5 of the best family ideas to celebrate Chinese New Year

From traditional lanterns and parading dragons to spectacular fireworks, check out the best family-friendly ideas to celebrate the Year of the Snake!


Chinese New Year

It’s that time of the year again when red packets filled with money and new fortunes take over the Chinese New Year.


On Sunday 10 February 2013, this year’s Chinese New Year celebration will kick off the Year of the Snake.

Check out our top 5 family-friendly ideas around the UK to celebrate Chinese New Year…



The festivities will kick off in London to a firecracker start at 10am, when a parade of floats winds its way from Trafalgar Square to Chinatown, finishing up in Rupert Street at 11am. The streets of Chinatown will be lined with cultural and food stalls plus displays.

Between 1pm-5.30pm, there will be performances on  a small stage in Shaftesbury Avenue as well as the main stage in Trafalgar Square. Acts include Britain’s Got Talent-winning tenor Paul Potts, the Chen Brothers’ spectacular Flying Lion Dance and loads of family-friendly music, dance and acrobatics.

Must-see! In the late afternoon there will be a Guinness World Record for the number of people dancing ‘Gangnam Style’. Plus, don’t miss the fireworks display at 5.55pm in Leicester Square.

For more information visit Chinatown London.



The UK’s only giant pandas have been away from China for a little while now so Edinburgh Zoo will be making Tian Tian, aka “Sweetie”, and Yang Guang aka “Sunshine”, feel at home by celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Families can enjoy a range of Chinese arts and crafts from the Confucius Institute for Scotland, and snake activities to help usher in the Year of the Snake.

Activities are free with zoo entry and will take place from 11am until 3pm on Sunday 10 February.

Must-see! What better way to celebrate the Year of the Snake than getting up close and personal with a real slithering serpent? Little ones will love it!

For more information visit Edinburgh Zoo.



Traditional lanterns, parading dragons and dancing lions will lead the street parade from Manchester Town Hall to Chinatown from 1pm, with up to 50,000 people expected.

Families visiting Albert Square and Chinatown, will be treated to Chinese dancers, exhibitions, authentic markets, traditional food stalls and a fairground.

Must-see! The highlight will be a 175ft long dragon and the day will end with a 15-minute firework extravaganza which is bound to wind-up a day of events with a big bang!

For more information visit Visit Manchester.



For a day of free family fun visit the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.

Suitable for children of all ages, this jam-packed day features cool crafts, music, performance, and a superb Chinese Dragon Dance display.

Activites are free and will take place from 11am until 4.30pm.

Must-see! The interactive dragon dance display will get youngsters moving and the make your own child-friendly crafts are perfect for letting your little one unleash their inner artist.

For more information visit National Museum Wales.



Celebrate Chinese New Year and get crafty at Liverpool’s World Museum. With activities suitable for any age, little one’s can make their own Chinese lantern to take home. Craft activites are free and will take place from 1pm until 4pm.

Plus, Liverpool Karate-Jutsu and other groups will be demonstrating martial arts from around the world, including Jujitsu, Aikido, Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do. This free drop-in event requires no booking and starts 11am until 4pm.

Must-see! Kids will love watching the martial arts demonstrations just don’t blame us if they want to watch Kung Fu Panda when they get home!


For more information visit World Museum.

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