC Broadway Week

January 21-February 9
If you love theater but not the prices, check out the winter version of Broadway Week; it actually lasts more than a week. This is the time to get two-for-one tickets to some of the most popular Broadway shows around, or ones you might not necessarily attend. You may even be able to snag tickets for shows like Book of Mormon and Chicago. Tickets go fast--so you shouold be, too.

Ophelia

Ever had the urge to visit a NYC rooftop bar in January? No? Well, now you will. A number of sky-high bars in New York are outfitted for winter weather, including Ophelia, which sits at the top of an art deco tower and will make you feel like you’re inside a snow globe. Grab some cocktail fare, like a truffle potato wedge or a French onion slider, and an actual cocktail. Then gaze at the amazing 360 city views and enjoy the feeling that you’re inside a jewelery box. Looking for other sky-high venues? Check one out here.

Looking for more ways to take advantage of the city this month? Check out The New York Pass.

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Cab Etiquette In NYC: All You Need to Know

We’ve all been there. You stayed out a little later than you planned, and you’re a little worse for wear. You need to go to bed, but the city’s unfamiliar to you. The public transport maps might as well be Jackson Pollock paintings. So you do what every single person does in films and TV shows based in New York. You raise your hand, and within seconds a yellow cab’s pulled up beside you. Hopefully you’re on your way in seconds and home safe and sound, but if anything seems off or you need help and advice, read on. Here’s what you need to know about cab etiquette in NYC. Can a cab driver ever refuse me service? Yes, but only if the trip is more than 12 hours long, or if their ‘taxi’ light is off. 12 hour+ journeys are against the law in the US, and only taxis with their lights on are currently working. If you’re staying far out of the city centre, perhaps get in the cab before telling them where you’re going. It might seem sneaky, but once you’re in their cab they are legally obligated to take you to your destination. Crazy, right? My taxi is loud and uncomfortable. What can I do? A lot, thankfully. Riders have rights too, after all. If your driver is on a call or using their phone, they’re being super illegal. Feel free to remind them. If the cab is too hot or cold, depending on the time of year, you can also request they put the air con/heating on. And if their music is too loud, by all means, politely ask them to turn it down or off. Just don’t berate their choice of genre. However, if the driver refuses these, or any reasonable requests, you have the right to get out at any time. And remember to take down their medallion number if you want to make a complaint. It’s on their licence plate, the hood of the taxi, and on your receipt if you request one. What if I’m being loud, and making the driver uncomfortable? Firstly, why...would you... do that? Secondly, while drivers have no legal grounds to ask you to keep it down, have some respect for them. And for yourself. Driving a taxi all day is exhausting, and navigating the hectic streets that never sleep requires concentration. Cab etiquette in NYC, or anywhere works both ways. Be respectful, and you’ll likely earn their respect. And a safer and quicker journey home, too. Should I stare at them creepily through the rear-view mirror? No. No, don’t. Why would you even...? How much should I tip? Tips are big business in New York, as they are in the rest of the US. But sadly you’ll be expected to pay over the odds in the Big Apple. 20% of the fee is the recommended amount. If you’re paying with card instead of cold hard cash, the amount of gratuity will automatically be added to the charge. It could go as high as 30%, so keep that in mind if you’re squeezing pennies. Of course, if you’re an out-of-towner and they’ve been helpful with info or recommendations, why not be a nice little human and show them your gratitude with money? Tipping’s the best way to thank them, but if you want to go above and beyond because they did, hop on the nyc.gov website and leave a glowing review, you selfless beauty. If the driver asks for cash, is it OK to use my card instead? Yes. Every taxi in NYC is required by law to take card, so if your driver says they don’t have a machine or that it’s broken, it’s a ruse. Persist, and victory will be yours. Drivers may also mention they’ve selected ‘Cash’ instead of ‘Card’ and that they can’t reverse the decision. This, too, is a ruse. Stay strong, and wait for the card machine. It’s simply a case of them pressing a single button to make it happen. Also get your receipt - it contains lots of vital information like their medallion number which you’ll need if you lose something in the cab, or want to make a complaint. That’s what you need to know about taxi etiquette in NYC. We hope these tips help. Of course, we’re always open to suggestions, so if you have any other top tips you’d like to add, let us know in the comments below! Stay safe, travelers. Has this cab etiquette in NYC blog satisfied your itch for all things New York? No? Still prefer public transportation? Sure thing, here's more about the metro system in NYC.
Dom Bewley
ride nyc
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A Guide to The RIDE & Tips for your Trip

