Ring in the year of the black water rabbit with these 2023 kid-friendly Chinese New Year events, filled with festivals, firecrackers, and family fun

Every year, the streets of NYC come alive with dancing lions and dragons, firecrackers, and music. The occasion? Lunar New Year! The day is an important part of Chinese and other Asian cultures, marking a new year based on the lunar calendar complete with festivities, celebrations, and gift-giving. This year, the festival falls on Jan. 22, when we bid farewell to the year of the tiger and usher in the year of the rabbit. Traditionally, each year corresponds to an animal in the Chinese Zodiac and an element. This year will be the year of the black water rabbit (the water element is associated with the color black), a combination that means 2023 will be a year of prosperity, rest, reflection, and, most of all, hope. There are many ways to join the celebration around NYC, from festivals and parades to workshops and themed crafts. So gather the family and hop on over to one of these family-friendly NYC Lunar New Year events!

Do Not Miss: The Annual Chinatown Parade

Chinese New Year Parade and Festival in Chinatown

Hit the streets for the biggest Lunar New Year celebration: the annual parade and festival in Chinatown! As with every year, you can expect music, performances, firecrackers, dancing dragons, intricate costumes and more. The parade will make its way from Mott and Canal to Chatham Square, then head to East Broadway, finally ending up on Eldridge and Forsyth Streets next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The park is usually decked out in themed decorations reflecting the element and animal of the year, and packed full of revelers. Note that this event gets very loud and crowded!

Price: Free

Sun., Feb. 12
Online: chineseparade.com

Manhattan Events to Celebrate Lunar New Year

2023 Chinese New Year Festival at the China Institute

The China Institute rings in the new year with an afternoon of performances and workshops! Visit the Institute to participate in workshops themed around Chinese culture, music, food, and arts. The event kicks off with a Lion Dance and culminates in a Kun Opera performance. Plus, attendees get to take a close look at the makeup and costume used in the Opera before the show begins.

Price: $15

Sun., Jan. 8, 1-4 p.m.
100 Washington St.
Financial District
Online: chinainstitute.org

Lunar New Year Celebration at P.S. 150

For the first time ever, P.S. 150 (a.k.a. the Tribeca Learning Center) will be holding a Lunar New Year event for the community. The party will be open to everyone and include raffles and giveaways, traditional Chinese performances (including a Lion Dance!), candy art, bilingual Mandarin-English read- and sing-alongs, a tasting menu from local restaurants, calligraphy workshops, arts and crafts, and so much more.

Price: $28.16 per ticket, free for kids under 3

Sun., Jan. 8, 12-3 p.m.
P.S. 150 Tribeca Learning Center
28-42 Trinity Place
Financial District
Online: eventbrite.com

Picturesque Pagodas at the Skyscraper Museum

In this free workshop (recommended for ages 7-12), you'll learn about Poy Gum Lee, the Chinese-American architect who popularized a building style that can still be seen both in China and NYC's Chinatown. Lee's style, called "Chinese Art Deco," can be found in the pagodas you see around Chinatown, which rose to popularity in the 1950s. Kids will get to build and decorate their own pagoda crafts inspired by traditional Chinese architecture.

Price: Free

Sat., Jan. 21, 10:30 a.m.
Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Pl.
Financial District
Online: skyscraper.org

Lunar New Year Festival: The Year of the Rabbit at The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is uniting culture with art in a Lunar New Year festival. While the full schedule isn't up yet (keep an eye on the website for information in English, Korean, simplified Chinese, and Spanish), you can expect to see performances, interactive activities, and workshops for the whole family, led by artists.

Price: Free with admission

Sat., Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave.
Upper East Side
Online: metmuseum.org

Lunar New Year Family Festival at MOCA NYC

The Museum of Chinese in America has an impressive lineup of events scheduled for their Lunar New Year celebration. The day is chock-full of performances and demonstrations, including a Lion Dance performed yb the United East Athletics Association, a noodle pulling and candy making demonstration, and more. The younger kids in your family will enjoy the interactive dance- and music-enhanced storytime with Ya Ya Preschool, which will explore the legend of the Nian monster (in English and Mandarin) and explain why red decorations are traditionally put up for Lunar New Year.

Price: Free

Sat., Jan. 21, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
The Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre St.
Little Italy
Online: mocanyc.org

Lunar New Year: Year of the Rabbit at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

Celebrate Lunar New Year all week long through CMOM's special events. Kids can get their creativity flowing as they use puppets and elements of design to make crafts themed around the celebration and the water rabbit. Plus, they'll explore what the rabbit symbolizes: peace, calm, and hope!

Price: Free with admission

Sat., Jan. 21-Sun., Jan. 29
212 West 83rd St.
Upper West Side
Online: cmom.org

Christ Chapel Chamber Series: Chinese New Year at Riverside Church

Hear how Eastern cultures influenced Western music through a performance by Singaporean musician and composer Phoon Yu and his chamber ensemble. The concert will feature pieces celebrating the new year as well as the musical intersection of Eastern and Western cultures.

Price: Free

Sun., Jan. 22, 2 p.m.
Christ Chapel
490 Riverside Drive
Morningside Heights
Online: trcnyc.org


Brooklyn Events to Celebrate Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Plants Tour at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Learn about the Asian fruits and plants associated with the Lunar New Year with this free guided tour. The tour will take you through the Steinhardt Conservatory, showcasing citrus plants, bamboo, quince, and more. Plus, the tour will be held in English and Cantonese!

