Arts & Culture, Day Trips

Celebrate The Year of the Monkey at NYC Lunar New Year Celebrations

chinese new year

The Lunar New Year, aka Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, celebration began on Monday, February 8 and lasts nearly 2 weeks. This year is the Year of the Monkey, and it’s believed those born in monkey years are “quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright, versatile, lively, and smart.” (Learn more about the Chinese Zodiac with your family with our book pick —The Great Race sold by Barefoot Books.)

There’s no better place to experience the beauty of Asian art and culture than New York City. We’ve rounded up some Lunar New Year celebrations to enjoy with your family:


Chinese new year

Chinese New Year Family Celebration
Saturday, February 13 from 11 am – 3 pm
General admission is Free, Workshop fees are $15 Adults / $5 Children

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey at China Institute (100 Washington Street, Downtown Manhattan) where you can enjoy a lion dance, traditional food, and New Year-themed workshops and activities including dumpling making, paper cutting, and a special Year of the Monkey craft.


Chinese new year

Lunar New Year Parade and Festival in Chinatown
Sunday, February 14 starting at 1 pm

Chinatown’s annual celebration is the largest Lunar New Year parade in New York City!  Line up early along the parade route to get a good view of lion and dragon dancers, performers, floats, elected officials and other notables. The parade begins at Canal/Mott Street and ends at SDR Park (Grand Street).


chinese new year

Super Saturday: Lunar New Year Celebration
Saturday, February 20 from 11 am – 2 pm
Chinatown, NYC

Known as Super Saturday in Chinatown, streets including Mott, Elizabeth, Bayard, will be filled with lion dances throughout the day. Go enjoy the sights and sounds of the neighborhood on this “super” day.


Lunar New Year Family Festival

Lunar New Year Family Festival
Saturday, February 20 from 11:30 am – 4 pm
Tickets are $10, free for kids under 2 and can be purchased here

The Museum of Chinese in America will host a celebrate of Chinese and Chinese American traditions and folk arts with zodiac themed arts & crafts, festive music and dance performances, teaching artist demonstrations, storytelling, and much more monkey business!


Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company: Ring in the Year of the Monkey
Saturday, February 21 from 12 pm – 3pm
AMNH, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY
Free with museum admission (Suggested $22 Adults, $12.50 kids 2-12) 

Award-wining Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company rings in the Year of the Monkey at the American Museum of Natural History as just one of the many ways the museum will celebrate the Lunar New Year festival. Families can enjoy Asian art and culture through contemporary choreography, traditional storytelling, and hands-on activities taught by local artisans. See the full schedule here.


Where to Eat

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Our pick for a great family-friendly meal in Chinatown is Amazing 66 (66 Mott Street). For dim sum, don’t miss the rolling carts at Golden Unicorn (18 East Broadway). For a sweet treat, head to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (65 Bayard Street) for authentic and unique flavors such as Lychee, Green Tea, and Black Sesame. But be warned —expect long lines!


(Top photo: Flickr, Chinatown parade photo: Flickr)



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