There’s a lot to do in NYC FREE and cheap Dec. 26 through New Year’s Eve. Now that we’ve finished celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas, it’s time for Kwanzaa celebrations. Here are our top picks. As always, nothing is over $20.
SEE ALSO NYC Museums open Christmas Day
9th Annual Celebrate Kwanzaa – Daily family events, Dec. 26-30, at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum include storytelling, create a Kwanzaa textile by tracing and decorating handprints and hanging them up to create a new display in the Museum. Children are encouraged to decorate their hands using words and pictures that represent the Kwanzaa celebration. Worksops are scheduled throughout the day; see the full daily schedule here. FREE with museum admission.
African Burial Ground – The National Park Service site in Lower Manhattan has three days of FREE Kwanzaa events, including The Black Nutcracker performed by Uptown Dance Academy, Beading Workshop with Zola Dube, Explore the Ark of Return by United Nations Remember Slavery Programme, and daily dance and drum performances. See the daily schedule here.
Tuesday, Dec. 26
Kwanzaa Family Celebration – Make a Mkeka placemat to learn about this African-American holiday, and enjoy special snacks while you work. FREE with admission, at the Museum of the City of New York. Registration recommended
Thursday, Dec. 28
Christmas in Colonial New York – Join the National Park Service to explore how the season was celebrated in Nieuw Amsterdam and New York, and how was it celebrated in the other American colonies, including festivals and celebrations related to the Solstice, and traditions African brought from the motherland. Hints: Christmas celebrations were banned in Puritan New England, and in Colonial New York, there were contradictions between Christian charity and enslavement (New York did not ban slavery until the 1800s). FREE 11am to Noon and again 2pm to 3m at Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street Between Nassau and William Streets
Good Riddance Day – Shred it and forget it. Get rid of the bad memories of 2017 in this giant annual shredding party in Times Square. Bring old report cards, pictures of the significant other who dumped you, the turn-down notice from the co-op or condo you coveted. Whatever.
Kwanzaa Celebration – Musician, poet and storyteller Atiba Kwabena-Wilson brings forth the beauty and joyousness of Kwanzaa in an uplifting program of music, dance and celebration. To the beat of drums, you will learn the significance of Nguzo Saba, the seven life-affirming principles of Kwanzaa, and how they can guide you throughout the year. Whether young or old, you do not want to miss this joyous musical affirmation of heritage and culture. FREE, 5pm at the Pomonok branch of the Queens Library, 158-21 Jewel Avenue, Flushing
Saturday, Dec. 30
Kwanzaa 2017 – The annual celebration at the American Museum of Natural History is the city’s largest, this year including gospel-infused tunes from the heavyweight champions of a cappella, The Persuasions, the flare and pageantry of the Brooklyn United Marching Band, and an electric performance by Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir. Hosted by Dr. Linda H. Humes, it explores the African-American heritage rooted in seven principles known as Nguzo Saba, which promote unity, culture, and community development. FREE with museum admission, Noon to 5pm in the Millstein Hall of Ocean Life.