The Best Chinese Lunar New Year Activities for Kids In Sydney

  • Preschoolers
    Mums & Bubs
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The Lunar New Year celebrations in Sydney are one of the largest cultural festivities outside of China and they give Sydney families the opportunity to experience this vibrant tradition.

Ushering in the prosperous Year Of The Rat, this year's festivities run from Friday 24th January to Sunday 9th February 2020. Take a peek at what’s happening in your area. This year’s events will not disappoint!


Lunar Lanterns

Sydney - February 6, 2016: Chinese New Year Festival launches in Sydney, Australia (photo by Jamie Williams/City of Sydney)
One of our top picks for families is the stunning Lunar Lanterns. Follow the trail around Circular Quay from Sydney Opera House to The Rocks and be in awe of the 12 glowing zodiac animals, up to 13 metres tall! From The Dog to The Dragon, kids and adults alike will have fun finding their zodiac sign. 

When: Friday 31st January to Sunday 9th February 2020
Where: Circular Quay

All You Can Eat Dumplings At WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

In partnership with the dumpling legends at New Shanghai, enjoy Darling Harbour’s FIRST all-you-can-eat dumplings experience at twilight, surrounded by koalas! Every day of the Lunar New Year period, the Koala Rooftop at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo will be transformed into a ‘Chinese Dumpling Kingdom’, welcoming dumpling lovers to rejoice and celebrate the Lunar New Year festivities in style. 

It costs $50 and this includes the twilight all-you-can-eat dumpling experience and after-hours access to the zoo. To make it even more tasty $5 from each ticket will go towards supporting wildlife charities helping injured animals affected by the bushfires.

When: Wednesday 22 January - Thursday 30 January, sessions available: 6pm, 7pm & 8pm
Where: WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

Lunar Lantern: The Rat

Lunar Lantern: The Rat

In a towering tribute to the Year of the Rat, artist and author Claudia Chan Shaw has created an extraordinary installation featuring eight, gold metallic, animatronic rats. The Robotic Rat Lantern is part of the Lunar Lanterns trail and is a huge, glowing symbol of the wealth and surplus that the rat represents.

When: Friday 31st January - Sunday 9th February 2020
Where: First Fleet Park, The Rocks

Lunar New Year at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour

GOF new year
Visit the stunning Chinese Garden of Friendship and celebrate with a vibrant array of creative events over two action-packed weeks. From learning to play the traditional Chinese game Mahjong to and witnessing acrobatic lion dancing, there's something for everyone. The kids can also contribute to the beautiful hanging bookmark display in the Garden, listen to traditional Chinese music performances and decorate their own take-home lanterns. Let the festivities begin!

When: Saturday 25th January - Sunday 9th February 2020
Where: Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour
Cost: Adults $8, Child $4, Family $20, Under 5s FREE  

Dragon Boat Races

Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Races

For more than 2,000 years, Dragon Boat racing has had a special place in Chinese culture, where traditionally the race is thought to bring on abundant rain. Kids and adults alike are invited to watch the thrilling races as flamboyantly decorated 12-metre-long boats compete in the annual Dragon Boat Races

When: Saturday 1st – Sunday 2nd February 2020
Where: Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney

Sydney Tower Eye Sunrise SKYWALK 

For one weekend only Sydney Tower Eye will host a series of sunrise and early morning SKYWALK sessions to bring in the Year of the Rat (otherwise known as ‘Yang’) which symbolises the beginning of a new day! Complementary Chinese tea will also be served to SKYWALK guests on the Observation Deck at the end of the experience. 

When:  Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January 2020 at sunrise
Where: Sydney Tower Eye

Lunar Spectacular Shows

Lunar Spectacular Show Lunar Lanes

The Lunar Spectacular Show at Lunar Lanes will be the biggest ever with over 300 community groups sharing their culture through music, dance, theatre and storytelling. Enjoy a variety of live performances from traditional and contemporary dance to Korean drumming, Japanese hip hop and fashion shows. The performers and the community are the heart and soul of this festival. It's a FREE live event you don't want to miss. There is a second Lunar Spectacular Show happening during Sydney Lunar Festival at Belmore Park Saturday 8th February.

On the menu at Lunar Lanes are lobster dumplings and dragon ball ice cream from Made in China,  Dopa by Devon's Chinese New Year delicacy, Yee Sang raw fish salad, and IIKO Mazesoba celebrates the lucky colour of red with a limited edition organic red beetroot noodle, Mazesoba - just to name a few!

