30+ Fun Lunar New Year Events in London With Kids 2024

Looking to celebrate Lunar New Year in London with kids? This guide is filled with family-friendly activities perfect to introduce the little ones to the different traditions of Lunar New Year. 

Girl dressed in traditional Chinese clothes holds up a paper umbrella inside a historic room

Enjoy a Lion Dance, believed to ward off evil spirits and bring blessings to the community for the coming year. Hear traditional and modern stories, take part in cultural performances, craft your own dragons to take home, learn mah-jong and more. From colourful parades, performances and fireworks in Central London to local events, here’s a round up of Lunar New Year festivities in London for kids.

Related: What’s on February half term 2024.

Last updated: 1 February 2024.




CONTENTS

  1. WHEN IS LUNAR NEW YEAR 2024?
  2. MAP OF LUNAR NEW YEAR FAMILY EVENTS IN LONDON
  3. LONDON CHINESE NEW YEAR PARADE & FESTIVAL
  4. LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION AT NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
  5. LUNAR NEW YEAR FAMILY FESTIVAL AT MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS
  6. SMALLER AND LOCAL LUNAR NEW YEAR EVENTS IN LONDON


When is Lunar New Year 2024?

A traditional Lion Dance with masked perfromer and drummer in front of crowds on a London high street

Lunar New Year is the official start of the new lunar calendar. It is celebrated millions of people across the world. Also known as Spring Festival, Chinese New Year, Tết and Seollal, each community has their special way to mark the new year. The second new moon after the winter solstice is welcomed with 15 days of celebration. 

In 2024, Lunar New Year falls on Saturday 10 February 2024. In the Chinese Zodiac it marks the start of the Year of the Dragon 甲辰龙年 which represents good luck, strength and health.


Map of Lunar New Year Events in London with kids


London Chinese New Year Parade & Festival

Organised by London Chinatown Chinese Association for the last 20 years, head to the West End for the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia. Over 300,000 people fill the streets of London for the festivities, so arrive early to catch the parade.

  • Chinese New Year Parade: With colourful floats from over 50 teams, music, dance, acrobatics, kung fu, lion dancers and, of course, dragons! The main parade starts at Trafalgar Square, proceeds along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue, before ending near Wardour Street. 11 February 2024, 10:15-12:00.
  • Trafalgar Square Festival: Main stage with live performances and Lions’ Eye-Dotting Ceremony. Finishing with fireworks display finale (12:00-18:00).
  • Chinatown: Cuisine and Lion Dance zone.
  • Leicester Square: Zodiac & Legends zone.
  • Shaftesbury Avenue: Family Zone & Culture Zone.
  • Charing Cross Road: Community, Activities and Mascots zone (12:00-17:30).

11 February 2024. Free, drop in.
For more details, check the website.


Lunar New Year Celebration at National Maritime Museum

Two bright red and yellow 'lions' stand in the National Maritime Museum as part of a traditional Chinese Lion Dance performance
(C) Royal Museums Greenwich

A day packed with free family-friendly workshops, activities and performances:

  • Performances at the Great Map: Taiwanese ribbon dance, Korean harp, martial arts demo, and lion dance at 11:00, 12:30, 14:00 and 15:30. Spaces allocated by wristbands.
  • Workshops: Create lunar fans, magnificent dragons, participate in Hmong hat making, and learn paper folding (10am-5pm).
  • Meet James Robson: Learn about the tea trade and the 19th-century Opium Wars from a Chinese sailor who served on the Cutty Sark.
  • Learn to play mahjong.
  • Talks: Explore the Chinese tea ceremony, reimagine Asian food with Asian Slaw Alliance, the significance of Lunar New Year, and a free gallery tour.
  • Lunar New Year Storytelling.
  • Stands: Discover lunar landscapes, Korean calligraphy, Chinese instruments, and Chinese opera show and tell.

3 February 2024. Free, book entry ahead. Activities available on a first come, first served basis. Note it is a very busy event – arrive early.
For more details and exact times, check the website.


