14 Chinese New Year Events to Welcome the Year of the Rabbit

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 January 21, 2023 (sometimes called Chinese New Year’s Eve) to February 5, 2023 (the Lantern Festival). It’s celebrated with bright colors, red envelopes, lanterns, and delicious food. With local events and ideas for in-home celebrations, families can ring in the Year of the Rabbit with good luck, peace, and hope.

Chinese New Year celebration for kids at Navy Pier in Chicago
Photo courtesy of Navy Pier

2023 Chinese New Year Events in Chicagoland

Lunar New Year Celebration (Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont)
January 21, 2023 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Visit the mall for cultural dance and children’s choir performances. From January 21 – February 5, Stop by Concierge Services to receive your Red Envelope with savings offers from participating stores.

Jewel Osco Chinese New Year
January 14, 2023 | 12:00pm – 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. Requires advance registration.

Chinese New Year Celebration (Woodridge Public Library)
January 19, 2023 | 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Register in advance for Woodridge Public Library’s celebration that include crafts, decorations and traditional stories.

Celebrate Chinese New Year (Elmhurst Public Library)
January 21, 2023 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Make crafts and listen to traditional Chinese stories with the Elmhurst Public Library.

Lunar New Year Storytime (Midlothian Public Library)
January 21, 2023 | 11:30am – 12:00pm
Registration is required for this celebration with traditional stories and crafts.

Lucky Lunar New Year (Fountaindale Public Library, Bolingbrook)
January 21 – 27, 2023 | all day
Visit children’s services at the Fountaindale Public Library anytime for your own lucky red envelope.

DePaul 2023 Lunar New Year Gala
January 22, 2023 | 3:00pm – 5:00pm
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 requested.

Chinese New Year Storytime (DuPage Children’s Museum, Naperville)
January 24, 2023 | 10:30am – 11:00am
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a special storytime at DCM.

Lunar New Year (North Riverside Park Mall)
January 28, 2023 | 10:00am – 11:00am
Come to the mall for a traditional lion dance performance, and participate in trivia.

Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration (Uptown, Chicago)
January 28, 2023 | 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Visit the Uptown neighborhood’s festivities for a festive parade and family-friendly activities.

Global Connections: Lunar New Year (Navy Pier, Chicago)
January 28, 2023 | 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Live dance performances, food and more at Navy Pier’s annual celebration.

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago – Chinese New Year Celebration
January 29, 2023 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm
4th Street and Wentworth Avenue to Chinatown Square
Chicago, IL 60616
This year’s event will take place in Chinatown in Chicago. Performances include lion dancing, musical performances, calligraphy, storytelling, and more. 

Spring Festival Lantern Riddles (Naperville Public Libraries)
January 29 – February 5, 2023 | all day
Solve riddles throughout the Children’s Department at each Naperville Public Library location.

Lunar New Year Family Zone (Materials for an At-Home Celebration)
Celebrate the Lunar New Year online with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. They have everything you need for a party at home: crafts, videos, and coloring.

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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