Lunar New Year 2024: How to celebrate the Year of the Dragon in NYC

January 23, 2024

Lunar New Year, the two-week-long festival that ushers in spring and new beginnings, starts on February 10 and runs until February 24. This year marks the Year of the Dragon, which is the fifth animal in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiacs and is said to possess the sharpest sense of self among all other zodiac signs. Ahead, find many ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year in New York City, from taking craft lessons from master artisans at the Chinese Institute in America’s family festival to attending Chinatown’s annual parade and firecracker celebration.

Image courtesy of The Shops at Hudson Yards

Manhattan

Lunar New Year at Hudson Yards
The Shops at Hudson Yards, 20 Hudson Yards
January 22 through February 12

Hudson Yards is celebrating the Year of the Dragon with free lion dances and ribbon-twirling performances, traditional decor, and lots of special deals and discounts at its stores and restaurants. Customers who spend $188 or more on one day inside Hudson Yards will receive a complimentary gift. You can get validated by showing your same-day receipts to the concierge desk on level one.

Visitors can catch the lion dances and ribbon-twirling performances, presented by the New York Chinese Cultural Center, every Saturday (1/27, 2/3, and 2/10), at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Image courtesy of Tsingtao

Toast to the Year of the Dragon with Tsingtao
January 30 through February 12
Tsingtao is collaborating with four critically acclaimed Chinese restaurants in NYC to create Tsingtao-infused culinary specials. From January 30 through February 12, sit down for a meal at Hutong, MáLà ProjectMilu, and Hunan Slurp and enjoy beer-infused flavors and innovative dishes.

Take a look below at the limited-edition meals:

Hutong:

  • “Xingréng Pijiu” ($20): A creative beer cocktail combining Tsingtao with tomato juice, Maggi seasoning, and a blend of spices, served with a Tajin and ground Sichuan red peppercorn rim, garnished with a red chili pepper and dehydrated yuzu wheel.
  • “Qingfu Pijiu” ($18): A refreshing beer cocktail featuring Tsingtao with passion fruit purée, honey, yuzu, and a hint of Sichuan red peppercorn spice, garnished with a banana leaf and orchid flower.
  • Beef Tenderloin with Leeks ($48): A flavorful dish of pan-seared beef tenderloin and leeks, cooked with Tsingtao, ginger, scallions, and seasoning, finished with potato starch water and sesame oil.
  • Mala Beer Prawns ($42): Shrimp boiled with Tsingtao and tossed with ginger, scallions, peppers, Chinese celery, and Sichuan peppercorns, creating a bold and spicy flavor.

MáLà Project (all four locations):

  • White Jade ($18): A mix of Tsingtao Beer Syrup, white rum, spiced ginger tea, and lemon. 
  • Chino Barrio ($18): A bold concoction of Tsingtao Beer, bourbon, bird-eye chili pepper, grenadine, pineapple, and lime. 
  • Dragon Dance ($18): A celebration in a glass with Tsingtao Beer, rosemary Aperol, grapefruit, and honey. 

Milu:

  • Tsingtao Marinated Chicken ($26): Half chicken marinated in Tsingtao, served with sesame garlic sweet potatoes, and rice. Available for dinner only. 
  • Umeshandy ($8): A refreshing blend of Tsingtao beer with umeshu, sherry, and lime, rimmed with salted Sichuan pepper. Available for dinner only. 

Hunan Slurp:

  • Beer Duck ($33): Duck braised in a rich sauce of chili pepper, ginger, and Tsingtao beer.
Platform by James Beard Foundation

Lunar New Year Dinner & Social
Pier 57, 25 11th Avenue, Chelsea
February 2 at 7 p.m.

On February 2, Zhan Chen, executive chef of Potluck Club, and Helen Nguyen, chef and owner of Saigon Social, are hosting an exclusive dinner at Platform by James Beard Foundation, a state-of-the-art show kitchen in Pier 57. Patrons will enjoy some of the chef’s favorite Lunar New Year meals, including coconut juice-braised pork belly, duck confit rice rolls, and more. You can learn more about the dinner here.

Image courtesy of Filip Wolak

Celebrating the Year of the Dragon at the Met
The Met, 1000 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
February 3 through January 2025.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is throwing an exciting family-friendly festival to honor the Year of the Dragon. The world-renowned museum is hosting live performances, interactive activities, artist-led workshops, and more. Highlights of the festival include a kick-off celebration by the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute, a performance by the Sesame Street Muppeteers featuring Alan Muraoka, and a poetry reading by Yu and Me Books. All activities are free with museum admission, and no advanced registration is required. A full schedule of events can be found here.

