Whether you’re ringing in the New Year in Times Square or visiting later in the month, traveling to New York City in January is an exciting time.
After the festivities for New Year’s, January offers travel deals, crisp, cold weather, and plenty to see and do. In NYC, we often enjoy going to museums, shopping, and enjoying hot drinks in cafes and restaurants throughout the month.
During this month the weather is cold in the city, and it can snow and rain, so it’s important to be prepared with the right clothing. Learn from our experience of living here for over 10 years and what you need to pack to stay warm and comfortable as you explore the Big Apple.
If you plan to visit later, please read our full guide about what to wear in February in New York.
January is the coldest time of the year in NYC, so we wear plenty of layers to stay warm. There are usually snow days, and the month tends to stay cold. When you pack for your trip to New York in January, bring a winter hat, boots, gloves, a scarf, and a warm coat like a parka.
Here are the average high temperatures:
- Early January: 41°F (5°C)
- Mid-January: 39°F (4°C)
- Late January: 40°F (4°C)
A Typical Day
A typical day here in January is cold and windy, and it may snow. The temperatures tend to stay pretty consistent and cold throughout the month, with slightly colder temps during the middle and end of the month.
One thing to be aware of when you travel to New York City is that the nighttime temperatures drop during the winter months. Usually, the late afternoon is the warmest part of the day. Wearing layers and winter accessories will keep you warm for nighttime adventures during this cold month.
Daily temperature progression on a typical day in New York City:
- Early morning: 33°F
- Afternoon (2 PM): 39°F
- Evening (10 PM): 35°F
There is a significant chance of rainfall or snowfall when you travel to New York City in January. There are on average 11 rainy days and 5 snow days during the month, so you will need rain and snow gear.
January in New York City includes an average of 5 snow days. It’s important to have weatherproof boots for the snow, so you stay comfortable while sightseeing. We also wear beanies to stay warm on snowy and windy days.
What to Wear / What to Pack
When you visit New York City in January, you’ll need to pack warm with plenty of layers and winter accessories. Wear boots, jeans, a long sleeve base layer, a hoodie or sweater, a winter hat, gloves, warm socks, and a warm coat with a hood.
This month it is consistently cold, with a small drop in temperatures in the middle and end of January. It also gets colder at night, so layers are especially important for your nighttime excursions.
💡 You will want to wear a hat, gloves, boots, and a warm coat throughout the month but will especially need these winter accessories after sunset. Wear a warm base layer at all times.
There is considerable rain and snowfall in January in New York, so prepare by packing an umbrella and waterproof boots. Weatherproof boots will keep your feet warm and dry. A rain jacket or poncho will also shield you from damp days and nights.
On dry days, you can wear regular boots or even high-top sneakers during the day. At night, you will want winter boots to stay warm.
As the city can be very windy at this time of the year, wear layers and a hat to stay comfortable. Winter gloves and a scarf will also help you stay toasty, especially at night. On wet days, wear your waterproof boots and rain jacket.
New York City is a walking city, so make sure to pack comfortable walking boots. Boots will keep your feet warm during cold days and nights.
If you have room, you can also bring some warm sneakers or high-top shoes for dry days. You will need your boots at night and on wet days.
Women’s Outfit Tips
For women traveling to New York City in January, bring a warm coat with a hood, layers, winter accessories, and a pair of winter boots. You will be walking in the cold a lot so make sure your boots are warm and comfortable.
January is the coldest month in the city, so pack warm layers, including long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, hoodies, gloves, a winter hat, and a scarf. Almost half the month, it is raining or snowing, so also pack a rain jacket or poncho.
Wear a warm, long-sleeved base layer that you can dress up or dress down. Add an oversized sweater or hoodie to complete your look and stay cozy.
You’ll need a warm winter coat with a hood for your trip in January. We like to wear parkas with faux fur linings to stay warm and stylish during the winter months. Black coats are a staple in the city, and they don’t show subway dirt.
Boots are everything for city life in the winter here. On most days, we wear footwear that is water-resistant due to the many snowy and rainy days throughout the month. The last thing you want is cold and wet feet while exploring NYC.
Choose weatherproof snow boots that have good grips as well as cushioned soles for walking around the city. Black boots that go at least to your ankles are perfect for winter walks in the city.
Pack warm pants like jeans for your winter getaway. Especially if you are traveling in mid- to late January or if you plan to be outdoors a lot, pack a pair of thermal underwear as well.
You may need the thermals for walking outside on cold nights or for particularly cold, windy days. Our top tip: See the last item in our recommendations above (Thermajane Long Johns Thermal Underwear via Amazon).
Since it’s cold, you’ll need winter accessories, including gloves, a hat, and a scarf. You may not need your scarf every day, but at night and on cold days, it will come in handy. Wear a hat and gloves every day.
For going out at night, bring a purse or small bag. During the day, you may need a larger purse or bag for carrying water, your wallet, and hand sanitizer.
Additionally, we highly recommend a bag with anti-theft features (see our tips via Amazon above) to keep your belongings safe in NYC!
Besides winter boots, you may want to bring warm, casual shoes such as high tops. Comfortable shoes are the most important clothing item for your trip to New York City since it’s a walking city. You will be walking to tourist attractions, around museums and nightclubs, and restaurants.
Men Outfit Tips
For men visiting New York City in January, bring layers, boots, a warm coat, and winter accessories. You’ll need jeans, sweaters or hoodies, base layers, a beanie, gloves, a scarf, and some winter boots to stay warm and comfortable during your trip.
Wear a long-sleeved shirt as a base layer and top it with a hoodie or sweater for your time in the city. Dark-colored tops will keep you warm and stay looking clean.
Bring a warm winter coat with a hood for your trip. January is the coldest month of the year in NYC, so make sure your coat is up for the job. We like to wear parkas during wintertime in the city, and a black parka (see above) is perfect for staying toasty. On particularly cold days, you can put the hood up and keep your hands in your pockets.
Jeans are versatile and warm, and you can pair them with a hoodie for a casual look or add a sweater to dress up more.
Be prepared for the cold with winter accessories, including gloves, a hat, and a scarf. You will want to wear gloves and a hat every day in January in NYC, and you may only need the scarf on cold and windy days. A scarf can protect your face from the wind and sleet or snow.
Winter boots will be your best friend in New York City in January. Bring a warm, comfortable pair of boots and you’ll be able to get around the city easily even in snow and rain. For warm, dry days you can wear some high-top casual shoes or sneakers but at nighttime and during inclement weather, you’ll need boots.
- Winter coat
- Weatherproof boots
- High-top shoes
- Base layer – long-sleeved shirts
- Sweaters and hoodies
- Beanie or winter hat
Things To Do
New Year’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year in NYC. If you want to party with the crowd, you can see the ball drop in Times Square to ring in the New Year. The rest of the month becomes much calmer, and it’s a great time to enjoy theater, nightlife, shopping, restaurants and dining, museums, and cultural activities.
Some ideas for traveling in January in NYC include:
- Seeing a Broadway show
- Shopping in Soho
- Art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum
- Try New York-style pizza
- The American Museum of Natural History
- Rooftop views from the Empire State Building
- Coffee and hot chocolate from cafes
- Bars and nightclubs in Greenwich Village and the East Village
New Year’s is one of the busiest times in New York City, especially for the ball drop in Times Square. The rest of the month is much less busy after the holidays have passed.
It’s a great month to enjoy indoor activities such as museums, restaurants, Broadway shows, and nightlife. If you are traveling on the first few days of the New Year, expect crowds at popular tourist attractions and book your tickets in advance for sites such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.