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Things to Do in NYC in February

February 3, 2017 - by City Guide News Desk
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February in New York may be sunk in winter, but the city is as vibrant as ever, with theater, culture, dining, and nightlife scenes all going full-bore. Shoppers can take advantage of some great sales over President's Week, and lovers can mark the 14th in red for Valentine's Day. We've also got Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year celebrations, Restaurant Week, Broadway Week, and Fashion Week. For the best of New York in February, check out our rundown below. Peruse our suggestions on Where to Get Pampered for Valntine's Day and Where to Dine for Valentine's Day!

Things to Do in New York in February: Exhibits

The Orchid Show

(2/18-4/9) The Orchid Show: Thailand celebrates its 15th year at The New York Botanical Garden with an homage to the wealth of orchids and rich cultural history of Thailand. Thailand is home to more than 1,200 native orchid species and over the last century it has become the leading exporter of cultivated tropical orchids in the world. Native and hybrid orchids alike have become synonymous with the nation, where the environment is so hospitable to orchids that the dazzling flowers even grow on the trees that line public streets.

This year’s exhibition in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will feature an astonishing array of blooming orchids in a lush tropical garden, including a rainbow of vanda orchids, whose large patterned blooms are widely popular in Thai gardens and homes. The show culminates in a jaw-dropping scene of a large arched façade in the style of a traditional Thai pavilion—festooned with hundreds of exquisite orchids. Round out your visit with tours, orchid care demonstrations, expert Q&As, and more. And on select nights, Orchid Evenings return with after-hours viewings of the exhibition featuring cocktails, dance, and music.


(now-5/21) I'm Nobody! Who Are You: The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson at Morgan Library & Museum. Bringing together nearly one hundred rarely seen items, including manuscripts and letters, I'm Nobody! Who are you?—a title taken from her popular poem—is the most ambitious exhibition on Dickinson to date. It explores a side of her life that is seldom acknowledged: one filled with rich friendships and long-lasting relationships with mentors and editors.

(now-4/23/17) Also on display at the New-York Historical Society are two revealing exhibits:Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing and "I Am The King of the World"Photographs of Muhammad Ali by George Kalinsky. The complementary exhibits, one by a watercolor painter/sketch artist and one by a Madison Square Garden photographer, offer an intimate perspective of the heavyweight boxing champion's trailblazing career. Both shows come from a place of deep respect and trust;  they chronicle highlights and low points, as well as capturing Ali's sometimes quieter, more thoughtful interior life. 

(2/3-4/30/17) Tattooed New York at the New-York Historical Society explores more than 300 years of tattoo culture. The exhibit will feature more than 250 works dating from the early 1700s to today—exploring Native American body art, tattoo craft practiced by visiting sailors, sideshow culture, the 1961 ban that drove tattooing underground for three decades, and the post-ban artistic renaissance.

(now-3/10) Tales of Our Time at the Guggenheim Museum showcases the works of Chia-En Jao, Kan Xuan, Sun Xun, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Tsang Kin-Wah, Yangjiang Group, and Zhou Tao. The exhibit will explore the concept of geography, and specifically, the definition of a “nation-state” through unique perspectives that incorporate individual and collective memory, technological developments, and upended traditions.

(now-4/23/17) Prolific NYC filmmaker Martin Scorsese is the subject of a new exhibition opening Dec. 11 at Astoria's Museum of the Moving Image. In addition to exploring his films, the exhibit grants visitors unprecedented access to his personal storyboards (including one he made when he was 11 years old!), screenplays, photos, props, costumes, letters written to him by various directors including Frank Capra, Steven Spielberg, Paul Schraeder, actor Robert DeNiro, and others.

(now-2/5/17) Explore contemporary art and design through a craft lens at The Museum of Arts and Design, an intimately sized museum in the heart of Columbus Circle. MAD offers five exhibition floors, open artist studios, an award-winning store, and an iconic restaurant, Robert, with spectacular views of Central Park. The new exhibit Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit celebrates the collaboration between Oregon-based artist Chris Antemann and the renowned MEISSEN Porcelain manufactory, founded in 1710. Antemann’s limited editions are displayed here in an installation that reinvents and refreshes the figurative tradition

(New! Permanent) The Museum of the City of New York presents NY at Its Core. Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core presents the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition.

(ongoing) On the Line: Intrepid and the Vietnam War at the Intrepid, Sea, Air & Space Museum tells the thstory of the aircraft carrier's three tours during the Vietnam War, between 1966 and 1969.

(now-2/19/17) Night Fever: New York Disco 1977-1979, the Bill Bernstein Photographs at the Museum of Sex explores the sexually and socially radical multiculturalism embraced by the New York disco clubs of the late '70s. The exhibition assembles 40 photographs from Bill Bernstein, taken from 1977 to 1979, accompanied by audio interviews, in an immersive installation that invites viewers to experience the freedom and intoxication of the disco era. 