Lunar New Year Family Festival at Museum of London Docklands

Two children hold brightly coloured decorated masks in front of their faces.
(C) Museum of London

This two-day family festival includes:

  • Dragon Kung Fu. Book, ages 5+.
  • Ribbon Dance Workshops. Book, ages 5+.
  • Elemental Dragons: Explore dragons in mythology, create a unique mask, and dance like a Chinese dragon. Book.
  • Delicious Dumplings: Make Chinese dumplings with Newham Chinese School. Book.
  • Chinese Gala Celebration: Enjoy a traditional Chinese Gala with various performances. Book.
  • Fluttering Fans: Watch Harrow Dance School perform and learn fan dance, a Lunar New Year tradition. Book.
  • Silent Disco: Bop to Newham Chinese Association-selected songs in a centuries-old warehouse. 11 February 2024 only. 
  • Dragon’s Lair Sensory Space: Experience a dragon’s lair for under 5s and their carers, with dragon-themed activities.
  • Dragon Puppets: Create dragon puppets. Ages 3+.
  • Lion Dancing: Witness an authentic lion dance symbolizing chasing away worries and welcoming happiness at 12:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 16:00.
  • Head-raising Dragon: Explore Chinese dragons with Windson Liong from New Earth Theatre. Ages 3+.

10-11 February 2024. 

Free, drop in/book. Booking opens for the pre-book events on Monday 29 January 2024 at 09:00. 
For more details and exact times, check the website.


Smaller and Local Lunar New Year events in London with kids

Female dancer dressed in white performs ribbon dance on stage at British Library
  • Lunar New Year Celebration at Hackney Bridge: Lion, Dragon, umbrella and bell dances, martial arts displays and live music, with drop-in dragon craft workshop for all ages. 27 January 2024, 13:00-16:00. Free, drop in.

  • Family Art Workshop with Urbanwise.London at Brompton Library:  With guest artist Renata Fernandez. 3 February 2024, 10:30-12:00. Free, book.

  • Chinese Astronomy Planetarium Show at Royal Observatory: Explore ancient and modern Chinese astronomy in a live planetarium show. Bilingual Families planetarium shows also available. 3 & 10 February, 13 April, 22 June, 17 August, 19 October, 14 December 2024 at 10:30. Paid, book. Ages 7+. 

  • Chinese New Year Art & Craft Family Workshop at Landmark Arts Centre: Develop paper cutting skills, learn some Chinese words and experience Chinese calligraphy. 4 February 2024, 14:00-15:30. Paid, book. Ages 7-11.

  • Celebrate Chinese New Year at Merchant Square: See the Floating Pocket Park decorated with beautiful Chinese lanterns, and collect a free fortune cookie from the reception desk at 5 Merchant Square. 5-19 February 2024. Free, drop in.

  • Chinese New Year Celebrations! at the Brunswick Centre: Four traditional Lion dance performers, three dragon dancers, stilt walkers, Chinese decorations and special offers in red envelopes. 8 February 2024, 16:30-19:30. Free, drop in.

  • Chinese New Year Fair & Family Day by Kensington Wade School: Lion Dance, music workshops, dumpling making, crafts, games and activities plus food stalls and VR experience. 9 February 2024, 14:00-17:00. Free, book.

  • Traditional Lion Dance at British Museum: What a great space to see this traditional lion dance, believed to bring good luck and drive away evil spirits. By the London Chinatown Chinese Association in the Museum’s Great Court. 9 February 2024, 18:45-19:00 and 19:15-19:30. Free, drop in.

  • Maisy’s Chinese New Year Storytime and Crafts at Pickled Pepper Books: Introduce little ones to joyous traditions as Maisy celebrates Chinese New Year. 9 & 10 February 2024 at various times. Paid, book. Ages 2-7.

  • The Intergenerational Game: Lunar New Year Edition at Royal Festival Hall: Featuring dance-offs, quizzes, and interactive fun for all generations. 10 February 2024, 10:30 & 13:30. Free, drop in. Ages 5+.
  • Kamishibai Performance: The Great Race! at Young V&A: Haruka Kuroda from A Thousand Cranes presents traditional Japanese paper theatre storytelling on the Chinese zodiac. 10 February 2023, 20 minute performance at 12:00, 13:30 and 15:00. Free, first come first served.
  • Chinese New Year 2024 Festive Papercut Workshop at Rouge Shop: Learn traditional paper cutting and create beautiful paper motifs made out of red paper to symbolise happiness and festivities. 10 February 2024. Paid, book. Maximum 2 children per adult.

