Have more fun in NYC this February


February can be a long month for students: the snow and cold weather have lost their Christmas charm, spring break seems far away and the frenetic energy of new classes is dissolving into exhaustion. But just because February is the shortest month, it doesn’t have to be the dullest. There’s always something to do in New York, and February is no exception.

From unique new flavors to another 2013 New Year celebration, here are seven ways you can make February a little brighter on a college budget:

"Banana Peel" hot chocolate at The City Bakery. Photo by Alex Nykamp.

1.      Sip a different kind of hot chocolate daily at The City Bakery

The restaurant’s 21st Annual Hot Chocolate Festival features a different flavor of their famous coco every day for the entire month of February. With 28 possibilities, flavors are bound to get creative, and some are just plain bizarre: from Lemon to Chili Pepper to Banana Peel. Head over on Feb. 17 to try “Sunken Treasure”—their classic hot chocolate with submerged caramel coins and chocolate truffles. (3 West 18th Street. View the drink schedule here.)

2.      Ring in the New Year – again

Didn’t keep up with your resolutions? Make new ones at the Chinese Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony, where half a million New Yorkers will gather in the heart of Chinatown. Celebrate the “Year of the Snake” with food booths, dancing troupes and a parade that culminates with a spectacular show of firecrackers. (Feb. 10, all day, Chinatown)

3.      People-watch at Fashion Week

Chances are you didn’t get an invite to a designer’s show, but plenty of action still takes place outside the white tents at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week. Bundle up, grab a coffee and watch a mass of fashion-conscious New Yorkers mingle around the Lincoln Center fountain, just waiting for photographers to take their picture. You might even run into a few famous faces as they make their way from the show to their cars. (February 7-14, Lincoln Center, show schedule at mbfashionweek.com)

4.      Celebrate Downton Abbey

Symphony Space will host “Selected Shorts: A Night at the Abbey” to celebrate the British television import’s new season. Actors will read book excerpts of stories similar to Downton Abbey in the roaring 1920s, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s head writer will introduce two new “Downton Sixbey” episodes, Late Night’s parody of the drama. (February 6, 7:30 p.m. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway. Tickets: $28, $15 for ages 30 and under)

5.      See a Broadway Show for half price

Broadway Week runs through Feb. 7, offering two-for-one ticket prices for shows such as Annie, Chicago, Newsies, Once and more. Off-Broadway Week features the same deal through February 10. (Get your tickets here.)

6.      Watch Jimmy Fallon rehearse his monologue

LNJF monologue tickets. Photo by Alex Nykamp.

Every afternoon before the show, Late Night’s Jimmy Fallon delivers jokes for a small test audience. Attendees are encouraged to react dramatically, and based on the audience’s reactions, script writers edit the routines for the official show. Show interns hand out tickets in the NBC Experience Store from noon to 1 p.m. on the day of the show, and the rehearsal begins at around 3 p.m. (30 Rockefeller Plaza. See the show schedule here.)

7.      Grand Central Centennial Celebration

Grand Central Terminal will look ahead to their next 100 years by celebrating the past. The festivities will kick off on February 1, with a re-dedication ceremony featuring plenty of special appearances, music and giveaways. If that doesn’t pique your interest, the return of 1913 prices might: 10¢ shoe shines, a 6¢ loaves of rye bread, 10¢ fries and more. (Feb. 1. Event schedule and features here.)