What's On for Kids for the Lunar New Year 2015

  • Fri Feb 13 - Thu Feb 26 2015
  • Preschoolers
    Mums & Bubs
  • $0.00

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The Lunar New Year celebrations around Sydney is one of the largest cultural festivities outside of China. We love that this gives Sydney families the chance to experience a myriad of traditions and cultural exchanges for both the young and old. We are very blessed to live in a vibrant multi-cultural city where the Lunar New Year is celebrated by various Asian communities such as the Vietnamese, Koreans, Thais and many other groups of Chinese-descent.

About the Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is a traditional family event in the Chinese culture. The evening before the first day of the Lunar New Year, families gather for the annual reunion dinner. The children are given gifts of money in little red envelopes known as hongbao as a representation of good fortune and wealth. The family home is thoroughly cleaned in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck; and decorated with red colour paper banners with themes of happiness, wealth, longevity and good luck.

Other popular traditional festivities include the lighting of firecrackers to scare away ‘evil spirits’, lion and dragon dances as symbolic ritual to usher in the New Year and to evict bad spirits from the home.

Each Lunar New year is represented by one of the Chinese Zodiac animals. This year is the Year of the Sheep or Goat.



The Twilight Parade is Sydney’s signature annual Lunar New Year event and a spectacular night out for you and the kids as summer comes to an end. We love how the Twilight Parade will illuminate the City’s streets with a procession of colourful floats, cultural presentations from community groups and programmed entertainment telling the story of the Chinese migrants arrival in Australia to excited onlookers.

ellaslist tip: Go early, have dinner at one of the restaurants or food courts on Dixon Street then plant yourself at a good vantage point along the Parade route by 6.30pm. Bring snacks and toys to keep the little ones busy while you wait, and perhaps a foldable chair.

WHEN: Sun 22 Feb 2015
TIME: 6.30pm to 10pm
WHERE: Between Town Hall, Chinatown and Darling Harbour. Please refer to the event Parade map
COST: Free
DURATION: The Parade begins with a pre-procession entertainment at 6.30pm and ends with fireworks at Darling Harbour around 10pm.

City of Sydney Lunar New Year Twilight Parade


We know the kids would absolutely love this! 90 vibrantly-lit up lanterns of Terracotta Warriors about 2.1m tall with two glowing horses all guarding the Harbour at Dawes Point will be a fun, joyous summer playground to behold. Chinese people think that the colour red represents happiness and prosperity, so the proportion of red is the greatest. The lantern of warriors will also include women and children in various colours including red, yellow, blue, green, purple and white.

WHEN: Fri 13 Feb to Sun 22 Feb 2015
TIME: Lights turn on at dusk until midnight
WHERE: Hickson Road Reserve, Dawes Point
COST: Free

Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors


If you enjoyed the outdoor family feasting at the Night Noodle Markets, you will enjoy the Lunar Markets. In its first year, Sydney Morning Herald Lunar Markets presented by The Star is an 11-day festival celebrating Asian cuisine and culture in beautiful scenic Pyrmont Bay Park will be lined with 20 stalls of delicious food, which will include Manly’s hot new Japanese rock ‘n’ roll bar Daniel San, Noodle Market regulars Hoy Pinoy and The Star’s Fat Noodle. We reckon the tips we had on how to survive the Night Noodle Markets with young ones will apply!

WHEN: Thurs 12 Feb to Sun 22 Feb 2015
TIME: 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 4pm to 10pm weekends
WHERE: Pyrmont Bay Park, Pirrama Road, Pyrmont


Darling Harbour will be decorated with amazing colourful traditional lanterns in this dazzling Chinese Lantern Carnival. The kids will adore the spectacular lanterns that will illuminate the Harbour with a magical scene of lotuses, dragons, birds, fishes and much more. While the dragon dance troupe from Hunan Province and the kung fu demonstrations with breathtaking acrobatics and daring stilt walkers will add to the vibrant atmosphere for everyone. There will also be shadow puppetry, calligraphy and all the old world beauty of Chinoiserie dressing, as well as traditional instruments and dancing, while there will be food stalls creating Asian gourmet cuisines to whet the appetite.

WHEN: Thurs 19 Feb to Sun 22 Feb 2015
TIME: 10am to 10pm, except Sunday 10am to 5pm
WHERE: Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour


The kids will adore playing around with your ankle biters to celebrate the Year of the Sheep. Head on to the front yard area of the Glebe library where mobile animal farm Kindifarm will set up a space for the kids to interact with some adorable Lunar New Year stars.

WHEN: Tues 17 Feb 2015
TIME: 10am to 12pm
WHERE: Glebe Library, 186 Glebe Point Road Glebe
COST: Free


Kids 5 to 8 years, head on to the Surry Hills library for two Mondays after school this month as library staff will be on hand to help create some fun Lunar New Year artwork.

WHEN: Mon 16 Feb and 23 Feb 2015
TIME: 4pm to 5pm
WHERE: Surry Hills Library, 405 Crown Street Surry Hills
COST: Free


This is a special translated Mandarin session for the Lunar New Year where kids 3 to 5 years can stomp around the Australian Museum’s dinosaur gallery with museum staff and learn all about digging up fossils.

WHEN: 17-19 Feb and 24-26 Feb
TIME: 11.30am to 12.30pm
WHERE: Australian Museum, 6 College Street Sydney
COST: From $10, bookings essential


Drop in to the Art Gallery of New South Wales for a free art making activity for kids inspired by the upcoming Lunar New Year Celebrations. Learn about all 12 of the Chinese Zodiac animals and craft a set of collector cards. Great Sunday activity for parents with kids under 10 years of age.

WHEN: Sun 15 Feb 2015
TIME: 11am to 4pm
WHERE: Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, The Domain
COST: Free


LOOKING FOR MORE?Check out our event calendar for more Lunar New Year festivities around Sydney.





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