It’s going to be a paw-some year — at least, when it comes to the Lunar calendar. The Year of the Dog officially kicks off Feb. 16 and there’s no shortage of events to commemorate the holiday. From parades to concerts and story hours, here’s what’s going on in the five boroughs.
Sunday, Feb. 11
Lunar New Year Celebration
Canines get their time in the spotlight at the Queens Zoo. Starting at 11 a.m., visitors can join a wide array of holiday activities, from a zodiac-animal scavenger hunt and fortune cookie snack time to a furry animal meet-and-greet and presentation of fascinating coyote facts. (53-51 111th St., Flushing Meadows, 718-271-1500, queenszoo.com; 11 a.m., $5-$8)
Friday, Feb. 16
19th New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival
Lunar New Year restaurant specials in New York City
The Year of the Dog kicks off with a literal bang in Lower Manhattan, where the Better Chinatown Society will spark thousands of firecrackers to ward off bad spirits. Come for the smoke show and stay for lion dancing and other performances. (Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand and Chrystie Sts., betterchinatown.com; 11 a.m., free)
Campfire Conversations: Lunar New Year
Gather ‘round! In a story hour held by the Prospect Park Alliance and Brooklyn Public Library, kids are invited sit by a fire and listen to holiday tales as they enjoy classic Lunar New Year snacks. (Lefferts Historic House, 452 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, 718-789-2822, prospectpark.org; 3 p.m., $3 suggested donation)
Saturday, Feb. 17
Lunar New Year Family Festival
The Museum of Chinese in America in Little Italy packs an afternoon full of activities. From 11 a.m. on, drop in for festive performances and workshops — including a lion dance kick-off — plus kid-friendly arts and craft classes. Little ones will learn to make rattling drums from household supplies, decorate paper pups and customize lion masks with foil paper, pom poms and more. (215 Centre St., 855-955-6622, mocanyc.org; $12, free for kids under 2)
Lunar New Year Plant Sale
Start lunar year 4716 with a lucky new plant. Learn all about auspicious varieties like chrysanthemums and jade plants and purchase one for your home from the Queens Botanical Garden. There will also be Year of the Dog crafts and performances taking place throughout the afternoon. (43-50 Main St., Flushing, 718-886-3800, queensbotanical.org; noon, free admission)
The Costume Art of Imperial Peking Opera
It’s opening day for the newest weekend-only exhibit at Flushing Town Hall. As its name suggests, the display brings together stunning ensembles used in theatrical shows once performed for emperors and queens. (137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing, 718-463-7700 ext. 222, flushingtownhall.org; 2 p.m., $5 suggested donation.
Lunar New Year show
Brookfield Place, the shopping center in Battery Park City, teams up with the New York Chinese Cultural Center to put on a family-friendly show. Swing by the Winter Garden Atrium to watch Chinese musicians, a martial arts demo and lion dancing. (230 Vesey St., 212-978-1698, brookfieldplaceny.com; 2 p.m., free)
Sunday, Feb. 18
Chinese New Year: Year of the Dog
Celebrate with your favorite four-legged pal! In honor of the zodiac sign, the Greenbelt Nature Center on Staten Island is inviting all well-mannered dogs for one big playdate. Meet other pet-owners, take in lots of fresh air, then take your canines on a dog-friendly hike through the nature trail. (Registration is required, call 718-351-3450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; 700 Rockland Ave., Staten Island, sigreenbelt.org; 11 a.m., free)
Losar Family Day: Himalayan New Year Celebration
Usher in the new year — known as Losar in the Himalayas — with art, food and music at the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea. Sample traditional Himalayan treats like khapse pastries, add a personalized note to the museum’s wishing tree, and spend quality time with dogs from New York Therapy Animals. (150 W. 17th St., 212-620-5000, rubinmuseum.org; noon, free.
Lunar New Year Concert and Gala
Two special guests will join the New York Philharmonic for its Lunar New Year concert. Thirteen-year-old pianist Serena Wang and the Farmers’ Chorus of Yunnan Province — performing for the first time outside of China — will accompany the group in a rousing rendition of Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy.” (Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, 212-875-5656, nyphil.org; 7:30 p.m., $35-$110)
Sunday, Feb. 25
19th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade and Festival
Expect big crowds at New York City’s largest celebration. Floats, lion dancers, drummers and more will wind their way through Chinatown as revelers shoot confetti into the air. (For the parade route, visit betterchinatown.com; 1 p.m. free.