21 Chinese New Year Events to Welcome the Year of the Dragon

WinterActivities at Home

Lunar New Year (also sometimes called Chinese New Year or Spring Festival) is celebrated in many countries whose new year begins with the lunar calendar’s first full moon. This year, the celebrations will run from February 10, 2024 to February 24, 2024 (the Lantern Festival). It’s celebrated with bright colors, red envelopes, lanterns, and delicious food.

With Chinese New Year events and ideas for in-home celebrations, families can ring in the Year of the Dragon with good luck, peace, and hope.

Photo courtesy of Fashion Outlets of Chicago

2024 Chinese New Year Events in Chicagoland

Language Labs Presents Language Story Time – Mandarin (Clarendon Hills)
January 31, 2024 | 10:00am – 10:30am
Enjoy a special storytime honoring Chinese New Year with the Clarendon Hills Public Library.

Celebrating the Year of the Dragon (Franklin Park)
January 31, 2024 | 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Learn about the Chinese calendar and make special crafts at Franklin Park Public Library’s special programming.

Chinese New Year Celebration (Aurora Public Library)
February 3, 2024 | 10:00am – 11:00am
Located at the Eola Road Branch, local high school students will be helping children make lanterns, learn calligraphy, and more. Programming is intended for children ages 6 and up.

Lunar New Year (Willow Springs)
February 4, 2024 | 10:00am – 11:00am
Visit the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center for special activities.

Lunar New Year Storytime (Fountaindale Public Library, Bolingbrook)
February 6, 2024 | 10:45am – 11:15am
All-ages storytime celebrating the Year of the Dragon.

Studio 60056: Lunar New Year Edition (Mount Prospect Public Library)
February 7, 2024 | 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Visit the library to create a special Lunar New Year memento.

Year of the Dragon (Batavia)
February 7, 2024 | 4:30pmย –ย 5:30pm
Register in advance for games, crafts, and other festivities with the Batavia Public Library.

Chinese Storytime (Downers Grove Public Library)
February 9, 2024 | 10:30am – 11:00am
The Language Labs will be hosting a special storytime celebrating Lunar New Year.

Jewel Osco Chinese New Year
February 9, 2024 | 11:00am โ€“ 3:00pm
1340 S. Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Chefs will show you how to prepare delicious food and drink recipes for the upcoming holiday, share about the holiday’s history, and more. Lion dance performance and live traditional Chinese music.

DePaul 2024 Lunar New Year Celebration
February 9, 2024 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm
DePaul students put on this family-friendly event with Lunar New Year performances. Live performances, food, and new year cultural activities to help you celebrate the traditional holiday celebrated across the world. Free event, but RSVPs are required.

Lunar New Year (Elmwood Park Public Library)
February 10, 2024 | 10:00am – 2:00pm
The library will be celebrating with special snacks, activities and storytimes. Please register in advance for storytime spots.

Lunar New Year Celebration (Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont)
February 10, 2024 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Visit the mall for cultural dance and children’s choir performances. From February 10 – 25, 2024, stop by Concierge Services to receive your Red Envelope with savings offers from participating stores.

Celebrate the New Lunar Year (West Branch, Aurora Public Library)
February 10, 2024 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Make a craft as you learn about the Year of the Dragon.

Lunar New Year Celebration (Buffalo Grove)
February 10, 2024 | 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Make lanterns, kites and masks at this festive event. Participation is free, but food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Lunar New Year Celebration (Aurora)
February 11, 2024 | 12:00 pmย start
Visit Pacifica Square for traditional dances and delicious food celebrating the Year of the Dragon.

Lunar New Year Party (North Riverside)
February 16, 2024 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Watch a traditional dance performance and learn more about traditions at the North Riverside Public Library.

Celebration of Lunar New Year (Chicago)
February 17, 2024 | 10:00am – 12:00pm
Visit Dan Ryan Woods to learn more about Lunar New Year celebrations.

Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration (Uptown, Chicago)
February 17, 2024 | 10:00pm – 2:30pm
Visit the Uptown neighborhood’s festivities for a festive parade and family-friendly activities.

Lunar New Year Celebration (Aurora)
February 17, 2023 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Visit Fox Valley Mall for traditional crafts and games celebrating Chinese culture.

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago – Chinese New Year Celebration
February 18, 2024 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm
24th Street and Wentworth Avenue to Chinatown Square
Chicago, IL 60616
One of the biggest Chinese New Year events in the Chicago area. Performances include lion dancing, musical performances, calligraphy, storytelling, and more. 

Community Celebrates (Downers Grove)
February 18, 2024 | 2:00pm – 2:45pm
Downers Grove Public Library to hear stories, do crafts, and learn more about Lunar New Year.

Events Yet to be Announced

These Chinese New Year events were hosted in 2023, but as of January 12, have not yet been announced in 2024.

How the Lunar New Year is Celebrated

While traditions vary from country to country and family to family, Lunar New Year activities often include:

  • Putting up decorations. Red is the main color of the festival. Families may decorate the house with lanterns, or use calligraphy, poetry, and plants to express hopes for happiness and prosperity. 
  • Eating reunion dinner with family. What holiday would be complete without a feast? The reunion dinner is an important custom for the family to be together. The reunion dinner is known as the most important family dinner of the year. Check out these ideas for food and drinks!
  • Giving red envelopes and other gifts. Adults give kids lucky red envelopes with money for good wishes in the new year.

Is there a Lunar New Year celebration we may have missed? Please share in the comments! If you’re on the lookout for more fun things to do with your family, we’ve got you covered at Kidlist.

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