The festival coincides with the opening of a new exhibition at the museum called “Celebrating the Year of the Dragon,” a curated selection of art that honors the most beloved animal in Chinese culture. The exhibition features a selection of more than 20 works from the museum’s permanent collection that depict the mythical creature in a variety of media, including ceramic, jade, lacquer, metalwork, and textiles.

The featured works illustrate the important role that the dragon has played as a symbol of imperial authority, a force that dispels evil, and a “benevolent deity that brings auspicious rain to all life on earth.” Highlights of the exhibition include a third-century BCE jade pendant of a spirited dragon with a sinuous body, a seventh-century bronze mirror with symbols of the four cardinal directions, and a giant 16th-century blue and white porcelain jar with dragons weaving through clouds and waves.

China Institute in America’s Lunar New Year Family Festival
China Institute in America, 40 Rector Street, Financial District
February 4 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

For their action-packed festival, the China Institute in America is flying out master artists from the Zhejiang province of China to provide an authentic, engaging, cultural experience for visitors.

The celebration will begin with a traditional lion dance, followed by a famous Taishun string puppet performance. Chinese artisans will lead Lunar New Year-themed stations and interactive workshops for participants of all ages, including Taizhou embroidery, rice dough sculpturing, Song-dynasty tea whisking and tasting, Nan-Song dynasty pottery sculpting, 3D sugar painting, New Year woodblock printing, and more.

The themed stations and workshops are available for visitors on a first-come-first-served basis. General admission for adults starts at $15 and can be purchased here.

Lunar New Year Book ‘Tasting’ at the Library
Harry Belafonte Library, 203 West 115th Street, Harlem
February 6 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Come and sample books at the New York Public Library’s Harry Belafonte Branch in Harlem, including cookbooks, history, arts & crafts, fiction, and more, celebrating the Lunar New Year around the world.

Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival
Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Chrystie Street and Forsyth Street, Chinatown
February 10 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival is returning to Chinatown’s Sara D. Roosevelt Park for its 26th year. During the festival, thousands of firecrackers are set ablaze to ward off evil spirits and welcome in the Year of the Dragon. The event will also feature live dance performances, food & drink vendors, giveaways, and more.

Lunar New Year at the Seaport
February 17
South Street Seaport, Manhattan

The Seaport is partnering with the New York Chinese Cultural Center and the South Street Seaport Museum for a day full of fun Lunar New Year festivities. Activities will take place throughout the day and include live lion dance performances, calligraphy, arts & crafts, and more to be announced.

Image courtesy of MOCA

MOCA Family Festival
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street, Chinatown
February 17 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Museum of Chinese in America is hosting an action-packed festival with attractions for the entire family. The festival kicks off with spring festival dances by the famous Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, who will dazzle the crowds with an innovative, hip-hop-infused lion dance, and a plethora of other activities.

Throughout the event, guests can try bite-sized Lunar Year treats, attend a meet & greet with authors Michele Wong McSween and Ms. Pauline, watch live demonstrations of noodle pulling and candy making, create arts & crafts, and more.

Tickets cost $5 and kids under two are free.

Photo courtesy of Explore Chinatown on Wikimedia

Chinese New Year Parade
Chinatown
February 25 at 1 p.m.
Chinatown’s annual Lunar Year Parade is returning to Lower Manhattan on February 25. Hosted by Better Chinatown, 2024’s parade celebrates the Year of the Dragon and features traditional dragon dancing, striking outfits, martial arts performers, food and drink vendors, and much more. The procession kicks off at the corner of Mott and Hester Streets before traveling down to Chatham Square. The parade then sets off across East Broadway and up Forsyth Street before ending at Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

Image courtesy of Argenis Apolinario for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

Brooklyn

Lunar New Year Night Market
Hana House, 345 Adams Street, Downtown Brooklyn
February 2 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Downtown Brooklyn’s Hana House is celebrating the Year of the Dragon with its Asian American and Pacific Islander community with a night market featuring food from local vendors, giveaways, performances, and more. The market includes more than 25 Asian American small businesses offering food and beverages, lifestyle goods, arts & crafts, and other specialties.

Tickets cost $8 plus fees and can be purchased here.

Lunar Eclipse at the Brooklyn Hanger
The Brooklyn Hanger, 2 52nd Street, Sunset Park
February 2 to February 18

In celebration of the Lunar New Year, the Brooklyn Hanger is hosting a first-of-its-kind two-week-long electric dance music experience featuring a stacked lineup of world-class DJs. The lineup includes Tiesto, Zedd, Rezz, Alesso, and more. A full lineup can be found here.

Courtesy of City Point

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s Lunar New Year Celebration
Albee Square, Corner of Fulton and Bond Streets, Downtown Brooklyn
February 3 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is ringing in the Year of the Dragon at Albee Square and City Point BKLYN. Experience live performances on Albee Square, featuring traditional line dances by the Choy Lay Fut Dance Team and music spun by DJ Boogie. DTBK will be giving away red envelopes filled with coins and a select few with gift certificates to some of the Asian-owned businesses in the area.

