Things To Do In NYC For Chinese New Year For Tourists

By Casey Makovich

Spending time in NYC for Chinese New Year? Ring it in on January 25, 2020 and get ready for the year of the rat with plenty of special events in the Big Apple where you can celebrate. After celebrating the traditional New Year holiday on January 1, it’s round two with the Chinese New Year. From firecracker celebrations and wild dance performances to martial arts demonstrations, there’s plenty of ways to have fun during the many events in the city. The streets in New York turn festive during the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Free entry to tons of popular New York attractions and activities you can include in your Chinese New Year celebration are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. Here’s a list of 9 fun things to do in NYC for Chinese New Year:

1. Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival

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18th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade (Image credit: betterchinatown.com)[/caption] This celebrated parade is vibrant and colorful with its dragon dancers, lion dancers, marching bands, and floats. This coming year, it’s the “Year of the Rat.” The 2020 parade route stretches from Mott to Chatham Square to East Broadway, past the grand entrance to the Manhattan Bridge and towards Grand Street right next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The parade is a positive riot of color, costume and conviviality that lasts nearly 5 fun-filled hours. This street party welcomes in the Year of the Rat with all sorts of vendors and food. The parade also features some amazing day-time firework displays. Admission to the Lunar New Year Parade is free and open to the public.

2. The Chinatown Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony

The Better Chinatown Society organizes the Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony. Enjoy hundreds of thousands of sparkling fireworks designed to ward off bad spirits for the new year. Afterward, there are a number of colorful dance performances. It’s a can’t-miss event. You can even book a Chinese dinner cruise on the Hudson River to see the fireworks. Circle Line Cruises offers a gourmet 12-course dinner. Admission to the Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony is free and open to the public. Tickets to the Lunar New Year Fireworks Cruise are separately ticketed.

3. The New York Philharmonic Lunar Concert

The New York Philharmonic puts on an annual Lunar Concert to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Experience Beethoven’s grand Choral Fantasy by renowned artists, such as the Farmers’ Chorus of the Yunnan Province and 13-year-old pianist Serena Wang. It’s a gala event. Tickets to The New York Philharmonic Lunar Concert are available for purchase online.

4. The Temple Bazaar

The Temple Bazaar celebrates the Chinese New Year with bright red lanterns floating through the streets. Enjoy Chinese music and martial arts demonstrations. Learn Chinese crafts like calligraphy and paper cutting. You can even munch on authentic Chinese food from Taiwan and Shandong. The Temple Bazaar celebrates the Chinese New Year with plenty of fun activities for everyone, including tourists. Admission to The Temple Bazaar is free and open to the public, some events and activities may be separately ticketed.

5. Savor the Dim Sum

Gather a hungry crew to feast on egg rolls, dumplings and more at some great Chinese restaurants in NYC. Visit the Nom Wah Tea Parlor for some mooncakes. It’s the oldest dim sum parlor in NYC and dates back to 1920. At Tim Ho Wan, you can chow down on some exceptional pork and steamed rice rolls. Jade Asian is well known for its turnip cakes and seafood-stuffed hot peppers. Try the Katz’s pastrami egg roll at Red Farm. It’s a delight. Hakkasan New York celebrates the Chinese New Year featuring a mix of traditional Cantonese dishes and invites guests to celebrate by placing wish ribbons on a wishing tree. There’s even a lion dance performance. Call restaurants in advance for reservations--they're sure to be busy during the New Year!

6. The Madison Street to Madison Avenue Parade

This action-packed festival is all day long. There’s shopping, dance performances, and family entertainment. There’s also traditional Chinese face-changing, colorful lion dancers, and calligraphy demos. It’s just one more way to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Admission to the Madison Street to Madison Avenue Parade is free and open to the public.

7. The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

One of the best ways to fully appreciate your trip to NYC for Chinese New Year is to take a visit to the Museum of Chinese in America where you can learn all about the Chinese culture and traditions you'll be celebrating with the Lunar New Year and learn about what life in NYC and beyond is like for its large Chinese population. The MOCA is a former machine shop inspired by a Chinese house with rooms extending from a central courtyard. It has exhibits that trace the development of Chinese communities along with mixed-media displays of Chinese restaurants and Laundries in New York. Tickets to the Museum of Chinese in America are available for purchase at the door or in advance online.

