Mention to any local that you’re visiting New York City in February and they’ll look at you like you’re crazy. While their looks might hold some truth, I’m one of the few locals who think they’re wrong, and let me tell you why.
Sure the weather is cold and the trees are bare, but what many choose to ignore is that visiting New York City in February is full of perks. Now I know what you’re thinking, what kind of perk can be good enough to brave the chilly weather for? Well for starters — no crowds!
Visiting New York City in February means tourist season is over, so lines are almost non-existent at popular hot-spots. You won’t have to fight for your life in a sea of people just to see iconic sites. And don’t even get me started on the insane flight and hotel deals.
If you need some help finding the best things to do in New York City in February, I’m here to help! After countless winters braving the cold (I still can’t feel my toes) I’ve found the most unique experiences that are worth leaving the warmth of home for. So strap on your boots, grab your coats and let’s get right into it.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
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Tips for Visiting NYC in February
- Bring winter shoes: It’s no secret that February in New York City is cold, and the most miserable place to be cold is in your toes. I recommend insulated/waterproof boots (here’s the pair I live in) and the only wool socks you’ll need.
- Bring lip balm & moisturizer: February in New York City is dry and cold. Add in raging industrial heaters to the mix and you’re bound to need quality lip balm and moisturizer. Lip balm is a personal thing, but if helpful, here’s the best one I’ve found to date (and it’s cheap!).
- Portable charger: Cold weather depletes batteries (both cellphones and camera) quicker than you’d expect, so when heading out during February in New York City make sure you pick up one of these.
February Weather in New York City
February averages: high 43° | low 29° | rains on average 7 days of the month
If you’re visiting New York City in February you should be prepared for cold (and sometimes snowy) weather. Insulated and wind-proof clothing are non-negotiable if you want to enjoy yourself without freezing.
Keep in mind the sun sets early in New York City in February so get your outdoor activities done during the day.
If it snows during your visit you’ll want to get an early start on the day. This way you can enjoy a pristine, freshly powdered New York City before pedestrians and cars turn the snow to slush.
Be sure to read What to Pack for New York in Winter (20 Things You Can’t Forget!) for more suggestions.
Things to Do in New York City in February
Celebrate Grand Central Terminal’s Birthday
Date: February 2nd, 2023
It’s unbelievable that a 110-year-old train terminal still serves more than 750,000 visitors daily. They really don’t make them like they used to, right?
That’s why one of the best things to do in New York City in February is to show your appreciation and wish Grand Central Terminal a happy birthday! On February 2nd, 1910, more than 150,000 spectators gathered to experience the inauguration of one of the most beautiful train terminals in the world.
Over the years Grand Central Terminal has become synonymous with New York City itself. In fact, this the third most popular tourist attraction in NYC (after Central Park and Times Square).
While you’re at Grand Central Terminal don’t forget to get a close up view of the clock above the information booth in the center of the concourse. Valued at a whopping $20 million, the clock has been nicknamed “the jewel hidden in plain sight.” I mean, when was the last time you got to see something valued at $20 million?
Read more about Grand Central Terminal in 22 ICONIC New York City Buildings (You Need to Know About).
Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
Experience Winter Dog Days at Governors Island
Dates: every Saturday and Sunday in February
Are you a dog person? Join the club and brace for this. For the first time ever dogs are allowed on Governors Island. You read that right. All 172 glorious acres are open to dogs (and people) every Saturday and Sunday in February.
To get the the island, you’ll need to take a public ferry. During weekends in February, dogs will be allowed to ride the ferry to Governors Island (using the outdoor areas) until 3pm. After 3pm, dogs won’t be allowed to board the inbound ferry to Governors Island.
However, if you find yourself on the island past 3pm, fret not. Dogs re allowed on the outbound ferry until the last ferry leaves the island. You and your pup are welcome to enjoy Governors Island until it closes to the public at 6PM.
