Chinese New Year festivities are around the corner and New York is one of the best places to celebrate. This year we are celebrating the year of the Rat, the symbol of renewal and fertility. In honor of the New Year, be part of these fun happenings around the city and enjoy a flurry of colorful confetti flying through the air as communities come together to celebrate century-old rituals and culture.
Along with all the festivities, this is also the time to clean your soul and home, ensuring all evil and dirt is out. According to Chinese mythology, the year of the Rat is when flexible and open-minded people prosper, those who are ready to change and start something new will be a success, so keep a lookout for opportunities and make the most out of it.
Looking for more family-friendly events happening in February? Check out The Top Kid-Friendly February Events in Manhattan for 2020
Click through to see our full list of family-friendly Chinese New Year events!
Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival - Sara D. Roosevelt Park
Get ready for some noise! This year the Lunar New Year drops on January 25, the second new moon after the winter solstice. The Firecracker Ceremony will expel evil spirits with loud bangs of fireworks. After the fireworks show, traditional lion dances will mark the beginning of the New Year. There will be decoration giveaways for all guests, as well as pop-up craft shops and food booths where you can get your fill of traditional delicacies. January 25, 11 am to 3 pm.
Chinese New Year Parade - Chinatown
Giant gold and red dragons, dancers in colorful outfits, actors in traditional costumes will march the streets to the beat of cymbals and drums. The parade starts at 1 pm, and the performance lasts until 4:30 pm. The route performers will start at Mott and Canal Streets, continue onto East Broadway toward the Manhattan Bridge and makes its way around Sara D. Roosevelt Park via Forsythe toward Grand Street. When you need a break from the dancing and cheering, be sure to grab a bite at the local Chinese restaurants! February 9, 2020, 1-4:30 pm.
Lunar New Year - Brooklyn Children's Museum
Join Brooklyn Children’s Museum as we usher in the Year of the Rat and parade throughout the Museum with the Chinatown Young Lions. Learn about the festival of the Lunar New Year with Brooklyn-based author Michele Wong McSween as she reads her new book Gordon & Li Li: Celebrate Chinese New Year. And if your kids are into crafts, join a workshop and make a paper lion puppet to bring along to the BCM Lion Dance Parade. January 26, 11:00 am-5:00 pm.
The Met: Lunar New Year Festival - Upper East Side
May art bring you good fortune! Mark the Year of the Rat with performances, interactive gallery activities, and artist-led workshops. Children are encouraged to discover the traditions of the Lunar New Year with Sesame Street puppeteers. Celebrate the New Year with traditional herbal tea and join a demonstration of tea drinking rituals by tea masters. Enjoy a full day of different activities and don’t leave before lighting up the sky with a tissue paper lantern, LED candle, and add phrases of good fortune to your creation! February 1, 11:00 am–5:00 pm.
The First Annual NYC Asian Comedy Festival - Midtown
Produced by The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT), the Asian Comedy Festival is to honor the burgeoning New York Asian comedy scene and highlight some astonishing Asian actors, musicians, and teams from around the world. Famous acts include: Asian AF (featured on NBC and NY Times), Asian Not Asian podcast (featured on Vulture and AV Club), AZN Pop (featured on NBC, PBS), Overstep Comedy (NY Sketchfest), Bryan Yang (Standup NBC showcase semi-finalist), Karen Chee (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Usama Siddiquee (Just For Laughs, Desus and Mero), and more. Don’t forget to book your pass online for The PIT Striker Mainstage or Underground theaters, located at 123 E 24th St. between Lexington and Park Ave South, January 25-26.
The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce in the 2020 Lunar New Year Parade - Downtown Flushing
The Great Flushing Chamber of Commerce welcomes all guests who want to meet new people and have family fun. The initial gathering will take place at historic St. George’s Church from 9:30 to 10:30 am to connect and stay warm with hot coffee and refreshments before heading to the parade site. In addition to the treats, the reception will feature impressive performances by local artists as well as raffle and prize giveaways, so be ready for many surprises! January 25, 11:00 am
Shops at Skyview: Lunar New Year- Downtown Flushing
Shops at Skyview invite you to ring in the Lunar New Year at the Lantern Festival. Guests will see the traditional lion dance performed by New York Chinese Cultural Center. Kids will have fun with a balloon artist, face painter and families can make memories at the photo booth. Cherry blossom crafts are also on the list of activities for the littles ones. The festivities will be held on Level four, outside Forever 21. February 8, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Museum of Chinese in America: Family Festival - Lower Manhattan
MOCA’s Family New Year Festival brings together diverse communities from the five boroughs to celebrate and share this important Chinese holiday. The Museum promotes dialogue and understanding among people of all cultural backgrounds, bringing 160 years of Chinese American history to life through its innovative exhibitions, educational and cultural programs. MOCA Family New Year Festival promises children and parents fun-filled days of celebration with storytelling, drop-in arts and crafts, teaching artist demonstrations, special guests, and more! February 1 and 16
Queens Botanical Gardens: Lunar New Year Celebration - Corona
Crafts, performances, and activities for the whole family organized by the Queens Botanical Gardens will make you feel the special connection between the Chinese New Year traditions and the rebirth of nature. As the Lunar New Year marks the beginning of life, come celebrate nature and get your Lucky Plant. January 25, 12 to 4 pm.
