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Lunar New Year Events for Seattle-Area Kids and Families in 2024

Where to ring in the Year of the Dragon with kids

Headshot of author Julie Dodobara, she is pictured from the torso up, standing on a boat with a waterfuall in the distance

Published on: January 25, 2024

Yellow and red lions at traditional Chinese lion dance lunar new year celebrations Seattle families 2024
Lunar New Year lion dance at the Bellevue Collection. Credit: Chance Merchant Photography

Happy Lunar New Year! The Year of the Dragon roars in on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, and celebrations around town mark the dawn of the new year with lion dances, delicious food, crafts and more. Events take place beginning this weekend and last throughout February, so your family can celebrate for weeks. Whenever and however you celebrate, Happy New Year to all!

1. Create your own Year of the Dragon craft to hide around Tacoma

When: Saturday, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3, 3–5 p.m.
Where: Tacoma Public Library Swasey Branch
Cost: Free
Inspired by the Monkeyshines scavenger hunt (see below), this workshop invites you to create your own Year of the Dragon craft with provided materials to hide around Tacoma.

2. Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival

When: Sunday, Jan. 28, noon–4 p.m.
Where: Eastside Community Center, Tacoma
Cost: Free
Nosh on some traditional Vietnamese food while you enjoy music and cultural performances at this Tết celebration in Tacoma. Don’t miss the lion dance!

A lion dance outside the Wing Luke Museum during Lunar New Year in Seattle
Lion dances at the Wing Luke Museum. Credit: Sam Fu Photos

3. Lunar New Year story time with the Wing

When: Thursday, Feb. 1, 11 a.m.
Where: Online
Cost: Free
Gather ’round the computer with the Wing Luke Museum for an inspiring Lunar New Year-themed tale about a young dragon discovering his best qualities.

4. Celebrate China with Imagine Children’s Museum

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: Imagine Children’s Museum, Everett
Cost: Included with admission ($22; ages 1 and under are free)
Fun art activities celebrating China will be taking place all day in the Art Hangout. Don’t miss the lion dance performance by Mak Fai Kung Fu Club at 1 p.m.

5. Lunar New Year Fair with the Wing

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: Wing Luke Museum, Seattle
Cost: Free lion dance outside; museum exhibits and activities require admission.
Join the Wing Luke Museum for its annual celebration to ring in the Year of the Dragon! Start outdoors with a free lion dance performance, family art activities, story time and more, then head inside the museum for calligraphy lessons and crafts.

6. Lunar New Year Family Celebration at SAAM

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. 
Where: Seattle Asian Art Museum
Cost: Included with admission ($10–$15; ages 14 and younger free)
Story time, art and a live lion dance are all part of this annual Lunar New Year event. This year make dragon art with artists, Juliana Kang Robinson and Julie Kim. 

Lunar new year celebration with scarves and dancing at Bellevue Collection
One of the many Lunar New Year performers at the Bellevue Collection. Photo: Chance Merchant Photography

7. Lunar New Year with The Bellevue Collection

When: Decorations and displays are already up; live celebration Saturday, Feb. 3, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Where: Bellevue Square
Cost: Free
The Bellevue Collection is known for its impressive annual Lunar New Year celebration. This year, the celebration takes place with a day-long schedule of performances and family-friendly activities, including a dragon and lion parade, dance, music, martial arts demos and crafts for kids. Lunar New Year displays will be up until February 4.

8. Tết in Seattle: Vietnamese Lunar New Year

When: Saturday–Sunday, Feb. 3–4, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Where: Seattle Center Armory and Fisher Pavilion
Cost: Free
Part of the Seattle Center Festál series, Tết in Seattle is a community celebration of Vietnamese New Year. Join to see how traditions from Vietnam mark this most important festival of the year. There will be lion dances, music performances, local food vendors, art and fashion shows, hands-on kids’ activities, and health fair.

9. Lunar New Year Celebration at the Village at Totem Lake

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, 1 p.m.
Where: The Village at Totem Lake, Kirkland
Cost: Free
Head over to the Village to enjoy a lion dance performance by Mak Fai, make festive crafts and more.

10. Kirkland Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, 2–4 p.m. 
Where: Peter Kirk Community Center, Kirkland
Cost: Free
Learn how Lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated through crafts, dance and cultural demonstrations. Enjoy some delicious food!