8. The New Kam Hing Coffee Shop

Get your sugar and caffeine fix at the New Kam Hing Coffee Shop. This 30-year old coffee shop doesn’t look like much but serves up the best boat-shaped white-sugar cake, coffee, and green tea. It also has an angel-food-like interior that is light and airy. Nearby, you should make the time to shop for some great Asian cuisine at the Hong Kong Supermarket. It’s a Chinatown megastore that has everything for Asian food fanatics. Get fermented black beans, fresh noodles, dumpling wrappers and a whole host of other goodies. Everything’s super fresh, and the sushi stall offers tasty fresh rolls to-go. The New Kam Hing Coffee Shop is open to the public.

9. Concerts at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall

Enjoy world-renowned symphonies featuring film and harp projections. There’s even a pre-concert reception where you can dine with the artists. Previous performers include Jiaxin Tian and conductor Gregory Singer. Music is at its best at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Halls. Tickets are available for purchase online. Guided Lincoln Center Tour tickets and guided Carnegie Hall tickets are included with The New York Pass. From dazzling fireworks shows and colorful parades to great museums and concerts, there's no shortage of things to do in NYC for Chinese New Year. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there's nowhere better in America to celebrate Chinese New Year than the Big Apple.

Remember To Save on Attraction Admission

If you're looking for things to do in NYC for Chinese New Year, spend some time in Chinatown checking out all of the festive events, and be sure to add some New York City sightseeing to your itinerary, too. Save on attraction admission with New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York so that you can enjoy more and save more during your trip. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.

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1 Day in New York City - Sample Itinerary with The New York Pass®

With The New York Pass, your sightseeing possibilities are endless. Choose from over 90 included attractions and create an itinerary tailored to your interests and what you want to do and see in the city. We put together a sample 1 Day in New York City Sightseeing Itinerary using The New York Pass to give you some inspiration to start planning your trip and to show how The New York Pass helps you save on combined admission to top New York City attractions. With The New York Pass you can get into all of the attractions in this itinerary for less than it would cost to buy tickets at each attraction. But remember, this is just one of the many 1-day itineraries you could create with The New York Pass – follow the itinerary below, or, visit any and as many of the other included attractions as you want. This Sample 1 Day Itinerary Includes: Big Bus New York Hop-on Hop-off Tour Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Radio City Music Hall Tour Empire State Building Big Bus New York Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Get a full overview of New York City by starting your trip off with a narrated tour of it all. On the tour, you’ll have a double-decker view of all the city’s top attractions, landmarks, sights, and layout so you can take note of any areas and attractions you want to go back to and visit. You’ll have access to the tour’s 3 routes: Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown and be able to hop on or off at any of the 25+ stops An on-board tour guide will direct your attention to notable sights while providing entertaining and educational narration along the way, so you’ll learn some NYC history, fun facts, unique culture, and more. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises (Seasonal) Get out on the water for some unique New York City views. Your New York Pass lets you choose from 6 Circle Line cruise options, but to get the most out of your day, choose one of the 2 options that will have you back on land before lunch: 30-minute BEAST Speedboat/Thrill Ride: zoom around the Hudson River at speeds of up to 45 mph on the 70-foot BEAST speedboat. You’ll cruise towards the Statue of Liberty while your captain performs tricks like sharp turns, twists, corkscrews, and more—all with Midtown and Lower Manhattan as your backdrop. 1-hour Liberty Cruise: get up-close views of the Statue of Liberty while learning all about the history and cultural importance of the statue and how she became an icon of freedom, hope, and liberty that extends beyond her physical presence in New York City from educational and entertaining narration. You get unbeatable views of Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, the New York City skyline, and more. No matter which cruise you choose, Circle Line’s knowledgeable guides will narrate your experience with fun facts and information, so you’ll learn some of the city’s fascinating and notable history while seeing the sights from the perspective of the water. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Explore American military and maritime history at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where you can climb on board four important historic vessels: the museum’s namesake aircraft carrier, Intrepid, the submarine Growler, the space shuttle Enterprise, and the British Airways Concorde. In addition to the four vessels, the museum features an Exploreum Interactive Hall, a hands-on exhibition space and education center dedicated to inspiring an appreciation for history, science, and all those who serve our country. Planet Hollywood - Save 15% Grab a late lunch and save 15% off food, beverages, and merchandise with your New York Pass at Planet Hollywood. You’ll get to dine in an atmosphere dedicated to celebrating all things Hollywood and movie magic with a hint of nostalgia for the films and celebrities of yore—a restaurant venue worth a visit on its own! Radio City Music Hall Tour Take a 75-minute tour of this world-famous entertainment venue and walk in the footsteps (or leg kicks) of legends, like its resident headline performers, the Rockettes. On the tour, you’ll get to meet one of the world-famous Rockette performers, see the celebrity-signed guest book, explore the revered Art-Deco interiors, learn some of the secrets of the show biz trade, and more. Empire State Building Finish your day of sightseeing off with a visit to one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the Empire State Building. You’ll get some of the best views in the entire city from its 360-degree open-air observation deck and after a full day of touring, you’ll be able to put some context to the views you’ll get from above. During your visit, check out the Empire State Building Experience which includes access to the newly restored Art Deco lobby, the historical Dare to Dream and Sustainability exhibits before hopping in the elevator to the observation deck on the 86th floor. From the deck, you’ll have unobstructed views of the city in every direction from 1,050 feet above ground. Free, self-guided multimedia tours are available to help you identify buildings and landmarks along the skyline.
Shashia Mitchell
Manhattan
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Things to Do in Midtown Manhattan & Midtown NYC

