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This is How to Celebrate Diwali with Kids this Year

This is How to Celebrate Diwali with Kids this Year

15 ways to learn about and celebrate Diwali in 2021, including Diwali events for kids in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island.

Primarily celebrated by followers of Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths, Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over dark, good over evil, and freedom, enlightenment, and victory. However, Diwali is celebrated as a national holiday throughout India, Singapore, and other South Asian countries. People celebrate Diwali by lighting dozens of candles and clay lamps (diyas) and placing them throughout their homes to light up the dark. Known as the festival of lights, it’s a chance to show appreciation for friends, family, and good fortune. This year, Diwali is celebrated on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.

Diwali Books for Kids

There are plenty of Diwali picture books and nonfiction stories for kids that introduce children to the holiday and teach them the culture, customs, and traditions connected with Diwali. Check out this roundup from PBS Kids or this one from Feminist Books for Kids for some great books for kids of all ages.

You can also stop by your local library or children’s book store to see what Diwali books for kids they have on their shelves.

Diwali Crafts for Kids

If you're having a Diwali celebration at home with family, kids will love to do some of these Diwali crafts to get in the spirit. ArtsyCraftsyMom prepared this list of cards, crafts, decor, and food for families celebrating Diwali, and we love it! Check out the lighting section for beautiful and easy ways to make your festival of lights special, including the paper lotus tea light holder shown below.

Attend a 2021 Diwali Celebration for Kids

Families can introduce their children to the holiday by attending celebrations of Diwali for kids and Diwali events in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island. At these 2021 Diwali celebrations for kids, you’ll enjoy traditional activities like lighting lanterns, Indian dancing and music, creating diyas (clay lamps) and rangoli (designs made of colored rice, sand, or flowers). The whole family will have fun at these great Diwali events leading up to (and after) the actual day of Diwali on Thursday, Nov. 4.

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Diwali NYC Events for Kids

FREE Bhangra In The Plaza

WHEN: Oct. 7-29, Thursdays, 6-7:30pm
WHERE: Greeley Square Park, Broadway Boulevard, Midtown
WHAT: Watch and learn choreography that celebrates contemporary Indian music and dance. Drop in and join the high energy music party led by Masala Bhangra and Sholay Events. 
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required. 

Kalamata's Diwali Adventure

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 30, 12-1pm
WHERE: Tagmo NYC, 226 Front St., Downtown Manhattan
AGES: 3-12
WHAT: Award-winning chef Surbhi Sahni, author Sarah Thomas, and cultural educator Anu Sehgal will take you on a culinary journey through India to celebrate Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. You will also get to sample Tagmo mithai and do a rangoli coloring activity.
WANT TO GO? $10. Advanced registration required. 

Diwali Celebrations with The Culture Tree

WHEN: Nov. 3-6, Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-12pm, 12:30-2:30pm, and 3-5pm
WHERE: Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side
WHAT: Join members of The Culture Tree in a celebration of Diwali at CMOM with dancing, singing, and art. 
WANT TO GO? $15; $12 seniors 65 and older and visitors with disabilities. Advanced registration required.

Illumination 2021 - Tamaso Ma Yotirgamaya

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 6, 1-4pm
WHERE: Chhandayan Center for Indian Music, 4 W. 43rd St., Midtown West
WHAT: Celebrate Diwali with music, dance, and food. This program will be dedicated to dispelling darkness and will also pay homage to lost souls and celebrate their legacy, particularly from the field of Indian Music.
WANT TO GO? $25-$65. Advanced registration required.

Diwali Events for Kids in Brooklyn

2021 Brooklyn Diwali-Garba Celebration

WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 24, 3-6pm
WHERE: Prospect Park, 95 Prospect Park W., South Slope
WHAT: Families of all backgrounds are invited to attend this fun afternoon of music, traditional South Asian dance, and crafts to celebrate the festive season! The event will include playing dandiya (raas) and garba, Diwali arts and crafts for kids, and a special lighting of diyas at the end. There will be some dandiyas on-site to lend but bring your own if you can! Please feel free to have fun and wear a cultural dress or something easy to dance in.
WANT TO GO? $20 per family. Advanced registration required. Please bring your own water bottles to help keep this a zero waste event. This is a nonprofit program, with any proceeds donated to People In Need.

