New York Festivals

Our Guide To Annual Festivals in New York City gives you descriptions below about the major festivals taking place in the city throughout the calendar year, in particular tips regarding getting around town, as well as hotel and restaurant recommendat... more

Our Guide To Annual Festivals in New York City gives you descriptions below about the major festivals taking place in the city throughout the calendar year, in particular tips regarding getting around town, as well as hotel and restaurant recommendations for each venue. For detailed information regarding each NYC festival's location (some take place in venues all over New York City), please click on the name of the festival to read more and view a map of the vicinity. JANUARY Chinese New Year The oldest and most important festival in China is the Spring Festival, more commonly known in the West as Chinese New Year Festival. The date of the festival is determined by the lunar/solar calendar rather than the Western (Gregorian) calendar, so the date of the holiday varies from late January to mid February. Manhattan's Chinatown has a fun and colorful parade that winds throughout Chinatown, and participants find it a festive time to shop and eat in the neighborhood. Hotels: Hotel Azure, SoLita SoHo Hotel, Off SoHo Suites, Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel, Holiday Inn Manhattan Downtown Restaurants: Joe's Shanghai, Grand Sichuan, Fuleen Seafood, Congee Bowery, Red Egg, Famous ... more

Our Guide To Annual Festivals in New York City gives you descriptions below about the major festivals taking place in the city throughout the calendar year, in particular tips regarding getting around town, as well as hotel and restaurant recommendations for each venue. For detailed information regarding each NYC festival's location (some take place in venues all over New York City), please click on the name of the festival to read more and view a map of the vicinity.

JANUARY

Chinese New Year
The oldest and most important festival in China is the Spring Festival, more commonly known in the West as Chinese New Year Festival. The date of the festival is determined by the lunar/solar calendar rather than the Western (Gregorian) calendar, so the date of the holiday varies from late January to mid February. Manhattan's Chinatown has a fun and colorful parade that winds throughout Chinatown, and participants find it a festive time to shop and eat in the neighborhood.

Hotels: Hotel Azure, SoLita SoHo Hotel, Off SoHo Suites, Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel, Holiday Inn Manhattan Downtown
Restaurants: Joe's Shanghai, Grand Sichuan, Fuleen Seafood, Congee Bowery, Red Egg, Famous Sichuan, Peking Duck House, Macao Trading Company


FEBRUARY

Frigid Festival New York
Each February Frigid New York provides all artists, emerging and established, with the opportunity to produce their play no matter the content, form or style and to make the event as affordable and accessible as possible for the members of the New York City community. The artists take home 100% of the box office and the festival producers do not receive royalties from future performances. In addition to producing over 150 performances in thirty independent theaters over a 12-day period, Frigid also sponsors festival related panels, events, and parties.

Hotels: Bowery Hotel, Cooper Square Hotel, The Gem Hotel, East Houston Hotel
Restaurants: Cucina Di Pesce, Sea Thai Restaurant, Chez Betty Café, Il Bagatto, Zum Schneider, Joe Doe

BAMkids Film Festival
The BAMkids Film Festival at BAM Rose Cinemas is a stellar annual showcase of the best in children's films, plus concerts, movie-making, face-painting, kid-friendly food, and more.

Hotels: Hotel Le Bleu, Marriott NYC Brooklyn Bridge, Nu Hotel
Restaurants: Moe's, Academy Restaurant, Lucien Restaurant

APRIL

Tribeca Film Festival
The TriBeCa Film Festival was founded by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro to celebrate New York City as a major filmmaking center and to contribute to the long-term recovery of Lower Manhattan. With over 250 films and 1,000+ screenings the TriBeCa Film Festival has become one of the most prominent film festivals in the world. The Festival's program line-up offers moviegoers a wide variety of independent films including documentaries, narrative features and shorts, as well as a program of family-friendly films. The festival also features panel discussions with personalities in the entertainment world and a music lounge produced with ASCAP to showcase up and coming artists.

Hotels: SoHo Grand, Tribeca Grand, 60 Thompson, Millenium Hilton, Hotel On Rivington
Restaurants: Tribeca Grill, Odeon, Cipriani Downtown, Felix, Blue Ribbon Sushi

Havana Film Festival
The Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) has become an internationally recognized film festival celebrating Latin American cinema with new full-length features, documentaries, short films, classics and animation from Cuba, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America and the U.S. Our program is renowned for premiering award-winning films as well as the work of emerging filmmakers. This year's selection appeals to different age groups, fostering an appreciation of Latin American culture.