Looking for things to do in Midtown Manhattan? As home to world-famous Times Square, Fifth Avenue, and many of the city's most popular skyscrapers and landmarks, there are a lot of fun and entertaining things to do in Midtown Manhattan and it’s one of the most frequented spots in the city for visitors. Midtown Manhattan is considered the area between 60th Street and 14th Street. Stretching nearly 50 blocks within the middle of the Manhattan borough, its packed with popular attractions, historic landmarks, some of the world’s best restaurants, shopping, and more. Guided Tours in Midtown Manhattan Often a quick and easy way to view as much as possible, Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tours and The Ride are popular ways to get a guided over tour of the city and you can start both right in Midtown. Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Sightseeing Tours plays chauffeur to large groups, taking them around the city to all of the most notable landmarks like Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, and many more. Not only can you take a comfy journey through midtown on the double-decker Big Bus, you also have the option of touring Manhattan’s Uptown and Downtown routes, in addition to the Midtown route, with your same ticket. The Ride features a unique way to experience the city with tons of entertainment along the way. The interior design of the bus allows groups to sit sideways and take in the view of Midtown’s beautiful skyscrapers as well as the action-packed streets of Manhattan, where you’ll get to see 5-7 performances by street talent throughout the city. While in New York, it would be a shame not to spend some time touring and admiring the amazing architecture that exists in the city. The Highlights of Midtown Architectural Tour will take you to the famous NYC buildings like the Chrysler Building, Ford Foundation Building, and even Grand Central Station, where you can take the self-guided Grand Central Terminal Audio Tour and gain insight to GCT’s history and interesting facts about the design of the building. Another great Midtown tour is the Madison Square Garden – All Access Tour which allows you to visit the world’s most famous entertainment arena. While touring, you can step foot inside of the locker rooms of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. Further uptown, you can take the Rockefeller Center Tour and learn about the Rockefeller family and history of the plaza. After the tour, use your pass for the building’s observation deck experience, Top of the Rock, where you’ll get a stunning, 360-degree panoramic view of the entire city. Museums in Midtown Manhattan No trip to New York City is complete without experience the museum-going culture that NYC is known for. Manhattan is home to some of the world’s most famous art museums, many of which can be found right in Midtown. Tourists and native New Yorkers alike love to view the creative exhibits on display at museums like the MoMA and the Whitney Museum of Art just as much as they enjoy seeing the lively figures of famous celebrities shown at Madame Tussauds. If you’re more a fan of the sciences, another great museum experience in Midtown is the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum which is held on a real ship docked on the Hudson River with installations and exhibits you can explore in the ship’s interior.
Shashia Mitchell
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Visiting New York for Easter

