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Celebrate Kwanzaa with children in New York City

Families can take part in dance, storytelling and crafting activities at Kwanzaa festivities around the city.

  • Photograph: Shahar Azran

    How to celebrate Kwanzaa with kids in New York City

    Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

  • How to celebrate Kwanzaa with kids in New York City

    Kwanzaa 2012: First Fruits of the Harvest

  • How to celebrate Kwanzaa with kids in New York City

    Kwanzaa 2012: First Fruits of the Harvest

  • How to celebrate Kwanzaa with kids in New York City

    Kwanzaa 2012: First Fruits of the Harvest

  • Photography courtesy AMNH/R. Mickens

    How to celebrate Kwanzaa with kids in New York City

    Kwanzaa 2012: First Fruits of the Harvest

Photograph: Shahar Azran

How to celebrate Kwanzaa with kids in New York City

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

The weeklong festival of Kwanzaa, which, this year, takes place from Wednesday, December 26, to Tuesday, January 1, is a celebration of African and African-American culture and heritage. At events throughout the city, famlies can watch African dance and drumming, make spirit masks or listen to a storyteller tell the tale of the holiday.

Kwanzaa Children's Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The full slate of afternoon activities includes family workshops in African dance and drumming, storytelling, hip-hop and capoeira. Little ones can also browse kid lit at the book fair, then stop by the arts-and-crafts village for face painting and crafts. In honor of the weeklong holiday tykes can make their own spirit masks, sekeres (musical shakers), Kwanzaa wish scrolls and more. All activities take place at NJPAC and next door, at the Center for Arts Education. All ages.

  1. Chase Room (at New Jersey Performing Arts Center) 1 Center St, at the waterfront
  2. Until Sat Dec 22
More info

Big Annie

  • Price band: 1/4

Become a part of the legends of yore by singing along to this Creole folktale that blends Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Three Kings Day traditions. Once upon a Christmas near the bayou, Big Annie made like Santa and pulled a tugboat full of toys through a terrible storm so she could deliver them to needy kids—and some say she did it with the help of her animal friends. A storyteller and a live guitarist rock & roll to the blues as the whole family sings “heave ho” to help Annie finish her good deed. Ages 3 to 7.

  1. The Bedford Village School 50 Jefferson Ave, at Franklin Ave
  2. Until Fri Dec 21
More info

Play Lab Workshop: Very Merry Holiday Traditions

  • Price band: 1/4

Can't decide which holiday to celebrate? Learn about how families come together for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa traditions and make a festive ornament to take home. Ages 2.5 to 5.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Until Sun Dec 23
More info

Meet the Holiday: Kwanzaa Celebration!

  • Price band: 1/4

Whether your family celebrates Kwanzaa at home or you're simply curious about the holiday, head to the museum to learn about the celebration and take part in a Kwanzaa craft-making session. Ages 1 to 5.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Until Sat Dec 28
More info

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

  • Price band: 1/4

The Apollo celebrates Kwanzaa with this annual show, featuring a performance by Abdel Salaam's Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, Songhai Djeli and Flute Visions, and the Harlem Children's Zone/Forces of Nature's youth academy. All ages.

  1. Apollo Theater 253 W 125th St, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave) and Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave)
  2. Until Fri Dec 28
More info

Kwanzaa Celebration with Stories and Craft

  • Free

Local storyteller and artist Christine Campbell will tell interactive stories of Kwanzaa and help tots create an original origami keepsake to take home. Space is limited; reserve your spot at the front desk a half hour before the event. Ages 6 to 12.

  1. Queens Library, Central Library 89-11 Merrick Blvd, between 89th and 90th Aves
  2. Until Fri Dec 28
More info

Kwanzaa 2012! First Fruits of the Harvest

  • Price band: 1/4

The American Museum of Natural History marks the holiday with this daylong celebration of African heritage and culture. Watch traditional dances led by acclaimed choreographer Obediah Wright and an interview about Karamu (African Feast) with restaurateur B. Smith. In between performances, peruse the arts, crafts and food vendors. All ages.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St
  2. Sat Jan 3
More info

Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture

  • Price band: 1/4

Youngers will learn about Kwanzaa traditions with members of the Harris family, who have been celebrating the holiday for more than two decades! All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Sat Jan 3
More info

The Three Bears Holiday Bash

  • Price band: 1/4

This seasonal offering of song, dance and, of course, puppetry comes from the talented folks at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Tots will see a mix of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas themes incorporated into the company's take on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." The plot snowballs after Baby Bear invites St. Nick to star in Mama and Papa Bear's festive spectacular. All ages.

  1. Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre west side, at 79th St
  2. Wed Nov 12 - Tue Dec 30
More info


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