Lunar New Year in the Bay Area is a Family-Friendly Celebration - 510 Families
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Lunar New Year in the Bay Area is a Family-Friendly Celebration

The Year of the Tiger has arrived! Here are some ideas to help your children celebrate the Lunar New Year and honor the cultures of many local families. There are many family-friendly celebrations (both in-person and virtual), crafts, books and movies, and yummy food to eat. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

San Francisco Tigers Statues for Lunar New Year 2022
Search for Tigers throughout San Francisco | Photo: Asian Art Museum Facebook Page

Bay Area Lunar New Year In-Person Celebrations

We tried to list these in chronological order all around the Bay Area because one person’s “worth the drive” is another person’s “right across the bridge”. Have a wonderful and prosperous new year however you celebrate!

Chinese New Year Tiger Sculpture Hunt, San Francisco

January 17 – February 19
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco commissioned 6 life-sized tiger sculptures to be publicly displayed across San Francisco. They’re all different but reflect upon the culture, people, and traditions surrounding Chinese New Year. Find all six around San Francisco from January 17 – February 19 and take a selfie! (No climbing, kids, sorry)
Check out the map and more information here >

Jack London Square Lunar New Year Celebration, Oakland

Saturday, January 29, 1 pm – 3 pm
Join a fun-filled Lunar New Year event in Jack London Square plaza, near Plank. Enjoy a cultural performance by lively and colorful lion dancers, kid-friendly crafts, and Year of the Tiger photo ops. No pre-registration is required.
More details >

Little Saigon Lunar New Year Celebration, Oakland

Saturday, January 29, 1 pm – 4 pm
The Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Lunar New Year Celebration, known as Tết in Vietnamese culture. The outdoor event will welcome Year of the Tiger with music, fashion, cultural activities, and traditional foods—like sticky rice cake, candied fruit, and bao— and lì xì (those lucky red envelopes) for the kids.
See event details >

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Lunar New Year Celebration at The Veranda, Concord

Sunday, January 30, 10 am – 11 am
Visit The Veranda in Concord for a celebration that welcomes the new year with a big roar! Watch a martial arts demonstration, lion dance, and a special movie at this indoor celebration. Plus, the first 100 children will get a lucky $2 bill and goody bag. Families can also give back to the community by supporting the on-site food drive. $5 for adult tickets, kids are free.
Register in advance here >

Santana Row Lunar New Year Celebration, San Jose

Friday, February 4, 4 pm – 6 pm
Enjoy an evening of Lunar New Year festivities for the whole family. Expect cultural performances, red envelope surprises, art-making, and more.
Learn more > 

Lunar New Year Pop-Up at Ferry Building, San Francisco

February 5-6, 12-13, 8 am – 3 pm
Visit the Ferry Building for a Lunar New Year pop-up that will showcase small businesses from Chinatown. Support the local businesses and see the building decked out with lanterns and other handmade decorations to welcome the Year of the Tiger.
Learn more >

Terra Schools New Year Celebration & Fair, Mill Valley

Saturday, February 5, 10 am – 2 pm
Join a multi-cultural event to celebrate Asian tradition and cultures, along with well-wishes for the future. Enjoy traditional performances, culinary delights, a phenomenal raffle, and fun festivities for all ages. $10/$8 advance purchase.
Purchase tickets >

Lunar New Year Celebration, Downtown Berkeley

Saturday, February 5, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate the Year of the Tiger in downtown Berkeley, outside the Central Library at Kittredge and Harold Way. Enjoy storytime, crafts, and Leung’s White Crane Lion Dancers. All ages are welcome to participate.
More details > 

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San Jose Art Museum Community Day: Lunar New Year

Saturday, February 5, 11 am – 4 pm
Welcome the Year of the Tiger at San Jose Art Museums with celebrations onsite and online, including art-making tutorials and kits, cultural performances, and demonstrations. The program invites all ages to participate in honoring Lunar New Year traditions around the globe.
Learn more and register in advance >

Lunar New Year Festival at OMCA, Oakland

Saturday, February 5, 12 pm – 3 pm
Explore the diverse Asian cultures of the Bay Area at Oakland Museum of California’s Lunar New Year Celebration. The family-friend event will include virtual and in-person programming to honor Lunar New Year traditions through storytelling, performances, activities, cooking demonstrations and more. Festival admission $7-$10; children under 12 free.
Purchase tickets > 

SF Symphony Celebration: Year of the Tiger, San Francisco

Saturday, February 5, 5 pm 
The San Francisco Symphony hosts a vibrant musical event to celebrate Lunar New Year. Enjoy a performance that draws upon Asian traditions, past and present. Tickets start at $25.
Learn more >

Oakland Asian Cultural Center Lunar New Year Celebration

Sunday, February 6, 11 am – 3 pm
Oakland Asian Cultural Center hosts an in-person Lunar New Year festival to highlight Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and other cultural traditions and art forms connected to the Lunar New Year holiday. Additional details will be announced soon.
See more details here >

