Family Things To Do In London For Chinese New Year 2016

By Zoe Craig Last edited 38 months ago
Family Things To Do In London For Chinese New Year 2016

It's the year of the monkey — celebrate Chinese New Year with your little monkeys this February, with one or more of these family-friendly events.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

A dragon at the Magical Lantern Festival

Head to Chiswick House for the UK premiere of the Magical Lantern Festival, an outdoor lighting extravaganza celebrating Chinese New Year 2016 and the Year of the Monkey. Expect beautifully sculpted lanterns in the shape of animals, birds buildings and more. Look out for the illuminated waterfall providing an intricate recreation of popular Chinese fable, The Monkey King.
3 Feb-6 Mar, Chiswick House, tickets vary, book online

Chinese New Year Family Festival Day, National Gallery

Visit the National Gallery on 6 February to take part in their varied Chinese New Year Family Festival Day. There'll be traditional Chinese storytelling, the chance to play a variety of ancient Chinese instruments, learn nursery rhymes in Mandarin, make traditional Chinese masks, and more monkey-tastic fun.
6 Feb, National Gallery, free

Family fun weekend: mischievous monkeys, Cutty Sark

Make a Chinese zodiac animal mask or a mischievous paper monkey to celebrate Chinese New Year in one of four fun workshops at Cutty Sark.
6-7 Feb, Cutty Sark, 11.30am or 2pm, included in venue ticket

Museum of Childhood's Chinese New Year

A stunning dragon dance at the Museum of Childhood. Photo by Lucy Edwards

Celebrate Chinese New Year at the V&A Museum of Childhood with traditional and modern instrumental dance performances. And take part in Chinese opera mask and lantern making, as well as costume and calligraphy workshops.
13 Feb, Museum of Childhood

Chinese New Year at the National Maritime Museum

Head to the National Maritime Museum and celebrate Britain's shared history with China with a free day of performances, lion dancing, music and fortune telling.
13 Feb, National Maritime Museum, 11am-4pm, free

Chinese New Year at the Museum of London Docklands

Lion dancing ©National Maritime Museum, London

Watch and learn traditional Chinese dancing, hear enchanting folktales and create your own masterpieces at the West India Quay-based museum, all inspired by this colourful holiday.
13 Feb, Museum of London Docklands, 11am-4pm

Chinese New Year Celebration: Rich Mix

Over in east London, the Chinese Association of Tower Hamlets is bringing cultural performances, mouth-watering food and drink, fun charity stalls and arts and craft workshops for children to Rich Mix to celebrate the Year of the Monkey.
13 Feb, Rich Mix, 12noon-4pm, free

Chinese New Year in the West End

Photo by Suresh via

Finally, the official London celebrations take place in the West End on Valentine's Day, 14 February. The parade of 10 lion teams and floats will leave Trafalgar Square at about 10.15am, and make its way along Charing Cross Road to Chinatown. At midday, there'll be firecrackers and performances in Trafalgar Square including traditional dances and gravity-defying lion dances. The festivities conclude with more fireworks around 5pm.
14 Feb, West End, 10am-5pm, free

Keep an eye on our family section for child (and teen) friendly events and activities throughout the year.

Last Updated 21 January 2016

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