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Chinese New Year events for kids in NYC

Get the whole family involved in Chinese New Year festivities like colorful parades, live performances and hands-on art workshops in NYC

Lunar New Year Parade & Festival in Chinatown

Lunar New Year Parade & Festival in Chinatown Photographer: Eric Harvey Brown

Your family celebrated New Year's Eve earlier this winter, but with the Year of the Horse coming to an end (according to the Chinese calendar) it's time for more festivities to usher in the Year of the Sheep! Fete the Chinese New Year with the whole clan at colorful, confetti-filled celebrations throughout the city. Welcome a fresh Lunar New Year with a bang at kid-friendly events like parades and craft workshops at various cultural institutions and NYC museums.


What is Chinese New Year?


Chinese New Year is a traditional Chinese holiday that celebrates the turn of the Chinese lunar calendar. 


When is Chinese New Year?


Chinese New Year falls on different days each year, according to the Chinese calendar—this year, it occurs on Thursday, February 19.



Chinese New Year events for kids

16th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The main event of Chinese New Year in Manhattan, the parade travels from Little Italy through Chinatown, with marching bands, floats, and lion and dragon dancers twirling the entire way. Before the procession starts, get your fill of cultural performances and demonstrations at Sara Roosevelt Park (11am, Canal St at Forsyth St). Parade begins at 1pm at Mott and Hester Sts. All ages.

  1. Various locations
  2. Until Sun Feb 22
More info

Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Bundle up and celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year (which falls on February 19 this year) at this massive celebration in Chinatown, during which half a million firecrackers will be set off to welcome the Year of the Sheep. Families can join in on the pyrotechnics to ward away bad spirits for the year, plus revel in colorful traditions like lion dances and drumming. Follow the parade from Sarah D. Roosevelt Park as it winds through town (starting at noon), then make sure to browse nearby craft and food vendors with the kids in search of themed decorations and fresh dumplings. All ages.

  1. Manhattan
  2. Until Thu Feb 19
More info

New Beginnings: Lunar New Year Festival

  • Price band: 1/4

The Metropolitan Museum is celebrating the Year of the Ram and the centennial of its Department of Asian Art with an incredible lineup of family-friendly offerings, from dance and music performances to artist-led workshops and interactive gallery activities. Stay tuned for a full schedule in February. All ages.

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St, 10028
  2. Until Sat Feb 28
More info

Sony Wonder Technology Lab Screenings

Beat the winter chill with a kid-friendly movie screening at the totally amazing (and totally free) Sony Wonder Technology Lab. This February, catch epsidoes of Nick Jr.'s Ni Hao, Kai-Lan (Feb 19) and Go, Diego, Go! The Great Panda Adventure (Feb 21) in honor of the Chinese New Year. Reservations are required and screenings are approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

  1. Sony Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Ave, Sony Plaza, at 56th St
  2. Sat May 23 - Sat May 30
More info

Moon Over Manhattan: Celebrate the Lunar New Year

The Asia Society fetes the Year of the Goat with a live musical performance, lion dance and kung fu demo, plus arts-and-crafts activities all afternoon long. All ages.

  1. Asia Society 725 Park Ave, at 70th St
  2. Sat Feb 21
More info

Family Workshop: Year of the Sheep

  • Price band: 1/4

Learn about Chinese New Year traditions and what the horse symbolizes for the coming year, then make your own sheepish puppet to take home. Ages 6 and under.

  1. Sony Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Ave, Sony Plaza, at 56th St
  2. Thu Feb 19
More info

16th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The main event of Chinese New Year in Manhattan, the parade travels from Little Italy through Chinatown, with marching bands, floats, and lion and dragon dancers twirling the entire way. Before the procession starts, get your fill of cultural performances and demonstrations at Sara Roosevelt Park (11am, Canal St at Forsyth St). Parade begins at 1pm at Mott and Hester Sts. All ages.

  1. Various locations
  2. Until Sun Feb 22
More info

Lunar New Year Family Workshops

  • Price band: 1/4

Celebrate the Year of the Ram with creative workshops at Flushing Town Hall! Led by calligraphers Mr. Chao-Lin Ting, Mr. James Shau and Dr. Yoo Sung Lee, participants will learn how to write their wishes for the New Year in Chinese and Korean (3/1). Then watch and learn fan dancing routines from Song Hee Lee and Ling Tang, using your own folding fan or one on-loan from town hall. All ages.

  1. Flushing Town Hall 137-35 Northern Blvd, at Main St
  2. Until Sat Mar 7
More info

Greenlight Saturday Storytime 2015

  • Free

Kids' authors and illustrators (or staffers from Brooklyn's family-friendly Greenlight Bookstore) sit down with kids and their caregivers to read from their own picture books (or their favorites), be they classics or brand-new creations. Enjoy a Chinese New Year celebration with Michele Wong McSween, author of the Gorden & Li Li series (2/28). Ages 3 to 8.

  1. Greenlight Bookstore 686 Fulton St, at South Portland Ave
  2. Sat May 23 - Sat May 30
More info

Blaaast into the New Year with MOCA!

  • Price band: 2/4

Kick off the Year of the Sheep with this enchanting family festival at The Museum of Chinese in America. Kids can watch a spirited lion dance as well as a performance by Chinatown's Red Silk Dancers, then make puppets and firecrackers inspired by traditional Chinese folk art and the zodiac. There will also be legend storytelling, zodiac face painting, balloon animal art and calligraphy and origami demos. Space is limited, so get your tickets online in advance. All ages.

  1. Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) 215 Centre St, between Grand and Howard Sts
  2. Until Sat Feb 28
More info

Around the World with CMA: Asian American Festival

  • Price band: 1/4

During the month of February, the Children's Museum of the Arts hosts performances, workshops and collaborative projects focused on Asian-American culture. First, watch Raj Kapoor & Friends of the Dance Theater of Nepal perform before jumping in on an interactice music and dance workshop (Feb 1). Return the following Sunday for a performance and audience participation with the Asian American Alliance (Feb 8). Next weekend, learn about Northern Indian traditions through a Kathak workshop combining yoga, math, rhythm and storytelling with Dien Magno of the Chitresh Das Dance Company (Feb 15), before closing out the program with a hula workshop by Aloha Hola NYC in honor of Makahiki, the Hawaiian Lunar New Year (Feb 22). All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of the Arts 103 Charlton St, between Greenwich and Hudson Sts, 10014
  2. Sun Feb 22
More info

Chinese New Year's Celebration at China Institute

  • Free

In the street just outside China Institute, performers wield elaborate costumes and masks in a traditional lion dance to welcome the Year of the Sheep, followed by a kung fu demonstration (11am–noon). Head indoors for a tour of the Institute's galleries and a reception with food and beverages (noon–2pm; $10, under 12 $5). For an extra-special New Year, families can sign up for workshops where they'll wrap dumplings and craft celebratory lanterns (12:30–3pm; $20, children $10 per workshop, includes gallery tour and reception admission). All ages.

  1. China Institute 125 E 65th St, between Park and Lexington Aves
  2. Sun Feb 22
More info


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