Lunar New Year at City Center Bishop Ranch, San Ramon

Sunday, February 6, 11 am – 1:30 pm
Families are invited to watch exciting drumbeats and crashing cymbals of the Dragon and Lion dances, enjoy surprise red envelopes, and more at this celebration.
More details > 

Leung’s White Crane Lion Dance Performance, Foster City

Friday, February 11, 4 pm – 5 pm
See the famous Leung’s White Crane perform a traditional lion dance to celebrate Lunar New Year. The colorful and spectacular lion will give you a unique experience of East Asia. This event is hosted by San Mateo Library System and takes place at Leo J. Ryan Park. Similar performances will be held at various other locations.
See more details and the full list of performances > 

11th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration, Redwood City

Saturday, February 12, 11 am – 4 pm
Watch an exciting parade filled with lion dancers, martial artists, taiko drummers, and other live performances. Families can also enjoy free admission to the San Mateo County History Museum where kids can participate in free Year of the Tiger-themed arts and crafts.
Learn more > 

Family Lunar New Year Celebration, Palo Alto

Saturday, February 12, 10 am – noon
Visit Gamble Gardens in Palo Alto to join a free, family-friendly event filled with themed crafts, lion dance performance, and family nature hunt through the grounds.
More details >

Lunar New Year Celebration on Solano Ave, Berkeley

Sunday, February 13, 10 am – 11:45 am
Gather in Peralta Park on Solano Avenue for a free, family-friendly event filled with performances from local dance and martial arts groups.
More details >

Chinese New Year Parade, San Francisco

Saturday, February 19, 5:15 pm – 8 pm
This annual parade returns in person! Watch the 2.5-hour long parade beginning at 5:15 pm. Free, though bleacher seats are available for purchase. Arrive early to check out the community street fair that’s taking place before the parade. Don’t miss the playground at Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Park in SF Chinatown, too.
More details >

Willie Woo Woo Wong Playground
Play structures were inspired by Chinese mythology | Photo: Maureen Burke

Lunar New Year Virtual Offerings

Santa Clara Library Eye of the Tiger Physical Fun

Wednesday, January 26, 4 pm – 4:30 pm
Learn a little Lunar New Year knowledge with some physical fun! Best for kids 3-10 years old. This is a free event, but registration is required. Sign up > 

Asian Art Museum Lunar New Year Storytelling Program

Sunday, January 30, 11 am – 12 pm
Welcome the Year of the Tiger with exciting stories and virtual looks at the museum’s collection. Hear how the tiger became the third symbol of the zodiac and learn about what the tiger symbolizes in Asian art. Recommended for ages 7 and up, but all are welcome. This free event takes place over Zoom. Please register in advance to participate. Sign up here >

Santa Clara Library Lunar New Year Virtual Storytime

Tuesday, February 1, 10:30 am – 11 am
Recommended for children ages 2-5, participants of this virtual storytime will read, sing, and learn about the international holiday. Children are invited to wear red for good luck!  Join for free here >

Santa Clara Library Learn to Draw: Year of the Tiger

Tuesday, February 1, 4 pm – 5 pm
Celebrate Lunar New Year with your own tiger drawing. The free program is open to all ages, but best for children 5 and older. See more details here >

Palo Alto Library Storytime: Celebrating Lunar New Year

Thursday, February 3, 11 am
Tune into a 30-minute virtual storytime with Palo Alto librarians to welcome the Lunar New Year. This all-ages storytime features stories, songs & more! See more > 

Oakland Asian Cultural Center Asian Pacific New Year Virtual Celebration

February 5 – 12
Participate in virtual programs that highlights various Asian countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year such as China, Vietnam, Korea, and more. OACC will present performances, cooking demonstrations, art classes, storytelling and its Virtual Community Night Market. More information here >

Children make lunar new year craft
Children make lunar new year crafts at OMCA (pre-covid photo) | Photo: Odell Hussey Photography via OMCA Facebook Page

Lunar New Year Craft Ideas

Zodiac Animal Coloring Pages

Learn about the twelve animals that make up the Chinese Zodiac. Children can learn about each animal that rules a year of birth and influences personality. Discover their animal and see if the description is accurate. Download coloring pages from Asian Art Museum here >

Chinese Red Envelopes Craft

Traditionally money is the gift of choice during the Lunar New Year celebration, typically handed out in vibrant red envelopes. Add a bit of fun to the tradition by making your own blinged-out envelopes for the occasion. This version from Sue over at First Palette is great because it comes with a handy printable template! Head over to First Palette to get started >

Hanging Citrus Fruit Paper Craft

Tangerines and oranges are good luck and symbolize wealth for the new year. Brighten up your house with this adorable craft by Chelsey at Buggy and Buddy. Don’t worry, for those of us who aren’t the craftiest, it’s pretty easy to make with colored paper, brown yarn, scissors, and glue. Find the tutorial here >

Paper Lantern Craft for the Lunar New Year

There are a ton of paper lantern craft ideas on the internet, but these little mini versions are just that perfect version of cute that your little ones are sure love. The addition of the hearts make them perfect for Valentine’s Day too, so two birds with one stone! Check out the craft at The Craft Train here >

glowfari cheetah scene chinese lanterns
All over the Oakland Zoo are glowing fields of giant nature scenes at Glowfari | Photo: Annie Reid

Magical Outing: Glowfari

Celebrate Lunar New Year, animals, conservation, and the glorious Bay Area skyline in one gigantic outing. Glowfari is open to the public now through February 6.