Hotels: Gershwin Hotel, Broadway Plaza Hotel, Thirty Thirty Hotel, Bowery Hotel
Restaurants: Victor's Café, Agozar Restaurant & Lounge, Havana New York, Crema Restaurante

MAY

New York Arab Comedy Festival
The New York Festival was founded in 2003 by comedian Dean Obeidallah and comedienne and actress Maysoon Zayid to showcase the comedic talents of Arab-American actors, comics, playwrights and filmmakers, and challenge as well as inspire our fellow Arab-Americans to create outstanding works of comedy. Held twice annually at the Zipper Theater, the festival showcases a diverse group of Arab-American comedic plays, stand up comics and short comedic films, with the participation of close to 50 Arab-American artists.

Hotels: Gem Hotel, Comfort Inn Times Square, Wyndham Garden Hotel Midtown, Manhattan Broadway Budget Hotel
Restaurants: Sardi's, Pisces Bar & Tavern, Kashmir 9

JUNE

The Museum Mile Festival
One day a year nine of the country's finest museums, all ones that call Fifth Avenue home, collectively open their doors for free to New Yorkers and visitors for a mile-long block party and visual art celebration. This traffic-free, music- and art-filled celebration fills the street and sidewalks of Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th street, the mile now officially designated as Museum Mile. Over 50,000 visitors attend the festival annually.

Hotels: Hotel Wales, The Franklin Hotel, Oxbridge Carnegie Hill Apartments - Vacation Rental, Surrey
Restaurants: Le Cirque, Café Sabarsky, Rughetta Ristorante, Alloro

NewFest: The New York LGBT Film Festival
As New York City's premier LGBT film organization, The New York LGBT Film Festival empowers, educates, entertains, and provokes the culturally rich and diverse communities of the greater metropolitan region. Through its annual film festival and year-round programming, NewFest showcases international, US, and local film, video, and other media, fostering a greater sense of awareness and community among LGBT and LGBT-friendly audiences. NewFest award selections in a variety of categories take place at the closing night LGBT Gala.

Hotels: Washington Square Hotel, Chelsea Inn, Cooper Square Hotel, Gem Hotel, Maritime Hotel
Restaurants: The Little Owl, Isle Thai, Blind Tiger Ale House, Employees Only, Do Hwa

JVC Jazz Festival New York
The New York Jazz Festival sponsored by JVC presents some of the greatest living jazz musicians playing at renowned New York venues, such as Lincoln Center, The Rose Theater, Brooklyn Masonic Temple, and Prospect Park Bandshell. Performances take place at both indoor and outdoor venues starting in mid-June over a period of two weeks.

Hotels: The Mercer Hotel, Hotel Azure, Empire Hotel
Restaurants: Pastis, Blue Note, Chez Josephine, Balthazar, Smoke

NYC PrideFest & March
Pridefest, the annual LGBT street fair, takes place following one of the largest gay pride parades in America each year, The Gay Pride New York Parade down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. Featuring dozens of local merchant booths, live entertainment acts, and scores of street grub stands, Pridefest brings together local residents and families, community leaders, and area business owners to celebrate in the street and attracts thousands of out-of-state visitors and volunteers.

Hotels: Washington Square Hotel, Hotel Gansevoort, The Standard New York, 60 Thompson
Restaurants: Jekyll & Hyde Pub, Room Service, Socarrat Paella Bar, Fatty Crab, Frederick's Downtown

Mermaid Parade
The famous Mermaid Parade takes place every year in Coney Island on the first Saturday after the summer solstice. Join thousands of other Mer-creatures and celebrate the beginning of summer (mermaid-type costumes highly recommended). The parade begins at 2:00 pm and can best be viewed on Surf Avenue between West 10th and 15th Streets, or else on the Riegelmann Boardwalk between the same cross streets. After the parade there are additional post-parade festival activities at Astroland at Surf Avenue and West 10th Street.

Hotels: Nu Hotel Brooklyn, Holiday Inn Express Brooklyn, Best Western Brooklyn, Hotel Le Bleu
Restaurants: Peggy O'Neil's, Hop Wong Chinese Restaurant, Restaurant Criollito, Gargiulo's

New York Book Festival
The New York Book Festival event includes a daytime celebration and an evening awards ceremony. The day festival is free, open to the public and family-oriented and will feature vendors, book panels, light entertainment, clowns, face-painting, celebrity signings and speakers, storytelling circles and more.