11. Lunar New Year at the Northwest Railway Museum

When: Themed crafts and exhibits are happening now; Lion Dance Saturday, Feb. 3, 2:30 p.m., Lunar New Year story time Wednesday, Feb. 7, 11 a.m. and Lunar New Year train ride Saturday, Feb. 10.
Where: Northwest Railway Museum, Snoqualmie
Cost: Free; train rides are $14–$28
Mark your calendar for special Lunar New Year activities at the Northwest Railway Museum during the month of February including a lion dance, story time and themed train ride (with a gift!). Or stop by anytime until Feb. 19 for lantern crafts, Zodiac activity and Lunar New Year displays.

12. Tết Market and Lion Dance in Little Saigon

When: Sunday, Feb. 4, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 
Where: Little Saigon Creative, Seattle
Cost: Free; items for purchase
Catch a lion dance by Mak Fai Kung Fu and shop a vendor marketplace full of themed items at Friends of Little Sài Gòn’s Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration. 

13. Newcastle’s Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Sunday, Feb. 4, 1–5 p.m. 
Where: Risdon Middle School, Newcastle
Cost: Free
The City of Newcastle invites the community to ring in the Year of Dragon with a lion dance and martial arts demo, drop-in arts and crafts, calligraphy and food sampling for all ages.

14. Lunar New Year crafts and story time at King County Libraries

When: Various dates in February
Where: Fall City, Fairwood, Kirkland, Newport Way, Redmond, Renton, Renton Highlands, Sammamish
Cost: Free
Listen to Lunar New Year stories, get crafty and learn about Chinese and Vietnamese culture and language at a story time or crafting session taking place at one of many Eastside library branches.

15. Lunar New Year Celebration at Jefferson Community Center

When: Friday, Feb. 9, 5–7 p.m.
Where: Jefferson Community Center, Seattle
Cost: Free
Bring the family to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with fun activities, crafts and food.

16. Lunar New Year craft pick up at Job Carr Cabin Museum

When: Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Where: Job Carr Cabin Museum, Tacoma
Cost: Free
Stop by the Job Carr Cabin Museum in Tacoma between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to explore the museum and pick up a free Dragon Eye craft especially for Lunar New Year to complete at home. Themed take-home craft kits are available every Saturday and include instructions and all needed materials.

A group of celebrants during a Lunar New Year celebration near Seattle
Photo: courtesy Westfield Southcenter

17. Celebrate Lunar New Year at Southcenter

When: Saturday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Where: Westfield Southcenter, Tukwila
Cost: Free
A fantastic line-up of entertainment is scheduled at Southcenter for their Lunar New Year Celebration. You can expect a lion dance, ribbon dance and martial arts performances, as well as a calligraphy demonstration, and Wishing Tree Dedication by the Mayor of Tukwila.

18. Lunar New Year in Edmonds

When: Saturday, Feb. 10, noon–4 p.m.
Where: Edmonds Center for the Arts
Cost: Free
Catch a lion dance, martial arts demo and a breakdance performance by audience-favorite, Massive Monkees. There will also be a screening of the Seattle Chinese Community Drill Team documentary, "She Marches in China Town" along with Q & A with director, Della Chen.

19. Lunar New Year at Marketplace at Factoria

When: Saturday, Feb. 10, 1–4 p.m.
Where: Marketplace at Factoria, Bellevue
Cost: Free
Watch a dragon show, lion dance and musical performances. Then preserve the memory with a photo taken with the pop-up Lunar New Year display.

20. PhinneyWood Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Feb. 10, 1 –4 p.m. 
Where: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Seattle
Cost: Free
Join your neighbors in North Seattle for this community celebration which includes a lion dance, Taiko drum performance and making lanterns.

21. City of Sammamish Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Feb. 10, 1–5 p.m.
Where: Central Washington University, Sammamish
Cost: Free
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon and our diverse region with this community Lunar New Year event. Watch a variety of live performances, including a lion dance, martial arts music, art, and more. Enjoy food truck offerings and stop by educational booths.

22. Lunar New Year at Pacific Place

When: Sunday, Feb. 10, 2–4 p.m.
Where: Pacific Place, downtown Seattle
Cost: Free
All ages are invited to create their own Year of the Dragon puppets and masks at Pacific Place shopping center and commemorate the occasion with a photo at the custom Lunar New Year booth. Mak Fai Kung Fu Club will also perform an exciting dragon dance.

