New Year’s Day 2014: 7 Awesome Things to Do in New York City

December 26, 2013 Updated: June 24, 2015

New Year’s day is a time to try new things and break out of your stale New York City routines. Go bird watching, jump into the freezing ocean, or trek to Brooklyn’s famed bowling spot (Hint for the foodies: the chicken wings had something to do with the alley’s popularity.)

Go Bird Watching on the Beach

Escape the concrete jungle for a brisk hike along the beach in Breezy Point, Queens, with the New York Audubon Society. The journey is timed so that at noon the group can signal to another group across the bay at Sandy Hook. The hike then heads up to the hawk watch for a view of New York Harbor. To cap off the trip the group will visit the Rockaway Artist’s Alliance for coffee, cake and free champagne. No limit. No reservations neccesary. Free. For more information contact Don Riepe at 917-371-8577 or

Commit to a Jump Into the Freezing Ocean on Coney Island, or Not

Test your limits in the New Year by committing to rush into the freezing waters of the Atlantic on Coney Island. The New York Polar Bear Club’s annual swim is a sight to behold and, if you’ve got the guts, join all the cool people and jump in yourself by signing up. Free for swimmers and observers. Suggested donation: $20.

Ice Skating

Lace up at one of the city’s many ice rinks. The rink at Bryant Park is free if you bring your own skates. Meanwhile a paid spin at the rink at the Standard Hotel is worth it for the thinner crowd and the handmade donuts.

Go Bowling at New York’s Coolest Alley

If you haven’t heard of Brooklyn Bowl yet, New Year’s Day is a great time for an introduction. The venue made it to the top ten Google searches in New York trailing the likes of Hurricane Sandy and the DMV and has quickly become a world famous tourist destination. Brooklyn Bowl will open doors at 2 p.m. for a family-friendly bowl. As always, expect great food and music. No cover.

All the Museums You’ve Been Hoping to Visit Are Open, Now’s the Chance

Most of the museum in New York City are open on New Year’s Day—all the reason to head out and finally visit the ones you’ve never been to, or to revisit the one you love. New Year’s Day might be the last chance to see the stunning Christmas origami tree at the American Museum of Natural History, and while you’re there make sure to swing by Whales: Giants of the Deep and Frogs: A Chorus of Color, both of which are at the end of their run times.

Witness the Aftermath of New Year’s Eve With a Times Square Walking Tour

Take a walk through the history on Times Square and find out how it turned from a potter’s field, to a park, to a vice district, and to what is quickly becoming one of the city’s most popular pedestrian plazas. Though the Department of Sanitation cleans up the area in rapid fashion, keep an eye out on confetti stuck in crevices throughout the area from last night’s party. $20.

Get Your Lyrical fix at the New Year’s Day Poetry Marathon

The annual marathon is a curated event, with no open sign ups. The schedule is made up of the local art scene’s regulars, but, significantly, every year 30-50 spots are reserved for newcomers. Since the annual event started in 1974, the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Patti Smith, and Philip Glass have read there. 

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