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Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

Welcome the Year of the Snake with lion dances, firecrackers and serpent encounters at these Lunar New Year celebrations.

  • Photographer: Eric Harvey Brown

    Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    14th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

  • Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Lunar New Year Family Festival at MoCA

  • Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Family Day: Korean New Year

  • Photograph: Hannah Sawhney

    Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Around the World with CMA: Lunar New Year Festival

  • Photograph: Elsa Ruiz

    Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Moon Over Manhattan: Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Asia Society

  • Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Chinese New Year at Brooklyn Children's Museum

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the Children's Museum of Manhattan

    Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Celebrate Chinese New Year at CMOM

  • Photograph: Ray Llanos

    Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Chinese New Year's Celebration at China Institute

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

    Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Lunar New Year Celebration at the Queens Zoo

  • Photograph: Carol Rosegg

    Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

  • Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    14th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Alley Pond Environmental Center

    Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Lunar New Year Celebration at APEC

  • Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

    Lunar New Year: Spring Celebration

Photographer: Eric Harvey Brown

Lunar New Year celebrations for New York City families

14th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

The most significant holiday in the Chinese (and Korean, and Vietnamese) calendar, Lunar New Year also happens to be one of the most colorful times to experience New York City's global culture (think lion dancers, firecrackers and plenty of red). In 2013, your brood can ring in the Year of the Snake at these at family-friendly Lunar New Year celebrations, from the annual Chinatown parades to serpent-themed gatherings at some of our favorite city institutions.

Lunar New Year Family Festival

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Take advantage of MOCA's full range of offerings during this Year of the Snake–themed event. Kids can try out the art of lion dancing (noon), watch performances by Chinatown's Red Silk Dancers (3, 4pm), fold paper lanterns and tour exhibits. Michele Wong McSween, author of the Gordon and Li Li books, and Kam Mak, designer of the new snake-themed USPS stamp, will be on hand to meet kids. All ages.

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

Family Day: Korean New Year

  • Price band: 1/4

At this cultural fest little ones will hear traditional Korean folktales, practice the New Year's bow (sebae) to show respect to their elders, make kites, learn to play a traditional games (tuhonori) and sample some tasty Korean snacks. All ages.

  1. Korea Society 950 Third Ave, at 57th St, eighth floor
  2. Until Sat Feb 1
More info

Around the World with CMA: Lunar New Year Festival

  • Price band: 1/4

Featuring twice as many performances as last year, the Lunar New Year fest celebrates the Year of the Snake in grandiose style. Tots can try their hand at red-ribbon and handkerchief dancing, calligraphy, paper cutting and dough-figurine sculpting with help from the CMA staff and professionals. "Many of the performers are young children,” Peterson notes. “It’s inspiring for kids to watch others their own age do these amazing things.” Performances include a Chinese dances by students from P. S. 124 and the Chinese Cultural Center and a concert by the Chinese Youth Orchestra. Kids can also help construct a giant snake costume for the Lunar New Year parade. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of the Arts 103 Charlton St, between Greenwich and Hudson Sts, 10014
  2. Until Sun Jan 12
More info

Moon Over Manhattan: Celebrate the Lunar New Year

The Asia Society fetes the Year of the Snake with live performances from electronic group the Shanghai Restoration Project and jazz singer Zhang (1:15–2pm), a lion dance and kung fu demo (2:20–3pm), and arts-and-crafts activities all afternoon long. All ages.

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

Family Workshop: Year of the Snake

  • Price band: 1/4

Learn about Chinese New Year traditions and what the serpent symbolizes for the coming year, then make a coiling snake to take home. Ages 6 and under.

  1. Sony Wonder Technology Lab 550 Madison Ave, Sony Plaza, at 56th St
  2. Until Fri Jan 31
More info

Chinese New Year: The Snake

  • Price band: 1/4

Tykes will learn about the Chinese Zodiac and the calendar for the year of the Snake. Inspired by what they've learned, they'll create a themed craft to take home. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Until Sat Feb 9
More info

Celebrate Chinese New Year

  • Price band: 1/4

Tots ages 4 and under usher in the Year of the Snake by decorating a serpent puppet with colorful crayons (10am, 1pm). Meanwhile, older kids learn about the Lantern Festival, the traditional culmination of Lunar New Year festivities, before making their own red-and-gold orbs (noon, 2, 3, 4pm) to light up the winter sky. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway
  2. Until Sun Feb 2
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 Snake, followed by a kung fu demonstration. Indoors, children ages 5 to 10 can wrap dumplings, pen festive couplets using Chinese calligraphy and explore the art of paper cutting ($30 per adult-child pair per workshop, two workshops $50). All ages.

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

KABOOM!

