New York in February may be sunk in winter, but the city is as vibrant as ever, with theater, culture, dining, and nightlife scenes all going full-bore. During February, shoppers can take advantage of some great sales over the week of Presidents' Day, and lovers mark the 14th in red for Valentine's Day. We've also got Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year celebrations, Restaurant Week, 2-for-1 Broadway Week, and Fashion Week. For the best of New York in February, check out our rundown below.
Things to Do in New York in February: Highlights
(2/2) It's Super Bowl Sunday! Check out the Best Places To Watch Super Bowl LIV.
(1/21-2/9) NYC 2 for 1 Broadway Week returns.
(2/9) The Academy Awards are Sunday night! Read on for Where Can I Watch the Oscars in New York.
(2/10-2/11) The 2020 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is basically the Super Bowl for dogs. Canines get grouped into categories like Hound, Toy, and Terrier, with a panel of expert judges looking on. Meet & Compete sessions are held at Piers 92/94, while Madison Square Garden plays host to two main event days, including Tuesday’s anointing of the Best in Show.
(2/6) The New York Pet Fashion Show will be held just a few days earlier, across the street, at the Hotel Pennsylvania. 6-11pm. NYPetFashionShow.com
(2/1-2/29) Head over to The Oyster House at Pier A for your choice of East Coast and West Coast oysters, both served on the half shell and shucked to order. Not only is the food here worth coming back for, but the location itself is iconic, nearly a century old and loaded with nautical ephemera. The pier is over a century old, and the Pier A house is composed of 28,000 square feet, all of which deserves to be explored. For the month of February, The Oyster House will be launching $1 oysters all day Sunday! piera.com
Things to Do in New York in February: Exhibits
(2/15-4/19/20) The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham's Kaleidoscope as the orchids return to The New York Botanical Garden for the 18th year. This year's Orchid Show will feature the dazzling floral creations of Jeff Leatham, the famed artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, and floral designer to the stars. Leatham’s bold and colorful vision will unfold through captivating installations and designs transforming each gallery of the exhibition in the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a different color experience, like a turn of a kaleidoscope. See dramatically arranged orchids in arches of deliberate hues delivering a tunnel effect, along with other design surprises featuring thousands of orchids—both rare and iconic—from the Garden’s renowned collections and the finest growers in the world. nybg.org
(2/7-4/26) See It Big! Outer Space at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI). Cinema is all about space and time. This is why movies about outer space—where time does not have the same meaning as it does here on Earth—make for particularly cinematic voyages. The development of special photographic effects have made depictions of our mysterious galaxy all the more vivid and authentic as the years have passed, but even the most rudimentary representations of outer space, which have existed since the form's beginnings, have always inspired awe. No cinematic images of the mysteries of our solar system have ever been more mind-expanding than Stanley Kubrick's groundbreaking 1968 masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey (a separate exhibit, Envisioning 2001: A Space Odyssey, is open now-7/19), perhaps the most awesome film ever made—a scientifically accurate yet utterly abstract journey into the far reaches of human consciousness. Yet there have been countless other films about outer space that deserve to be seen—and to be seen big. This edition of the Museum’s signature screening series See It Big! will feature some of the century's greatest depictions of outer space, from documentaries to sci-fi spectaculars to camp satires. Upcoming films in series will include Ad Astra (2019), Solaris (1972), Barbarella (1968), Aelita, Queen of Mars (1924), Flash Gordon (1980), Dark Star (1974), Alien (1979), Gravity (2013), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Spaceballs (1987), Wall-E (2008), The Right Stuff (1983), For All Mankind (1989), Apollo 11 (2019), Interstellar (2014), and Space Is the Place (1974).
Baron Wolman. Jimi Hendrix performs at Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, February 1, 1968. Gelatin silver print. Iconic Images/Baron Wolman.
(2/14-8/23) Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution at New-York Historical Society. Immerse yourself the rock & roll world of Bill Graham (1931–1991), one of the most influential concert promoters of all time. Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution explores the life and work of the legendary music impresario who promoted the biggest names in rock music—including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones—and launched the careers of countless music luminaries at his famed Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and the Fillmore East in New York City. Unique to New-York Historical is a special, immersive audio experience, providing a musical tour through the exhibition with songs by rock superstars Aerosmith, Blondie, David Bowie, Cream, the Doors, Janis Joplin, Tom Petty, and Neil Young, among others.
