Celebrating Chinese New Year with Kids

Hello friends! Chinese New Year begins with the New Moon this Monday February 8th. Penelope’s interest in Chinese culture grew after reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon By Grace Lin. This book, is a book to be savoured, it is simply extraordinary! I was absolutely captivated and moved by the story. There is a strong, empathetic, brave female lead character and as the story unfolds we follow her throughout her amazing journey. We will soon begin another of Lin’s books Starry River of the Sky and we are looking forward to it very much.

We visited Chinatown here in Chicago shortly after finishing “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon”. We had a nice Chinese dinner, bought a variety of Chinese candy, browsed an Asian  grocery store and a few Chinatown shops. All of this feeds Penelope’s interest and allows her become immersed in another culture, which I love.

I checked three picture books out from the library, they were simple, yet educational enough in explaining the customs and rituals of Chinese New Year to Penelope, who is 7 years old. My First Chinese New Year” By Karen Katz, Happy, Happy Chinese New Year” By Demi and National Geographic Kids, Celebrate Chinese New Year By Carolyn Otto (Not pictured) all were wonderful to read.

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We will be going back to Chinatown for dinner today and will be stocking up on red envelopes, yummy foods, sweets, and anything else we may find interesting and beautiful. If you are in the Chicagoland area, here are two free Chinese New Year events for family fun this weekend. Both events are on Saturday February 06, 2016

1. Chinese New Year Celebration
Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 North Central Park Ave., Chicago
The Year of the Goat is coming to a close, and the Monkey is on its way in! Put a wish up on our money tree, dance like a dragon and make your own Monkey Mask in this fun-filled afternoon. Kids and adults alike will learn all about customs and traditions associated with this holiday as they engage in hands-on activities and more. All ages. Noon – 4pm. FREE.

2. Brookfield Zoo Lunar New Year Celebration It’s an event for the entire family.  Enjoy traditional Chinese lion costume dance, animal feedings, zoo chats, face painting, and a live Chinese Cuisine Cooking Demonstration by Chef Ying.  Also, make your own take-home red lantern, snap a picture in the dragon photo booth, enjoy a Year of the Monkey Scavenger Hunt through the indoor Tropic World exhibit, receive a lucky red envelope with a special prize inside, and much more. 

10:30am – 11:00am – Chinese Lion Dance by Chicago Cultural Center in Wild Encounters ITW White Oaks Room
11am – 1pm – Arts & Crafts, Animal Face Painting, Dragon Photo Booth in Wild Encounters ITW White Oaks Room; Goat Feedings* in Hamill Family Wild Encounters
11:15am – Animal Ambassador in Wild Encounters ITW White Oaks Room
12pm – 1pm – Chef Ying’s Cooking Class/Demonstration in Wild Encounters ITW White Oaks Room
1pm – 4pm – Scavenger Hunt in Tropic World
Zoo Chats:
1:00pm in Tropic World South America
2:00pm in Tropic World Asia
3:00pm in Tropic World Africa

We will begin crafting for the Chinese New Year this week and continue reading through the 21st. I will be sure to follow up with recipes, Chinatown adventures, and of course crafts. Have a wonderful weekend exploring!

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