How To Celebrate Diwali In NYC

How To Celebrate Diwali In NYC

Check out these places to celebrate Diwali in New York City.

Diwali is India’s most important festival of the year and celebrated by millions across the world. Known as the festival of lights and Hindu New Year, it’s a chance to show appreciation for friends, family and good fortune. Enjoy traditional activities like lanterns, Indian dancing and music, diyas and ranjoli at one of these great events leading up to the actual day of celebration on October 19, 2017. Check out these places to celebrate Diwali in New York City, including activities in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.

Diwali Events in Manhattan 

FREE Board Games & Bright Lights Family Sundays
WHEN: Oct. 1 and 8, Sundays, 1-4pm
WHERE: Rubin Museum, 150 W. 17th St., Chelsea
AGES: 3 and older
WHAT: Sundays are for families! Bring your family to the Rubin Museum for a Sunday afternoon of activities both kids and grownups will enjoy. Drop into the Education Center for some art making, enjoy our 2pm family exhibition tour, and go on your own thematic gallery search. Children's day is YOUR day, and we're celebrating it all month at the Rubin Family Sundays. Get your game face and learn how to make and play traditional Nepalese board games with your family. Sculpt cute, silly, or scary game pieces, then play to win! In honor of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, you can also create traditional diyas (candles) to take a little festival light home with you.
WANT TO GO? 212-620-5000.

FREE Diwali at Times Square
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 7, 209pm
WHERE: Times Square, 46th to 48th streets and Broadway 
WHAT: A fun packed day of celebration and Indian culture. Head down to Times Square for performances, food, shopping, and Mehandi. Meet Bollywood stars, enjoy face painting and balloon figures and watch the traditional lighting of the Diya. The day will be topped off by a firework display.
WANT TO GO? 212-216-9306. 

Family Day: Diwali Lights Up Asia Society 2017!
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 21, 1-5pm
WHERE: Asia Society, 725 Park Ave., Upper East Side  
WHAT: Get into the spirit of Diwali with dance! Enjoy Storytelling through Movement with Kathak dancer Parul Shah at 1:15pm, Bollywood and Bhangra Dance with Bollywood Axion at 2:30pm, and Indian Music with Raga Kids! at 4pm.
WANT TO GO? $15 and up. 212-288-6400.

Diwali Family Celebration
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 22, 8am-5pm
WHERE: Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side
WHAT: Learn all about the Hindu festival of lights through storytelling, sand art, textile design projects, a Bollywood dance party, and a Mithai sweets cooking class with tastings. Due to limited space, some programs require advanced sign-up. Sign-up in the lobby one hour before the event.
WANT TO GO? $14; $11 seniors; free for children younger than 1. 212-721-1223.

Diwali Family Celebration
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 22, 2:30-5:30pm
WHERE: Museum of The City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side 
AGES: Young elementary, Tween
WHAT: Light up your family's day and celebrate the Hindu Festival of Lights with traditional Indian treats, a special performance, and a decorate-your-own-diya activity. Registration suggested but not required.
WANT TO GO? $18; $12 seniors and students; free for children younger than 19. 212-534-1672.

Diwali Events in Queens

Diwali Motorcade
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 14, starting at 3pm
WHERE: Arya Spiritual Center Grounds,104-22 133 St., Richmond Hill 
AGES: All 
WHAT: This annual event lights up the streets of Queens every year with fantastic floats, bright lights, music and celebration in the streets. Watched by thousands of families the celebrations begin with Lakshmi Pooja and Hawan at 3pm. The Diwali motorcade then runs down Liberty Avenue from 133rd Street starting at 5:30pm. The event concludes with an exciting cultural show at 7:30pm.

Diwali Festival: Kathak, Bhangra, & Beyond
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 29, 1-4pm
WHERE: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing
WHAT: Celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, with this all-ages festival and dance party, featuring Kathak classical dancer Abha Roy and the Basement Bhangra’s DJ Rekha. Each artist will introduce you to her form and invite you to learn traditional Kathak dance moves and bhangra folk dances mixed with hip-hop. Then hit the dance floor! Join us for Kathak and bhangra dance lessons, cooking workshops, and henna painting, with Indian handicrafts and Indian foods for sale.
WANT TO GO? $20; $10 students and children. 718-463-7700.

FREE Sunday Family Workshop/Taller De Familias
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 29, 1:30-4:30pm
WHERE: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
WHAT: Rangoli Sand Art/Arte de la Arena Spend Sunday afternoons at the Queens Museum and enjoy art making, dance, music and storytelling. All Family art-making workshops are drop-in, except where stated. No fee or advance registration required. Just show up and stay for as long as you like. Storytelling sessions run for 15 minutes and begin at the top of every hour, at 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm.

Rangoli Sand Art Sand! Color! Art! In this hands-on workshop, we'll use sand to colored designs on paper. This workshop is in connection with Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. There will be more activities in the museum in connection with this celebration on this day. Ages 4 and up. Storytelling: Enjoy stories about the Diwali Festival. Spanish and English. Ages 2 and up.
WANT TO GO? 718-592-9700.

Diwali Events in Brooklyn

FREE DIY-a Diwali: Rangoli Making and More for Kids
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 21, 3-4:30pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch: Youth Wing, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights
WHAT: Celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights by decorating clay lamps (Diyas) and creating chalk and colored sand Rangoli designs in the courtyard outside the Children's Entrance.
WANT TO GO? 718-230-2100. 


Cultural Festivals & Events in the NYC Area

East Meadow School District Declares Diwali an Official School Holiday

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Photo courtesy 
Diwali at Times Square