The perks of visiting Governors Island while visiting NYC in February are numerous. First, the lack of cars and crowds create a stress free environment for fido and locals. Secondly, the panoramic views of New York City from the island are some of the best in the Big Apple!
Helpful info for visiting Winter Dog Days on Governors Island:
- All dogs must remain on a leash at all times, including during the ferry ride to the island.
- Owners must pick up after their dogs (the island has dog-waste bags, but bring yours too just in case).
- Dogs must stay out of landscaped or planted areas.
- The only place dogs are allowed off-leash is in the designated dog park, located behind Liggett Terrace near the middle of the island.
Admire Jerry Seinfeld at the Beacon Theatre
Dates: February 3 – 4, 2023
Jerry Seinfeld probably needs no introduction, unless you’ve been living under a rock. Best known for the hit TV show Seinfield (the sixth-best TV show of all time, per Rolling Stone), Jerry Seinfeld will be performing four shows at the Beacon Theatre.
As a native New Yorker Seinfeld is a hometown hero, and often regarded as one of the best comedians at all time. Tickets won’t last long, so purchase them in advance to avoid missing one of the best things to do in New York City in February.
Address: Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Enjoy the Golden Girls Kitchen Pop-Up Experience
Dates: Wednesdays through Sundays in February
The Golden Girls is frequently listed among the greatest television shows of all time, running for 7 seasons and winning an impressive 3 Emmy Awards for Best Television Series.
That’s why swinging by The Golden Girls Kitchen is one of the best things to do in New York City in February. The pop-up gives you the opportunity to snap pictures in the show’s most famous sets.
You’ll also be able to eat in the kitchen where so many of the show’s iconic scenes took place (and true to the show, there will be cheesecake). But wait, it gets better, every Sunday in February the set hosts a drag brunch.
Any die-hard fan visiting New York City in February should make a beeline to the Golden Girls Kitchen pop-up. I suggest listening to the show’s theme song, Thank You For Being a Friend on repeat for an even better experience.
For ticket information and menus be sure to visit the official website.
Address: 19 Fulton St, New York, NY 10038
Play Games at Winter Jam in Central Park
Date: February 4, 2023
Snow in Central Park is a beautiful sight, but timing your visit properly can be a headache. A single day can make the difference between fresh snowfall and brown slush.
Thankfully, the lovely folks at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation host an annual event called Winter Jam. By spraying a mini mountain of snow in the Rumsey Playfield (in Central Park, south of Bethesda Terrace) you’ll be able to enjoy a winter wonderland in the heart of Manhattan.
The event is one of the best free things to do in New York City in February, all you need to do is sign a waiver. Fresh snow, live music, and winter games, it doesn’t get much better than this.
In the past Winter Jam has hosted games like flag football, ice bowling and sledding but have yet to announce what to expect this year. I’ll keep you posted when I learn more.
Anybody visiting New York City in February with kids shouldn’t miss this event. Just be sure to show up early – entrance is on a first-come first-serve basis.
Anyone visiting New York City in February with kids cannot miss this event.
Go to a Professional Basketball Game
Both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets will be playing more than a dozen games in New York City in February. Even if you don’t consider yourself an avid basketball fan, this is a great excuse to get out of your hotel when visiting New York City in February.
Both teams are (finally) competitive and in positions to make the playoffs, reinvigorating dormant fans who tired out after years of defending sub-par teams. The arenas are packed with enthusiastic fans, making the games so much more thrilling.
If you can only attend one game I suggest visiting Madison Square Garden on February 13, 2023 when the Knicks and the Nets play each other. The cross-town rivalry is called The Battle of the Boroughs, and is one of the best things to do in New York City in February.
Celebrate National Pizza Day
Date: February 9, 2023
Is there a place more fitting to celebrate National Pizza Day than New York City? A place where pizzerias are sacred ground and pizza-makers are the closest thing to royalty?
Whether you go with a dollar slice or a gourmet pie at a sit-down restaurant, National Pizza Day is the perfect excuse to overindulge when visiting New York City in February.
