What to Do in New York in February

This post lists the top things to do in New York in February (updated for 2020), including free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly events and activities. 

 

 


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN FEBRUARY 

This is our list of the ten best events and things to do in NYC in February. For even more suggestions, see our comprehensive guide to things to do in NYC.  

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.

For tips on the most popular activities in NYC, check out the following posts:


1) Go to a Concert 

Warm yourself up at a concert with some of the hottest stars coming to town in February. Below we list the highlights in February.

For a larger list of concerts, see what’s on in February.

 

 

See who else is playing this month.


2) Attend a Sports Event

February is perfect for seeing an ice hockey game and all three major NYC hockey teams have multiple games to choose from. 

For excitement off the ice, you can see a basketball or football game.

Sports events are also a way to spend an evening. They are also a family-friendly activity.

 

 

Ice Hockey

Basketball

Football  

You can see what other sports games are playing during the winter months by checking here.

TIP: Madison Square Garden offers All-Access Tours so you can see how this iconic arena has become a world landmark.  


3) See a Broadway Show 

February is off-peak time on Broadway and you should be able to find good prices on many shows. See what’s playing when you are in town.

 

 

For savings, take advantage of Broadway Week which runs from January 21 to February 9, 2020. During this time you can get two-for-the-price of one tickets to many Broadway shows. 

Find all the shows playing when you are in town.


4)  Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

On February 9, 2020, at 1 pm, come out to welcome in the Year of the Rat! This is one of the most festive days of the year for all New Yorkers, regardless of heritage. 

 

 

Chinatown will be filled with colorful floats, lion and dragon dancers, marching bands, and other types of performers. For more information and a map of the parade route, click here. 


5) Take a Sightseeing Tour

If the Chinatown Parade leaves you wanting more of this special neighborhood of New York City, join us for our pay-what-you-like SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown Tour.

We spend 45-minutes in Chinatown, a small neighborhood but with a huge amount of history that our guides share with you in a colorful and engaging way.  

 

 

If you can’t join us for a tour, or care to explore on your own, see our guide to Things to See in Chinatown


6) Enjoy Restaurant Week  

During Restaurant Week, more than 300 of New York City’s best restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu for a very low price, relative to their regular prices. 

In 2020, Restaurant Week takes place from January 21-February 9.

You can enjoy a 5-star meal at a top New York restaurant and pay just $26 for a 2-course lunch or $42 for a  3-course dinner.

 

 

The list of participating restaurants will be available in early January. 

See our post on how to make the most of Restaurant Week for more details.


7) Look into a Tourist Discount Pass

tourist discount pass affords you discounted entry into most of NYC’s most popular attractions.

While the passes themselves certainly aren’t free, if you plan your itineraries well, you will end up getting one or two attractions for free each day.

 

 

There are several different types of passes, so be sure to read our comparison post to learn about how you can save the most money on your trip.


8) Celebrate Black History Month

All of February is Black History Month. There will be relevant events throughout the city, but the place where you will find the best events is in Harlem.

Check out a show at the historic Apollo Theater or take a deep dive into Harlem’s history and culture on our pay-what-you-like Harlem Walking Tour.

 

 

If you want to move at your own pace, you can also use our GPS-enabled audio tour of Harlem any time. 

Our Guide to Harlem lists resources to find events, sights to see, where to eat, shop, see live music and more.


9) Go Ice Skating

In New York City you have many choices of where to skate, at varying prices and all different hours.

Of course, there is the famed Rockefeller Center Rink and the Wollman Rink in Central Park. 

 

 

A new outdoor rooftop rink has opened at Pier 17 by the South Street Seaport. As you skate, you’ll have views of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and the even Empire State Building in the distance!

To find out the many places you can go skating in the city, see our post on Where to go Ice-skating in New York City


10) Explore Grand Central

This world-famous terminal is a great place to spend some time, especially on a cold day.

While you can enjoy it just by walking around, you will learn secrets about this historic station by taking a tour.

 

 

We offer a pay-what-you-wish two-hour tour of Grand Central and also have an audio tour that can be used any time, day or night.

Our guide on what to see in Grand Central Station is filled with helpful information, so be sure to take a look. 

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN FEBRUARY

Here are some suggestions of things to do at night in February in NYC. 

Many of the activities in other sections of this post make for a great night out, like seeing a concert or Broadway show.

 

  
 

For even more ideas, see our post on things to do in New York City at night.


Broadway Week –  2 for 1 Tickets 

This month, you can get two-for-the-price of one tickets to many Broadway shows during Broadway Week which runs January 21 to February 9, 2020.

If you aren’t here during that week, there are plenty of other ways to save big on Broadway shows. See our post on how to get Broadways tickets at discounted prices


Off-Broadway Week –  2 for 1 Tickets

If you want to try something a bit different, see an “off-Broadway” show. The different terminology is not very exciting: Broadway theaters have 500 seats or more.

Off-Broadway theaters have between 99 and 499 seats. The exciting difference is that off-broadway shows are often superior to Broadway shows and charge less for tickets.

