Budget Friendly Celebrations of the Lunar New Year

February 5 is the official start of the Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year) and 2019 is the Year of the Pig.  

If you were born on these years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, then according to the Chinese Zodiac, you are a Pig (we mean that in a good way). You can learn a little more about what it means to be a Pig here.

You can also celebrate the Lunar New Year in a variety of places across Southern California. Here are some events we vetted just for you. Most of these events are free (unless otherwise noted) so you can spend your money feeding your inner pig some delicious traditional food instead!




Gung Hay Fat Choy!

What: As part of the museum’s “First Sundays” events they will be honoring the Lunar New Year with Chinese games, crafts, and a special lion dance performance.

When: Sunday, February 3, 2019 from 1:00PM- 4:00PM

Where: Riverside Metropolitan Museum (at the front steps), 3580 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501

More info here


Lunar New Year Festival at Ontario Mills

What: A family friendly festival featuring Lion Dancers, Kung Fu and musical performances, as well as face painting, giveaways and so much more.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 1:00PM-5:00PM

Where: Ontario Mills Mall – Ontario Mills, 1 Mills Circle, Ontario in Fashion Alley near Coach.

Click here for more info




Golden Dragon Parade

What: LA’s 120th Golden Dragon Parade hosted by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles. A colorful celebration of ethnic diversity, Chinese culture and exposure to Chinese-American businesses.

When: Saturday, February 9, 2019 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Where: Chinatown, Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012 ( link to parade map)

Admission: Free unless you would like grandstand seating $15-$25 purchase tickets here

More info:  http://www.lagoldendragonparade.com/


The Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival

What: Street festival with 250 booths, spread across five city blocks, with food, games, cultural demonstrations, children’s workshops, giveaways and more. An entertainment stage will have performances all day long.

When:  Saturday, February 9, 2019, 10:00 AM-7:00 PM

Where: Valley Boulevard between Garfield Avenue and Almansor Street, Alhambra

Tickets: Free

More Info: www.alhambralunarnewyear.com


Farmer’s Market LA  

What: Farmer’s Market and The Grove bring you an exciting celebration featuring Chinese Dragon and Lion dances, K-pop dance performances, martial arts demos, and other pig themed activities. Complete schedule of activities TBD please check website for details.

When: Sunday, February 17, 2019 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Where: 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036


Universal Studios Theme Park

What: If you happen to be going to Universal Studios February 2-18 you will have the privilege of experiencing Lunar New Year activities throughout the park. Join Po and Tigress from Kung Fu Panda in Po’s Village. Catch Illumination’s Minions in traditional Chinese attire and Mandarin-speaking Megatron from TRANSFORMERS™ in the Universal Plaza. Make a New Year’s wish at the Wishing Trees. Watch an interactive Dragon Warriors kung fu training show and other cultural performances.

When: February 2-18, 2019

Where: Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

More info: Park hours vary. Please check the website


Panda Express House of Good Fortune

What: Panda Express will host an interactive experience of five different sensory rooms highlighting the traditions of the Lunar New Year. Explore the Room of Luck, Room of Longevity, Room of Happiness, Room of Prosperity, and Room of Hope.

When: February 1-5, 12:00 PM-8:00 PM

Where: Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90067

More info: Admission is free but entrance tickets are currently SOLD OUT. Walk-ins will be accommodated but, not guaranteed. Continue to check the website for updates.


San Gabriel Mission District

What: An enormous festival is happening at the San Gabriel Mission District. A variety of performances on the festival stage, a gourmet street food fair, a crafts village, merchandise, and a chalk art contest await you!

When: February 16, 2019 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Where: 320 S Mission Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

More info: http://sglunarnewyear.org/


Huntington Library Chinese New Year Festival

What: Lion dancers, mask-changing performances, martial arts, Chinese music and dance, arts and crafts

When:  February 2-3,  10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Where: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108  

More info: Entrance is general admission ($13-$29) but you will have access to park grounds while you enjoy the festival. Click here for details.


Santa Monica Place

What: Featuring Korean fan dance, Lion dance, K-Pop dancers, DJ, music duo, dough artist, balloon artist, and crafts.

When: Saturday February 16, 2019 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Where: 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Center Plaza Level 1)

More info here


City of Walnut New Year Celebration

What: Bring your entire family to celebrate the new year with a Lion Dance, firecrackers, live entertainment, music, food trucks, vendors, games, activities, and artistic demonstrations.

When: Saturday, February 9, 2019, 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: Walnut City Hall Parking Lot, 21201 La Puente Rd, Walnut, CA 91789

More info: http://www.cityofwalnut.org/for-visitors/city-events/city-special-events-winter




Disney California Adventure Park: Lunar New Year Festivities ongoing throughout the park until February 17

What:  If you own a season pass, this a great time to take advantage of it. Enjoy Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession at Disney’s California Adventure, unique holiday entertainment, special appearances by some popular Disney characters dressed in holiday attire, culturally inspired food, Lunar New Year merchandise, crafts and activities, Festive décor and more.

When: Through February 17

Where: Disney California Adventure, 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

More info: Click here for details


Union of Vietnamese Student Association

What: Celebrate the arrival of Spring and the new year Vietnamese style with UVSA, featuring traditional food, entertainment, and cultural exhibitions.

When: February 8, 4:00 PM -10:00 PM, February 9, 11:00 AM -10:00 PM, February 10, 11:00 AM -9:00 PM

Where: OC Fair & Event Center,  88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

More info: Admission is $6.00 with in and out privileges. Children under 2 are free.  Individuals dressed in traditional outfits, military, and scout uniforms can gain free admission Saturday February 9, 11:00AM- 1:00PM only. https://tetfestival.org/


Segerstrom Center for the Arts- Argyros Plaza

What: The Segerstrom Center for the Arts along with the Pacific Symphony will feature cultural performances ranging from traditional Chinese folk dance to contemporary K-pop.

When: Saturday February 9, 2019. Performances start at 5:30 PM

Where: 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

See details here


Bowers Museum Lunar New Year Festival

What: Lion, dragon and classic Asian dance, music and art, craft activities, face painting, treats and more.

When: Sunday, February 3, 11:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Where: Key Courtyard and Kidseum, Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana

More info here


South Coast Plaza Lunar New Year: Year of the Pig

What: South Coast Plaza will be celebrating the Lunar New Year through February 18th. Enjoy family activities, exhibits and special products at boutiques, as well as a South Coast limited edition gift with minimum purchase

When: 10:00 AM – 9 PM Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Saturday and 11:00 AM – 6:30 PM Sunday Jan. 31-Feb. 18

Where: South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa

More Info: www.southcoastplaza.com/lunar-new-year/



If you happen to be in the Greater San Francisco Area during the month of February don’t forget to check out these events.


2019 Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade

What: This parade is not free but tickets must be purchased if you want to sit in the bleachers. It is named one of the top ten parades in the world by International Festivals & Events Association. The parade is lighted in the evening, and is considered the biggest parade celebration of the holiday outside of Asia. Over a hundred parade entries including several floats for 2019. Watch flags, lanterns,and drums light up the streets of Chinatown.

When: Saturday February 23, 2019, 5:15 PM

Where: Starting at the corner of 2nd and Market Streets. It then weaves its way through Chinatown and ends at Jackson and Kearny Streets.

For more info on how to navigate getting to the parade, finding a spot, and other Lunar New Year activities this month visit: https://www.inside-guide-to-san-francisco-tourism.com/san-francisco-chinese-new-year.html

For tickets: https://chineseparade.com/


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