When: Saturday 25th January 2020 from 5pm to 9pm. The Lunar Lane celebration run from 20 January to 9 February.
Where: Chinamarket, Haymarket to Darling Square

Lion Dances

lion dances
Continuing their 27-year tradition, The Dixon Street Chinese Committee is presenting Lion Dance performances throughout Chinatown over three weekends. Drumming, flamboyance and skill form part of this integral festival feature. 

The City of Sydney Lion Dancing troupes will also ring in the Lunar New Year throughout Chinatown on weekends during the celebrations.

When: Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday 11th January to Saturday 1st February 2020.
Where: Chinatown, Dixon Street, Haymarket

Sydney Lunar New Year Fair

Sydney Lunar New Year Fair

Your ultimate Sydney Lunar New Year Fair is a festival-style bazaar with delicious cuisine, cultural performances and arts and crafts. This multicultural family fun fair will feature food trucks, carnival games, jumping castles and rides, and bargain shopping stalls. Community and cultural groups will take to the stage for the Lunar Spectacular Show. Get festive photos, freebies and red packets from the stalls and games.

When: Saturday 8th February 2020 10am to 4.30pm
Where: Belmore Park, Eddy Avenue, Haymarket

Lunar New Year Buffet At The Langham, Sydney

Kitchens on Kent at The Langham, Sydney celebrates the auspicious arrival of the Year of the Rat with extravagant culinary festivities throughout January and February 2020. With eight kitchens to choose from the Lunar New Year banquet will take on a strong Asian focus, think free-range suckling spit-roasted pig, unlimited house-made Peking duck pancakes, Bao buns with crispy pork belly to a variety of steamed dumplings and Dim sum. For dessert, expect a stunning display with over twenty-five puddings, cakes and sweet delights. For Lunar New Year, The Langham, Sydney’s Head of Pastry, Chef Prashanth has created not only those desserts loved by Kitchens on Kent guests, but has brought China to Sydney with a traditional selection from Cantonese-style meringue tarts, Horseshoe cake, Coconut Milk cake to Mango pudding.

When: Monday 20 January to Sunday 2 February
Where: 89-113 Kent Street, Sydney

Luna Park Sydney's Lunar New Year

Luna Park Lunar New Year

Celebrate Lunar New Year with good luck and fortune at Luna Park. Crack open a fortune cookie, feast your eyes on traditional lion dance performances and make a wish on the Luna Park wishing tree. Plus, there's all your favourite rides and sideshow games.

When: Friday 24th to Sunday 26th January 2020
Where: 1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point

Good Fortune Dumplings At Din Tai Fung 

To celebrate Chinese New Year 2020, Din Tai Fung is releasing an indulgent and instagrammable limited edition red and gold “Good Fortune Dumpling.” The dumplings are filled with decadent wagyu beef and black truffle, before being folded into a Jiaozi – a crescent shaped dumpling that is traditionally eaten in northern China during Chinese New Year. Each dumpling is then topped with the finest edible gold leaf flakes. The red and gold colour combination represents lucky colours in Chinese culture, with red symbolising good fortune and happiness, and gold for good luck. The limited edition dumplings are available for $21.60 (5pc).

When: 23rd January to 9th February, 2020
Where: World Square, Westfield Chatswood, Central Park Mall, Westfield Miranda, Westfield Sydney, Broadway Shopping Centre, Gateway Sydney, The Star, Greenwood Plaza and MLC Centre.

Inner West/West

Green Square Lunar New Year Celebrations

Green Square Library Lunar New Year
Green Square Library will be adorned with festive Chinese red lanterns and guarded by 2 towering yin and yang lanterns by Shanghai artist Fan Dongwang for the duration of the Sydney Lunar Festival. Grab a lucky red packet from Lord Mayor Clover Moore, behold a thrilling lion dance performance and celebrate to the thunder of red firecrackers at the Green Square Lunar New Year Celebrations. There's a lion dance workshop for kids, plus a classical Asian-Australian music program.

When: Saturday 8th February 2020 10am to 1pm
Where: Green Square Library, 355 Botany Road, Zetland 

Lunar New Year at IKEA'S Chinese Lunar Buffet

Enjoy an evening of cultural celebrations and delicious all-you-can-eat Chinese street food at IKEA Tempe's restaurant which is transforming into an Asian feasting hall for one night only. There's also fun for the kids with free craft activities and face painting at SMALAND play area. 