Hotels: The Plaza, Mandarin Oriental, Jumeirah Essex House, The Carlyle, Hotel Plaza Athenee,
Restaurants: Tavern On The Green, Restaurant Daniel, Aureole, Cafe Boulud, Central Park Boathouse

New York Asian Film Festival
Presented by Subway Cinema, the NYAFF is an annual film festival held at both the IFC Center and the Japan Society, featuring around forty films each year representing the very best of Asia's current film scene. The festival also offers Q&A's with directors and actors, giveaways, and other events.

Hotels: Washington Square Hotel, Chelsea Inn, Cooper Square Hotel, Gem Hotel, Maritime Hotel
Restaurants: The Little Owl, Isle Thai, Blind Tiger Ale House, Employees Only, Do Hwa

JULY

Celebrate Brooklyn Festival
Celebrate Brooklyn is one of New York City's longest running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals. Launched in 1979, as a catalyst for a Brooklyn performing arts scene and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, Celebrate Brooklyn has been an anchor in the park's revitalization and has become one of the city's foremost summer cultural attractions. The festival attracts upwards of 250,000 attendees from across New York City to the Prospect Park Bandshell each summer. Most importantly, events take place throughout the summer and all Celebrate Brooklyn performances are free!

Hotels: Nu Hotel Brooklyn, Holiday Inn Express Brooklyn, Best Western Brooklyn, Hotel Le Bleu
Restaurants: Radagast, Noodle Pudding, Teresa's, Peter Luger Steakhouse

AUGUST

New York International Fringe Festival
The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days in more than 20 venues, with a total of more than 1300 performances. The event showcases some of the best emerging theater companies and performing artists at venues located in New York's historic East Side and the East Village and is a production of The Present Company.

Hotels: The Mercer Hotel, The Gem Hotel, Off SoHo Suites Hotel, Holiday Inn Manhattan Downtown
Restaurants: Epistrophy, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Felix, The Cub Room


Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York is an annual sporting and multicultural event held in August on Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York to celebrate the fifth moon (or the fifth month) of the lunar calendar. In addition to providing audiences with traditional Chinese foods and performances, the festival hosts over 120 dragon boat teams from across North America, making it one of the largest dragon boat festivals in the United States. Depending on the competitive division, teams compete for cash prizes, trophies and other prizes.

Hotels: Holiday Inn La Guardia, Fairfield Inn by Marriot La Guardia Airport, Comfort Inn Flushing, Holiday Inn Express Laguardia Airport
Restaurants: Nathan's Famous, Joe's Shanghai, Grand Sichuan Canal, Tao


SEPTEMBER

New York Anime Film Festival
The New York Anime Festival is an annual anime convention held each year at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in September that features exclusive and extensive anime screenings, celebrity guests from America and Japan, manga, video games, live-action Japanese cinema, fashion, food, and the cultural treasures that gave birth to Japanese pop culture.

Hotels: Best Western Convetion Center Hotel, Chelsea Star Hotel, Towers At The New Yorker, Manhattan Broadway Budget Hotel
Restaurants: Hatsushana Sushi, Sushi Zen, Sapporo Restaurant, Typhoon Asian Restaurant

Brooklyn Book Festival
The Brooklyn Book Festival is a huge, free public event presenting an array of literary stars and emerging authors who represent the exciting world of literature today. One of America’s premier literary and literacy events, this hip, smart, diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages. The festival is organized around themed readings and devoted to timely and lively panel discussions. The inclusion of top national and international authors and new partners has expanded the festival’s reach while continuing to celebrate and enhance Brooklyn’s contemporary and historic literary reputation.

Hotels: Hotel Le Jolie, Hotel Le Bleu, Holiday Inn Express, Library Hotel
Restaurants: The Farm On Adderly, Radegast, Williamsburger, Sushi Garden

New York International Independent Film and Video Festival
The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF) is one of the largest independent film festivals in the world. NYIIFVF attracts many global entries, including: Australia, Brazil, Sweden, Kenya, Japan, Canada, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Colombia, Russia, Germany, Spain, India and the U.K. The festival represents a new wave of independent filmmakers and offers a unique opportunity for members of the film industry as well as delegates and attendees.

