Lunar New Year Celebrations in NYC

Celebrate the The Year of the Tiger with the return of the Lunar New Year Parade. Photo courtesy of Better Chinatown Society
Celebrate the The Year of the Tiger with the return of the Lunar New Year Parade. Photo courtesy of Better Chinatown Society

Lunar New Year is one of our favorite winter celebrations in New York City. After taking a hiatus last year, many museums, cultural institutions, and community groups are once again holding in-person celebrations to usher in the Year of the Tiger, which officially starts on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, and is a public school holiday.

Often referred to as Chinese New Year, many Asian nations celebrate the Lunar New Year, and city kids can mark this cultural holiday with family-friendly celebrations throughout the five boroughs. The holiday provides an awesome opportunity to get out and explore a new-to-you neighborhood such as Koreatown and Chinatown in Manhattan, Flushing in Queens, and Sunset Park in Brooklyn.

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Be sure to check with each venue for its COVID guidelines and requirements before heading out to any event, and read more about local public safety protocols here; some events are getting canceled or postponed at the last minute due to the latest COVID surge, so always confirm details before departing.

Lunar New Year Celebration – Park Slope, Brooklyn

Saturday, January 29
Join the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in celebration of the passing of a new lunar year with an afternoon of traditional and contemporary Chinese music, a performance of the lion dance, crafts, calligraphy, and much more. The entire family can enjoy a traditional Chinese celebration of the Year of the Tiger! The event is held outdoors in the BKCM Garden and on the block. Masks are required. FREE

Lunar New Year Celebration at Socrates Sculpture Park – Long Island City

Saturday, January 29
Celebrate the Year of the Tiger at Socrates Sculpture Park, where activities include a kid-friendly workshop, self-guided scavenger hunt, and a tea blending activity. Pre-registration is required for the workshop, which is run by an educator from the nearby Noguchi Museum. FREE

LIC Partnership Lunar New Year Celebration – Long Island City

Saturday, January 29
Local businesses join forces for this community-minded celebration, anchored by a performance from the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Lion Dance Team, who grace Jackson Avenue. Court Square Park hosts family-friendly activities from businesses like Materials for the Arts, Playday LIC, Tiger J. Taekwondo, and the New York Chinese Cultural Center. FREE

Lunar New Year Celebration – Staten Island

Saturday, January 29
The New York Chinese Cultural Center presents a half-hour program at the Staten Island Children's Museum in celebration of the Year of the Tiger. Performers demonstrate Kung Fu—including an interactive element—and perform Chinese folk dances, too.

Lunar New Year Festival – Virtual

Saturday, January 29
If you want to stay in and still Celebrate the Year of the Tiger, join The Met for its online festival with exhibits, virtual performances, interactive activities, and artist-led workshops for all ages. All activities are pre-recorded for you to enjoy at your leisure, so log in when it's convenient for you. FREE

The Emperor's Nightingale – Midtown

Through Sunday, January 30
The Pan Asian Repertory Theatre celebrates the return to live theater and the celebration of the Lunar New Year with The Emperor’s Nightingale, a family-friendly stage adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Nightingale.” Set in 18th-century China, it brings to light the youthful exploits of the future Emperor Qianlong, incorporating traditional Chinese puppetry, folk songs, and calligraphy.

CMOM Year of the Tiger Celebration – Upper West Side

Saturday, January 29-Sunday, January 30 and Tuesday, February 1
Celebrate the Year of the Tiger all weekend long—and Lunar New Year proper—with kid-friendly crafts, including making roaring tiger puppets and tiger tails and veils.

RELATED: 25 Things to Do, See & Eat in Chinatown With Kids

Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival by the Better Chinatown Society Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations in NYC
Kick off the Year of the Tiger with the Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival by the Better Chinatown Society. Photo courtesy of Better Chinatown Society

Firecracker Festival – Chinatown

Tuesday, February 1
Kick off the Year of the Tiger with this annual festival in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Sponsored by The Better Chinatown Society, this annual event begins the new year with a bang, setting off thousands of firecrackers to ward off evil spirits. FREE

RELATED: 5 Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved Restaurants for Bao Buns in NYC

Lunar Ice at Brookfield Place Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations in NYC
See stunning ice sculptures courtesy of Okamoto Studios during the Lunar New Year Celebration at Brookfield Place. Photo courtesy of Brookfield Place

Lunar New Year Celebration at Brookfield Place – Battery Park City

Thursday, February 3-Saturday, February 5
Ring in the Year of the Tiger at Brookfield Place with a multi-day celebration that includes a live ice carving, kids crafts, and more. Brookfield Place joins forces with the New York Chinese Cultural Center to celebrate the holiday. FREE

Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s Lunar New Year Festival – Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Saturday, February 5
BCM hosts this Lunar New Year festival where kids can learn about the traditions of the Lunar New Year through storytelling, live music, plus a calligraphy workshop, and a rooftop lion puppet parade led by the Chinatown Community Young Lions.

RELATED: 25 Free Things To Do in NYC This Winter

The Queens Botanical Garden welcomes children and families for the Lunar New. Year's Celebration. Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations in NYC
The Queens Botanical Garden welcomes children and families for its Lunar New Year's Celebration. Photo courtesy of the garden

Lunar New Year's Celebration – Flushing, Queens

Saturday, February 5
The Queens Botanical Garden welcomes children for a Lunar New Year-themed day with activities including take-home craft kits, a community art project, Zodiac animal story time, and lion dance performances. If you can't make it on this date, there are other opportunities to celebrate and take home lucky plants from Saturday, January 22-Sunday, February 13. FREE

Lunar New Year Celebration at Local Roots – Carroll Gardens

Saturday, February 5
Head to Local Roots Market and Cafe to usher in the new year with a lion dance meant to bring luck to the new store. A performance by Miss Juicy Liu, and a dumpling-making class follows in the open kitchen.

Lunar New Year Celebration at the Queens Museum – Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Sunday, February 20
The Queens Museum teams up with the New York Chinese Cultural Center to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. Festivities include kung fu and dance demonstrations from NYCCC performers, plus a calligraphy workshop. Families can get in on the action by participating in a hands-on prayer flag workshop and add their handiwork to a collaborative installation or create garlands to take home. 

Bonus: The Museum of Chinese in America is hosting a week-long virtual family festival from Friday, February 4-Friday, February 11, and the full festival schedule can be found online.

RELATED: NYC Winter Fun List: 40 Things To Do With Kids

Lion Dancers celebrate Lunar New Year in Chinatown Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations in NYC
Usher in the Year of the Tiger with a traditional parade through Chinatown. Photo courtesy of Better Chinatown Society

What About the Lunar New Year Parades?

For now, the big annual Lunar New Year Parade and Festival in Manhattan's Chinatown is on following last year's hiatus. It's set to take to the streets on Sunday, February 20. The event draws throngs of visitors to the neighborhood annually and celebrates with a diverse array of performers from Asian countries and beyond.

This post, originally published in January 2009, is updated annually.

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