If you need a suggestion, my favorite pie in the city is the Bee Sting at Roberta’s pizzeria. Made with soppressata, basil, chili and hot honey my stomach is growling in anticipation.
Need help deciding where to celebrate? Read 15 EPIC Pizza Joints in New York City You Can’t Afford to Miss.
Savor Tasty Brews at Brookfield Place
Dates: February 9, 16 and 23, 2023
It’s easy to walk into Brookfield Place and forget you’re in Manhattan, the mall has palm trees inside! Even if you don’t plan on shopping, visiting Brookfield Place is one of the best things to do in New York City in February.
The mall hosts one of the best free events in New York City in February, called Brews at Brookfield Place. Local breweries transform the mall into a winter biergarten with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity.
The Rink at Brookfield Place is also one of the best ice skating rinks in the Big Apple. If you’re visiting New York City in February you should consider lacing up your skates and enjoy the views of the Hudson River.
Address: 230 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281
Watch the Super Bowl at a Sports Bar
Date: February 12, 2023
I’m surprised Super Bowl Sunday has yet to be turned into a national holiday, especially considering two-thirds of Americans watch the game (or the commercials).
Watching the Super Bowl is one of the best things to do in New York City in February, especially if you go to a sports bar. There’s an electric feeling to cheering along with a rowdy group, even more so if you’re all cheering for the same team.
With a little luck the New York Giants will make it all the way to the big game. The local team just won their first playoff game in 11-years and hopes couldn’t be higher!
Need suggestions on where to watch the game? My favorite sports bar in the city is Standings in the East Village. Albeit a little small, the local joint was named the best sports bar on the east coast by Sports Illustrated.
Cheer-On the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade
Date: February 12, 2022
Celebrating Chinese New Years in Chinatown is like celebrating Oktoberfest in Germany or St. Patrick’s day in Ireland, it just feels right.
The streets come alive with locals in festive, traditional wear and music fills the air for days (January 22 – February 12). The celebrations come to an epic finale with the Lunar New Year parade.
Viewing the parade is one of the most popular things to do in New York City in February, proven by the fact the event is attended by thousands of visitors ever year.
If you’ve never participated in the festivities I couldn’t encourage you more. The parade provides the perfect opportunity to appreciate a new culture and celebrate NYC’s diversity.
Root for a Wrestler at WWE Monday Night Raw
Date: February 13, 2023
One of the best things to do in February in New York City is to head to the Barclays Center and watch adults beat each other up.
And no, I don’t mean on the subway (I’m kidding!). I’m talking about cheering on World Wrestling Entertainment’s flagship show, Monday Night Raw.
The main event will be a Street Fight match, where all rules go out the window and the only thing that matters is winning. The full roster of wrestlers won’t be announced until we’re closer to the date.
Thanks to more than 1,000 episodes on national television the wrestlers have grown loyal and passionate fan bases. There’s no telling how quickly tickets will sell out, so I encourage getting yours quickly.
Address: 620 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Date: February 14, 2023
If you’re visiting New York City in February you’re in luck because the city provides plenty of spots to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Some may say Paris is the most romantic city in the world, but those people have never visited The Big Apple. The amount of charming restaurants, intimate bars, and world-class shows is impressive to say the least.
That’s why one of the best things to do in New York City in February is to treat your special someone to a lovey-dovey night on the town. Need help planning? Read 20+ (Non-Cheesy) Romantic Things to Do in New York City.
Heck, you can even celebrate Valentine’s Day by yourself! A stroll through New York City provides ample opportunity to romanticize your own life. You can enjoy the adorably decorated cafes, charming parks or visit an inspiring museum.
Or Name a Roach After Your Ex at the Bronx Zoo
Date: February 14, 2023
The Name a Roach program at the Bronx Zoo provides a great way to get even with your ex on Valentine’s Day in a way that won’t land you in jail for the night. 😉
For only $15 you can name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after your ex (or valentine) and get a certificate to remember the day. The event is one of the most unique things to do in New York City in February, with some locals making it a tradition.
