Ready to wake up the neighborhood ringing in the Year of the Pig? Mark your calendar for February 5-19 to welcome the Lunar New Year with a slew of parades, parties and cultural performances in its honor. You’ll have Far East fun with the family at the following events, which make Argyle Street, Chicago Botanic Garden, the Mag Mile and beyond sizzle brighter than a firecracker.

photo: vutrongtien via Pixabay

Art Institute’s Chinese New Year Celebration
Celebrate the Year of the Pig and its promise of prosperity at this multi-generational event featuring art making, storytelling, dancing dragons, cultural music, Chinese games and gallery tours in English and Mandarin.

Feb. 2; 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
The Loop
Free with museum admission
Online: artic.edu

photo: Fashion Outlets of Chicago

Fashion Outlets of Chicago’s Lunar New Year Celebration
Shoppers are invited to enjoy a very special Chinese New Year event, in partnership with Xilin Association. You’ll find a variety of festive games, activities and cultural performances.

In addition to this celebration, shoppers are invited to visit Concierge Services, located on Level One, from February 2-17 to receive a festive red envelope containing vouchers for complimentary luggage and shopping bag storage, exclusive Lunar New Year retailer offers and a “Year of the Pig” Savings Pass. The Savings Pass will provide up to $800 in store savings from Fashion Outlets’ retailers.

Feb. 2; 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. and Feb. 2-17 for red envelope offers
Fashion Outlets of Chicago
5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont
Free
Online: fashionoutletsofchicago.com

The Shops at North Bridge’s Lunar New Year Celebration
The Shops at North Bridge shoppers can also enjoy a special Lunar New Year kickoff event, which includes free games and activities at 10 different booths throughout Level One. Activities include the Chopstick Challenge, Lantern Crafting, Chinese Calligraphy, a photo booth and more, alongside cultural performances presented by the Huaxing Arts Troupe. Visitors can also take advantage of additional Lunar New Year savings by visiting The Shops at North Bridge’s Concierge Services between February 2-17 for a celebratory red envelope containing exclusive retailer offers.

Feb. 3, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. and Feb. 2-17 for red envelope offers
The Shops at North Bridge
520 N. Michigan Ave., Mag Mile
Free
Online: theshopsatnorthbridge.com

Chinese New Year Lantern Festival at Navy Pier CNY3 Photo Credit_Chinese Fine Arts Society (1)photo: Chinese Fine Arts Society / Choose Chicago

Chinese American Museum’s New Year Celebration
Welcome the year of the Pig at Chinese American Museum’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration featuring Chinese music, food, arts and crafts, and more.

Feb. 7; 2 p.m.
Chinese American Museum
238 W. 23rd St., Chinatown
$10/person non-member, free for member and 1 guest
Online: ccamuseum.org

Argyle Street Chinese Lunar New Year
The city’s northside celebration takes place on Argyle Street in the city’s Uptown neighborhood, home to both Chinese and Vietnamese communities. While smaller than the Chinatown parade, Argyle Street still throws quite a party. Fireworks, lion dancers, floats and dragons ring in the New Year. Public transportation is your best bet for this party. Just hop on the Red Line El and hop off at Argyle. Don’t forget to grab a pastry to enjoy during the parade (we love the ones at Ba Le).

Feb. 9; noon-4 p.m. (parade at 1 p.m.)

Parade kicks off at Argyle & Winthrop and will head east along Argyle St., south along Sheridan Rd., west along Ainslie St., and north along Broadway to Argyle St.
Uptown
Free
Online: exploreuptown.org

Chinese New Year Lunar Parade Photo Credit_©Adam Alexander Photographyphoto: Chinese Lunar New Year Parade / Adam Alexander Photography via Choose Chicago

Chinese Lunar New Year Parade
The Chinatown arch is one of the most picturesque landmarks in Chicago, and this is a chance to catch it—and the neighborhood’s unwavering energy—in all its glory. Fireworks kick off the parade, which winds through the heart of the ‘hood with floats, bands, lion dancers and a 90-foot-long Mystical Dragon. Because of limited parking, street closures for the parade and the crowd, we recommend taking public transportation (exit at 22nd Street on the Red Line El).

Feb. 10, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Starts at 24th Street & Wentworth Avenue and heads north to Cermak Road
Chinatown
312-326-5320
Free
Online: ccc-foundation.org

photo: Andrew Haimer via Pexels

A Chinese New Year Celebration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Celebrate the Chinese New Year at Symphony Center’s fifth annual concert, featuring the internationally renowned China National Peking Opera Company and the spectacular Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra. With special appearances by Peking opera superstars Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu, the China National Peking Opera Company presents a dazzling combination of vocal artistry, costumes and acrobatics in three classic scenes. Opening the concert is the Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra in a program of works that honor centuries-old musical traditions, performed on exact replicas of the ancient Imperial Bells of China.

Feb. 10, 3 p.m.
Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave.
The Loop
312-294-3040
Cost: $20-$75
Online: cso.org

The Pig Freeze: Lunar New Year 2019 at Roosevelt Collection
To commemorate the Lunar New Year, Roosevelt Collection invites shoppers to celebrate at The Pig Freeze: Lunar New Year 2019. In honor of the Year of the Pig, there will be an official unveiling of a larger-than-life ice sculpture; the sculpture will include a “piggy bank” element where guests can donate to support Chinatown’s own Project:VISION. With a mission of equipping the youth of Chinatown, Bridgeport, and surrounding communities by providing them with tools for educational, personal, and civic development, Project:VISION helps connect young Chicagoans to resources and a strong framework for continued success. 

The festivities will include Lion dances, which are traditionally performed to bring good luck and fortune during the Chinese New Year.

The center will also be promoting a twist on the traditional Lucky Red Envelopes that define a Chinese New Year celebration. From February 8-15, shoppers who spend $100 or more at any Roosevelt Collection Shops retailer will received a lucky red envelope during The Pig Freeze event with a special gift inside, while supplies last.

Feb. 15; 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; Feb. 2-15 for Red Envelope offers
Roosevelt Collection
150 W. Roosevelt Rd., South Loop
Free
Online: rooseveltcollection.com

photo: Navy Pier

Global Connections: Chinese New Year at Navy Pier
Presented by Comed, this free public program in the Aon Grand Ballroom features live dance, music and other performances, plus traditional food, crafts and more!

Feb. 16; 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier
Free
Online: navypier.org

— Anli Chen