A Fun Guide to Dry January and a Booze-Free Winter 2023 in NYC
Ice bath classes, hot new workouts, early breakfasts at top restaurants, and more to fold into your soft life routine.
Now that we’ve entered into our “new year, new-selves” era, many of us find ourselves embarking on the age-old tradition of Dry January. And whether it’s to hit the pause button on post-holiday indulgences or to simply take a break from drinking in general, here in New York City, there are loads of activities perfectly designed for an alcohol-free month (or season).
From improving your breathwork while immersed in an ice bath or sweating out toxins at the hottest new workout class to waking up hangover-free to indulge in a stellar breakfast, here’s how to have the most fun in NYC during Dry January and all winter long.
As we start the new year carrying positive affirmations and ambitious resolutions, cleanse yourself of last year’s toxic energies at one of the newest wellness centers in Brooklyn. At World Spa, visitors can refresh themselves through a variety of spa treatments including facials and massages, as well as wellness experiences like an aroma sauna, Turkish hammam, and Himalayan salt room. After or between your treatments, drop by the on-property Italian restaurant, REN, for a selection of crudo, salad, and pasta from chef Shaun Hergatt.
Cost: Admission cost from $85, treatment prices vary
Challenging your mind and body in a completely new way is the specialty at one of the city’s most talked about workout experiences, Rise Nation. Here, participants work on strength, conditioning, and mental health through choreographed climbing on a specialty machine led by an instructor. While fun beats and the latest top hits play overhead, the high-intensity 30-minute workouts are accessible for anyone at any stage of their fitness journey, although we definitely recommend that newbies start off with a Level 1 class.
Cost: Single classes at $30
Thursday, January 12, 7 pm
One incredible way to kick off 2023 is by uplifting our local communities here in New York City. Among the many fantastic ways to give back, the non-profit Rainbow Railroad—which dedicates itself to protecting and relocating LGBTQIA+ folks who are facing oppression and persecution—is hosting a storytelling-centric fundraising event this month. At the Road to Freedom Literary Festival, the audience will be able to experience celebrated queer authors reading passages from their most pivotal works.
Cost: Tickets from $160
Reward yourself for not having a hangover with a post-worthy breakfast spread
Lean into Dry January (and your lack of hangovers plus Sunday scaries) by treating yourself to a stellar breakfast spread.
One of the most popular spots is Breakfast by Salt’s Cure in the West Village, where griddle cakes in flavors like Apple, Banana Nut, and The OG (served with cinnamon molasses butter) are accompanied by plates like The Basic (eggs, toast, sausage, jam). Another spot where the breakfast crowd is now flocking to is none other than one of the city’s hottest eateries, Bonnie’s. On the newly debuted food program, guests can dig into tasty plates like Golden Lava French Toast (salted duck egg custard french toast, condensed milk) and Steamed Fried Egg Sandwich (Spam, American cheese, sesame milk bun).
For early AM bites in Manhattan check out the East Coast’s first outpost of the Los Angeles favorite, Gjelina; chef Greg Baxtrom’s latest culinary venture called Five Acres at Rockefeller Center; and the first NYC outpost of the Argentinian restaurant brand, Mostrador. We’d also be remiss not to mention the all-day breakfast menu at Long Island City’s standby of Court Square Diner and the sought-after biscuit sandwiches from Brown Butter in Bed-Stuy.
While we’re obsessed with the Big Apple’s collection of iconic outdoor ice skating rinks, this month, a big-name newcomer introduces an indoor contender into the mix. Set 100 floors up at the Edge observation deck’s Sky Skate, guests can glide around the enclosed synthetic skate rink while overlooking unparalleled city views during 30-minute sessions. After you’ve perfected your toe loop and salchow, explore the outdoor sky deck or warm up with a seasonal snack from the Edge’s bar like hot chocolate and Belgian waffles.