The zoo also offers a Roach Romance package. With the package you and your valentine will get to enjoy an after-hours experience learning about the role insects play in making chocolate. Afterwards you’ll get to sample sustainably made chocolates as well as drink a glass of wine.
Address: 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10460
Attend a New York Rangers Game
If you’re visiting New York City in February you should make an effort to attend a New York Rangers game. As one of the original six teams in the National Hockey League, the Rangers have a loyal and passionate fanbase. At times the fans provide more entertainment than the players themselves.
Games at Madison Square Garden are electric, and even more so this year because the Rangers are competing for one of the top spots in their division. Every game matters so the arena gets intense!
There are five New York Ranger games to choose from in New York City in February, and tickets are available via Ticketmaster.
Cozy Up at an Independent Bookstore
Name a better thing to do in New York City in February than perusing the shelves of your favorite bookstores? Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Even if you’re not looking to buy a book, there are few places better to cozy up at on a winter day.
There are plenty of adorable bookstores in New York City to choose from boasting cafes, couches and comfortable reading nooks. Most of the stores are run by knowledgeable (and kind) staff that know how to make you feel welcome.
If you need help finding a bookstore while visiting New York City in February be sure to read our article, 12+ Charming New York City Bookstores You Can’t Help But Love.
Commemorate President’s Day
Date: February 20, 2023
Many folks may not know this, but President’s Day was originally a holiday to commemorate our first president, George Washington. As the country’s first capital, New York City is still home to plenty of spots Washington visited.
If you’re visiting New York City in February visit Federal Hall, where George Washington was sworn in as our first president. Afterwards, swing by Fraunces Tavern for a beer, where George Washington bid an emotional farewell to his officers.
If you’re looking for the best museum to visit in New York City in February I suggest the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s because you can celebrate President’s Day by admiring the colossal painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware.
Celebrate National Margarita Day
Date: February 22, 2023
One of the best things to do while visiting New York City in February is to clink-drinks on National Margarita Day. The Big Apple provides plenty of beautiful bars ready to host you during the boozy holiday.
Margaritaville in Times Square is a tempting place to celebrate if all you’re looking for is to have fun and enjoy the ambience. If you’re really in search of the best margarita in the city though, there are better options.
Although I’m not an avid tequila drinker, I think the Black Ant makes the best margarita in the city. The jalapeno infused tequila is a great way to heat things up (especially during the cold New York City February).
Cheer (or Boo) at Amateur Night at the Apollo Season Opener
Date: February 22, 2023
The Apollo Theater is famous thanks to the long-running TV show Showtime at the Apollo, which showcased the theater’s Amateur Nights. Structured like a talent show musicians, comedians and dancers would show off their skills in an attempt to earn the applause of the notoriously tough crowd (booing is part of the fun).
Although Amateur Night isn’t on TV anymore the theater still runs the show as “seasons”, and each one brings something new and exciting.
That’s why one of the best things to do while visiting New York City in February is to head to the Apollo Theater for the Amateur Night season opener on February 22. You could witness the budding career of a talented artist, or you can just join the crowd in booing.
Tickets are required and available via Ticketmaster.
Address: 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027
Experience Jurassic World Live
Dates: February 24 – 26, 2023
Like Samuel L. Jackson says in the movie, “hold onto your butts” because Jurassic World Live is coming to New York City in February.
More than two dozen life-size dinosaurs will (electronically) come alive at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. During the show guests get to watch the cast try their best to recapture escaped dinosaurs while navigating the many obstacles in the Jurassic World.
Using innovative sound effects, pyrotechnics and stunts you feel like you’re really running among the prehistoric creatures. And the best part? Tickets start at $30.
