Lunar New Year Parade in New York City’s Chinatown

The Lunar New Year is celebrated at various locations throughout the five boroughs. But easily the most festive Lunar New Year parade in New York City can be found in Chinatown. This year’s parade is on February 17th.

It’s the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese Zodiac, so dress in your most auspicious reds and make your way out to Mott Street and Canal Street in Lower Manhattan to get in on all the festivities. There will be impressive floats, marching bands, lion dance troupes, dancers and, of course, those colorful confetti sticks popping off along the parade route. Just make sure to get there early for the best vantage, it can get mighty crowded.

You can find more information on the parade, including the complete route, and other Chinatown celebrations here.

You can get a birdseye view of the event from our coverage of 2018’s Year of the Dragon here.

Make Hearts for Humans with Army of Lovers

Do you dread Valentine’s Day or relish it? Whether you are single, married, “consciously coupled” or in the nascent stages of a recently established relationship, Valentine’s Day evokes complicated, sometimes ambivalent feelings. It’s a holiday that is purportedly focused on the celebration of love but oftentimes feels overly commercialized, exclusive or judgemental.  Army of Lovers seeks to change that. At heart (pun intended) Army of Lovers started as a humble community organization, founded in Brooklyn in 2013 by Erika Anderson. Army of Lovers has since blossomed into a loosely organized international movement with the goal of recognizing everyone’s humanity, dignity, and need to feel loved.

Make Hearts for Humans is one of Army of Lovers’ crafting events in which like-minded individuals make cards for the purpose of passing them out to complete strangers around the city on Valentine’s Day. The event is being held in New York City on February 9th from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. It’s free, open to the public, and a great opportunity to meet locals and, perhaps, make new friends. Events like Hearts for Humans will also be hosted in various cities around the country and the world. And if the event strikes you as something you would like to do yourself, you can host your own. Details on that, all other events, and the particulars of the organization can be found through their website here.

For a preview of the event, check out our post from a previous Hearts for Humans crafting event here.

The Best FREE Things to Do in New York City During the Holidays

New York City doesn’t do low-key or subdued or understated. Those words aren’t even in its vocabulary. It’s a “Go Big or Go Home” kinda town. So it’s not difficult to imagine just how festive the Big Apple is during the holidays. From incredible light and holiday-themed displays to one-of-a-kind events and activities, New York City makes it nearly impossible to get your Grinch on. Now, there are plenty of things worth parting with your hard-earned cash for. Big-ticket events like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular or the New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker are huge draws every year. But we’re here to let you in on a little secret: you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy the holiday season in The City That Never Sleeps.

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In Living Color: The 2018 Kobra Street Art Occupation of New York City

Updated March 17, 2019

If you’re wandering around New York City you might come across these stickers that read “Are you addicted to street art? You’re not alone. There is help! 24/7 Street Art Addiction Hotline,” followed by a phone number. It’s just a clever street art campaign, but if your Instagram feed is anything like mine, you might wonder if this is a real thing. And for months, there was a LOT of street art around NYC, thanks to world-famous street artist Eduardo Kobra.

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Puppy Love: Photos from the 2018 Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

There’s always something new going on in New York City, so it takes a special event to keep the locals coming back again and again. The Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade is just such an event. Attending the parade has become one of our favorite Halloween rituals, so we were pretty brokenhearted to hear it had been canceled. Long story short, the event had become so popular that the park was requiring insurance to cover its many attendees, and the financial burden was just too great to bear.

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The Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

The annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is a canine-focused Halloween celebration, costume parade and competition. Until recently, it was held at Tompkins Square Park. Due to insurance-related issues (allegedly), the event was first canceled and then recently relocated. This year, the dog parade will be held at East River Park Amphitheater. Contestants will have to opportunity to compete for thousands of dollars in prizes.


