2020 Chinese New Year Celebrations for Kids to Celebrate the Year of the Rat

Whether you want to share your roots with your kids or learn about a new cultural traditions, Chinese New Year is a great opportunity to celebrate a colorful Chinese tradition. Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, and it’s one of China’s biggest celebrations. We’ve found some exciting Chicagoland events to help you ring in the Year of the Rat as a family.

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

2020 Chinese New Year Celebrations in Chicagoland

16th Annual Chinese New Year Dumpling Making Dinner
January 18 and February 1, 2020 | 3:30 pm
This Chinatown tradition at Hing Kee restaurant includes storytelling, dumpling making, Chinese food, and lots more fun. Seating is limited, so be sure to get your tickets online in advance.

Big Bowl Chicago Chinese New Year Specials
January 23 – Wednesday, January 29, 2020
In celebration of the Chinese New Year, Big Bowl guests can enjoy specials including traditional Chinese beef noodle soup, seared edamame potstickers, and more.

Navy Pier Global Connections – Chinese New Year
January 25, 2020 | 1:00 – 5:00 pm
A celebration with live dance, musical performances, martial arts, Chinese cuisine, crafts, and more. This exuberant family event is complete with décor and costumes that celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Family-Friendly Weekend Events: September 25-27 and Beyond

Fashion Outlets of Chicago (Rosemont) – Lunar New Year
January 25, 2020 | 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Enjoy Chinese cultural performances, dances, games and activities including calligraphy, lantern crafting, a chopstick challenge, and more.

Chicago Symphony Center – Chinese New Year Celebration
January 26, 2020 | 3:00 pm
Music performed on traditional instruments by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, plus Chinese opera by the Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre with dramatic costumes and storytelling.

Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration
February 1, 2020 | 1:00 pm
This annual parade through Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood celebrates with music, lion dances, and entertainment. Free.

Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade
February 2, 2020 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
This parade winds through Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood with bands, floats, and lion dances. Free.

Art Institute of Chicago Lunar New Year Celebration
Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 | 1:00 – 4:30 pm
Art making, music, games and artist demonstrations, gallery talks in English and Mandarin, and more. At 5:00pm, walk over to Millennium Park for a lantern procession and a celebration at Maggie Daley Park.

Chinese-American Museum of Chicago – Chinese New Year Celebration
February 9, 2020 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Chinese food, music, art, crafts, a traditional lion dance, and more at the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago’s family-friendly celebration. Advance tickets sold online.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch and Pick Apples Near Chicago in One Fantastic Day

DePaul 2020 Chinese New Year Gala
January 24, 2020 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm
DePaul students put on this family-friendly event with Lunar New Year food and performances. Dress in business casual or festive attire. Free and open to the public, but donations are welcome and go to support students who will study abroad in China this summer.

Is there a Chinese 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.

About the Author

Jill Borkowicz
Jill is thrilled to be sharing her insight and knowledge of local fun on Kidlist! As an Oak Park native, Jill and her husband settled in La Grange Park in 2007 and couldn’t be happier with the community they call home. Raising two lovely daughters, ages 8 and 10, Jill is always on the lookout for cool things to do as a family. She is passionate about yummy food, an organized abode, creative entertaining, frugal finds, travel adventures, a healthy spirit, and overall family fun. Jill’s favorite wintertime activity with the fam? Ice skating followed by hot chocolate! Summertime family favorite? Long pool days with friends that end with a BBQ!

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