function OptanonWrapper() { window.dataLayer.push( { event: 'OneTrustGroupsUpdated'} )}Celebrate Lunar New Year in LA, SF, and 3 California Theme Parks
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Celebrate Lunar New Year in LA, SF, and 3 California Theme Parks

Celebrate Lunar New Year in LA, SF, and 3 California Theme Parks

Check out historic parades and the weeks-long parties at theme parks
Posted 6 years agoby Katrina Hunt

In both Los Angeles and San Francisco, Lunar New Year is a big part of February each year, offering cool ways to experience the cities’ historic Chinatowns. The holiday also energizes the most contemporary (and family-friendly) attractions across California.

Want a super-traditional celebration? In Los Angeles, go to Thien Hau Temple for Lunar New Year Eve (Feb. 15, 10 p.m.), with traditional incense burning, lion dances, and 500,000 firecrackers; on Feb. 17 (1 p.m.), L.A.’s 119-year-old Golden Dragon Parade processes down North Broadway in Chinatown. A week later in San Francisco, the annual Chinese New Year Parade (Feb. 24, 5 p.m.) starts on Second and Market. This parade dates all the way back to the 1860s and has firecrackers, a Miss Chinatown, and the 268-foot Golden Dragon, carried by 180 people.

Outside those banner events, though, there are plenty of places celebrating the Year of the Dog during February—including California shopping malls and theme parks. Three SoCal theme parks do Lunar New Year especially well, and some of their weeks-long parties have already started:

Disneyland Resort
Now through February 18

Disneyland Resort started its Lunar New Year celebration in late January, and this year’s festivities will last through the Lunar New Year weekend—focused mostly in the Disney California Adventure Park. Mulan and her buddies have their own parade, Vietnamese and Korean musicians play in the Paradise Garden Bandstand, and the Lunar New Year Marketplaces near Paradise Pier features Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean cuisine. This is a great time of year to catch the nightly World of Color show over Paradise Bay: The first show of the evening is Hurry Home, a tale about a little lantern trying to join its family for Lunar New Year. The animation and fountains are accompanied by a musical score originally written by Tan Dun for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort.

SeaWorld San Diego
February 10–25
The San Diego theme park has long embraced Lunar New Year traditions. Go see the Chinese acrobatics show with lion dancing, plate spinning, hoop diving, contortionists, and chair stacking, and be on the lookout for musicians playing around the park. The theme park cuisine gets the holiday treatment with plenty of stir fry, bao sandwiches, ramen, and green tea. In honor of the Year of the Dog, SeaWorld will also feature a Puppy Garden, where kids can snap photos with playful canine ambassadors and learn about adopting from shelters.

Universal Studios Hollywood
February 10–25
The characters from the Kung Fu Panda series get top billing at the movie theme park during Lunar New Year: Po and Tigress work the crowds in a new recreation of Po’s Village in Universal Plaza, but you can also watch a Dragon Warriors Kung Fu training show at the Jade Palace, or enjoy some dim sum dishes at Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop. Not to be upstaged, there is also a Mandarin-speaking Megatron from TRANSFORMERS, and a variety of Minions gussied up in traditional Chinese attire.