Twenty-eight years ago, the inaugural Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade began as a small, casual, low-key event held by neighborhood locals. It wasn’t just a Halloween celebration, though, it was also the after-party for a hard-fought community victory: the successful launch of the city’s first dog run. From there, word spread and the event grew in popularity every year thereafter. The number of participants (now in the hundreds), along with spectators (now in the thousands), have markedly increased year after year.

You can find more information about the parade and competition here.

You can also take a look at our posts on the 2016 and 2017 parades here and here, respectively.

Open House New York Weekend

Open House New York Weekend is an annual event in which doors are unlocked to some of New York’s most important buildings. The event provides extraordinary access to iconic sites, allowing participants to meet the people who design, build, and preserve New York. The focus is simple: to deepen the understanding and appreciation of architecture and urban design, while opening dialogue about planning, preservation, infrastructure, and contemporary design and how these issues will impact the future of New York.

Open House New York Weekend offers open access at certain sites (available to all, though some may have access restricted to specific timeframes), and limited access at others (by advance reservation only). Sites range from historical to contemporary and residential to industrial and count in the hundreds across all five boroughs.

Open House New York Weekend visits may include tours, talks, performances, and other special events throughout the weekend. Don’t miss your chance to explore the city in a whole new way.

The 2018 OHNY Weekend lineup will be released on September 18. Check dates, times, and participating locations, as well as make reservations for limited access sites (beginning September 25th), if necessary, here.

For a preview of the event, check out our posts from last year at Fulton Center, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, and Jefferson Market Library.

5Pointz Resurrected: The Museum of Street Art (MoSA) in New York City

When we showed up at the new CitizenM Bowery Hotel for our tour of the Museum of Street Art, the chipper front desk clerk showing us the way asked, “Do you know about 5Pointz?” We excitedly proclaimed that we’d actually visited the original (which returned such a big WOW that we felt like we’d just confessed to being present when electricity was discovered). It shouldn’t be surprising. The walls of 5Pointz were whitewashed less than five years ago, but its loss was felt amongst street art lovers worldwide. It’s a local legend, and treated as such.

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Museum Day Presented by Smithsonian Magazine

Museum Day is an annual one-day event hosted by Smithsonian Magazine, celebrating museums and cultural institutions across the entire country. This year’s Museum Day will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

Through their partnership with Microsoft, Smithsonian Magazine generously offers free admission to a participating museum or cultural institution for any ticket holder plus one guest. Museum Day is the perfect answer to that relentlessly repetitive question: What are we doing this weekend? Well, you now have the answer for at least one Saturday in September.

IMPORTANT NOTES: Museum Day tickets were made available on August 15, 2018. Tickets go fast, so make sure you get yours now. Only one ticket for one museum or cultural institution is provided per registered email address, so choose wisely! To review the list of participating locations in each state and to reserve your tickets, click here.

If you’re looking for some New York City-based recommendations, we have included some posts we wrote below offering some insights into our favorite institutions, all of which are participating locations for this year’s Museum Day.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators

The Rubin Museum of Art

Museum of Chinese in America

Fraunces Tavern Museum

Photoville Presented by United Photo Industries

Now in its 7th year, Photoville is the largest annual photographic event in New York City. Free and open to the public (all ages and pet-friendly), this immersive photography festival presented by United Photo Industries showcases the work of over 600 visual artists, in conjunction with over 100 curatorial partners, and offers photographers of all stripes the opportunity to come together and interact with a large, diverse audience.

Some of the Photoville’s highlights include nighttime projection programs, hands-on workshops, an eduction day for New York City middle and high school students, panel discussions and talks, tents with vendors, family-friendly photo activities, publishers and gear demonstrations, a community photo book store, tintype portraits, and a beer garden with a range of food vendors supported by Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Brewery.

As in previous years, Photoville will be located in Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, transforming Brooklyn Bridge Plaza into an incredible modular galleries consisting of a network of more than 65 re-purposed shipping containers.

If you’re looking for the inside scoop, check out our post on last year’s Photoville here.

You can find general information about Photoville here, including directions, FAQ, and hours of operation.