Things To Do in New York in February: Comedy

Jerry Seinfeld

(2/9) Jerry Seinfeld: The Homestand at the Beacon Theatre.


(2/2-2/4) Ian Bagg at Gotham Comedy Club.

(2/10) Jim Jeffries: The Unusual Punishment Tour, stops at Beacon Theatre

(2/19) An Evening with Ralphie May at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

(2/23-2/25) Pablo Francisco at Gotham Comedy Club

(2/26-2/27) Bruce Bruce at Gotham Comedy Club.

Things To Do in New York in February: Kids

(2/13-2/26) Sesame Street Live at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. 

Ringling Bros. Presents Out of This World

(2/25-3/6) Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Present Out of This World at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.


Kids Week at Intrepid

(2/20-2/25) Kids Week aboard The Intrepid offers a jam-packed week of activities for children ages 5-13. (9am-5pm)! Registration required.  This year's theme is Science & Games. 

Things To Do in New York in February: Nightlife 

(2/28) It's Fat Tuesday! Check out Geoge Clinton and P. Funkadelic at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill for a special Mardi Gras celebration. 


(1/23-2/10) NYC Restaurant Week. Hundreds of the city’s most popular restaurants will be participating, including Benjamin Steakhouse, Le Colonial, Mario’s Restaurant, The River Café, Fig & Olive, Il Buco, and Morton’s The Steakhouse. Enjoy prix-fixe meals that only cost $29 for lunch and $42 for dinner.

(2/9) Neil Gaiman: Norse Mythology at The Town Hall. In an exclusive event, author Neil Gaiman introduces and reads from his new book, Norse Mythology (2017, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.), a dazzling version of the great Norse myths. 7pm. 

(2/11-2/12) Bring someone special to enjoy a romantic Valentine's Day Weekend at New York Botanical GardenStroll through the expansive Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, talk to guides on hand about the many aphrodisiac plants that can be found at the Garden, and enjoy expert-led chocolate discussions and tastings—all included with an All-Garden Pass. The Hudson Garden Grill will feature a special prix fixe menu alongside its seasonal winter menu.

(2/11) Patti LaBelle performs at Brooklyn's restored Kings Theatre.

(2/13-14) Enjoy a romantic New York Valentine's Day Weekend Cruises aboard Bateaux New York. Choose from brunch or dinner options.

(2/14) For something a little more risque, check out Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentine's Spectacular at Highline Ballroom.

(2/15, 2/17, 2/18) Red Hot Chilli Peppers at Madison Square Garden.

(2/17) Rick Astley at Webster Hall. 

(2/23-2/24) Ariana Grande at Madison Square Garden

(2/24) Lauryn Hill The MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! Concert Series with special guests Little Simz & JoJo Abot at Radio City Music Hall.

Things To Do in New York in February: Sightseeing 

Winter Eco Cruise with New York Water Taxi

(now-3/12) Every Sunday (*except Feb. 5), New York Water Taxi offers an Audubon Winter Cruise, complete with seal sightings around New York Harbor. 

(2/11) Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival On the weekend before Valentine’s Day, celebrate your love of Central Park’s sculptures at our sixth annual Ice Festival. Witness ice-carving artists from Okamoto Studio use electric chain saws, chisels, and picks to transform more than 6,000 pounds of ice into a glistening replica of one of the Park’s most beloved statues.

As night falls, revel among colorful lights as the Mall becomes a vibrant silent disco with live DJs, all to celebrate the Central Park Conservancy's preservation efforts. 3pm-7pm. 

Jacques Torres Chocolate

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. 

Photo by Steve Surfman

(2/13-2/14) The Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show will take place at both Madison Square Garden, with daytime sessions this year at Pier 92/94. It's basically the Super Bowl for dogs. Canines get grouped into categories like Hound, Toy, and Terrier, with a panel of 37 judges looking on. 

(2/9) 14th Annual New York Pet Fashion Show, will be held just a few days earlier, across the street, at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

Things To Do in New York in February: Ongoing

Top of the Rock

This Valentine's Day, or any day, bring a loved one to take in the breathtaking view at Top of the Rock.

Visit the sites of Friends, Seinfeld, Trainwreck, Gossip Girl, Sex and the City and many other NYC film sites with On Location Tours. 

Learn more about the fascinating history of New York City's Financial District with Wall Street Walks tours.

Grab a photo with Taylor Swift, One Direction, Lady GaGa and countless others at Madame Tussauds New York.

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's a coupon!

Zip up 100 stories in 60 seconds and see New York City atop One World Observatory.

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.

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(10/18-10/25) Looking for what to do in New York? We've got the latest on all the goings-on in NYC, from concerts to museum exhibitions to comedy to the best in city sightseeing. Read on for our picks for the best of this week in New York City. click here

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