Chinese Lunar New Year Events in NYC


Wondering where to celebrate the 2013 Chinese Lunar New Year in New York City? Here are 24 fun and low-cost family events in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, including festivals at museums, libraries, and cultural centers in Chinatown and across the city.


chinese lunar new year parade in nycThe Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, and there are many ways to celebrate the Year of the Snake in New York City. Lunar New Year events start in late January and continue through early March, so there are plenty of family-friendly events to choose from. Check out our roundup for 24 fun options:



Chinese New Year: The Snake

Brooklyn Children's Museum, Crown Heights

Feb. 9

Kids learn about the Chinese zodiac and the Year of the Snake. Make a craft and discover what this year may bring.

Chinese New Year: The Snake

Brooklyn Public Library, central branch, Prospect Heights

Feb. 9

Performers present examples of Chinese performing arts on this day of celebrating Chinese New Year. FREE!


3, 2, 1...Happy Chinese New Year!

Brooklyn Children's Museum, Crown Heights

Feb. 10, 16

Ring in the Year of the Snake by learning all about the Chinese New Year and making a snake-themed craft.



Festival Luna

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

Jan. 25-26

In anticipation of the upcoming Lunar New Year, this festival invites visitors to explore and experience traditions old and new that celebrate the moon. Enjoy a meditative reflection on the dawa (moon) with a Lama from Tibet; learn a Grandmother Ehnita song from singer-songwriter Bear Fox and Akwesasne Women Singers of the Mohawk Nation; and create your own Dong Ho Vietnamese folk painting. Fly to the moon with Chinese Theatre Works, dance to the majestic sounds of the Korean Daegeum bamboo flute, music by Paul Yeon Lee and the New York Korean Traditional Marching Band, share favorite holiday stories at the Kitchen Conversations mobile recording booth, and look forward to the Year of the Snake by learning about Chinese culinary holiday traditions with master wok chef Grace Young.


Lunar New Year Celebration

David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center

Jan. 31

Celebrate the Year of the Snake with an evening of Chinese performing arts directed by Alan Chow and co-presented by the Chinese American Arts Council.

Lunar New Year Family Festival

Museum of Chinese in America, Lower Manhattan

Feb. 2

This festival includes family-friendly tours of Chinatown, drop-in arts and crafts activities, a traditional lion dance performance, an opportunity to meet author Michele Wong McSween, and performances and workshops led by Chinatown’s Red Silk Dancers.


Lunar New Year Festival

Children’s Museum of the Arts, SoHo

Feb. 2-3

Explore ancient and modern Chinese art, music, and dance at CMA’s 5th annual Lunar New Year Festival, presented by New York Chinese Cultural Center.


Lunar New Year

Asia Society New York, Upper East Side

Feb. 9

The Asia Society hosts a Lunar New Year event featuring performances, traditional craft activities, a lion dance, and a kung fu demonstration.


Chinese New Year Fun Fair

Planet Han, Upper West Side

Feb. 9

Planet Han’s first Chinese New Year Fun Fair will have traditional activities and opportunities to take photos of your child against a Chinese-themed backdrop. RSVP required.


Celebrating Lunar New Year: The Year of the Snake

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Upper East Side

Feb. 9

Stop by the museum to celebrate the Year of the Snake with performances, interactive gallery activities, and art-making workshops for all ages.


New Year Fire Cracker Ceremony

Sara Roosevelt Park, Chinatown

Feb. 10

kick off the first day of the Lunar Year with 600,000 rounds of colorful firecrackers, a traditional practice believed to scare away evil spirits. The festival will also feature cultural performances by traditional and contemporary Asian and Asian-American signers and dancers, along with food vendors and promotional booths. FREE!


Macy’s Sunday Story Time: Chinese New Year

DiMenna Children's History Museum at New-York Historical Society, Upper West Side

Feb. 10

Imagine going for a stroll through Chinatown. What would you see, smell, and hear? Share your favorite things about Chinatown at this special story hour.


Lunar New Year Celebration

Florentine School of Music, Art & Academics, Lower Manhattan

Feb. 16

Celebrate the Lunar New Year and Spring 2013 at the Florentine School. Join the free Yamaha music class preview lessons for children ages 3-8 and sample the Chinese Brush Painting and Mandarin classes for kids and adults alike. RSVP required. FREE!


