Skip to main content

Lunar New Year Events for Seattle-Area Kids and Families in 2023

Where to ring in the Year of the Rabbit 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 10, 2023

Close-up of yellow lion head during traditional Chinese lion dance lunar new year celebrations Seattle families 2021

Happy Lunar New Year! The Year of the Rabbit hops in on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, 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 into February, so your family can celebrate for weeks. Whenever and however you celebrate, Happy New Year to all!

1. Lunar New Year with the Bellevue Collection

When: Decorations and displays are already up; live celebration Saturday, Jan. 14, 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 in person 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 the end of January.

2. Celebrate Tết in Little Saigon

When: Saturday–Sunday, Jan. 14–15
Where: Little Saigon Creative, Seattle
Cost: Free
Workshops are full, but you can still 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. 

3. Tết in Seattle: Vietnamese Lunar New Year

When: Saturday–Sunday, Jan. 14–15, 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, and hands-on kids’ activities.

4. Newcastle’s Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Sunday, Jan. 15, 1 p.m.–4 p.m. 
Where: Aegis Gardens, Newcastle
Cost: Free
The City of Newcastle invites the community to ring in the Year of Rabbit with a lion dance and martial arts demo, drop-in arts and crafts, calligraphy and food sampling for all ages.

5. Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival

When: Sunday, Jan. 15, 1–4 p.m. 
Where: Eastside Community Center, Tacoma
Cost: Free
Nosh on a free vegetarian lunch while you enjoy Vietnamese music and cultural performances at this Lunar New Year celebration in Tacoma. Don’t miss the lion dance!

6. Lunar New Year show at the Central Library

When: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2–3 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Seattle
Cost: Free
This Lunar New Year program is filled with performances from dance to martial arts, and choir and instrumental music to poetry. Be sure to catch the costume showcase.

7. Lunar New Year story time at the Redmond Library

When: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Where: Redmond Library
Cost: Free
Listen to Lunar New Year stories and sing songs in both English and Mandarin while you learn how to make a themed craft. 

8. Create your own Year of the Rabbit craft to hide around Tacoma

When: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 5–7 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 Rabbit craft with provided materials to hide around Tacoma.

9. Lunar New Year craft pick up at Job Carr Museum

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Where: Job Carr Museum, Tacoma
Cost: Free
Stop by the Job Carr Museum in Tacoma between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to pick up a free bunny 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.

10. Celebrate Lunar New Year at Southcenter

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, noon–3 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, modern dance and martial arts performances, free Chinese tea and desserts, and more. 

11. City of Sammamish Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Jan. 21, 1–4 p.m.
Where: Central Washington University, Sammamish
Cost: Free
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and our diverse region with this community Lunar New Year event. Watch a variety of live performances, including dragon and lion dances, and martial arts demos. Enjoy food from an Asian food truck and stop by various interactive booths for kids. Also, don’t miss your chance to win a prize in the raffle! 

12. Lunar New Year on the Pier

When: Sunday, Jan. 22, 2–4 p.m.
Where: Pier 62, downtown Seattle
Cost: Free
Stop by the Seattle waterfront to ring in the Year of the Rabbit and experience a thrilling lion dance performed by the Mak Fai Kung Fu Club. Food trucks and vendors will also be on hand, as well as new fire pits to keep warm.

13. Lunar New Year at Pacific Place

When: Sunday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Where: Pacific Place, downtown Seattle
Cost: Free
All ages are invited to create their own Year of the Rabbit lanterns and origami crafts at Pacific Place shopping center. Mak Fai Kung Fu Club will also perform an exciting dragon dance.

14. Tacoma’s awesome and mysterious Monkeyshines hunt

When: Around Sunday, Jan. 22 (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.

15. Lunar New Year fair with the Wing

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: Wing Luke Museum
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 Rabbit! Start outdoors with a free lion dance performance, then head inside the museum for arts and crafts and a story time for the whole family. If you’re curious to learn about why lion dances are a popular part of Lunar New Year celebrations, be sure to take part in the afternoon lion dance talk. 

16. Lunar New Year in the Lincoln District

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.–3 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, local DJ vibes and delicious eats.

17. Asian Spring Festival Celebration

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, afternoon event: noon–5 p.m.; plus evening gala: 6:30–9 p.m.
Where: McCaw Hall, Seattle Center
Cost: Starts at $20; tickets for afternoon and evening events sold separately
It’s a double dose of Lunar New Year festivities celebrating Chinese culture and traditions. Games, performances, a photo booth and a food court provide an afternoon of family-friendly fun, followed by an evening gala with performances by Chinese artists. 

18. Shorelake Arts Lantern Festival & Lion Dance

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, noon–3:30 p.m.
Where: North City Elementary, 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.

19. Lunar New Year at Marketplace at Factoria 

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 12:30–3:30 p.m.
Where: Marketplace at Factoria, Bellevue
Cost: Free
Watch a Lion Dance, Kung Fu demo, and musical performances. Then preserve the memory with a photo taken with the Lunar New Year rabbit mascot.

20. Kirkland Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2–4 p.m. 
Where: Peter Kirk Community Center, Kirkland
Cost: Free
Learn how Lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated by various cultures found in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Singaporean, Laotian, Filipino, Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian communities. Enjoy food, crafts and storytelling performances.

21. Kirkland Urban Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Friday, Feb. 3, 6–8 p.m.
Where: Kirkland Urban Plaza
Cost: Free
Drop by the Kirkland Urban Plaza to celebrate Lunar New Year! Enjoy a variety of traditional performances, including a lion dance by Mak Fai Lion Dance and Vietnamese fan dances. Also, don’t miss the whimsical lantern and calligraphy displays, giveaways and more.

22. Chinatown–International District Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: Hing Hay Park and the surrounding neighborhood, Seattle
Cost: Free
Lunar New Year in Seattle’s International District is the place for food and culture. Expect lion and dragon dancers prancing through the neighborhood, cultural performances and a food walk serving up delicious eats during this all-day event.

23. Lunar New Year Family Celebration at SAAM

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. 
Where: Seattle Asian Art Museum
Cost: Included with admission ($10–$18; ages 14 and younger free)
Story time, art and a live lion dance are all part of this annual Lunar New Year event. And, new this year, attendees can participate in creating a community mural with artist Julia Kang Robinson.

24. Lantern Festival at Seattle Chinese Garden

When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 1 –4 p.m. 
Where: Seattle Chinese Garden
Cost: Free; donations appreciated
Seattle Chinese Garden welcomes back visitors to their first on-site Chinese New Year Lantern Festival since 2020. Bring the whole family to learn more about this holiday and take part in all the fun activities.

25. PhinneyWood Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 2 –5 p.m. 
Where: Phinney Neighborhood Center, Seattle
Cost: Free
Join your neighbors in North Seattle for this first-time event which includes a Lion Dance, Taiko drum performance and making lanterns.

26. Asia Pacific Cultural Center’s New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Feb. 25, 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.

27. Lunar New Year 5K Walk and Run

When: Sunday, Feb. 26, 8 a.m.–noon
Where: Shoreline Interurban Trail, beginning at Shoreline City Hall
Cost: $30 (price increases after Jan. 27)
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, where Lunar New Year activities will also take place. 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.

Get the best of ParentMap delivered right to your inbox.

Share this resource with your friends!