Address: 620 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Enjoy Sesame Street Live
Dates: February 25 – 26, 2023
One of the best live events coming to New York City in February is Sesame Street Live, the beloved children’s show. During the performance kids will get to watch Elmo as he hangs with friends like Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Count von Count.
Parents will also have the opportunity to purchase a pre-show meet and greet with Elmo. With the package kids get the opportunity take photos with the cast, walk the Sesame Street set, and compete in a scavenger hunt.
For tickets and more info on the Elmo & Friends meet and greet visit Sesame Street Live’s website.
Address: 1027 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226
Attend The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden
Dates: February 18 to May 1, 2023
I have more than one friend who is obsessed with flowers, and I bet you do too. Why not take them to the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden, one of the best things to do in New York City in February.
This year is the 20th annual Orchid Show, and the botanical garden has partnered with artist Lily Kwong to design the exhibition. Over 1000 orchids will be in full bloom, displaying a wide array of colors that contrast the gray winter.
The show opens to the public on February 18th. Be sure to purchase tickets online and enjoy one of the best things to do while visiting New York City in February.
Ride the Bumper Cars at Bryant Park
Dates: January 14 – February 27, 2023
For those of us who are children at heart bumper cars can be thrilling. Luckily after the holiday season Bryant Park dusts off their bumper cars and provides us with one of the best things to do in New York City in February.
Unlike typical mechanical bumper cars that drive over asphalt or indoor surfaces, the cars at Bryant Park use the 17,000 square foot ice rink as the track. You’ll be slipping and sliding into other cars and have a blast doing it.
The bumper cars are open to the public until February 27th and start at $20 for 10 minutes. I strongly recommend booking in advance since this is one of the most popular things to do in New York City in February.
Check out a discounted Botanical Garden
The 39 acres of the Queens Botanical Garden are filled with unique and beautiful plants, and if you’re visiting New York City in February you get to visit for free!
I’ll admit the garden can be cold and most of the plants won’t be in bloom, but the green-space has a tranquil vibe that’s hard to replicate. In a city as loud as New York you’ll find the serene garden quite peaceful.
Another popular garden is worth checking out while visiting February in New York City is the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. During weekdays the century-old garden is open on a pay-what-you-wish basis.
Address: 43-50 Main St, Queens, NY 11355 & 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
February Festivals in New York City
Dates: January 17 – February 12, 2023
Every 6 months I prepare my stomach for a stuffing that makes Thanksgiving look like child’s play. I’m talking about Restaurant Week, one of the best reasons to visit New York City in February.
Restaurants all across the city offer two and three course meals at a discounted rate giving folks the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. From India to Italy, and Mexico to Morocco the dining options are truly endless.
For a full list of participating restaurants click here.
Dates: January 17 – February 12, 2023
During Broadway Week folks are able to purchase 2-for-1 tickets, effectively doubling the bang for your buck. If you’re a Broadway geek (like me) this makes visiting New York City in February twice as fun! Tickets go live January 10th and sell like hot-cakes so act fast.
Dates: January 3 – February 12, 2023
Hotel Week provides one of the best reasons for visiting New York City in February. To celebrate 2023, guests will get 23% off discounts at some of New York City’s best hotels. This is also a great opportunity for locals looking to book a “staycation” and splurge a little bit.
Must-See Week (New York City’s Top Attractions)
Dates: January 17 – February 12, 2023
One of the best things to do in February in New York City is to take advantage of Must See Week. Starting January 10th you can book tickets to some of NYC’s biggest attractions at a 2 for 1 discount.
Tours, museums and performing arts will all be up for grabs, but tickets go on sale on January 10th and they will go fast.
Dates: February 15th to March 5th, 2023
A Broadway theater is described as a professional theater that has 500 seats or more, and Off-Broadway means the theater holds less than 500.
The smaller theaters offer a great value on live entertainment, and even more so during Off-Broadway week. One of the best things to do in February in New York City is to take advantage of the 2-for-1 deal on Off-Broadway tickets!