Diwali Events for Kids in Queens

Diwali Festival

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 6, 11am-1pm or 2-4pm
WHERE: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing
WHAT: Celebrate Diwali with this socially distanced festival and dance party, featuring Kathak classical dancer Abha Roy and Basement Bhangra's DJ Rekha. Learn Bollywood, bhangra, and Kathak dance moves with Abha and Rekha, the art of rangoli design with Anju Gupta, explore Indian cooking with Queens Curry Kitchen, and more. Abha Roy, master teaching artist and artistic director of the Srijan Dance Company, will be joined on stage by Angela Rostick and Ling Tang who will "trade steps" in a cross-cultural dance conversation of kathak footwork, American tap, and Chinese Tibetan tap dance. Flushing Town Hall will present the artwork of the winners of its first-ever Rangoli Design competition.
WANT TO GO? $15; $10 children. Advanced registration required.

Diwali Events for Kids in Westchester

Diwali Crafts & Story Night

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 29, 6-7:30pm
WHERE: A Maze in Pottery, 76 N. State Road, Briarcliff Manor
AGES: 5-12
WHAT: Paint a diya (a traditional Diwali light holder), create Diwali decorations for your house, and read a story about the Festival of Lights!
WANT TO GO? $29.90. Advanced registration required.

FREE Diwali – The Festival of Lights Family Program

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 4, 4:30pm
WHERE: Katonah Village Library, 26 Bedford Road, Katonah
AGES: 3-8
WHAT: Learn about Diwali with stories, crafts, music, and sweets! 
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required. 

FREE Diwali: The Festival of Lights

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 14, 1:30-4pm
WHERE: Ferguson Library, DiMattia Building, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford, CT
WHAT: Celebrate Diwali: Festival of Lights with traditional music, dance, and a rangoli exhibition. The festival symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and is one of the most important holidays in India. 
WANT TO GO? Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required.

Diwali Events for Kids in Long Island

FREE Children's Program: Diwali Celebration

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 3, 7pm
WHERE: Levittown Public Library, 1 Bluegrass Lane, Levittown
AGES: kindergarten-fifth grades
WHAT: Join the library to celebrate Diwali with fun stories, a Henna demonstration, and a diya craft.
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required. 

FREE Diwali Festival of Lights Celebration

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 5, 4:30pm
WHERE: Marcus Christ Hall, 1420 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park
WHAT: The entire community is invited to celebrate and learn the history of Diwali. Enjoy cultural performances and activities for all!
WANT TO GO? Email [email protected] with any questions. 

FREE Diwali (The Festival of Lights) Dance Celebration & Workshop

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 7, 2-3pm
WHERE: Patchogue-Medford Library, 54-60 E. Main St., Patchogue
WHAT: Learn about the significance of Diwali and the different ways in which people celebrate during this interactive, celebratory Bollywood & Bhangra dance workshop presented by Ajna Dance Company.
WANT TO GO? Advanced registration required. 

FREE Festival of Lights

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 12, 4-4:45pm
WHERE: Seaford Public Library, 2234 Jackson Ave., Seaford
AGES: first-fifth grades
WHAT: Explore the history and traditions of Diwali. Find out how it is celebrated and how you can take part in its magical festivities. Presented by Umika.
WANT TO GO? Registration for Seaford school district residents begins Friday, Oct. 29 at 10am. Nonresidents can register starting Saturday, Oct. 30 at 10am.

Here at NYMetroParents, we've got everything you need to have a safefun, and festive fall and Halloween season.  Whether it is pumpkin or apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze, making Halloween crafts or finding costumes and decorations, we're here to help. 

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Shara Levine


Shara Levine, originally from Brooklyn, is the Events Manager for NYMetroParents. As a lifelong New Yorker, and mom of four raising her kids on Long Island, Shara knows her hometown well and brings her love of all things fun to NYMetroParents by sharing the best in kid friendly events, festival, concerts, and performances in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, and Rockland. When not helping parents plan their family's day out, Shara enjoys making random Seinfeld references and going on late-night Target runs. 

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