From February 10–23, 2020, you can test out this theory by taking advantage of New York City’s Off-Broadway Week where you get 2-for-1 tickets for the price of one. 


Take a Romantic Valentine’s Day Evening Cruise

Nothing beats the nighttime views from a cruise on the water just off the shore of Manhattan’s sparkling skyline.

There are many companies that offer night boat tours, some with a Valentine’s Day theme. 

See our post Which New York Boat Tour or Cruise is Best?

For a free nighttime ride, you can take the Staten Island Ferry 24 hours a day!

Our post on riding the free Staten Island Ferry has all the information you need to plan a magical, affordable voyage. 


See Jerry Seinfeld Perform

Jerry Seinfeld will be playing at the Beacon Theater on Feb. 7th and 8th (2 shows per night!) Buy tickets here

Tickets are pricey, so for those on budgets, you can find comedy all over NYC for free or almost free. See our things to do for free section below for some free weekly comedy nights you can attend.


Visit a Museum at Night 

Avoid the crowds and visit a New York museum in the evening. Some are free, others have a small cost. 

The Museum of Modern Art is open late every Friday until 9 pm. Free entry starts at 5:30 pm.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is open until 10 pm on Friday evenings. Better still, it is free to enter from 7 pm to 9:30 pm.

The Rubin Museum of Art‘s K2 parties takes place every Friday night until 10 pm. Admission is free, and food and drinks for purchase are available.

Our post on free museums in New York City has many more listings. 

Read our post on things to do in NYC at night for other after-dark activities.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO IN FEBRUARY

Here are just a few of the hundreds of free things you can do in New York City in February and year-round. 

 

 

Check our comprehensive post about Free Things to Do in NYC.  


Visit a Free Museum

Many NYC museums offer free days or free hours. If you go on these days you save yourself a bundle!

Here are just a few museums that offer free days/hours.

For a complete list see our post, Free Museums in New York.


Commemorate President’s Day 

On President’s Day on February 17, 2020, visit the free Federal Hall National Memorial where Washington was sworn in as the first president. 

See all the Trump buildings in New York City using our free self-guided tour.

If you don’t mind paying, you can say hello to Presidents Trump, Obama, Lincoln and Washington at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum


Valentine’s Day: Love in Times Square

At 6 pm on February 14th, head to Times Square for the heart-warming Love in Times Square.

This is a mass ceremony where couples renew their vows at the crossroads of the world. 

Anyone can come and watch couples pledge themselves again to each other on the famous red steps at W. 46th Street & Broadway in the heart of Times Square. 

Before or after the ceremony, discover Times Square using our guide on things to do in Times Square.


See a Free Comedy Show

You can find comedy all over New York City, at all hours and prices. But we think free is a pretty good price for a whole lot of laughs.

Here are some of the best venues to see free comedy or improvisation.

Comedy at the Knitting Factory – Sundays at 9 pm in Williamsburg

The Irish Exit – Tuesdays at 8 pm in Midtown Manhattan

Poco – Wednesdays at 8 pm in the East Village

TIP: For more venues and suggestions of how to see cheap comedy shows, see our post Stretching Your Dollar at the Best NYC Comedy Clubs.


Carnival Day in Bryant Park

Early in the month (date to be announced), you can enjoy Carnival Day.

There will be an Ice Ball, a Skating Showcase, curling lessons, musical performances, and an outdoor Winter brewhouse & Warming Lodge. 

For more suggestions, see our post on free things to do in NYC.  

 


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FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO IN FEBRUARY

Below are just a few ideas for things to do with kids in February. Many of the activities listed above such as the Chinatown Lunar Parade and seeing a sports event, are kid-friendly so be sure to look through all of this post for more ideas.

 

 

We also have a 3-day itinerary for families and our list of over 100 things to do in New York City which includes dozens of kid-friendly activities. 


Kid’s Night on Broadway

On February 25, 2020, children 18 and under can attend participating Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. Tickets go on sale in December.  Find out more here.

To save money on Broadway tickets all year long, see our post on how to get discount Broadway theater tickets for all the tips and tricks.

For other ways to find deals and discounts on Broadway shows, click here.  


Take a Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour   

Hop-on-hop-off bus tours are especially good for young children who can tire easily from a day of sightseeing.

They have the additional advantage in February of being nice and warm – something the whole family can enjoy!

Our post The Best Hop-On, Hop-Off NYC Bus Tours can help you decide which is best for you and your family. 


Sesame Street Live!

This interactive show is back again this year from Feb 14 – Feb 23, 2020. This is sure to be a big hit with the little ones in your group.

This year’s theme is all about Elmo’s quest to learn how to do magic so he can join in the gang’s magic show.

To find out how to get to Sesame Street, check their website


New York International Children’s Film Festival

From February 21 – March 15, 2020, the New York International Children’s Film Festival will be presenting thought-provoking movies about young people from around the globe.

The films are aired at various venues and they are family-friendly. Visit their website for details.

Get even more ideas from our post on the best things to do with kids in New York City.

 


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About the author

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others.

She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.