Lunar New Year Books, Stories and Movies to Enjoy with Kids

My First Chinese New Year, by Karen Katz

A fun lift-the-flap book to add to your collection that’ll introduce your littlest ones to the traditional festivities of the Chinese New Year. Buy on Amazon or check your local bookseller.

How to Catch a Dragon, by Adam Wallace

A bright appealing picture book that’ll enliven reading time and bring out many Chinese New Year themes. Buy on Amazon or check your local bookseller.

Look! What Do You See?: An Art Puzzle Book of American and Chinese Songs, by Bing Xu

For your older kids (ages 7+), you’ll find this puzzle book both visually stunning and mentally challenging for the codebreakers in your family. Buy on Amazon or check your local bookseller.

The Enchanted Paintbrush, Circle Round Podcast

Children can listen to the Chinese folktale about a magical paintbrush that brings an artist’s drawings to life. Perfect for car rides or quiet time, probably best for kids 3+. Listen here >

Over the Moon (Netflix)

A fun cartoon movie with Chinese culture and genres, probably best for kids 6+. Check it out on Common Sense Media to read reviews. Watch it on Netflix >>

Born in China (Disney+)

For the animal lovers in your family, this delightful documentary follows the adventures of three animal families — the majestic panda, the savvy golden monkey and the elusive snow leopard.  Watch it on Disney+

Child slurping ramen noodles
Slurp up some noodles at Shiba Ramen | Photo provided by Public Market Emeryville

10 East Bay Restaurants Kids Love to Celebrate the Year of the Tiger

  1. Anchalee (Berkeley) | Thai take out. The food is very good, staff is friendly and my daughter inhales their fried rice. We pack sticker books and markers to keep her happy during boring grown-up conversations. – Janet O. Website.
  2. Bowl’d (Albany, Alameda, Oakland) | Korean pick up or delivery. I love that they give little smoothies and kid chopsticks and bowls. – Anne C. Website.
  3. Mint Leaf (W. Berkeley, Alameda) | Vietnamese restaurant take out at either location. Try the Cha Gio rolls. Website.
  4. Ohgane Korean (Oakland, Alameda, Concord) | Korean BBQ for take out. Website.
  5. Oori Rice Triangles (Albany, Oakland) | My family and so many friends LOVE the takeout from Oori Rice triangles – Carol B. Website.
  6. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro (Emeryville, Walnut Creek) | Asian Fusion Chain with carry out. Order online or with their app and take advantage of Bay Street’s 15 minute free parking for food carryout. Website.
  7. Renee’s Place (Albany) | Wonderful neighborhood restaurant where Renee herself enjoys greeting the regulars of all ages, and knows how to accommodate multi-generational parties very well. – Holly L. Website.
  8. Shiba Ramen (Emeryville, Oakland) | Slurp up noodles as plain or adorned as your kid wants. Website.
  9. Toss Noodle Bar (Berkeley) | Order carry out of mixed Asian flavors. Dress your noodles however you like. {See Whitney’s review of TossWebsite.
Lunar New Year Cupcakes
Chinese New Year cupcakes | Photo and creation by Bakes by Eileen

Sweet treats for a sweet new year

Cupcakes by Eileen, Alameda

These beautiful cupcakes are beautifully decorated and feature traditional flavors like Fa Gao (aka Fortune Cake), Lucky Candy and Salted Egg Yolk. Place your order now for pick up on January 30 >

Chocolate and Card Set by Formosa Chocolates, Oakland

Formosa Chocolates is offering a set of bonbon chocolates and paper cards/red envelopes to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. See the flavors and place an order > 

Pastries by B. Patisserie, San Francisco

The award-winning bakery will sell Lunar New Year-themed pastries like Black Sesame Kouign Amann, Egg Custard Tarts, Milk Tea Cake and more starting February 1 through February 13. Pre-ordering is available. See the full menu of Lunar New Year treats >

Washington Bakery, San Francisco

Purchase a Chinese New Year cake from Washington Bakery & Restaurant in SF’s Chinatown. Choose from traditional flavors like Turnip Cake, Sweet Rice Cake, Taro Cake and Water Chestnut Cake. Place an order > 

What will you do to celebrate??

xxx

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