Where to Celebrate Kwanzaa in New York Metro Area

Where to Celebrate Kwanzaa in New York Metro Area

Find great Kwanzaa events for your family in NYC, Long Island, and New Jersey.

Kwanzaa is an African American celebration of culture, unity, and family. This year, Kwanzaa is celebrated Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2019. It's a wonderful opportunity to explore African American history or celebrate your people. Here's where you can learn about and celebrate Kwanzaa in Manhattan, Brooklyn, QueensLong Island, and Westchester and Bergen counties.

Kwanzaa Celebrations in Manhattan

Kwanzaa Family Celebration
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 26 , 11am-2pm
WHERE: Museum of The City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., East Harlem
WHAT: Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Museum by making a mkeka to learn about this African-American holiday. Enjoy a special snack while you create your placemat.
WANT TO GO? $18; $12 seniors and students; free for children 19 and younger. 212-534-1672. mcny.org.

Kwanzaa 2018
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 29 , 12-5pm
WHERE: American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, Upper West Side
WHAT: A celebration of African-American heritage that is rooted in seven principles known as Nguzo Saba, which promote unity, culture, and community development. The festival features a local artisan marketplace. Black Comics Collective hosts a live drawing performance inspired by the seven principles and Oyu Oro Collective performs music and dance from Afro-Cuban traditions. Kwanzaa is hosted by Dr. Linda H. Humes, scholar and storyteller.
WANT TO GO? $23; $18 seniors and students; $13 children ages 2-12; free for children younger than 2. 212-769-5100. amnh.org.

FunikiJam's Holiday Beat
WHEN: Nov. 23 - Dec. 30 , see website for showtimes
WHERE: Actor's Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47th St., Midtown 
AGES: 3-5, 5-8, 9-12, Adult 
WHAT: When Bahjat wants to throw a holiday party that includes everyone, Captain Jam and the Agents of Jam take him on a globe-spanning musical adventure to complete Special Mission: HOLIDAY PARTY and throw the ultimate celebration. Part live concert and part stage show, FunikiJam’s HOLIDAY BEAT is New York City’s only off-Broadway show this season to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Shichigosan - for kids. 
WANT TO GO? $30. 212-947-3499. funikijam.com.

RELATED: 2017 Holiday Markets, Fairs, and Festivals in NYC

Kwanzaa Celebrations in Brooklyn

10th Annual Celebrate Kwanzaa!
WHEN: Dec. 26 -30, Check schedule for details
WHERE: Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., Crown Heights
WHAT: Learn about the African-American holiday and explore Kwanzaa’s seven principles.
WANT TO GO? $11; free for children younger than 1. 718-735-4400. brooklynkids.org.

ShopRite Kidz Cook: Winter Holidays
WHEN: Dec. 7 -28, Fridays, 3 and 4pm
WHERE: Staten Island Children's Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island
AGES: 3-12
WHAT: Make delicious cookies to celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Omisoka, the Japanese new year.
WANT TO GO? $8. 718-273-2060. sichildrensmuseum.org.

Home for the Holidays
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 14 , 6:30-7:30pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Music School, 126 Saint Felix St., Fort Greene
WHAT: The show will feature holiday songs of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and scenes from popular musicals such as Ragtime, Into the Woods, and The Wiz.
WANT TO GO? $12; $15 at door . 718-638-5660. brooklynmusicschool.org.

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Kwanzaa Celebrations in Queens

FREE 34th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8 , 11am - 7pm
WHERE: Langston Hughes Library-Community Cultural Center, 100-01 Northern Blvd., Flushing
WHAT: Shop at the Kwanzaa marketplace and enjoy a full day of craft workshops, live music, dance, and spoken word performances!
WANT TO GO? 718-875-3500. queenslibrary.org.

FREE Holiday Movie Magic
WHEN: Dec. 1 -26, Saturday, Mondays, and select Thursdays, 1pm
WHERE: Rochdale Village Library, 169-09 137th Ave., Jamaica
WHAT: Families are welcome to see a childhood classic or a new favorite! 12/1: A Rugrats Hannukah, 12/8: Home Alone, 12/10: A Charlie Brown Christmas, 12/17: A Muppet Christmas Carol, 12/22: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 12/26: The Proud Family - Seven Days of Kwanzaa.
WANT TO GO? 718-723-4440. queenslibrary.org.


Kwanzaa Celebrations in Westchester County

FREE Holiday Crafts
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 22 , 11am
WHERE: The Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill
WHAT: Make a festive craft for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa.
WANT TO GO? 914-737-0847. fieldkids.wordpress.com.

Holiday Stories from Around the World
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15 , 3pm
WHERE: Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers 
AGES: All 
WHAT: Join April Armstrong and Mario Sprouse as they perform holiday stories from around the world from Victorian Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah traditions. 
WANT TO GO? $7; $5 seniors; $4 children ages 3-18; free for children younger than 3. 914-963-4550. hrm.org.

Kwanzaa Celebrations on Long Island

FREE Kwanzaa Celebration
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 2 , 2-3:30pm
WHERE: Brentwood Public Library, 34 Second Ave., Brentwood
WHAT: Norman Daniels discusses this unique American holiday and presents songs, music, poetry and dancing.
WANT TO GO? 631-273-7883. brentwoodnylibrary.org.


Kwanzaa Celebrations in Bergen County

Kwanzaa Festival & Marketplace
WHEN: Dec. 14 -15, Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm
WHERE: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark
WHAT: NJPAC’s most popular community marketplace offers more options than ever, including custom and cultural clothing, handcrafted jewelry, bath and body products, candles, books, and art.
WANT TO GO? FREE admission; prices for goods varies. 800-466-5722. njpac.org.

FREE Kwanzaa Festival at NJPAC
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15 , 10am
WHERE: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark
WHAT: Enjoy West African dance and drums, a Kwanzaa ceremony and storytelling, arts and crafts, including arm knitting, live performances, and more.
WANT TO GO? 800-466-5722. njpac.org.

Forces of Nature Dance Theatre with Sweet Honey in the Rock
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15 , 2pm and 7:30pm
WHERE: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark
WHAT: Celebrate Kwanzaa with this dazzling dance company, which joins the powerful musical collective Sweet Honey In The Rock.
WANT TO GO? $49-$69. 800-466-5722. njpac.org.

RELATED: Where to See Holiday Train Shows in NYC


Main photo: A Kwanzaa celebration at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan
Courtesy ©AMNH/R.Mickens