2019 Chicagoland Chinese New Year Celebrations for Kids and Families

You’ve packed away the last of the Christmas decorations, started tackling your New Year’s resolutions and managed to get the kids back into the swing of things (more or less). But wait! The party’s not over yet. The Chinese New Year — or “Spring Festival” as it is now known — is just around the corner, and we think you’ll love celebrating its rich and colorful traditions with the kids. The Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, and Tết are all considered spring festivals. We’ve compiled some exciting local events to help you ring in the Year of the Pig as a family.

Chinese New Year celebration for kids at Navy Pier in Chicago

Photo courtesy of Navy Pier

2019 Chinese New Year Celebrations for Kids and Families

Garfield Park Conservatory
February 2019
Celebrate the Year of the Pig with hands-on activities, traditional Chinese dance performances, and wishes for the New Year! Create a festive lantern, attend a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, discover their Chinese Zodiac animal, and participate in a kids’ Dragon Dance.

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago
February 9, 2019 | 2:00 pm 
Join the museum in celebrating the year of Pig! Enjoy watching a lion dance and learn about its history, participate in arts and crafts projects, and enjoy delicious food.  Registration is open until February 7.  Walk-in tickets are available with a $5 surcharge.

Chicago Symphony Center
February 10, 2019 | 3:00 pm
Bring the entire family to Symphony Center for a splendid musical celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig in 2019. This year’s performance will feature the internationally renowned China National Peking Opera Company and the spectacular Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra. With special appearances by Peking opera superstars Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu, the China National Peking Opera Company presents a dazzling combination of vocal artistry, costumes and acrobatics in three classic scenes. This show is certain to delight the whole family!

Fashion Outlets of Chicago (Rosemont)
February 2, 2019 | 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Enjoy a plethora of free activities, including Chinese cultural performances, Chinese calligraphy, lantern making, a photo booth, chopstick challenge, dance and music performances, and more.

Cai Restaurant 
February 15, 2019 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Pig with a traditional Lion Dance, opening ceremony, entertainment and raffle prizes! Kid-friendly; $80 per person.

Navy Pier
February 16, 2019
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with traditional food, music and arts in the Aon Grand Ballroom.

Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration
February 9, 2019 | 12:00 – 4:00 pm
The annual Argyle Lunar New Year Parade is decades-old local tradition. Come for music, colorful lion dances, and more! Come along with a processional of local groups and floats starting at the Argyle “L” stop – all to celebrate the start of the new Lunar Year, the year of the Pig! The parade starts at 1:00 pm from Argyle and Winthrop. 

Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade
February 10, 2019 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Everyone is invited to Chicago’s Chinatown to watch the annual Lunar New Year parade. The parade will kick off at 1:00 pm at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue. The procession will head north up Wentworth to Cermak Road. The parade will feature marching bands, colorful floats, traditional lion dances and a special appearance by Ronald McDonald. This would be a wonderful opportunity to explore one of Chicago’s amazing cultural hubs with your family.

15th Annual Chinese New Year Dumpling Making Dinner
February 9 and February 16, 2019 | 3:30 pm
Come celebrate the New Year with a fun family activity at Hing Kee Restaurant! The dinner will feature Chinese story telling, lion dancing, dumpling making, and a traditional 10-course Chinese meal. Tickets are $40 for adults; $35 for children under 12.

DePaul 2019 Chinese New Year Gala
February 9, 2019 | 6:00-9:00 pm
This is DePaul University’s 11th annual celebration of the Lunar New Year, the year of the Pig. Join the University by celebrating with authentic food and cultural demonstrations at this fun FREE event. This is a fun way to network with other attendees who share a love of Asian culture. Donations are accepted.

Share which Chinese New Year celebrations you recommend in the comments! And, of course, keep checking Kidlist for more fun things to do with your family.

About the Author

Kristen Sheehan
Kristen is a Burbank native who settled with her family in New Lenox in 2016. She loves her new neighborhood and could not be happier with her new home. Kristen and her husband have three amazing children – two daughters, ages six years and 18 months, and a four year-old son. She also has a furry shih-tzu baby, who is 11 years old. The kids are active and energetic, but Kristen enjoys providing a mix of structured play/activities and downtime at home. She is passionate about keeping her family healthy and happy. During the winter, Kristen likes to go sledding and skating – as well as experiencing indoor play spaces. During the summer, she loves getting outside with her family – playgrounds, festivals, fairs, picnicking, bike riding, and trips to the zoo. Her kids love helping in the kitchen, and Kristen enjoys cooking and baking with them!

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