Visiting New York this Easter? Planning your itinerary couldn't be easier with New York Pass, your key to effortless planning, saving, and sightseeing. If you're looking for some inspiration for your upcoming trip, then check out this perfect three-day itinerary which offers the perfect introduction to the city that never sleeps. Day 1 Empire State Building An American icon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, and one of the most visited landmarks in the world, the Empire State Building is synonymous with New York City. No trip to New York would be complete without seeing the city's skyline from its 86th-floor observation deck. The Empire State Building is a landmark in New York City. It represents American progress and innovation for over 90 years. It is an example of Art Deco architecture, standing at 1,454 feet tall with 102 floors. It was once the tallest building in the world. The construction of the building took only 14 months. It remains a popular tourist attraction today. Visitors from all over the world come to marvel at its beauty and history. The Empire State Building- More than Just a Landmark The Empire State Building is more than just a physical landmark. It is a symbol of the American dream, featured in many movies, TV shows, and books. It has also played a part in significant historical events, including 9/11. Despite being hit by a plane, the building stood strong, a testament to the resilience of the American people. The Empire State Building is a significant part of New York City's skyline and a source of pride for its residents. Its lights change color for important occasions, such as pink for breast cancer awareness and green for St. Patrick's Day. It is a marvel of engineering and design, showcasing human ingenuity and perseverance. Top of the Rock Top of the Rock offers picturesque views throughout the whole day. Visit early in the day and experience New York’s iconic architecture. Enjoy a magical afternoon 850 ft above the ground as you watch the sun sets over Manhattan. At night, be mesmerized by the lights of the ‘the city that never sleeps.’ The Rockefeller Center's Top of the Rock is a popular attraction in New York City. It provides breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline. Visitors can enjoy 360-degree views from three observation decks. The top deck is perched on the 70th floor and offers clear views of Central Park, the Empire State Building, and the Hudson River. The Rockefeller Observation Deck The outdoor observation deck on the 67th floor of Top of the Rock is a unique feature that offers visitors a chance to enjoy the view while feeling the breeze. The deck is equipped with glass panels for clear viewing of the city from all angles. Top of the Rock provides various activities and experiences besides observation decks. Visitors can access multimedia exhibits that provide insights into the history of the Rockefeller Center and its role in New York City. Additionally, interactive displays are available for visitors to explore the city's landmarks and neighborhoods. Top of the Rock is a popular destination in New York City, offering impressive views from the top of the Rockefeller Center. It is a must see if you plan on visiting the city this Easter. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) With its long legacy of supporting the arts, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is considered a sanctum for New York art lovers and artists alike. Over 90 years, its collection of contemporary art has grown to be one of the best and largest in the world. Rotating permanent exhibitions, visiting collections and iconic masterpieces have attracted around 2.8 million global visitors a year. Visit the attraction's official website for its timetable and discover special exhibits during March and April. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a renowned cultural institution located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It features an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art, and has been visited by countless scholars and tourists from across the globe since it first opened its doors in 1929. What to Expect to See At the MoMA The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has a collection of over 200,000 works of art, covering disciplines like painting, sculpture, photography, video, and design. Notable artists like Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol are represented, with Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Cans" being an iconic piece from the pop art era. Visitors of any age can explore and learn from the extensive collection. The MoMA offers various events and activities throughout the year, in addition to its art collection. Its goal is to promote modern and contemporary art and to serve as a cultural center. