There’s always a lot to do in NYC every weekend, including this late January weekend, with FREE museum admission, FREE jazz concerts, FREE outdoor art exhbits, a Roaring 20s virtual murder mystery, winter soundwalks, and more
The weather is supposed to be in sunny an in the 30s and 40s, so it’s a great opportunity to get outdoors, including a meal at one of the many locally-owned NYC restaurants with outdoor seating – who need our support now.
NYC restaurants and bars are open for outdoor dining until 10pm, but can continue take-out after that.
Its to control social distancing and prevent the second wave of this infernal Pandemic exploding again in NYC and the surrounding Tri-State area, as it is exploding elsewhere around the country.
Every weekend is a good weekend to support our local NYC restaurants by eating out or taking out, and supporting our local NYC businesses by shopping with them instead of the national chains.
If you need a Covid-19 test, find one by zip code or address on the official NYC location finder site, or text “COVID TEST” to 855-48.
There are now Covid-19 vaccination sites open 24/7 in each NYC borough, plus additional sites.
NYC vaccination sites, including those at hospitals and pharmacies, are by appointment only. No walk-ins are accepted at any time.
The 30th New York Jewish Film Festival features documentaries, dramas and romcoms about the Jewish experience around the world, including about inter-racial friendship, food, immigration, hope, grief and resilience, through Jan. 26.
As always, you do not have to be Jewish to enjoy international films with such universal themes, and in 2021 the entire schedule is available virtually, with each film online for viewing for 72 hours.
The 2021 New York Jewish Film Festival also features FREE with Q&As and free live talks throughout the celebrated annual event, including a virtual workshop with Peabody Award–winning filmmaker Judith Helfand, five live talks with filmmakers, and 12 pre-recorded Q&As included with your ticket rentals.
Saturday – Roaring 20s Virtual Murder Mystery
Bullets in the Bathtub
Whodunnit? Figuring it out is the fun.
Join the talented players of the Jest Murder Mystery Co. on Zoom and head on down to Cherry’s (Virtual) Speakeasy for an interactive, fun-filled night of cocktails, comedy, and a Jazz Age murder mystery with participation by attendees – you.
Here’s the story: There’s a turf war going on in gangland, and just when you think things are settling down, Harry “Bullets” Hyde, the famous Russian mobster, meets his maker. But whodunit? Larry the Rug? Joey the Lips? Or is it you?
Guests log into a virtual cocktail party where you volunteer to play a role. And once the mystery starts, attendees live chat with each other and the on-screen actors. Also: period costumes are welcome!
- Before attending and participating, check out these Tips & Tricks > including some Roaring 20s food and drink recipes
- Presented by the New York Historical Society, Saturday, 8pm to 10om
- Tickets are $25 per household.
- Ticket sales close at 7:30 pm ET on January 23.
Sunday – Free Jazz Concert
This weekly free jazz concert via Zoom is presented by Music on the Inside, Inc. (MOTI) which brings music education and hope to individuals impacted by incarceration.
Each Sunday concert features formerly incarcerated musicians alongside jazz and pop luminaries.
MOT statement: We stand in solidarity and we heal in harmony. We’re grateful to all the wonderful musicians contributing their talents and hearts to uplift us all.
- 6pm Sunday
- FREE, but donations are accepted to support the work of Music on the Inside, a NYC-based non-profit group.
- You’ll receive the Zoom login with your free registration confirmation.
Ice skating at the iconic Rock Center rink is probably the most famous place in the world to skate.
The ice skating rink at Bryant Park once again offers FREE skating. Reservations are required – that’s new this year.
Go ice skating at a rink that overlooks the Hudson River.
The Rink at Brookfield Place is back open for the season. In addition to its usual skating options, The Rink is offering “private pods” for skating and ice hockey lessons, where small groups of three to six children can take classes together.
Full pricing details and hours can be found on The Rink’s website.
Winter Nature Walks at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
This winter, BBG offers new ways to safely tour and learn about the Garden from staff and expert naturalists.
The first in a series of audio Winter Nature Walks led by naturalist Brad Klein is available online now. The walks lead visitors through the Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden, Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, and Osborne Garden. As you stroll through the Garden, listen to descriptions of the habits and survival strategies of wildlife you may encounter in the winter months.
Discover (or rediscover!) some of the many remarkable trees in the Garden’s collection on the self-guided Treasured Trees Tour. Use the interactive map to explore the trees—start at any one, then visit them all! While you are here, use BBG’s guide to identifying trees by their bark and deepen your tree knowledge!
Several NYC museums have brought back free admission for certain days and times.
The Rubin Museum of Art offers a collection of art, sculptures and tapestries from India, Nepal, Tibet, China and other Asian nations.
Free Friday Nights are a great time to explore, but timed entry tickets go quickly.
All gallery tickets become available for reservation two weeks in advance. The new installation is The Lotus Effect,
- FREE Friday nights are 6pm to 10pm
The Guggenheim Museum of Art
- Pay-what-you-wish Friday and Saturday, 4pm to 6pm
- Reservations are required.
Museum of the City of New York
- CLOSED until Mid-February for emergency building repairs
This is a great time to be a tourist in your hometown.
More staycation suggestions while the weather is still friendly:
Smell the flowers:
The New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Queens Botanical Garden are all open.
Take a cruise:
The Staten Island Ferry is a 20 minute delight, with picture postcard views of the Statue of Liberty, and it’s FREE.
Take a hike:
High Line, the popular elevated park is now open its full distance, from 14th to 30th Street, with FREE timed reservations for social distancing.
Make reservations here to visit the High Line.
Welcome NYC’s newest park, Pier 26 on the Hudson River.
This is the city’s first park focusing on ecology, with an elevated walkway over the Hudson, landscaped walking paths, open green lawns, areas to interact with local wildlife, and plenty of benches to rest and enjoy the view, including to enjoy a sunset.
Weekend Street and Bridge Closures
Check the official NYC Dept. of Transportation list so you don’t get stuck in traffic or are forced to make a humongous detour.
Alternate Side of the Street Parking
Check the official NYC Dept. of Transportation updates so you don’t get a ticket.
Streets Closed on Weekends for Outdoor Dining
NYC has closed streets in all five boroughs on weekends to expand outdoor dining. Locations include Chinatown, the Theater District, the Financial District and Arthur Ave. in the Bronx.
Check our tips for outdoor dining etiquette, including social distancing and ordering everything at once to make it more efficient for you and the staff.
Carnegie Hall Fridays
Each week for the the forseable future, Carnegie Hall is streaming a concert from its archived recordings.
- Watch it Friday 3am through Monday, at 3 AM EDT
- Watch here on medici.tv
Anytime – Virtual Jazz Concerts
Sadly, the iconic jazz destination Birdland has closed, due to financial issues caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic, and this popular weekend jazz concert is no longer available.
However, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is streaming concerts on its Facebook page, including concerts by Arturo O’Farrell and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Anytime – Streaming Now
Live From from Lincoln Center:
The renowned Metropolitan Opera, continues to live stream operas each night of the week, FREE.
Each stream becomes available at 7:30 p.m. EDT and remains accessible for on-demand viewing until 6:30 p.m. the following day.