At City Point, guests can enjoy a Balloontopia pop-up featuring life-sized dragons, fish, and the symbol ‘fu,’ a balloon hut, as well as family-friendly arts and crafts. Festivities in Albee Square and City Point are completely free and all are welcome to celebrate.

Year of the Dragon at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Crown Heights
February 11 at 10 a.m.

Join the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to ring in the Year of the Dragon with engaging activities like storytelling, live music, calligraphy workshops, kung fu lessons, and a rooftop lion dance parade led by the Chinatown Community Young Lions. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased here.

Spring Festival at Avant Gardner
Avant Gardner, 140 Stewart Avenue, East Williamsburg
February 18 from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and February 19
from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Avant Gardner is hosting a venue-wide takeover during President’s Day weekend to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The sprawling music venue is hosting two of the biggest dance music artists, SLANDER & Alan Walker, as well as more prominent artists that are yet to be announced.

Photo by Eryn Hatzithomas courtesy of the Queens Botanical Garden

Queens

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company presents Year of the Dragon
Goldstein Theatre, 153-49, Reeves Avenue, Kew Garden Hills
January 27 and 28 at 3 p.m.
and 7 p.m.
The world-famous Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is performing a dazzling family dance at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College in honor of the Lunar New Year. Sit back and be amazed as world-class performers grace the stage in vibrant costumes and captivate the audience with acrobatics, twirling ribbons, and many more attractions. There will also be a variety of pre-show family activities in the lobby. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased here.

Lunar New Year at Flushing Town Hall
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Queens
February 11 at 11:30 a.m.

Flushing Town Hall has an action-packed itinerary in store for the Lunar New Year. On February 11, travel to the town hall to witness a fun parade, cultural bazaar, cultural performances, and more. Here is the schedule for the events:

  • Parade: 11:30 a.m.
    The procession kicks off at Glow Cultural Center at 133-29 41st Avenue and ends at Flushing Town Hall at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, making its way through 41st Avenue, Main Street, and Northern Boulevard
  • Cultural performances: 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    The day’s first performance “Glow Dragon Part 1” will be held in Flushing Town Hall’s 2nd floor theater. Headliners include two-time Guinness World Record-holder Lina Liu, who will display her umbrella foot juggling skills, and Sichuan face-changing, and lion dance. The second performance, “Glow Dragon Part 2,” features the family-friendly Chinese acrobat Yang Xiao Di, a sword dance, and traditional Chinese opera.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Lunar New Year at Queens Center Mall
Queens Center Mall, 90-15 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst
February 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Immerse yourself in a festive atmosphere at Queens Center Mall’s Year of the Dragon celebration. The captivating event will be filled with cultural delights and exciting activities, including a lion dancer parade around the mall, a K-pop dance workshop for kids with special prize giveaways, and a Chinese culture revival zone featuring hands-on activities like calligraphy and paper flower crafting.

Lunar New Year celebration at the Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street, Flushing
February 18 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Queens Botanical Garden is inviting guests to celebrate the Lunar New Year with traditional lion dance performances by the Lion Dance Troupe of the Chinese Center on Long Island, traditional Chinese music by the BaBan Chinese Music Society of New York, arts & crafts, and a vendor fair. Admission is free with a suggested $5 donation.

The Bronx

Family Art Project: Fan of the Lunar New Year
Wavehill Public Garden and Cultural Center, 4900 Independence Avenue, Bronx, NY
February 10 and 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Bronx’s Wavehill Public Garden is celebrating the Year of the Dragon by teaching guests about its importance in the Chinese zodiac. After learning about the Year of the Dragon, participants will build and decorate a fan inspired by “dragons” found in nature, including lizards, snakes, and other creatures. Advanced registration is not required.

Staten Island

Lunar New Year at the Staten Island Zoo
Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway
January 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Staten Island Zoo has a lot in store for the Year of the Dragon. The zoo is inviting guests to learn more about the symbolic importance of animals in the Chinese zodiac through special talks and encounters featuring animals associated with the Lunar New Year. The events are free with zoo admission.

Snug Harbor Chinese New Year Celebration
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island
February 17 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Wear your best red and gold outfits and travel to Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden for a day of celebration. The center is hosting a slew of festivities in honor of the Lunar New Year, including storytelling, arts & crafts, dance performances, and an adult-only calligraphy workshop.

Admission costs $12, and students, seniors, and Snug Harbor members receive a 20 percent discount.

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  1. D

    I am so happy that there are many things to do for Chinese New Year 2024, in NYC..And most of all, they are published, so that everyone will enjoy!

  2. O

    appreciate, thank you for the list of activities available 🙏. taking my grandchild. happy New Year