Family-friendly fun on a grand scale

Family-friendly fun on a grand scale

From stories of ancient serpents to Chinese zodiac arts and crafts, this year’s Chinese New Year Festival promises fun events and activities for the whole family.

From 8-24 February, children of all ages can share in the wonder of Lunar New Year traditions and celebrations, while learning about this year’s Chinese zodiac, the Snake.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Chinese New Year was a fabulous time to get together with family and friends and explore Sydney’s rich Chinese heritage.

“With Sydney traditions like the Chinese New Year Markets, Twilight Parade, Dragon Boat Races and more than 80 associated events, there’s something for everyone in this year’s program,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Ring in the Year of the Snake with great Asian pop music at the Chinese New Year Markets and thousands of entertainers in our spectacular Twilight Parade.

“There’s also a chance for children to learn about snake mythology at a bilingual storytime session at our libraries.”

Chinese New Year Festival highlights for children include:

Chinese New Year Markets
8-10 February at Belmore Park – free

Bring the kids to the official launch of this year’s festival, where they will learn to make paper animals from the Chinese zodiac, discover the art of calligraphy, and see how the Chinese word for snake evolved. Watch as they make lanterns, paper fans, noodle boxes and cards. All materials supplied.

Chinese New Year Twilight Parade
17 February at Sydney Town Hall to Chinatown – free

Marvel at Sydney’s most spectacular street parade, featuring dozens of stunning floats and more than 3,500 local and international performers. Pre-parade entertainment with dancers, acrobats and music kicks off at 7pm, so get there early for a full night of

Bilingual Storytime: Snake Stories
5, 12 and 19 February at Green Square Library / 5 and 19 February at Ultimo Library – free

Storytime and craft activities for pre-schoolers aged three and up. A selection of entertaining stories will be read in Mandarin and English.

Dragon Boat Races
23-24 February at Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour – free

The kids are sure to enjoy the thrilling competition as these spectacular 12-metre-long boats, flamboyantly decorated to feature the head and tail of the dragon, battle it out in the waters of Cockle Bay.

Year of the Snake at the Museum
13 February at Macleay Museum – free

Slither into the Macleay Museum for arts and crafts activities for five to 12 year olds, storytelling in Mandarin and English and snake myths and science.

Chinese New Year at the Powerhouse Museum
4-24 February at Powerhouse Museum – $10 adults / $5 children

Celebrate the Year of the Snake with Chinese-language tours of the Museum and storytime for kids and families.

Row, Row, Regattas Family Fun Day
24 February at Australian National Maritime Museum – $8.50 children

With spectacular outdoor performances, craft and activities, kids and adults alike can discover the traditions of the dragon boat race and celebrate Chinese New Year, maritime style.

Chinese New Year program at the Chinese Garden of Friendship

Open Day
10 February – free

Experience the beauty and architecture of an authentic Chinese garden at this free open day, with martial art performers from Australian Yau Kung Mun Martial Arts Association presenting the ancient Chinese lion dance in the garden forecourt.

Tea Ceremony
12 February – $6 adults / $3 children

Enjoy a Chinese tea ceremony with Christina Leung from Zensation Tea House.

Kung Fu Workshop
13 February – $6 adults / $3 children (bookings essential)

Learn kung fu from the members of the Jin Wu Koon Shaolin Double Dragon Academy.

Chinese Cooking Demonstration
19 February – $6 adults / $3 children

Chef Harry Quay demonstrates how to cook and prepare two delicious Chinese dishes.

Traditional Chinese Dance
24 February – $6 adults / $3 children (bookings essential)

The Ultimo Community Centre’s Chinese Seniors Group and Evergreen Performance Group will bring the elegance and beauty of traditional Chinese dance to the garden.

For more information, please contact:

City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Keeley Irvin.
Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson.
Phone 0427 044 768 or email