New York | January 4, 2022 12:30 pm

22 Things to Look Forward to in NYC in 2022

Let's try this again, shall we?

A view of the Empire State Building and the Manhattan skyline
A view of the Empire State Building and the Manhattan skyline
Oliver Lopez Asis/Getty

Part of the magic of living in New York City is the exciting (and sometimes scary) feeling that you never know what might happen next. The only thing you do know is that something will always happen: restaurant openings and closings, big events we get excited for every single year, Broadway shows that have us singing on our commute to work the next day.

There are many unknowns as we barrel into the year 2022, a majority caused or exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but what we do know is that New Yorkers will always find a way to plug on in the face of adversity. It helps that what we do already know about the year ahead is a slew of exciting moments to look forward to. 

In the spirit of the new year, we’ve packed them into this list to help set you off on the right foot. So, let’s collectively agree to screw our resolutions to hit the gym this year and instead just tick as many boxes as possible off this list of 22 things we’re looking forward to in 2022.

Needless to say, if you’re feeling sick, please forget everything we just said and stay home.

Catch a new show on Broadway 

After Broadway was forced to take an extended hiatus due to the pandemic, it’s exciting to think about the new shows and talent that will grace those legendary stages in 2022. First on the docket is the classic musical Funny Girl, starring the hilarious screen star Beanie Feldstein. Others to look forward to include Paradise Square, about a New York neighborhood of yesteryear, The Little Prince and Skeleton Crew

Make time to visit Broadway’s first museum

Starting summer 2022, you’ll want to schedule some extra time before the show to learn about the history of Broadway in a way that’s never been previously possible. The Museum of Broadway is set to open on 45th Street, and will provide guests with an interactive and immersive experience. 

Dine during New York Winter Restaurant Week

Dining in New York is expensive, that is undebatable. That’s why we’re obsessed with Restaurant Week, which is returning to the city on January 18 until the day before Valentine’s Day. Reservations open on January 11th, and diners will be able to choose from a new trio of pricing options: $21, $39 or $125. The new pricing trio allows for more restaurants to participate and creates more options for diners — a win-win.

outtdoor dining safety
A server patrols his restaurant’s makeshift patio in Midtown Manhattan
Noam Galai/Getty

Schedule a staycation at the Fifth Avenue Hotel

Tired of your apartment? Us too. Next time you’re ready for an escape that requires zero travel, pack your duffle for an overnight stay at the soon-to-open Fifth Avenue Hotel. The luxe hotel, located in NoMad, was once known as 250 Fifth Avenue before undergoing a seven-year, $200 million complete renovation. 

Check out the revitalized Rockefeller Center

If you haven’t paid a visit to the Rockefeller Center recently, you’re in for a real surprise. The reinvigorated center is on its way to becoming one of NYC’s top dining destinations and has tons of restaurant openings on the books for 2022. We plan on swiftly making reservations for Atomix (the fine-dining sister to Atoboy), Frenchette’s and grabbing a beer at Other Half Brewing.

Relax at the new spa on Governors Island 

Governors Island has already lived many lives, and is seemingly on the verge of starting another. Once an Army and Coast Guard base, the island is now the backdrop for popular events such as the Brooklyn Music Festival and the Jazz Age Lawn Party. Starting this spring, it will also be a wellness destination thanks to the opening of the new QC NY spa — complete with several outdoor infinity pools, steam rooms and more.

Catch the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the US

Sorry if reading this slightly misleading headline immediately conjured ideas in your head about football or baseball — that title actually belongs to the Westminster Dog Show. New York will be hosting the legendary display of top-tier pups at a TBD date thanks to the Omicron variant. 

See Elton John in concert (for the last time ever) 

We know what you’re thinking: “didn’t Elton John already complete his final tour?” Well, yes and no. He started it back in 2018 with the intention of playing over 300 shows worldwide, but eventually COVID got in the way of that. Now, the legendary performer is heading, for the last time, to Madison Square Garden in February and Barclays Center in March. 

Elton John performs onstage at the 28th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards
Elton John performs onstage at the 28th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards
Michael Kovac/Getty

Connect with your inner bookworm at the 61st annual edition of the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair 

Book lovers, rejoice. This year’s International Book Fair will take place from April 21-24 at the Park Avenue Armory, and feature over 200 exhibitors showcasing everything from rare books and first editions to maps, historical documents, illustrations, illuminated manuscripts and more. 