Hotels: Washington Square Hotel, Hotel 17, Union Square Inn, Cooper Square Hotel, W New York Union Square
Restaurants: The Smith, Apiary, Yummy House, Bamn, Telephone Bar And Grill, Rai Rai Ken

Next Wave Festival
The Next Wave Festival connects some of the most innovative artists around the world with New York City’s most curious and adventurous audiences. Every autumn the Festival offers an extraordinary range of contemporary performance, artist talks, literature, film, and visual art that celebrates the creative voices that will be leading us into the future. Since its inception in 1981, the festival has comprised of exploratory, provocative work, providing New York audiences access to now-renowned artists such as Trisha Brown, Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Philip Glass, Lucinda Childs, and Laurie Anderson.

Hotels: Marriot NYC Brooklyn Bridge, Nu Hotel, Holiday Inn Express Brooklyn, Hotel Le Bleu
Restaurants: 67 Burger, Academy Restaurant, Bati, Stonehome Wine Bar

OCTOBER

CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival
CMJ Music Marathon is an annual event where selected upcoming and established bands play at various clubs throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival takes place for 5 days and nights, with over 1,200 artists and 120,000 fans taking over more than 75 of the city's greatest nightclubs and theaters. In addition CMJ features exclusive nighttime parties, daytime exhibit areas, registrant lounges, a technology fair, artist and press lounges, meet and greets, panels, seminars, mentoring sessions, community initiatives, networking events, Q&A's, and special events.

Hotels: The Pod Hotel, Windsor Hotel, Bentley Hotel, East Houston Hotel
Restaurants: TEANY, Thor, Spitzer's Corner, Katz's Delicatessen


New York Horror Film Festival
Established by MooDude Films Producer-Director Michael J. Hein in 2001, the NYCHFF is a week long event that takes place each October at venues throughout New York City. The NYCHFF has grown to be a world recognized event, with industry, filmmakers, and press attention from around the globe. The festival is competitive, screening approximately 50-60 films each year and awards prizes in nine separate categories.

Hotels: Night, SoHo Grand Hotel, Smythe Hotel, Greenwich Hotel
Restaurants: Jekyll & Hyde Pub, Odeon, Bubby's

New York Hysterical Festival
The Hysterical Festival is a celebration of fierce female humor, showcasing the wide range of ways in which women are funny and breaking new ground for female comedic artists. The Festival runs in October at Comix Comedy Club, The Zipper Theater, The Tank @ DCTV, and TriBeCa Film Center, and includes work by cutting-edge stand-up comedians, world-renowned burlesque performers, award-winning improv and sketch groups, seasoned solo performers, writers and filmmakers, as well as a panel discussion co-sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television.

Hotels: Maritime Hotel, Standard New York, Hotel Gansevoort, Gem Hotel Manhattan Chelsea
Restaurants: Scarpetta, Pastis, Fatty Crab, One

New York Underground Comedy Festival
The NYC Underground Comedy festival blossomed from a handful of shows at the West Bank Café Theater and turned into a worldwide comedy event. Over 1000 comics ranging from Chris Rock to 2007 Emerging Comic’s Contest winner Josh Homer have performed on NYUCF stages. Comics have come from all over the world to participate in the festival in venues ranging from state of the art comedy showrooms to theaters to neighborhood comedy spots.

Hotels: Westin New York Times Square, Best Western Convention Center, 414 Hotel, Travel Inn Hotel
Restaurants: West Bank Café, Tony Luke's, Chez Josephine, Zanzibar

NOVEMBER

The New York Comedy Festival
The New York Comedy Festival features the biggest stars of stand up comedy at some of the most revered performance halls in Manhattan, including venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, and Harlem's historic Apollo Theater. With a schedule chock full of top comedic acts performing over a four-day span, the New York Comedy Festival offers the very best in comedy every November.

Hotels: Casablanca Hotel, Millennium Broadway Hotel, St. James Hotel, Room-Mate Grace
Restaurants: Trattoria Dopo Teatro, Planet Hollywood, St. Andrews, Josephina Restaurant

DECEMBER

Big Apple Film Festival
The Big Apple Film Festival, presented by the Big Apple Film Society, takes place annually at the world famous Tribeca Cinemas in Lower Manhattan. The BAFF is dedicated to showcasing and promoting the highest quality films from the New York City independent film community, as well as additional specially selected films from across the country and around the world. Each year BAFF presents its Golden Apple Award to one individual for exceptional artistic achievement in the New York City independent film community.

Hotels: Off SoHo Suites, The Mercer Hotel, Tribeca Grand, SoHo Grand
Restaurants: Odeon, Boqueria SoHo, Blue Ribbon Brasserie, Industria Argentina


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