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Chinese New Year Family Fun in Marin and the Bay Area

Lion dancers perform at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito.

This February, the Year of the Dog comes to an end and the Year of the Pig (or boar) begins! Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, starts on Tuesday, February 5.

As with many major holidays, there's plenty of family fun to be found in Marin County and all over the San Francisco Bay Area, ranging from a Chinese New Year Festival at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Monday, February 18 to the big blowout Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco on Saturday, February 23.

Here are a fun family Chinese New Year events not to miss in Marin and the Bay Area:

Flower Market Fair

Chinatown, San Francisco
Saturday, February 2, 10 am–8 pm, Sunday, February 3, 9 am–6 pm

The Chinese New Year Flower Market Fair is held on the weekend before Chinese New Year Day. The Flower Fair is the place to come to purchase fresh flowers, fruits, candies and brand new supplies for the home to begin the new lunar year. Delight in performances of traditional Chinese magicians, acrobats, folk dancers and opera as you take in the beautiful fragrances of spring. You will find over 120 booths and concessions making this a shopper's paradise. Event website

Lunar New Year Celebration

Children's Fairyland, Oakland
Saturday & Sunday, February 2 & 3, 10 am–4 pm

Enjoy a special Chinese New Year puppet show, animals and Lion Dancers at Children's Fairyland in Oakland. Free after park admission. Event website

Chinese Lion Dancers

San Anselmo Town Hall Lawn
Saturday, February 2, 2:15 pm

Welcome the Lunar New Year with the famous Lion Dancers of the Marin Chinese Cultural Association. The lion dance is an important part of the rich cultural heritage of the Chinese people all over the world, and is thought to cleanse darkness and bring good luck, prosperity, and happiness. Free. Event website

San Francisco Zoo Lunar New Year Celebration

San Francisco Zoo
Saturday & Sunday, February 9 & 10, 10 am–4 pm

To commemorate the Year of the Pig, the San Francisco Zoo is thrilled to host Lunar New Year celebrations! Soak up the ambiance of the occasion and marvel at traditional Chinese lion and folk dance performances at 11 am and 1pm daily. Go on a Zodiac Scavenger Hunt through the Zoo to learn fun facts about the animals found on the Chinese calendar. Guests born in the Year of the Pig (1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019) will receive free Zoo admission on that day. Event website

Chinese New Year Celebration and Banquet

B Street Recreation Center, San Rafael
Saturday, February 9, 5 pm

Usher in the Year of the Pig with the Marin Chinese Cultural Association's massive banquet—featuring everything from jai and prawns to suckling pig and red bean soup. Great performances include the Red Panda Acrobats, a martial arts demonstration, traditional guzheng, and, of course, the association's own amazing Lion Dancers. Bring the whole family to share the excitement and tradition of the Lunar New Year. Tickets: $25 member adults, $50 non-members; $15 member children, $30 non-members, children 3 and under free. Event website

18th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration and Other Asian Traditions: Year of the Pig

Oakland Museum of California
Sunday, February 10, noon–4:30 pm

Join OMCA for the 18th annual Lunar New Year celebration, a fortune-filled family-friendly event to welcome in the Year of the Pig. Enjoy live performances and an array of Asian traditions in arts, crafts, food, demonstrations, and more. Explore connections between the diverse Asian cultures represented in California, including Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese, and other Asian cultures. Event website

11th Annual Lunar New Year Festival on Fourth Street

Fourth Street, Berkeley
Saturday, February 16, noon–4 pm

Sponsored by Teance Fine Teas and Fourth Street, this special day includes martial arts performances, lion dances by the famous Kei Lun performers from San Francisco, traditional treats from merchants, a shop blessing parade, and craft tables for the kids. Free. Event website

San Francisco Symphony Chinese New Year Concert and Imperial Dinner

Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
Saturday, February 16, 5 pm

Celebrate Lunar New Year and the Year of the Pig with the San Francisco Symphony at this family event that draws on both ancient and contemporary traditions. Arrive early for the activity-filled Festival Reception with Chinese instruments, lion dancing, "lucky" red envelopes, entertainment, tea bars, sweet and savory bites, and more. Continue the festivities after the concert by purchasing a ticket to the dramatic and exciting Imperial Dinner. Call the San Francisco Symphony Volunteer Council for details at (415) 503-5500. Concert tickets: $34–$79. Event website

Lunar New Year Celebration: Year of the Pig

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Sunday, February, 17, 10:30 am–4 pm

Roll in the Year of the Pig with talented dancers, musicians and storytellers at the Asian Art Museum’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration. Free after museum admission. Event website

Lunar New Year Celebration

Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausaltio
Monday, February 18 (Presidents' Day), 9 am–4 pm

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with your family at BADM! Enjoy lion dance, music, and martial arts performances, taste delicious Chinese food, observe professional calligraphers, take part in Chinese games, and more. This event is presented in partnership with the Marin Chinese Cultural Association. The event is included with general museum admission and free for members. Event website

Chinatown Community Street Fair

Chinatown, San Francisco
Saturday, February 23, 10 am–4:30 pm
Sunday, February 24, 9 am–5 pm

Now in its 29th year, the Chinese Community Street Fair will be held on the weekend of the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of San Francisco’s Chinatown during one of the community’s most exciting times of the year. You will find over 120 booths and concessions making this a shopper’s paradise. The SF Chinese Chamber of Commerce has planned activities and entertainment for all ages. Enjoy Chinese folk dancing, opera, drumming and much more at the entertainment stage on Washington St. below Grant Ave. Make sure to get a family photo with the giant puppets, dragon and other memorable artifacts from the Parade! Event website

Year of the Boar Chinese New Year Celebration

Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building
Saturday, February 23, 5–8:30 pm

Celebrate the Year of the Boar with music, dance, martial arts, dragons, lions, a buffet dinner, and more! $25 adults, $10 children 3–10. Event website

Chinese New Year Parade
Photo: Shutterstock.com

Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Festival and Parade

Downtown San Francisco
Saturday, February 23, 6–8 pm

Named one of the top ten Parades in the world, the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is one of the few remaining night illuminated parades in the country and one of the largest Asian cultural celebrations outside Asia. A San Francisco tradition since just after the Gold Rush, the parade continues to delight and entertain the many hundreds of thousands of people that come to watch it on the street or tune in to watch it on television on KTVU Fox 2 or KTSF Channel 26. Event website

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