Good news, New York — there’s no need to head out of town to commemorate the Year of the Rooster.
Several Big Apple neighborhoods — including Manhattan’s Chinatown, Flushing, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn — offer the chance to experience an authentic Lunar New Year celebration without leaving the city. That means boisterous parades, rousing dance demonstrations and other interactive culture-packed events are officially upon us.
Here are some of the best ways to ring in the Lunar New Year in NYC:
Brooklyn Lunar New Year Parade
When: Sunday, Jan. 29, 12 p.m.
Where: Sunset Park, Brooklyn
The first of the major New York parades, it doesn’t measure up in size to, say, the Manhattan precession, but it’s a good way to get into the Lunar New Year spirit a week ahead of the others.
The hour-long event starts on 8th Ave and 50th St. in the neighborhood known as Chinatown in Brooklyn, with the same guarantees of floats, firecrackers and confetti on tap.
New York Philharmonic: Chinese New Year Celebration
When: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Where: David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center
The famed symphony orchestra hits a high note with holiday revelers. The renowned musicians are putting on a Chinese New Year show for a sixth straight year, with the concert set to feature a blend of classical staples as well as Chinese folk hits such as “Jasmine Flower.”
Tickets run from $35 to $110.
Queens Lunar New Year Parade and Celebration
When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 11 a.m.
Where: Flushing, Queens
Nearly as eccentric as the Manhattan Chinatown parade, the extravaganza in Flushing boasts the same colorful floats, firecrackers and steel drummers a day earlier.
The parade itself, which is free to attend, lasts for about an hour — and organizers encourage attendees to bring signs for the event, as well as their appetites to taste food within the community after.
The route starts on Union St. and 37th Ave and ends up at around the Queens Crossing shopping center.
Chinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Rooster in FiDi
When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 1-7 p.m.
Where: China Institute in the Financial District
The afternoon begins with dumpling-making classes, paper lantern workshops and family-friendly storytelling sessions about the Lunar New Year. At 4 p.m., the event transitions into a concert/party, where attendees are treated to a traditional lion dance performance in honor of the holiday.
The classes cost $20 for adults but just $5 for kids, while concert tickets go for $20 a head.
Lunar New Year Celebration at the Queens Zoo
When: Feb. 4-5
Where: Corona, Queens
Visitors at the Queens Zoo can enjoy holiday-themed puppet performances before embarking on a zodiac scavenger hunt within the menagerie’s walls. The best part? All New Year festivities are free once you pay standard zoo admission prices.
New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
When: Feb. 5, 1:00 p.m.
Widely considered New York’s premiere Lunar New Year event, this vibrant cavalcade of dragon floats and costumed dancers returns to Manhattan for an 18th straight year.
Thousands will line the streets as the impressive precession kicks off on the corner of Hester and Mott before weaving its way down to Chatham Square and turning onto East Broadway. The parade then works its way back up Forsyth St. before ending up just outside Sara D. Roosevelt Park — where the festivities continue for several more hours.
Our recommendation: Get there about an hour early. The best viewing spots start filling up at around 12 p.m.
Lunar New Year Family Festival at the Museum of Chinese in America
When: Saturday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Where: Museum of Chinese in America in Chinatown
Keep the celebration going for another week at this interactive shindig inside Chinatown’s storied Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).
The jam-packed itinerary includes a lion dance performance and instructive tutorial from Columbia University’s Lion Dance team, a sampling session of dumplings, sesame balls and other treats and a Mandarin lesson about Zodiac animals.
And who could pass up the Lunar New Year Selfie Station, where organizers say you can snap pics with decorations and food at the museum’s “signature photo corner.”
Tickets go for $12 each.
Lunar New Year Celebration at Prospect Park Zoo
When: Saturday, Feb. 18
Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Can’t make the trip out to Queens? The Prospect Park Zoo has you covered.
The park hosts a similar celebration that also featuring a puppet show and scavenger hunt, as well as the chance to see real chickens and roosters in their big year.
Once again, it’s all covered in the price of admission.
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