Price: Free with admission

Sat., Jan. 21, 1-2 p.m.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Meet at the Steinhardt Conservatory
1010 Washington Ave.
Prospect Park
Online: bbg.org

Lunar New Year at the Brooklyn Children's Museum

This day-long event will introduce young kids to the culture and celebrations of the Lunar New Year. Learn about new year traditions with live music, stories, and hands-on calligraphy workshops. Head to the museum's rooftop to catch a lion dance parade, performed by the Chinatown Community Young Lions.

Price: Free with admission

Sat., Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
145 Brooklyn Ave.
Crown Heights
Online: brooklynkids.org

Lunar Zoo Year at the Prospect Park Zoo

Every day in February, Prospect Park Zoo will be teaching visitors about rabbits, the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, and how the WIldlife Conservation Society is working toward saving wildlife around the world (and what you can do to help). The zoo's website will also have a free, self-guided scavenger hunt that anyone can participate in, to learn all about rabbits.

Price: Free with admission

Every day in February
450 Flatbush Ave.
Prospect Park
Online: prospectparkzoo.com


Queens Events to Celebrate Lunar New Year

Rabbit-themed Weekend Programs at Alley Pond

Little ones will love meeting the bunny ambassadors of Alley Pond at the two rabbit-themed events they're holding in honor of this year's Zodiac animal. In Bouncing Bunnies, toddlers will read a book about a rabbit and make a take-home craft. In Animal Tales, they'll read "It's Not Easy Being a Bunny" by Marilyn Sadler then head outside for a walk and to look for rabbit tacks. Both events will also feature opportunities to see and pet some of Alley Pond's resident rabbits!

Price: $20-24 per child (with one adult)

Sat., Jan. 21 9:30-10:30 a.m. and Sat., Jan. 21 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Alley Pond
224-65 76th Ave.
Oakland Gardens
Online: alleypond.org

Year of the Rabbit Parade and Festival at Tangram

If you're a parade fanatic and want to experience two Lunar New Year parades in NYC this year—or if the Manhattan Chinatown parade is just a bit much for you and the fam—the Flushing parade may be just the thing for you. The parade will include music, performances, and dancing as it winds its way down from 37th to Queens Crossing (for full parade route, click through to the Eventbrite listing). Following the outdoor marching, head inside for more festivities at the shopping center and food court, Tangram.

Price: Free

Sat., Jan. 21, parade begins at 11 a.m., Tangram event is 1-3 p.m.
133-33 39th Ave.
Online: eventbrite.com

Lunar New Year Celebration at the Queens Museum

The Queens Museum welcomes the New York Chinese Cultural Center for a full afternoon of fun. Be wowed by Kung-Fu demonstrations, watch Lion Dances, learn the basics of calligraphy, and make your own Chinese lanterns. Workshops cater to both kids an adults, making this a great choice for the whole family.

Price: Free with admission

Sun., Jan. 29, 1-4 p.m.
Queens Museum
New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Online: queensmuseum.org

Miffy Presents Lunar New Year at Queens Botanical Garden

The adorable Dutch bunny Miffy invites you out to the Queens Botanical Garden to celebrate the year of the rabbit! The garden celebration will include Lion Dances, Zodiac-inspired crafts, storytimes, "lucky plant" sales, demonstrations, and more. While advance registration is recommended, walk-ins are also fine.

Price: $5 suggested donation

Sat., Jan. 28, 12-4 p.m.
Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main St.
Online: queensbotanical.org

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company: Year of the Black Water Rabbit at Kupferberg Center and NJPAC

This breathtaking performance is a dance and music tribute to Lunar New Year. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company welcomes the new year through colorful costumes, as well as dances and music featuring a fusion of American and Asian styles and cultures. See dragons, peacocks, acrobats, ribbon dances, bamboo instruments, a hip-hop take on traditional Lion Dances, and more.

Price: $27-$35 per ticket

Sat., Jan. 21, Sun., Jan. 22, 2 p.m.
Victoria Theater
Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch Stage
1 Center Street
Newark, NJ
Online: njpac.org

Price: $15

Sun., Feb. 5, 3 p.m.
Kupferberg Center for the Arts
Colden Auditorium
153-49 Reeves Ave.
Online: kupferbergcenter.org

Bronx Events to Celebrate Lunar New Year

Family Art Project: Fan for Lunar New Year at Wave Hill

In this Family Art Project, families will learn about the role and significance of rabbits in the Chinese Zodiac and culture. Then, get hands-on by putting together and decorating a very special fan, inspired by rabbits and other animals on the Zodiac.

Price: Free with admission

Sat., Jan. 21 and Sun., Jan. 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Wave Hill
4900 Independence Ave.
Online: wavehill.org (Sat) and wavehill.org (Sun)

More Places to Celebrate Lunar New Year

Library Workshops and Events

Libraries throughout the city's boroughs have a whole collection of free events planned for Lunar New Year, intended to educate and entertain. The lineup includes exciting scavenger hunts, themed crafting sessions, cultural games and read-alongs, origami paper crafts, and more. Check the events page for more events being added every day!

Various times and locations
Online: Brooklyn, Manhattan and the other boroughs

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