New York Fashion Week
Dates: February 10th to February 15th, 2023
Fashion icons and celebrities from all across the world congregate in the Big Apple to showcase all the best trends for the upcoming year.
There are runway shows at venues all across the city and even offer one on one shopping opportunities with the designers. If you’re into the fashion this is one of the best reasons to visit New York City in February. Read more here.
Kids Week at the Intrepid Museum
Dates: February 18th to February 25th, 2023
Kids Week at the Intrepid Museum is one of the best things to do in New York City in February with kids because not only will your little ones be entertained, they’ll also be learning.
Set aboard the USS Intrepid (a decommissioned WWII aircraft carrier) kiddos get to learn about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math) with special guests like NASA scientists and Broadway performers.
The daily schedule has yet to be released, but I will update this post when it does.
Notable Concerts in New York City in February
Date: February 9th, 2023 | Tickets
New York native Marc Anthony is the top selling salsa artist of all time, and the recipient of nine total Grammy Awards. That’s why checking him out at Madison Square Garden is one of the best things to do in New York City in February. If February 9th doesn’t work for you, he’ll also be performing February 11th in Newark, New Jersey.
Date: February 4th, 2023 | Tickets
Known as The Piano Man, Billy Joel is the fourth best-selling solo artist in the United States, the winner of five Grammy Awards and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
To call this guy a living legend would be understatement, therefore attending his concert at Madison Square Garden is one of the best things to do in February in New York City.
Date: February 21st, 2023 | Tickets
If you’re a country music fan one of the best things to do in New York City in February is to attend the Carrie Underwood concert at Madison Square Garden. Underwood is the recipient of eight Grammy, 12 Billboard, and 17 American Music Awards making her one of the most decorated artists of all time.
Date: February 24th, 2023 | Tickets
The greatest lyricist of all time (a hill I’m willing to die on) Nas will be performing a one night only event in New York City in February. The rapper has been nominated for a staggering 16 Grammy Awards and will be performing the entirety of his Kings Disease trilogy of albums.
Yo Yo Ma with the New York Philharmonic
Date: February 28th, 2023 | Tickets
Not only is Yo Yo Ma one of the most decorated musicians in the world, the guy has a Presidential Medal of Freedom! Pair him with the New York Philharmonic and you have one of the best events in New York City in February. Tickets will cost you a pretty penny, but this is sure to be one of the best concerts of the entire year.
Pros of visiting New York City in February
- Flights and hotels are typically less expensive
- Discounted events (Broadway, restaurants, Hotel Week)
- Fewer crowds than usual
Cons of visiting New York City in February
- Inclement weather
- Early sunsets
- You’ll have to pack & carry layers
Best things to do in New York City in February (Post Summary)
- Visit Grand Central Terminal on its birthday
- Winter Dog Days at Governors Island
- Jerry Seinfeld at the Beacon Theatre
- Golden Girls Kitchen
- Winter Jam NYC
- Go to a Basketball Game
- Celebrate National Pizza Day
- Brews at Brookfield Place
- Watch the Super Bowl
- Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade
- WWE Monday Night Raw
- Celebrate Valentines Day
- Or name a roach after your ex at the bronx zoo
- Go to a New York Rangers game
- Cozy up at an independent bookstore
- Celebrate President’s Day
- Celebrate National Margarita Day
- Amateur Night at the Apollo Season Opener
- Jurassic World Live
- Sesame Street Live
- The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden
- Bumper Cars at Bryant Park
- Check out a discounted Botanical Garden
- Restaurant Week
- Broadway Week
- Hotel Week
- Must See Week
- Off-Broadway Week
- New York Fashion Week
- Kids Week at the Intrepid Museum
- Marc Anthony
- Billy Joel
- Carrie Underwood
- Yo Yo Ma with the New York Philharmonic
Map of New York City February Activities
And there you have it folks, the best things to do when visiting New York City in February!
I hope you found the article useful, cheers.