(Now-5/18) The International Center of Photography recently moved into LES's Essex Crossing at 79 Essex Street. There are four new exhibits running at the same time-Tyler Mitchell: I Can Make You Feel Good, which explores ways to interpret Black identity in a positive light; Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, featuring a collection of portraits of some of the biggest names in hip-hop back from past to present including Notorious B.I.G., and others; Lower East Side: Selections form the ICP Collection, and finally James Coupe: Warriors, using the cult classic 1979 film, to explore contested notions of community, race, gender, and class in the twenty-first century.
JR (French, born 1983). The Chronicles of New York City, 2018–19 (detail). © JR-ART.NET.
(Through 5/3/2020) JR is a consummate 21st-century artist. As a young man, he began taking pictures of his fellow street-artist friends and posting them around his native France. Later, his photography projects expanded in scope and deepened in tone without losing their populist flair. Now, this celebrated artist has received the first major North American retrospective with JR: Chronicles at the Brooklyn Museum. What makes JR such a distinct voice is the way he displays his photographs, often wheat-pasting large-scale versions of his portraits, in public spaces as if they were advertisements. The exhibition is named for the artist’s new mural of New York City, which appears in the Great Hall of the museum. The image is the result of scores of interviews and photography sessions with New Yorkers during the summer of 2018, recruiting from all five of the city’s boroughs. The resulting mural features more than 1,000 New Yorkers. What better introduction to the city could you ask for? brooklynmuseum.org
Dinner and cake in Intrepid’s wardroom in October 1944. Photo from National Archives and Records Administration.
(Ongoing) Making a beautiful cake is pretty challenging, but what if you had to make it on a Navy ship, for a crew of thousands? The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s new exhibition, Navy Cakes: A Slice of History, explores the history of naval personnel and their incredible cakes.
Photograph by Thomas Lau, courtesy of Anna Sui.
(Now-2/23/2020) The World of Anna Sui celebrates one of the country’s top designers at the Museum of Arts and Design . The 75 fashion looks on display in this exhibition will showcase Anna Sui’s decades-long career, beginning with the groundbreaking fashion show in 1991 that introduced the world to her one-of-a-kind eclectic aesthetic.
(Ongoing) The popular pop-up the Museum of Ice Cream returns. Tickets start at $39.
(Ongoing) The most significant site of the Holocaust, Auschwitz was not a single entity, but a complex of 48 concentration, forced labor, and extermination camps, at which 1 million Jews—and tens of thousands of others—were murdered. Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., a new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, explores the legacy of history’s deadliest mass murder site. More than 700 original objects and 400 photographs are on display, many for the first time in North America. Among the artifacts: personal possessions, fragments of a barrack, a gas mask used by the SS, and an original German-made Model 2 freight wagon used for the deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Poland.
(Ongoing) You can experience the world of history’s most famous spy at Driven: 007 x SPYSCAPE, a new exhibition inside New York’s spy museum, SPYSCAPE. This immersive exhibition brings you into the Bond universe with sets, props, and insights about the creation of the ageless secret agent. Among the highlights: an Aston Martin DB5, the lab of Quartermaster (or Q), M16’s gadget master, concept art from Oscar-winning production designer Sir Ken Adams, and an exploration of 2012 Bond film Skyfall’s unforgettable final scene.
(Permanent) The Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image will celebrate the life and legacy of the famed Muppet creator, exploring both his prolific career and the enduring effect his work has on pop culture to this day. Visitors can expect to learn more about the creation of such beloved works as The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labryinth, as well as to discover the cutting-edge experimental works Henson made throughout his career.
Things to Do in New York in February: Comedy
(2/7-2/8) Jerry Seinfeld at the Beacon Theatre (7 & 9:30pm).
(2/7-2/8) Mark Normand at Gotham Comedy Club.
(2/21-2/22) Yannis Pappas at Gotham Comedy Club.
(2/28-2/29) Gina Brillon at Gotham Comedy Club.