The RIDE is a new way to see New York. This theatrical experience puts a twist on the age-old bus tour format thanks to the hilarious commentary of two comedic hosts, the stadium-style seating on the bus providing you with 360 degrees of amazing views, and even the chance for a spot of impromptu karaoke! And, of course, you'll have the chance to see all the biggest landmarks that New York has to offer, and with the unrivaled freedom courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows inside the vehicle, your phone better have enough memory for the countless snaps you'll be taking! How to get The RIDE discount tickets? We’ve got you covered – The RIDE admission is available with the below money-saving options, so you can choose the attraction pass that’s right for you: 1. All-Inclusive Pass – All you can do. Includes admission to dozens of attractions. 2. Explorer Pass – Choose as you go. Includes admission of up to 10 attractions. Tips for riding The RIDE As one of the newest, hottest attractions in New York, The RIDE is incredibly popular. As such, we recommend you book it far in advance of your trip - we wouldn't want you to miss out! You'll be spending around 75 minutes on your ride sitting down. So, be sure to wear something you're comfortable sitting in for that long! Perhaps leave those high-waisted jeans at home... Make sure to pack a camera with plenty of film, or make sure you've got enough space on your phone - you'll be taking lots and lots of photos, and you won't want to miss any of the surprising sights and sounds you'll see! When is the best time to experience The RIDE? Since you're in a sealed vehicle, really you can check out The RIDE at any time of year! However, you're likely to see more activity going on outside the bus when the weather's good, so think about hopping on from the beginning of spring to the end of summer. What is there to see and do on The RIDE? Take your seat on the three-tiered, stadium-like bus seats, and buckle up for a ride you'll never forget. Listen to the guides as they weave hilarious tales of Big Apple Hijinks, look on as you see street performers strutting their stuff, and snap pics of all the biggest highlights of New York's skyline. The RIDE highlights Be on the lookout for New York's most iconic landmarks, such as Times Square, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Carnegie Hall, and many more! Enjoy 360-degree views of the city thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows across the whole of the bus. Split your sides thanks to the hilarious running commentary provided by your two comedic guides. See all the city's hotspots in under 2 hours. What attractions are near The RIDE? The famous Times Square is right around the corner, if your RIDE by gave you the itch to see more. You'll also find Madame Tussauds and the MOMA a stone's throw from the pick up point. Where is there to eat nearby? If you're in the mood for an authentic New York slice, Pizza 42 is right across the street. For fast food lovers, there's an Applebee's, Dave & Busters, Chick-fil-A, and Mcdonald's a short walk from the pick up point. If you're in the market for something heartier, you're in New York! Go explore and see what you find! Need to Know For the full schedule of operation for The RIDE, visit their website here. Tours will be canceled for severe weather or mechanical issues. Directions and Address Departs from 259 West 42nd Street near 8th Avenue. New York, NY 10036 United States Closest Subway Stops A, C, E, or S trains to Port Authority/42nd Street; 1, 2, 3, N, R, Q, or 7 trains to Times Square/42nd Street. Save on Tickets with a pass Remember, Go City is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility, which can include The RIDE tickets, plus admission to your choice of other top attractions. You'll make great savings on entry to top museums, tours, and activities vs. paying at the gate. Visit multiple attractions for one low price.
Dom Bewley
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What Would The Founding Fathers Do in NYC On July 4th?

July 4th is fast approaching. A time when we all celebrate independence, and maybe re-watch a certain cheesy sci-film too. Thanks to the Founding Fathers, we have so much to be grateful for. It’s just a shame they couldn’t see what a great country America has become. But what if they could? What if we could somehow travel back to the 18th century, and bring some of the Founding Fathers to 2019? Who’d have the biggest Instagram following? Which would start their own reality show? And how would they be spending July 4th? Well, through the magic of time travel, we can tell you now. Here is a totally real list that we definitely didn’t make up. What would the Founding Fathers do in NYC this July 4th? George Washington How could we not start with the top dog himself? Hero of the War for Independence and our very first President, George Washington needs no introduction. Well known for his wooden teeth and hatred of cherry trees, he also famously crossed the Delaware River in order to land a humiliating blow against the nefarious British. And the first thing he said to us when we brought him to 2019 was “I want to see the city by sea”. Really. He really said that. That’s why we recommended he take a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise! George marvelled at the iconic modern skyline and learnt a lot about his future (and our past) from one of the award-winning guides that accompanied us on our cruise. He loved it. Thomas Jefferson TJ was POTUS number 3, but what a lot of people don’t know about him is that he was something of a palaeontologist. He amassed a huge collection of fossils and was particularly obsessed with woolly mammoths. So after we brought him to 2019, we had a good chat, and the first thing he wanted to do was go to the American Museum of Natural History. He loved the 94-foot long blue whale and was in awe of the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. Benjamin Franklin Ben Franklin loved science, and is often considered the man who discovered electricity. Sadly, kite-flying isn’t as popular as it used to be, so he insisted on going to the New York Hall of Science. Ol’ Ben-Dog got his hands all over the 450+ interactive exhibits on offer, and even managed to confirm some of his 18th century hypotheses. When he goes back, he may even be able to change the course of human history. Because this is definitely real. We've mastered time travel pretty well, wouldn't you say? Alexander Hamilton Founder of the New York Post, and current Broadway star, Alexander Hamilton was humbled to see how far his renown had continued to rise over 200 years later. In disguise, we managed to sneak him onto the Hamilton Happy Hour Tour, a two-hour walking tour through New York’s oldest neighbourhood. Hamilton enjoyed how much his life and accomplishments still mean to people. And so will you. John Hancock Most famous for sporting the first, and largest, signature on the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock was also a hugely successful merchant with a thriving trade business. Secretly, though, he simply loved fireworks. That’s why he’s so looking forward to seeing Macys Fourth of July fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge. He wouldn’t shut up about the 75,000 fireworks due to be set off, and he’s also hungry to flex his trading muscles with an 11% discount at Macy’s Herald Square. James Madison America’s tiniest president, James Madison stood at just 5’4”. So you can understand his delight when we took him on a Madison Square Garden All Access Tour. Though he didn’t know much about modern sports, he was understandably delighted that one of the most famous sporting arenas on the planet was named after him. He especially loved the VR experience showcasing some of The Garden’s biggest ever events. John Adams One of Americas greatest ever patriots, John Adams is also responsible for the country’s oldest band – the United States Marine Band. Who knew he was such a music lover? Well, we did. He told us in person when we brought him to 2019. That’s when we knew that we had to take him on a Harlem Gospel Tour. On the three hour tour, John learned a lot about the cultural roots of Gospel music, and got to see many of Harlem’s most famous landmarks like the Apollo Theater, Abyssinian Baptist Church and Striver’s Row. So if you were wondering what the Founding Fathers would do in NYC this July 4th, now you know! Want more inspiration on things to do this Independence Day weekend? Check out our blog on things to do in NY this summer.
Dom Bewley

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