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Start the new year in New York State in style by warming up with a host of fun, exciting, and delicious events! Whether you want to take in a two-for-one show on Broadway, catch one of the most celebrated rock bands on their final tour, or embrace the great outdoors, New York State has must-dos for everyone!
Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available.
Start the new year in nature with a First Day Hike! All are invited to explore the great outdoors and beautiful wintry scenes of New York State parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, canal trails, and public lands on January 1st, 2024. Choose from around 100 hike options of varying settings, lengths, and experience levels, including Olana, Letchworth, Allegany, and Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park. This family-friendly tradition is in its 13th year and only continues to grow. No matter where you are in New York, there is a First Day Hike for you. Find your hike here.
Mark your calendars to embrace the arts at the Athens Cultural Center! Discover new exhibitions, connect with fellow art enthusiasts, and unwind with a refreshing drink in hand every first Friday of the month, from 5 PM to 7 PM, as the center opens its doors to celebrate the rich tapestry of culture and creativity that defines the local community. Best of all, it’s absolutely free to attend! Athens, free.
Weekends, January 12–January 28
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Come out for some winter fun and celebrate your love of hockey at the Binghamton Pond Festival. Held at Chenango Valley State Park, it is one of the few outdoor hockey events using mechanical refrigeration, allowing for great ice in temperatures exceeding 50 degrees or in full sun. Catch thrilling tournaments, hockey trivia, free hockey lessons for kids, and even fireworks! Bring a camp chair, your four-legged friend on a leash, or some friends and get ready to have a great time. Chenango Forks; Free admission; $10 suggested parking donation.
January 16–February 4
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Trust us, you don’t want to miss this. From January 16 – February 4, you can score some of the best deals on dining, Broadway shows, tours, museums, and hotels with NYC Winter Outing. From new takes on established classics to star-studded modern masterpieces, enjoy the best of Broadway with 2-for-1 tickets to some of the biggest hits. Make it a dinner and a show kind of night by indulging in NYC Restaurant Week. Make the most of your visit and stay at one of the city’s most celebrated hotels for NYC Hotel Week at a discount and get 2-for-1 tickets to some of the biggest attractions, tours, and museums during NYC Must-See Week. New York City; Prices vary.
You’ll be filled with “Sweet Emotion” as four-time GRAMMY® award-winning and diamond-certified rock legends Aerosmith bring their PEACE OUT tour with special guest The Black Crowes to Buffalo’s KeyBank Center. Don’t miss this chance to see one of the most significant American rock bands in history one last time during their final tour. Rock out to the classics like “Dream On,” “Walk this Way” and more as you celebrate five decades of Aerosmith’s groundbreaking hits. Buffalo, prices vary.
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Immerse yourself in a weekend of cool sounds and spirited jams at the annual Jazz on the Mountain music festival taking place within the Hudson Valley’s iconic Mohonk Mountain House. Pianist Pete Malinverni brings a celebration of jazz to the mountaintop honoring the legacies of Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Mahalia Jackson, and Peggy Lee with performances by today’s brightest stars. Your stay at the hotel will include three meals daily, using locally sourced ingredients from their farm-to-table partners, yoga, meditation, and fitness classes, afternoon tea and cookies in the historic Lake Lounge, an indoor heated pool with underwater music, and more! New Paltz; performances free with dinner or lodging reservations.
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With its unique collection of fine restaurants and cafes, quaint shops and galleries, antique shops and cozy lodging, the picturesque village of Ellicottville in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region is a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. January 18-20, you’re invited to the village to enjoy the best blues bands in the region at the village’s big Winter Blues Weekend. You’ll find terrific blues music at over a dozen of the village’s bars and restaurants. It’s a great way to keep warm on a cold winter weekend! Ellicottville; Prices vary.
Feel like you’re stepping into a picture-perfect winter postcard at the Salmon River Winter Festival. Celebrate the best of winter fun with ice skating, snowshoeing, and a meet-and-greet with sled dogs before filling up at the Chili Walk and Mac n’ Cheese Walk. Make sure to bring your appetite as more than a dozen restaurants and taverns compete in the festival’s 2024 Great Food Challenge, with the event set for Friday, January 19 (Mac & Cheese); Saturday, January 20 (Wings), and Sunday January 21 (Chili). Pulaski; Free admission, but $5 for ballot to serve as a food judge in the challenges on day of participation.
January 19-21 and January 26-28
It’s time to get funky! Discover the beauty of winter, embrace the cold, and conquer the ice at the Funky Ice Festival, hosted at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery in Lake George. Browse a gallery of hand-carved ice sculptures, chill out with a hand-crafted cocktail or local beer at one of the ice bars, and bust a move under the disco ball to your favorite 70s funk hits. Lake George; free.
Embrace the chill at Grafton Lakes State Park during the 39th Winter Festival! Join snowshoe adventures with LL Bean, meet Uncharted Wildlife’s live animals, catch the park’s animal rehabber with her birds of prey, savor delights from local food trucks, take a ride on a kick sled, and more! The fun all kicks off with a Polar Plunge, hosted by the Knights of Columbus. Grafton; free.
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The annual Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival is a three-day celebration that spotlights the capital city’s restaurants, chefs and their innovative cuisine, and educates consumers on healthy, sustainable agriculture. It also offers sustainable funding for the support and preservation of the not-for-profit arts community in Albany, raising nearly $1.5 million to date. The festival highlights include the Mayor’s Reception, Grand Tastings & Seminars, Slider Slam, and Grand Gala 5-course dinner hosted at the Albany Capital Center. Albany; Prices vary.
The Expo Center of the New York State Fairgrounds will be the setting for The New York Sportsman’s Expo, an exciting weekend of exhibits showcasing the latest in products, travel, and entertainment for hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Featuring over 200 vendors along with the largest indoor fishing catch-and-release trout pond in the Northeast, and the popular National Dock Dogs competition, the Expo gives attendees direct access to manufacturers, retailers, outfitters, and charters from across the globe. Syracuse; Adults (ages 13 to 64) $15; Seniors, Military, Police & Children (ages 6-12) $13; Children (6 and under) free.
January 28–February 4
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Enjoy eight days of delicious deals featuring a diverse selection of some of the finest food on the East Coast during Long Island Restaurant Week. Each participating restaurant will offer its own unique three-course prix fixe meals for $29, $39, and $46 all night, every night they are open, except Saturday, when the offer is good until 7 p.m. As part of the promotion, restaurants will also be offering 2-course lunches for $24. Long Island; Prices vary.