Gung Hay Fat Choy! It’s time to welcome the Year of the Sheep (or Goat) this Chinese New Year, Thurs., Feb. 19 in 2015. NYC boasts America’s largest Chinatown, so why not get out there and celebrate with lion dances, fireworks and little red envelopes stuffed with money? Parades and scrumptious foods aren’t the only game in town. Check out the following 13 family-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
1. Blaaast into the New Year at the Museum of Chinese in America. Don’t miss the Lion Dance. Learn to make puppets, hear a storytime, see a balloon artist and more. Sat., Feb. 28. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Chinatown. $10, kids under age 2 free. All ages. Event details.
2. Get crafty at the MET. Make an accordion book, see Sesame Street Puppeteers, create shadow puppets and more at the MET’s afternoon Lunar New Year celebration. Sat., Feb. 28. Upper East Side. Free with Museum admission. All ages. Event details.
3. Celebrate at Asia Society. Here you’ll find an assortment of fun, including arts and crafts, songs and dances, and a Kung Fu demonstration. Tickets are only $5 for kids! Sat., Feb. 21., 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Upper East Side. $10/adults, $5/kids. All ages. Event details.
4. Learn to make dumplings and more. The entire family can watch a free lion dance and kung fu performance, followed by paid workshops for children ages 5 to 10 at the China Institute. Learn to make Chinese lanterns or, as an extra special treat, make dumplings! Sun., Feb. 22, 11 a.m. Midtown. $5-25. Ages 5-10. Event details.
5. Experience 600,000 fireworks. If 600,000 (yes, that’s six hundred thousand) rounds of firecrackers aren’t enough, there will also be festive drumming. Thurs., Feb., 19. 11 a.m. Chinatown. Free. All ages. Event details.
6. Be wowed by the Lunar Festival and Parade. The parade starts at Hester Street and Mott Street and flows through Chinatown up to Broome Street and Forsyth Street. At the end you’ll find a cultural festival of vendors, food and an overall feast for the senses. Sun., Feb. 22, 1 p.m. Chinatown. Free. All ages. Event details.
7. See a vibrant performance by the New York Chinese Cultural Center. The stunning program at the Queens Museum includes a lion dance and a visual arts demo and ends with a hands-on Chinese paper cutting workshop. Sun., Feb. 15, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Flushing. Free with Museum admission. All ages. Event details.
8. Attend a traditional Lunar New Year Bazaar. This fair boasts dazzling performances (including a lion dance of course!), folk music, martial arts, craft workshops, food and more. Sat., Feb. 14, 11 a.m.. Flushing. Free. All ages. Event details.
9. Catch the Queens Chinese New Year Parade. The colorful display of dragons, dancers and more will march down Main St. Sat., Feb. 21, 11 a.m. Flushing. Free. All ages.
10. Celebrate at the QBG. The Queens Botanic Garden is having a post-parade party including crafts and activities just for kids. Sat., Feb. 21, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Flushing. Free. All ages. Event details.
11. See a giant dragon puppet parade through the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Kids also get to write their wishes and decorate a paper square to feed to the dragon as it passes by, ensuring a good year to come. Sat., Feb. 14, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Crown Heights. Free with Museum admission. All ages. Event details.
12. Watch a Double Sword Dance. What’s that? Find out at the Brooklyn Central Library’s family celebration of the Year of the Sheep. Sat., Feb. 21, 1 p.m. Prospect Heights. Free. All ages. Event details.
13. Celebrate the Year of the Sheep with sheep. The day includes a meet-the-sheep moment, a puppet show by Chinese Theater Works and a Lunar New Year Zodiac Scavenger Hunt. Sat., Feb. 21 & Sun., Feb. 22, 11 a.m. Prospect Park. Free with Museum admission. All ages. Event details.
How will you celebrate the Year of the Sheep?
— Alina Adams & Julie Seguss