Cost: Tickets from $10
Music lovers are in for a treat! One of Brooklyn’s hottest music venues, Elsewhere, is soon to debut a new music membership program that offers guests deals on entry, ticket, coat check, merch, and more. With three levels of membership, costs range from $2–30 per month and offer die-hard fans an economical approach to their hobby of hitting up events every week. Check out the full list of upcoming shows on their website.
Cost: Memberships from $2
Founded in Los Angeles in 2019 by Dr. Jonathan Leary, Remedy Place—a club and innovative treatment center known for drawing famous clientele like Kim Kardashian and Kasey Musgraves—now operates an East Coast outpost in the Flatiron District. Popular for its “social wellness club” concept, which encourages self-care, one of the most sought-after treatments is the Breathwork Ice Bath Class. Here, guests follow guided breathing exercises before a submersion in 38 degree water, which helps manage stress, reduce inflammation, and increase energy. Afterwards, go for infrared saunas, lymphatic compression suits, cryotherapy, cupping, acupuncture, and more.
Cost: Breathwork ice bath classes at $50 per session
Hall des Lumières, the new immersive digital art center at 49 Chambers, recently made its debut with Gustav Klimt: World in Motion, an exhibition celebrating the iconic Austrian painter. Within the more-than-a-century-old building formerly home to the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, and hosted in collaboration with Equinox Group, start a morning by participating in a 45-minute vinyasa yoga session, while surrounded by glowing projections of Klimt’s most famous works. Mats are included upon arrival and guests are treated to 15-minutes of gratuitous exploration around the exhibit after the end of class.
Cost: Tickets from $50
Embark on a mocktail crawl across the city
While New York City is infamous for its dance clubs, world-class bars, and singles watering holes, there are also plenty of options for a more laid-back night out with palatable mocktails courtesy of the city’s top restaurants and bars.
In Greenpoint, pull up to the newly debuted Bar Americano for non-alcoholic libations like the SanBitter Rosso (orange, olive), accompanied by bar bites such as Fried Marcona Almonds. Over in NoMad, head to one of the area’s shiny newcomers at The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad called Nubeluz for an Emerald Coin (honeydew, lemongrass, celery) or Firefly (saffron, Thai basil). Additionally, the recently revived cocktail destination, Milady’s, boasts a full mocktail program with specialties like the Puttin On The Spritz (macadamia nut syrup, passion fruit, lemon). And for even more notable hotspots offering booze-free mocktails, there’s The Nines in NoHo, Bar Calico in Kips Bay, and Iris in Midtown. Also, keep tabs on where the traveling concepts of Listen Bar and Absence of Proof are planning to pop up next.
Explore chic zero-ABV liquor stores for tastings and new bar cart faves
After operating as a roving pop-up over the past year and debuting its West Village brick-and-mortar during the fall, Sèchey has established itself as one of the hottest new spots for all of your delicious (and super chic) zero-ABV necessities. As a dependable resource for when in the mood to concoct spirit-free drinks, peruse shelves of non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits, alongside eclectic ingredients like aromatic bitters and botanical elixirs.
Similarly, Boisson is another solid source for spirit-free libations in the city. At their recent Rockefeller Center debut, celebrate Dry January with a Non-Alcoholic “Stock the Bar” Kit Bundle, which features spirit-free tequila, bourbon, mezcal, and rum, as well as a bottle of bitters. In-store programming includes an expansive range of tastings at the Midtown store, as well as at its five current locales in Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, West Village, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side.
When the sludgy city sidewalks start to lose their charm, a picturesque ski getaway is in order. Luckily for us New Yorkers, there are plenty of idyllic winter landscapes nearby whether you’re a budding newbie or avid enthusiast. Within five hours of New York City, there’s Jiminy Peak in Hancock, Massachusetts, which receives 100% of its electricity from renewable sources like alternative wind power; Blue Mountain in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, which lays claim to the state’s highest vertical drop at 1,082 feet; and Windham Mountain in the Catskills, where guests can ski, snowboard, snowshoe, snowmobile, and more.