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) showcases both permanent and temporary exhibitions, featuring work from established and up-and-coming artists worldwide. These exhibitions offer opportunities to learn about emerging artists and discuss current topics through a creative lens. Day 2 Statue of Liberty Ferry and Ellis Island Immigration Museum The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island represent centuries of American history, compassion, and diversity. Visit the Statue of Liberty and explore Ellis Island, where more than 12 million immigrants were processed upon their arrival in the United States. Your New York Pass gives you free museum tickets to paid exhibitions and an audio tour available in multiple languages. The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by France in 1886 as a symbol of freedom. It is 305 feet tall and has become a symbol of hope for many. It was also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The Historical Significance of the Ellis Island From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island was where immigrants entered the United States. It was a significant and emotional place for those who passed through its halls. For many, it was the start of a new life, free from poverty and persecution. Now, the island is a museum that reflects America's immigration history and the challenges faced by new arrivals. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are recognized as symbols of the American dream and freedom. They serve as a reminder of the values upon which America was established and the sacrifices of previous generations. 9/11 Memorial & Museum If Easter also means remembrance, there's no better place than here. Located on the site of the original World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial pays homage to the 2983 victims of the 1993 and 2001 attacks. The Museum showcases the challenging story of these tragic events through artifacts, testimonies, and first-hand accounts. Experience moments of reflection at the Memorial's pools and the Museum's interactive exhibits. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a tribute to the lives lost and affected by the events of September 11th, 2001. Upon arrival, visitors will see two large reflecting pools that mark the footprints of the Twin Towers. The surrounding bronze panels contain the names of nearly 3,000 individuals who lost their lives in the attacks, as well as six others killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. What You Can Expect to See at the 9/11 Museum The museum displays a collection of artifacts, photographs, and personal stories that take visitors back in time to the day of the attacks. Notable exhibits include a section of the original steel trident from the North Tower and a damaged fire truck. Interactive exhibits are also available, including a three-part video installation that chronicles the events of the day. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum serves as a reminder of human resilience in tragic circumstances. Visitors leave with a renewed appreciation for life and the value of unity during times of crisis. Day 3 1 Day Big Bus Tour - Join the tour for free with The New York Pass® TripAdvisor's top-rated NYC bus tour, Big Bus New York is the only sightseeing bus with live commentary and hop-on-hop-off access at 25+ bus stops located across the city. After two days of exploration, let the city come to you on a Big Bus tour, which will take you across Manhattan, discovering all the sights and landmarks including the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty. When it comes to bus tours in New York City, few companies can compare to Big Bus Tours. These excursions are perfect for both first-time tourists and seasoned explorers because they focus on the city's most recognizable landmarks. Big Bus Tours gives its customers options by offering several different tour packages. Tourists may easily find a trip that works with their schedule and interests among the options provided by these packages, which range from hop-on, hop-off excursions to night tours and VIP tours. Why So Many People Love the Big Bus Tour in New York A bus tour in New York is a great way to see the city from a different angle. Views of the cityscape may be seen from the upper deck of a double-decker bus, and passengers will also learn about the city's history and culture from their knowledgeable tour guide. Given the hassles of driving and parking in New York City, taking a bus tour is a practical alternative. Having trained drivers take the wheel makes the trip more relaxing, and Big Bus Tours' comprehensive route network makes getting to all the major sights a breeze. Visitors to New York City should consider taking a Big Bus Tours bus tour. It's a fun and enlightening way to learn about the area and have new adventures with minimal effort. Or Unlimited Biking - Central Park - Rentals are free with The New York Pass® An Easter picnic would not look out of place in Central Park: an oasis in the middle of the NYC metropolis. Rent a bike and cycle through America's first landscaped park, stopping at famous attractions such as Strawberry Fields, Shakespeare Garden, and Cherry Hill fountain. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - Entry is free with The New York Pass® Skip the ticket line during the busy Easter months. The Guggenheim Museum is considered an architectural masterpiece and home to one of the finest modern art collections in the world. Ascend the landmark's grand spiral and experience its special exhibitions and permanent collections during March and April. Visit the attraction's official website for its timetable. With entry to 100+ attractions, experiences, and tours all included on one pass, it's no wonder we're New York's favorite sightseeing pass. Just choose your duration and start sightseeing when you're ready. And don't forget to download your New York Pass app when you choose mobile delivery at checkout. Build your itinerary or follow our expert picks, enjoy exclusive offers and content and scan-and-go into all included attractions.
Kirsten McCroskrie

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