Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar and this year marks the year of the Rat. Chinese New Year starts on 24 January 2020 and runs until 9 February 2020.

Chinese New Year has been celebrated in Melbourne’s Chinatown for over 160 years and traditions like the famous dragon parade, decorated lantern displays and traditional Chinese clothing have delighted visitors over the years.

This year Melbourne will light up with colourful Chinese New Year celebrations, including:

Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne

Chinese New Year Millennium Dai Loong Dragon Parade

Continuing with a 100-year tradition of dragon parades in Melbourne, the Dai Loong Dragon will emerge from the Chinese Museum where it will bless businesses of Chinatown.

Date: Sunday 2 February 2020
Time: 11.30am–1pm
Location: throughout Chinatown, Melbourne
Price: FREE
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Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne

Chinese Museum Open Day

Families can visit the Chinese Museum on Sunday 2 February 2020 for free.
This is a great opportunity to explore the Chinese Museum’s five floors showcasing the heritage and culture of Australia’s Chinese community.

Date: Sunday 2 February 2020
Time: 12.30pm–5pm
Location: Cohen Place, off Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Price: FREE
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Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne
Image: Melbourne Museum

Lunar New Year family weekend at Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum is celebrating the Year of the Rat with a family-friendly weekend filled with Lunar New Year activities.

Activities include lion dance performances; lantern shows, hopping mice, arts and crafty rats. Kids can learn about their own zodiac animal and meet the Museums rat expert.

Date: 8–9 February 2020
Time: 10am–2pm
Location: 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Price: $0–$15 (included with Museum entry)
More information
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Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne
Image: NGV Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year at NGV

Celebrate Lunar New Year at the NGV with an afternoon of free activities exploring Asian art and culture. Try your hand at Chinese knot making or enjoy making lanterns in the lantern making workshop.

Date: 24 January 2020
Time: 12pm–4pm
Location: NGV International, Great Hall, Ground Level
Price: FREE (booking is not required)
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Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne
Image: CherryHill Orchards

Lunar New Year Festival at CherryHill Orchards

CherryHill Orchards will host a Lunar New Year Festival in the beautiful Yarra Valley filled with a wide variety of events and entertainment.

Entertainment includes traditional Chinese lion dancing, ceremonial drumming, martial arts and calligraphy demonstrations. There are also a number of workshops – Lion Dance, Kung Fu and traditional Chinese drumming.

Families can purchase boxed cherries on the day, but the cherry-picking season has finished.

Date: 16–19 January 2020
Time: 9am–5pm
Location: CherryHill Orchards, 474 Queens Road, Wandin East
Price: $5–$10 (Kids under the age of 13 years will receive free entry on Thursday and Friday), workshops $10 (all ages 5 years and up).
More information
Book tickets or Book workshop


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Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne
Image: Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

Lunar New Year at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is celebrating Lunar New Year and welcoming the Year of the Rat with spectacular underwater dragon dances and other festive activities from 25 January–2 February 2020.

Families can watch the vibrant underwater dragon swim alongside the sharks, rays and fish, or visit the Penguin Playground where they can place their New Year wish on the Wishing Wall. Kids will have fun creating a jellyfish lantern in the new Ocean Invaders zone and enjoy an enchanting journey with the new Lunar New Year virtual reality experience.

Date: 25 January–2 February 2020
Time: Monday–Friday 10am–5:30pm
Weekends, School Holidays and Public Holidays 9:30am–6pm.
Location: Sea Life Melbourne, corner of Flinders Street and King Street
Price: $27–$44 (discounts apply when purchased online)
More information
Book tickets

Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne
Image: Chinese zodiac spectacular at Crown Atrium

Lunar New Year at Crown Melbourne

This year the Crown Atrium has a six-meter-tall Chinese Wishing Tree to help raise awareness and funds for Victorian wildlife affected by the recent bushfires. In addition to the Wishing Tree, Crown Atrium has again transformed into a Chinese zodiac wonderland with larger-than-life luminous animal sculptures cascading down the Atrium staircase.

Date: Zodiac Spectacular 22 January–11 February 2020
Wishing Tree 23 January–10 February 2020
Location: Crown Atrium, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
Price: FREE
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We try our best to provide accurate information on kid-friendly events around Victoria, but we do recommend that parents check details directly to confirm dates, times, prices as some details may be subject to change.


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