  • Price band: 1/4

In celebration of Chinese New Year, kids will experiment with an ancient Chinese invention—rockets! Participants will learn the basics of propulsion and Newton's laws of motion, then blast off a rocket. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Until Sun Feb 10
More info

Lunar New Year Celebration at the Queens Zoo

  • Price band: 1/4

There’s no better way to celebrate the Year of the Snake than with real life serpents! Come to the Queens Zoo for a chance to meet a boa constrictor and black rat snake and hear snake-themed stories (1, 2:15, 3pm) while warming up with tea and hot chocolate. Kids can also get busy making reptile- and New Year’s–themed crafts as they learn fun facts about snakes and the other creatures of the Asian zodiac. Plus, the first 100 children to arrive each day will be treated to a traditional red envelope surprise! All ages.

  1. Queens Zoo 53-51 111th St, at 53rd Ave
  2. Until Sun Feb 2
More info

Lunar New Year Dance Sampler

  • Free

Take your ballerinas on a footloose trip through Asia's vibrant traditions as Flushing Town Hall presents a variety of dances from Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Egypt, Colombia and the United States. All ages.

  1. Flushing Town Hall 137-35 Northern Blvd, at Main St
  2. Until Sun Feb 10
More info

Little Makers: Fireworks

  • Price band: 1/4

During NYSCI's take on the traditional Chinese festivities, families celebrate the Year of the Snake with high-flying rockets and colorful splatter-paint fireworks. Registration recommended. Ages 2 and up.

  1. New York Hall of Science 47-01 111th St, at 47th Ave
  2. Until Sun Feb 10
More info

Chinese New Year: Year of the Snake

  • Price band: 1/4

Young animal lovers can learn about the history of the ancient Lunar New Year celebration and the symbolism of the snake before meeting the nature center's reptile-in-residence. Crafts and traditional snacks are in the mix as well. Children must be accompanied by an adult; registration and pre-payment required. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Greenbelt Nature Center 700 Rockland Ave, at Brielle Ave
  2. Until Sun Feb 10
More info

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

This New Jersey–based troupe welcomes the Year of the Serpent with a colorful presentation of ribbon twirling and martial arts that combines modern and traditional performance styles. Come early on Saturday for a family workshop in which your brood will learn the ancient art of the ribbon dance with the help of choreographer Nai-Ni Chen (12:30pm). Ages 8 and up.

  1. Victoria Theater (at New Jersey Performing Arts Center) 1 Center St, at the waterfront
  2. Until Sun Feb 10
More info

Lunar New Year Festival: Spring Celebration

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Ring in 4711, the Year of the Snake, with the holiday's biggest East Coast celebration. Attendees try their hand at Chinese paper cutting, crafting dough figurines, writing calligraphy and more. A long list of performers rounds out the occasion, among them a rock band, the Peking Opera and traditional folk dancers. All ages.

  1. Millenium Brooklyn High School 237 Seventh Ave, between 4th and 5th Sts, 11215
  2. Until Sun Feb 10
More info

PlayLab Workshop: 3, 2, 1…...Happy Chinese New Year!

  • Price band: 1/4

The year of the snake is upon us! Participants celebrate the Chinese New Year by learning about the significance of the celebration and will even create a slithery craft to bring home. Ages 2.5 to 5.

  1. Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave, at St. Marks Ave
  2. Sun Feb 10 - Sun Feb 17
More info

Lunar New Year Lantern-Making Workshop

  • Price band: 1/4

Following the annual Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing, families can stop by the botanical garden to adorn traditional Chinese paper lanterns. Each lantern's color symbolizes a different wish for a prosperous New Year. All ages.

  1. Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main St, at Dahlia Ave
  2. Until Sat Feb 16
More info

Chinese New Year Snake Dancers (canceled)

Kids of all ages are invited to get into the spirit of the Chinese New Year with this creative workshop-cum-parade celebrating the Year of the Snake. Little ones will design articulated snakes, fashion their own masks and headgear, and take part in an in-store parade. They'll also make holiday-specific red envelopes used to share coins for the New Year. All ages.

  1. McNally Jackson Books 52 Prince St, between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts
  2. Until Sat Feb 16
More info

14th 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 (Canal St at Forsyth St). Parade begins at 1pm at Mott and Hester Sts. All ages.

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

Lunar New Year Celebration at APEC

  • Price band: 1/4

Ring in the Year of the Snake by meeting live pythons and corn snakes, making edible serpent-themed snacks and learning interesting facts about the slithering reptiles. Registration required. Ages 5 to 10.

  1. Alley Pond Environmental Center 228-06 Northern Blvd, near Cross Island Pkwy
  2. Until Thu Feb 21
More info


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