The New York Philharmonic's Special Concert The Year of the Rat - Upper Westside
Celebrate the Lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Rat with the New York Philharmonic! Experience the US Premiere of Zhou Tian’s Gift and the New York Premiere of Texu Kim’s ping pong–inspired Spin-Flip. Witness rising superstar Haochen Zhang in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Gil Shaham in Chen Gang and He Zhanhao’s The Butterfly Lovers, Violin Concerto. Long Yu, music director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, and music director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra returns to conduct. January 28, 7:30 pm.
Snug Harbor Lunar New Year Celebration - Randal Manor
Do you know the legend of Nien? Do you want to hear about the Chinese zodiac, learn the many ways we celebrate the 15 days of the Lunar New Year? If you and your little ones want to discover the traits of 2020’s Rat, you should tour the Snug Harbor family activities: calligraphy, art, and traditional crafts are there for a full day of fun. Traditional treats like dumplings, spring rolls, and chrysanthemum tea will be available as well. Staten Island, January 25, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.
The Art of Chinese New Year at the China Institute - Downtown Manhattan
The China Institute invites you to a one-month long festival with a vibrant and interactive art experience that explores the Chinese New Year holiday. Be ready to make crafts: nianhua (New Year pictures), spring couplets, and papercutting. A showcase on the art of shadow performance will feature antique puppets, a traditional shadow puppet theater, and a stage where children can perform their own puppet shows. Downtown Manhattan, January 23- February 29.
Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar - Downtown Flushing
For centuries, people in China have celebrated the Lunar New Year in temple fairs, which were called miaohui. Take your family to the Temple Bazaar at Flushing Town Hall to learn about old rituals and enjoy modern performances, hands-on activities, and food to celebrate the Year of the Rat! February 1, 11:00-2:00 pm.
Oculus: Lunar New Year Red Envelop Coloring - Lower Manhattan
The Chinese New Year is a time for gifts! Red envelopes are traditionally exchanged on the Lunar New Year and other holidays with money tucked inside. The whole family is welcomed to participate in making and decorating them on the Oculus floor. And if you are into ancient crafts be sure to try Chinese calligraphy and paper cutting. January 17 12:00-2:00 pm; January 17, 11 am-3 pm.
Carnegie Hall: Chinese New Year Spectacular VI- Upper Eastside
The sixth annual Chinese New Year Spectacular Concert is to celebrate both Chinese and American cultures through art and musical performances and the diverse melting-pot that is New York City. The performance will feature new artists, as well as returning headliners including Soprano Quan Chen, and American violinist Deni Bonet. Enjoy the Chinese Opera “Kunqu” which is one of the oldest genres of opera, a ritualized fusion of acting, singing and stage movement. Children under 12 are eligible for a 25 percent discount of the ticket price. February 7 at 7:30 PM
Brookfield Place: Family-Friendly Lunar New Year - Lower Manhattan
Arts Brookfield and the New York Chinese Cultural Center invite you to a family-friendly performance to celebrate the Lunar New Year. A Lion Parade led by the dynamic dancers begin as an afternoon loaded with bursts of enthusiasm and color. The littles ones will surely like the classical Chinese choreography and music, a martial arts demonstration, and theatrical actors and actresses in full facial make-up and royal apparel! February 2, 2:00-3:15 pm.
Queens Museum: Lunar New Year Celebration for Families - Corona
Queens Museum is honoring the year of the Rat with folk choreography, Lion Dance, and traditional arts & crafts. A tradition established in 2014, the New York Chinese Cultural Center (NYCCC) brings its unique performance to the Queens Museum. The festive agenda includes an hour-long show program featuring professional artists, musicians, and students of NYCCC’s School of the Arts, as well as workshops on Chinese Calligraphy for children and parents. January 26, 1–3:00 pm.
Lewis Latimer House Museum: Lunar New Year Tinker Festival - Flushing
Do your kids love crafts and science? If yes, bring them to the Lewis Latimer House Museum to enjoy tinkering activities combining art and science. Besides, the littles ones will learn more about the genius engineer Lewis Latimer, an African-American inventor, and electrical pioneer. January 25, 2:30-5:30 pm.
Lunar New Year Shopping Celebrations on Madison Avenue - Madison Avenue
New year, new outfit! The 5th Annual Madison Avenue Lunar New Year shopping marathon is a different way to celebrate. Madison Avenue will honor the Year of the Rat with an ancient tradition by installing wishing trees along Madison Avenue. The centuries-old ritual of hanging wishes on tree branches for the New Year is associated with luck and good fortune. People believe that writing down your wish will help a dream come true. Make a wish and get some shopping done on Madison Avenue! February 1, 12:00 pm.
Chinese New Year: Fireworks on the Hudson River! - Hell's Kitchen
We saved the best for last! Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a bang this year by watching this fireworks show along the Hudson River near West 43rd Street, Manhattan, January 23, 8:15 pm.