Celebrate the Lunar New Year in NYC at one or more of these FREE and cheap family-friendly events.
You don’t have to be Chinese to enjoy the festivities including parades, concerts, dance performances, crafts and food.
Wearing traditional red and gold is encouraged, for good luck.
We’ve listed these events in date order, so it’s easier to add to your calendar.
Most events are this weekend, on Saturday, Jan. 25, the first day of the new year, but the three-week celebration continues with events through mid-February.
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Friday, January 24
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Columbus Circle hosts a FREE lion dance in the lobby at noon.
There also is a special cocktail called the Jade Rat ($24) upstairs in the Aviary NYC bar.
Saturday, January 25
The first day of the Lunar New Year is always a busy say for celebrations.
Take your pick of several in various parts of New York City.
Celebrate the first day of the Lunar New Year with performances, vendors and firecrackers, to ward off evil spirits.
- FREE, at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Chinatown. 11am to 3:30pm.
Families with children can participate in storytelling, crafts, traditional refreshments and a parade to the NY Chinese Scholar’s Garden complete with cymbals, drums, and pop-it firecrackers scare off evil spirits.
Adults without kids can also participate in this immersive cultural celebration. With our educator in Chinese calligraphy, you’ll enjoy more grown-up artistic activities like ink wash painting, chun lian writing, plus entry to the NY Chinese Scholar’s Garden and warm refreshments.
Storytelling: Listen to the legend of Nien, hear about the Chinese zodiac, learn the many ways to celebrate the 15 days of the Lunar New Year, and discover the traits of 2020’s Rat.
Crafts: Kids can make a lion’s head to ward off evil spirits, create a hong bao envelope to give and receive special treats, and practice writing chun lian and fu dao with Chinese characters.
Parade: Families can join the parade to the NY Chinese Scholar’s Garden (weather permitting) and hear cymbals, drums, and pop-it firecrackers scare off evil spirits.
Food: Enjoy a tasting of traditional foods like dumplings, spring rolls, and chrysanthemum tea.
- 2pm to 4pm at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Garden in Staten Island.
- Tickets are $10 adults and $5 kids 2 years and older. Same as last year.
- Buy tickets here
Hosted by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, this is the largest Lunar New Year Parade in Queens.
The event begins, as always, at the neighborhood’s 300-year-old St. George’s Church before the parade for hot coffee, performances from local groups, and a raffle and prize giveaway.
Parade Route is
- FREE at 9:30 for reception and performances
- Parade begins at 11am at Union Street and 37th Ave.
On the first day of the new year, the garden offers families the chance to learn more about the holiday through crafts, performances, and other demonstrations.
Plus, lucky plants, such as jade plants and chrysanthemums, will be for sale all day, to help you to start off the new year on the right foot.
- Noon to 4pm
Celebrate the Year of the Rat at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with a walk through the Steinhardt Conservatory, discovering Asian fruits and plants associated with the Lunar New Year, including citrus, bamboo and ginger.
- Tour is free with admission, 11am to Noon.
Sunday, January 26
- Chen Bing, conductor (first half)
- Jindong Cai, conductor (second half)
- Wang Jianhua, percussion
- Wang Lei, sheng
- Yu Hongmei, erhu
- Zhang Hongyan, pipa
- Zhang WeiWei, suona
- Ji Tian, Shaanxi folk singer
- 3 PM at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Rose Theater
- Tickets are $25 from jazz.org, by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office at Broadway & 60th, ground floor.
riting. Get tickets, which cost $10 for adults and $7 for children, here.
Chinatown Young Lions once again is presenting the traditional Lion Dance parade throughout the museum, pus there will b the chance to make lantern and lion puppets and other crafts, plus a storytime with Brooklyn-based author Michele Wong McSween, who will read her book Gordon and Li Li: Celebrate Chinese New Year.
See the schedule details here.
- 11am to 5pm
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum is at 145 Brooklyn Ave.
- Get subway directions here