Experience the final part of the In America: a Lexicon of American Fashion exhibition

September 2021 is when the first part of the now-acclaimed In America: A Lexicon of American Fashion exhibition first opened at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute. On May 7, the second and final part, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will make its debut to tell the history of the American Wing period rooms through sartorial narratives.

Celebrate the return of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade

After facing cancellations two years in a row, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade will be back this year. On June 18, mermaids will once again return to the boardwalks of Coney Island to splash around and be where the people are. This year will mark 40 years of the quirky annual tradition. 

Get an inside peek of a legendary New York photographer’s studio

From January 14 until March 5, visitors are invited to see inside New York photographer and director Jerry Schatzberg’s Gramercy studio thanks to the Fotografiska exhibition, 25th & Park. Schatzberg is best known for the iconic portraits he took of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and more.

Luxuriate at the long-awaited Aman New York hotel

Even if you haven’t heard of AMAN — the incredibly bougie and notoriously private hospitality brand — you’ve almost surely seen photos of celebs basking in the sun at Amangiri in Utah. This year, their New York property is finally set to open on 57th Street, and will feature a jazz club and functioning fireplaces in each room.

Let An Almanac of New York City for the Year 2022 guide you through your best year yet

If you’re really looking to squeeze the most out of 2022 (and who could blame you), follow along with Susan Gail Johnson’s New York City almanac — the first volume of what will now become an annual series. The book serves as a planner and a day-by-day guide of what is happening in NYC: cultural events, sports, holidays, historical anniversaries, weather predictions, the night sky and more.

Witness legends colliding during a performance of Penelope at Carnegie Hall

Run don’t walk to Carnegie Hall on January 23 for the premiere of Penelope, a collaboration between composer André Previn and playwright Tom Stoppard to retell the story of “the woman who stood strong awaiting the return of her wandering husband, Odysseus.” Renowned soprano Renée Fleming leads the cast, along with Uma Thurman as the narrator and musical accompaniment by the Emerson String Quartet. 

Celebrate the first school holiday Juneteenth at this NY festival

While Juneteenth (June 19th) has been celebrated by people across the country for over a century, the significant date finally received more widespread recognition in 2020 thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement. This year, it will be recognized officially as a school holiday on Monday, June 20. 

Run (or cheer) during the New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon is one of those rare sporting events where you’re cheering for everyone to succeed, and it feels so good to do so. It’s a bonding event for all New Yorkers — participants, cheerleaders and casual spectators. If you’re thinking about running this year, it’s important to note the new requirement that anyone taking part must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. 

Runners cross the Verrazano Bridge to begin the NYC Marathon
Runners cross the Verrazano Bridge to begin the NYC Marathon
Drew Levin/Getty

 Try the new Sushi Noz (Noz 17) in Chelsea

While chef Junichi Matsuzaki’s Sushi Noz is currently sitting pretty with a Michelin star, the acclaimed chef has been working on unveiling a second omakase concept in Chelsea. Noz 17 finally opened on December 21 after a series of hurdles thanks to supply chain issues and more, where diners can take part in a 30 to 35-course omakase in a bite-sized format. 

Check out an immersive Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition

Revolutionary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat helped shine a light on the Black experience in America, and his work is regularly exhibited around the world — but not like this. A new exhibition opening April 9 will give art appreciators a chance to view 200 never-before-seen and rarely seen works by Basquiat. 

See the return of one of the Met’s most exquisite operas

Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos will return to the Met for the first time since 2011, with limited showings throughout the month of March. 

Volunteer, and celebrate, at NYC’s LGBTQ+ Pride 

This year, Pride is returning to New York bigger and better than ever with beloved events such as Pride Island, The March and PrideFest. Show your support for the community by volunteering, and then hit the bars to celebrate. 

Get your sake on with the return of Joy of Sake’s annual festival

For sake lovers and the sake-curious, Joy of Sake’s annual New York festival is finally returning to the city this fall after a two year COVID break. Pours of over 500 different labels from around Japan and beyond will be available to taste, as well as sake-themed appetizers.