When: Wednesday 22 January, 5:30 - 7:30pm
Where: IKEA Tempe

Lunar New Year In Parramatta

**Please note that Lunar New Year in Parramatta has been cancelled due to community and performer concerns about coronavirus** 

Take part in interactive activities and workshops in Lunar Land, including calligraphy, lantern making, and cooking classes, and enjoy a Lunar feast at one of the many delicious food stalls.

The Parramatta festivites also features the family friendly Lunar Lounge, Lantern Garden installation, firecracker display, dragon and lion dances, and a fireworks finale at 9pm.

When: Friday 7 February 2020, 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Where: Centenary Square

Free Bubble Tea At Burwood Chinatown

The new dining precinct is bursting with authentic Asian street food. Find over 30 hawker style eateries to go with your traditional Lunar New Year celebrations including dragon and lion performances and red enveloped giveaways (for good luck). They are also giving away FREE bubble tea on both Friday January 31 and Feburary 7. From 6pm, head to Chatime, Cha Ball, King Tea, Milk Flower, The Burwood Hotel or The Whale Tea and ask for your free milk or fruit tea!

When: Friday January 31 and Feburary 7, 2020
Where: 121-133 Burwood Road, Burwood

South Sydney/St George

Lunar New Year Festival, Hurstville

Georges River Council Lunar New Year Festival

Georges River Council will welcome the Year of the Rat with a Lunar New Year Festival showcasing the local community with a magnificent array of festivities. There's a full day of entertainment scheduled, plus a kids corner, chill-out zone, wishing tree forest, circus workshop. The Lunar New Year celebrations bring 50,000 residents and visitors to the area for traditional Lion dances, delicious food stalls, giveaways, and that signature festival atmosphere.

When: Saturday 18th January 2020, 10am - 5pm
Where: Forest Road, Hurstville

North Shore

Chinese New Year Festival, Chatswood

Chatswood Lunar New Year Festival

There will be three weeks of Lunar New Year festivities in Chatswood with highlights including the Celebration Day Saturday 1st February and the famous Twilight Parade on Saturday 8th February.

Celebration Day is one of the largest celebrations of its kind in Sydney with spectacular dragon and lion dances and live entertainment throughout the day including Chinese Opera, magic shows, martial arts displays and face changing. The Twilight Parade returns this year with a sea of light and colour to illuminate the CBD streets. Lion and dragon dances, drummers, marching bands and floats will party in the Year of the Rat.

The Golden Market will also run every Thursday and Friday from 23 January until 7 February.

When: Saturday Monday 20th January to Saturday 8th February 2020
Where: Chatswood Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue, Chatswood

Lunar New Year in the Plaza, Lane Cove Council

more lanterns

Bring in the Year of the Rat at this special Lunar New Year In The Plaza event featuring live entertainment, a red packet making workshop with Gallery Lane Cove, kids’ activities and a spectacular lion dance by Pak Hok Kung Fu.

When: Friday 8th February 2020, 3.30pm to 6pm
Where: Lane Cove Plaza, Burns Bay Rd, Lane Cove

South West

Cabramatta Lunar New Year Festival

Cabramatta Lunar New Year Festival

Update: This event has been postponed indefinitely

Hosted by Fairfield Council, Cabramatta will come to life as it embraces one of the most important cultural events in South East Asia. Cabramatta Lunar New Year 2020 welcomes the Year of the Rat with cultural festivities including the God of Fortune, Lion Dancing, and loads of exciting family-friendly entertainment. The official ceremony by Mayor of Fairfield City will take place at 11am on Saturday, and don’t miss the traditional blessing of the Cabramatta community at 10am on Sunday. 

When: Saturday 8 February and Sunday 9 February 2020, 9am to 4pm
Where: Freedom Plaza, Park Road, Cabramatta

Lunar New Year at Little Saigon Plaza Bankstown

Enjoy lion dance performances in the main forecourt from midday on February 2, 2020. Don’t miss the fabulous fire crackers and action from Trung Han Qun Lion Dance and Martial Arts.

Bring all your friends and family to Little Saigon Plaza to have lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants (including all you can eat seafood at Seafood Master!). You might even get a lucky lion dance blessing whilst you eat! 

North West

Eastwood Lunar New Year Festival

Eastwood Lunar New Year Festival

The Eastwood Lunar New Year Festival is an exciting family event not to be missed! The extravaganza features kids' carnival rides, market stalls and food trucks, kids' shows, lion high pole, dragon dance and firecrackers, as well as stage entertainment from cultural groups. The night will wrap up with a magnificent fireworks display.

When: Saturday 8 February 2020, 3 - 9pm
Where: Eastwood Oval and West Parade, Eastwood

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