Chinese Ink Brush Painting Workshops

Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Upper West Side

Feb. 16-17

New York Chinese Cultural Center presents these workshops along with performances by young Chinese dancers in traditional costumes. The workshops will feature Chinese crafts and folk art. Registration for the workshop is one hour before each program and tickets for performances are distributed beginning one hour before each performance.


Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

Little Italy to Chinatown

Feb. 17

The parade will span every major street in Chinatown and feature a colorful spectacle of floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dancers, antique cars, beauty queens, musical performers, magicians and acrobats, and local organizations. FREE!


Chinese New Year Celebration

Rutgers Community Programs, Upper West Side

Feb. 22

Join a Chinese New Year Celebration with music, dance, crafts, light refreshments, and more. RSVP required; email or call the number below. FREE!

Chinese New Year Celebration

Language Beans, Chinatown

Feb. 23

Specifically designed for children ages 2-5, this celebration will include music, dance, hands-on projects, finger food, and more. RSVP required.


Welcome the Year of the Snake

Hillcrest Library, Flushing

Feb. 6

Happy Chinese New Year! Enjoy this program for ages children 6-14 and celebrate the Year of the Snake. Seating is limited. Refreshments will be served. Registration is required. FREE!


Lunar New Year Festival 2013

Queens Theatre, Corona

Feb. 9

Celebrate the New Year by doing hands-on arts and crafts activities in the lobby, followed by a 70-minutes mainstage performance. The performances include traditional Chinese sword, ribbon, folk dance, and Peking Opera featuring the living Peking Opera legend, Qi Shu-fang, as well as the modern Chinese rock band, Hsu-nami, known for its daring integration of the rock sound with the Chinese classical music instrument: Erhu.


Ring in the Lunar New Year

Queens Zoo, Flushing

Feb. 9-10

The weekend will feature a variety of activities in the Discovery Center including crafts, storytelling, and an exciting meet-and-greet with the zoo's boa constrictor and black rat snake. The first 100 children each day will receive a traditional red envelope surprise from the zoo, and all visitors will receive complimentary hot cocoa and tea.


Lunar New Year Lantern-Making Workshop

Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing

Feb. 16

Celebrate Lunar New Year! Join QBG for a festive afternoon workshop following the annual Flushing Lunar New Year Parade. Create and decorate traditional Chinese paper lanterns in various symbolic colors. Each lantern’s color symbolizes a different wish for a happy New Year. Participants will choose the color that expresses their wish and decorate a lantern to bring home and celebrate.


Peking Acrobats

Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College, Flushing

Feb. 22

Since their Western debut in 1986, the Peking Acrobats have astounded audiences with their incredible talents rooted in centuries of Chinese history and folk art. They perform daring maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs; they are experts at trick-cycling, precision tumbling, somersaulting, and gymnastics. They defy gravity with amazing displays of contortion, flexibility, and control. They push the envelope of human possibility with astonishing juggling dexterity and incredible balancing feats, showcasing tremendous skill and ability. They are masters of agility and grace. Accompanied by live musicians skillfully playing traditional Chinese instruments and high-tech special effects, the Peking Acrobats create an exuberant entertainment event featuring all the excitement and festive pageantry of a Chinese Carnival.

The Peking Acrobats will also perform on Staten Island on Feb. 23.


Lunar New Year Printmaking

Flushing Town Hall, Flushing

March 3

Lunar New Year Prints are a venerable form of Chinese folk art closely connected with the thoughts, emotions and lives of ordinary people. This printmaking workshop allows visitors hands-on experience and the opportunity to learn to appreciate the beauty of prints and to understand the culture of Chinese New Year Prints. Space is limited; registration required.


Live from the POEMobile: A Lunar New Year Celebration

Flushing Town Hall, Flushing

March 3

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Chinese poetry by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou and the POEMobile (sponsored by Bowery Arts + Science and City Lore). Performances will be accompanied by projections of the poems in the original Chinese texts and English language translations.


More Fun

Search our full calendar of events for more fun and low-cost family activities in the NYC area