Lunar New Year, also called Chinese New Year, falls on Saturday, January 25. Colorful celebrations are already underway around NJ, so there are plenty of opportunities for you and the kids to ring in the Year of the Rat. We’ve rounded up some of the best events. Check ’em out below.
This drop-in craft at Glen Rock Public Library is perfect for all ages. Make your own Lunar New Year lantern to take home.
Chinese New Year Dumpling Wrap Party (SOLD OUT)
Make the trip to Brooklyn’s Strong Rope Brewery to pinch pork or veggie dumplings courtesy of Dumpling Wagon. Proceeds will go towards House with Heart Kathmandu, a Nepal nonprofit that gives homes and education to abandoned children and impoverished women and kids respectively. You and the kids will go home with 50 dumplings! Be sure to bring a baking sheet, container and mixing bowl. $30
Come on over to the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit for crafts, storytime and snacks to commemorate the Year of the Rat. Registration required. $25/non-members, $10/members.
Hit the Charles E. Reid library branch in Paramus for an all-ages party that celebrates the Year of the Rat.
Visit the Plainsboro Public Library for games, riddles, crafts and prizes. Kids will also make a lantern that’ll be displayed at the library, plus DIY cherry blossoms.
At the Paramus Public Library, kids can tune in for storytime, dig into New Year’s treat and craft away. They can make a koi kite and an origami rat bookmark, plus decorate red envelopes.
Do the kids love munching on dumplings? Bring your appetite to New Milford Public Library to prepare your own as a family. Registration required; call 201-262-1221 ext. 206.
Join the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at NJPAC in Newark for a concert combining Eastern and Western traditional music. Get there early for a pre-show festival with activities and entertainment the kids will love.
Kids can hit the Gloucester County Library in Glassboro to make their own paper lanterns.
Hit the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark with the kiddos for traditional dances, acrobatics, elaborate costumes and more. This year’s performance focuses on Chinese American immigration. $27-35.
Calling all foodies! Head to Mahwah Public Library to see tweens and teens in grades 5 and up get their hands dirty making finger foods like spring rolls and dumplings. Everything is peanut and tree nut free, but call ahead if you have any specific food allergies. Register at 201-529-7323 ext. 224 or at mahwahlibrary.org.
Join the Jersey Shore Chinese School at Holmdel High School for a talent show, reception and two raffles.
Through February 1
Head to The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack to see a hand-made cherry blossom sculpture aglow with more than 5,000 LED lights. The tree represents life, regrowth and good fortune. Snap a pic before shopping or grabbing a bite in the mall.
The kids will have to be patient to see this show, but it’ll be well worth the wait. It’s all about defying gravity at RVCC in Branchburg with acrobats, contortionists and jugglers who can do impossible things with their bodies, pulling from 2,000 years of Chinese circus traditions. $30-40.
Bundle up for a trip to the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary in Short Hills where your younger crew can follow a lion through the woods. They’ll play games and trivia, make crafts and listen to traditional stories. Registration suggested, walk-ins welcome. $8/person.
Head to the Staten Island Children’s Museum for a celebratory performance by the New York Chinese Cultural Center. The program is free with admission.