Looking for ways to celebrate Lunar New Year? New York City has a lot to offer: parades, puppet shows, firecrackers and photo exhibits. There are events in every borough, and many are free.
Lunar New Year kicks off Sunday, Jan. 22, when the first new moon makes its debut, and celebrations continue around the city for the next two weeks.
Here are some of the festivities planned around town:
Celebrate with firecrackers in Manhattan’s Chinatown
The 25th New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival is Sunday, Jan. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Grand Street. As the name suggests, there will be fireworks, but there will also be performances and traditional delicacies. The event is free; food and crafts are available for purchase.
Celebrate Chinese New Year in Staten Island
Guests are invited to wear red and gold to this family-friendly event celebrating Chinese New Year. It will feature storytelling, arts and crafts, performances, and snacks. For grownups, there will be a calligraphy workshop. Weather permitting, the Shaolin Kung Fu Lion Dancers will lead a parade.
Admission is $10; $8 for members. You can learn more, and purchase tickets here. The event is Sunday, Jan. 22 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.
See the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival
The parade, which will feature dragon dancing and other performances, will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12. The route begins at the intersection of Mott and Canal Streets and loops around in the direction of the Manhattan Bridge, before heading back up past Grand Street, next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
Celebrate at the Museum of Chinese in America
The museum has several ongoing exhibits highlighting the experiences of American communities of Chinese descent. Its Lunar New Year Family Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21, from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.
There will be a noodle pulling demonstration, and an opportunity to create a lion mask as part of a lineup of multiple events. You can see the full list of activities here. The free event was sold out as of Friday, per the museum’s website.
View photography exhibit “This is Home” at Flushing Town Hall
The exhibit aims to give a platform to stories of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in New York and around the world. “This is Home” begins Saturday Jan. 21 and runs through Sunday Feb. 26 at Flushing Town Hall. Gallery admission is free, and you can RSVP here.
See a Chinese Zodiac puppet show at Flushing Town Hall
“Hao Bang Ah!” — which translates from Mandarin to “great” or “well done” — is the name of a Budaixi-style puppet show that will showcase the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. The puppets are fashioned in traditional glove puppet style. Tickets are $15 for non-members and $10 for members.
Enjoy a tribute from the New York Philharmonic
Violinist Ning Feng will be among the performers in this end-of-January musical celebration of the Lunar New Year. Other highlights will include Yiwen Lu on the erhu, and the vocals of Gong Linna and Hasibagen in Tan Dun’s Heart Sutra. The event will be Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at David Geffen Hall. Tickets can be purchased here.
Celebrate Lunar New Year at the Met
Starting 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, the Met will host a series of events that will last most of the day. There will be a few scheduled Lion Dances throughout the day in the Great Hall, and opportunities to create Chinese Zodiac charms and craft hand drums, to list just a few of the activities. A list of full events is here.
See traditional dance performances at Queens Place Mall in Flushing
The New York Chinese Cultural Center is co-hosting this event with Queens Place. It will feature traditional Chinese dance performances, a sugar painting demonstration and a raffle. The festivities are free; they take place Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can learn more, and RSVP here.
Learn about rabbits in the Bronx
Animal lovers can learn about rabbits and their role in the Chinese Zodiac at the Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center on Saturday, Jan. 21 or Sunday, Jan. 22, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Workshop participants will also craft fans.
Admission to the grounds is $10 for adults and $4 for children six years and older. No registration is required, and the workshop is included in the ticket price.
Try calligraphy at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Children and their grownups are invited to celebrate Lunar New Year on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights. The event will feature calligraphy workshops, kung fu lessons and even a rooftop lion dance parade. Tickets are $13; they’re $12 for grandparents, and children under 1 are free.