Things to Do in New York in February: Kids
(2/15-2/22) Kids Week. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum hosts its annual Kids Week, encouraging a new generation to be inspired by the STEAM curriculum of Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math. Kids can interact with animals as zoologists present a kangaroo, bearded dragon, tortoise, chinchilla, ball python, alligators, and hissing cockroaches. That’s on top of music, storytimes, a physics show, an interactive performance by Gazillion Bubble Show, and even the chance to check out some actual moon rocks from Apollo missions.
(2/1) Winter Jam NYC returns to Central Park with a snowy field ready for all ages action. Look for snowshoeing, curling, ice bowling, dodgeball, and bobsled and snow cat photo ops. Plus access to a heated NYPL public reading room. 11am-3pm. Rumsey Playfield (enter 72nd Street).
(2/1-2/2) The Brooklyn Academy of Music, aka BAM, returns with the BAM Kids Film Festival 2020. Brooklyn’s favorite children’s film festival celebrates its 22nd year, presenting the best shorts and features from around the world—representing 31 countries in total. Recommend for ages 3-11.
(2/14-2/23) Sesame Street Live! Let's Party at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
For more local kids' events, check out our sister site at nymetroparents.com!
Things To Do in New York in February: Food, Music, Nightlife
(2/1, 2/4, 2/12, 2/15) Porgy & Bess. The Metropolitan Opera is in mid-stride of its inspiring 2019-20 season, packed with opera’s most talented stars, performing across a wide range of repertoire. Look for performances of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles. Conducted by David Robertson and directed by James Robinson, this marks the first time the American classic has been performed on the Met stage since 1990. A stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, and heartbreak of its inhabitants.
(2/1) Best of Brooklyn Food & Beer Festival in Industry City. Unlimited beer tastings, 20+ of the best chefs, live music.
(2/7) Tanya Tucker performs at the Town Hall.
(2/7) Chinese New Year Spectacular VI at Carnegie Hall, featuring new artists including pianist Cong Bi and Kunqu performers Jiehua Shi, Min Cheng and Qinglin Cail, as well as soprano Quan Chen, and American violinist Deni Bonet.
(2/8) Chance the Rapper at Madison Square Garden.
(2/13) Marc Anthony: OPUS Tour at Madison Square Garden.
(2/13-2/14) Lumineers at Barclays Center.
(2/14, 2/15, 2/18) Eagles Hotel California 2020 Tour at Madison Square Garden.
(2/20) Jill Scott: Words and Sounds VOl. 1 20th Anniversary Tour at Radio City Music Hall.
(2/27-3/2) Widespread Panic at the Beacon Theater.
Things to Do in New York in February: Sightseeing
(2/9) Chinese Lunar New Year Parade & Festival. Check out Chinatown's annual Lunar New Year celebration for stunning visuals, tantalizing treats and impressive performances. This street party features all sorts of vendors, food and festivities for all ages to welcome the Year of the Rat. The parade route goes from Mott & Canal to Chatham Square to East Broadway towards the Manhattan Bridge, completing on Eldridge and Forsyth Streets towards Grand Street next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Starts at 1pm.
(Ongoing) Sweets for the Sweet! Grab your honey or friend this Valentine's Day for a cozy ride aboard A Slice of Brooklyn's Chocolate Tour, TripAdvisor's top-rated NYC tour company A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours has launched its Brooklyn Chocolate Tour, which visits artisanal chocolate sites Jacques Torres Chocolate in DUMBO, The Chocolate Room in Cobble Hill, Raaka in Red Hook, and Li-Lac Chocolates in Industry City, Sunset Park. Offered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Things to Do in New York in February: Ongoing
This Valentine's Day, or any day, bring a loved one to take in the breathtaking view at Top of the Rock.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium brings people of all ages face-to-face with the world's most unbelievable curiosities. With 18,000 square feet of astonishing artifacts and exciting interactive exhibits. Here is a coupon!
Grab the family or a friend for a spin on the iconic Rockefeller Ice Skating Rink.
Weather in New York in February
January is the city’s coldest month, so February sees temperatures on the rise. Pack your heavy parka and coats, scarves, and gloves, because low temperatures average around 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-3°C), with average highs getting only up to 44° (7°C). You can expect some outlier days, warmer or colder, with extremes of weather (wind, snow, sleet, freezing rain) not uncommon. Days are short, with about 6 hours of light, but getting longer. The chances of being in New York on a snowy day in February? The averages say that’s about six in 28.