23. Tacoma’s awesome and mysterious Monkeyshines hunt

When: Around Saturday, Feb. 10 (typically a week or so before and up to a week after)
Where: Around Tacoma
Cost: Free
Tacoma knows how to have fun with guerilla art, and we’ve already heard: Monkeyshines will be hidden this year. If you don’t live in Tacoma or haven’t heard about Monkeyshines, read up and you might just be tempted to wake up early and get in on the hunt.

24. Mercer Island Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Sunday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Where: Mercer Island Community Center & Event Center
Cost: Free
Kick off the Year of the Dragon at this festive, family-friendly event. Kids can make craft lanterns and try Chinese paper cutting. There will also be tea ceremony and calligraphy demos, a dragon dance and Kung Fu performances.

25. Celebrate the Lunar New Year at BAM

When: Sunday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: Bellevue Arts Museum
Cost: Free
Try your hand at Chinese paper cutting and crafting lucky red envelopes at this Lunar New Year celebration. Then enjoy a dance performance by the Huayin Performing Arts Group.

A liondance lunar new year celebration in Tacoma near Seattle
Lion dances at the Lincoln District Lunar New Year celebration. Photo: Allison Sutcliffe

26. Lunar New Year in the Lincoln District

When: Sunday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: Lincoln District, Tacoma
Cost: Free
Follow lion dancers as they weave their way through Tacoma’s Lincoln District, setting off firecrackers. Bring the whole family to this celebration of Asian culture and community and enjoy the pop-up marketplace and delicious eats.

27. Lunar New Year Celebration at Westlake Park

When: Sunday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Where: Westlake Park, Seattle
Cost: Free
Head to Westlake Park for Lunar New Year festivities including red envelopes, prizes and tasty treats (tangerine latte? Yes please!). The Mak Fai lion dance takes place at noon, with an additional performance at First Ave. and Pike St. at 1 p.m.

28. Chinatown–International District Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: Hing Hay Park and the surrounding neighborhood, Seattle
Cost: Free
Lunar New Year in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District is the place for food and culture. Expect lion and dragon dancers prancing at Hing Hay Park’s main stage, cultural performances and a food walk serving up delicious eats during this all-day event.

29. Shorelake Arts Lantern Festival & Lion Dance

When: Saturday, Feb. 24, noon–3:30 p.m.
Where: Spartan Recreation Center, Shoreline
Cost: Free (food and drink for purchase); donations appreciated
Make your own paper lantern at this Shoreline community event and celebrate Lunar New Year with a lion dance, kung fu demos and music.

30. Lantern Festival at Seattle Chinese Garden

When: Saturday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 
Where: Seattle Chinese Garden
Cost: Free; donations appreciated
Seattle Chinese Garden welcomes visitors to celebrate Year of the Dragon at its annual Lantern Festival. Bring the whole family to learn more about this holiday and take part in all the fun activities.

31. Asia Pacific Cultural Center’s New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Where: Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall
Cost: Free
Bring the whole family to this annual Lunar New Year celebration organized by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center. Enjoy all kinds of fun cultural arts, live performances, games, eats and more. This year’s celebration features the customs of host country, Taiwan.

32. Lunar New Year 5K Walk and Run

When: Sunday, Feb. 25, 9 a.m.–noon
Where: Shoreline Interurban Trail, beginning at Shoreline City Hall
Cost: $40 (price increases after Feb. 24)
Kick off the new year with an all-ages 5K walk or run, either in person or virtually. Racers will gather outside of Shoreline City Hall to hit the trail, with booths and fun Lunar New Year activities happening in the main event space located at Aurora Rents. Registration includes a Lunar New Year 5K shirt and sponsor swag (while supplies last).

Lunar New Year reads for kids

Learn more about Lunar New Year traditions with these stories.

1. Bringing in the New Year” by Grace Lin: Bright colors and simple text highlight the most important traditions of New Year.

2. This Next New Year” by Janet Wong: A young boy celebrates the Lunar New Year with all of his neighbors and friends. The book is cross-culturally inclusive and its message is universal: Everyone has dreams and hopes for a fresh start.

3. A New Year’s Reunion” by Li-Qiong Yu: The book is set in China, where some parents have to leave their children to work in cities. This story has more words than the other two, as well as a twinge of sadness that you might have to explain to your child.

Editor’s note: JiaYing Grygiel and Devon Hammer contributed to this article.

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