It's the Year of the Monkey!
It's the Year of the Monkey!
Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

For the first time in the history of NYC public schools, students and teachers will be off for Lunar New Year which, in 2016, falls on Monday, February 8. The holiday was added to the academic calendar last year, in addition to a pair of Muslim holy days, Enid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr (though the latter falls in July, and affects many fewer families, as a result).

What this means for NYC parents is that they will need to find alternate childcare and/or activities for their offspring on that day.

To that end, Community Education Councils are inviting families to a FREE Year of the Monkey Student Holiday Celebration to be held at the Javits Center on Monday, February 8 from 9:30am-6pm.

On the schedule are a gala opening ceremony, live performances by the National Dance Institute's student dancers, a mass monkey dance-along with audience participation, guided tours of an art exhibition going on concurrently, an MC, prizes, and a special video presentation by The Nature Conservancy on the endangered golden monkey and the environment.

Other, FREE, family-friendly events will also be taking places in the days preceding and following the event. Learn more, here.

For parents interested in teaching their children more about Chinese culture, here are some other spots to check out.

And for those who'd like their child to learn Mandarin, NYC offers several dual language public school options, as well as charter and private schools that teach the language. Listen to a podcast on how to apply and get in, here.