  • Lunar New Year at Mercato Metropolitano and Elephant Park: Origami lucky lantern making (booking fee), Chinese fortune telling, Guan YinChinese lion performance and Lunar LED Poi performers. 10 February 2024. Free, book/drop in.
  • Lunar New Year at Greenwich Peninsula. Keep an eye out for returns on their sold out special events. Traditional dragon dance on 10 February 2024 at 13:00. Free, drop in. 

  • Cantonese Tell-a-tale – Lunar New Year Storytelling at Pitzhanger: The Story of the 12 Chinese Zodiacs in Cantonese and English, followed by dragon making craft. 10 February 2024, 10:30-12:00. Included with paid entry.

  • Lunar New Year Lion Dance at Borough Market: A spectacular lion dance through the Market. 10 February 2024 at 11:00. Free, drop in.

  • Chinese New Year Puppet Craft at Redbridge Central Library: Make your own dragon puppet. 10 February 2024, 14:00-15:00. Free, drop in. Ages 3+. 

  • Chinese New Year in Romford Market: Two traditional Chinese lion performers, one full size spectacular Dragon, traditional dolly head and stilt walkers, Chinese food, live music and drumming performances and face painting. 10 February 2024, 12:00-16:00. Free, drop in.

  • Family workshops at Battersea Power Station: Learn dragon dance, then design a dragon paper puppet and create a spiral paper dragon. 10-11 February 2024. Paid, book.
    Plus FREE special dragon face paint on Saturday 10th February.

  • Chinese New Year at the Upside Down House Westfield: Take inverted-themed photos with Chinese New Year decorations, symbolizing good luck.10-11 February 2024. Paid.

  • Lunar New Year Children’s Craft Weekend at John Lewis, Westfield White City: Make your own paper dancing dragon. 10-11 February 2024, 13:00-17:00. Free, drop in.

  • Special Lunar New Year Open Sunday at Pitzhanger: Join New Earth Theatre for The Great Race storytelling, an interactive tale of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals. 11 February 2024 at 10:30 and 11:30. Free.

  • Make Your Own Dragon For Chinese New Year! at Artizan Street Library: Cut your own dragon silhouette using a Cricut machine then decorate it with colourful Perspex to make a light catcher. 13 February 2024, 14:00-15:00. Free, book. Ages 5+.

  • Soaring Dragon Lunar New Year Celebrations at Islington Chinese Association. Enjoy a variety show including traditional dances and Cantonese opera, Hong Kong street food, interactive games including kids painting, calligraphy, paper cutting, and more. 17 February 2024, 11:30-16:00. Free, book.

  • Lunar New Year Family Day at Museum of the Home with Kakilang 自己人: Enjoy author Eva Wong Nava’s reading, craft Lunar New Year puppets with The Orang Collectif, and explore an interactive playhouse. 18 February 2024. Free, drop in. Ages 3+.

  • Chinese Painting Workshop at Pitzhanger: Explore traditional Chinese painting tools and techniques and create festive artwork! 18 February 2024, 10:30-12:30. Free. 

  • London Eye illuminations are to be confirmed. In previous years, the London Eye has shone red and gold with hourly displays in a specially designed light show.



I hope this post helps you have a wonderful time celebrating Lunar New Year in London with your family! Let me know in the comments below what you get up to, or tag me on Instagram.

Disclosure: I work for the Museum of London, although this blog is not associated with them and I can’t take any credit for their Lunar New Year events.


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Written by Vyki Sparkes AKA Museum Mum. Award-winning culture blogger, content creator, museum curator, podcaster, and mum to three. I’ve worked in museums for 18+ years, have a masters in museum studies, but more importantly, have been letting my kids loose in museums for decades. This blog shares all my hard-earned knowledge and experience.

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