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Art&Seek Jr: Have A Happy (Chinese) New Year With These Events For Kids 13

Bring the noise makers and confetti out of the closet because there’s another new year’s celebration happening Monday, Feb. 8. This time we’ll welcome in Chinese New Year. It’s the 4713th Chinese year for those of you keeping count. According to Chinese astrology, this is the year of the Red, or Fire Monkey. Sounds ominous. In case you didn’t know, besides an animal, the Chinese zodiac also includes one of five elements: metal, water, wood, fire, or earth. Both the animal sign and element of your birth year, which recur every 60 years, are said to affect your personality and destiny. Babies born this year are expected to be ambitious, adventurous, and irritable. I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll have a generation of cranky Amelia Earharts, or a surly Neil Armstrongs.

Grab your little monkeys and celebrate the new year one of these fun, family-friendly events.

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

You can read more about China’s most important holiday and have a little fun to boot at the Grauwyler  Branch of the Dallas Public Library this Saturday. Join master theater artist Dana Proulx-Willis for this Library Live! event where kids will learn all about the Chinese New Year traditions and the dragon dance. get to Afterwards, make a fun Chinese New Year craft to take home. Check it out this Saturday 11 a.m. You can also catch the same program at the White Rock Hills branch at 12:30.

While you’re at NorthPark this Saturday seeing Kung Fu Panda 3, stop into Bookmarks for Chinese Storytime with Linda Li. Linda, who’s from the Park Cities Chinese School,  will read a story in Mandarin Chinese and English. Bookmarks is easy to find. It’s right below the AMC Theater on the first level.

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey with a variety show at UT Dallas. Photo: Confucius Institute - UT Dallas

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey with a variety show at UT Dallas. Photo: Confucius Institute – UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas is welcoming the Year of the Monkey with their own Chinese New Year Celebration. You and kiddos can enjoy a variety show presented by the Chinese learners from the Confucius Institute, local primary and secondary schools, and local universities.  It all happens this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Alexander Clark Center on the UTD campus.

The lion won't be sleeping, he'll be dancing at the Crow"s Chinese New Year Festival. Photo: Crow Collection of Asian Art

The lion won’t be sleeping this night, he’ll be dancing!. Photo: Crow Collection of Asian Art

The biggest Chinese New Year celebration in our area will take place Saturday, Feb. 13, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The Crow is pulling out all the stops for their annual Chinese New Year Festival which will happen in the Arts District on Flora Street.  Highlights of this monkey extravaganza include art activities for the kiddos, fortune-telling, a photo booth, a Chinese magician, and best of all…fireworks! You also want to be sure to catch the the Lion and Dragon dances which will be performed throughout the day. The Lion dance is a lot of fun because kids can “feed” the lion red envelopes as he works the crowd after the dance. The envelopes contain a dollar or two and are gifts to the dancers for a job well done.  Lastly, come hungry because there will also be food trucks lined up and down Harwood ready to fill hungry tummies with food truck goodness. This is a popular event, so be sure to get there early as the crowd is expected to surpass 10,000.


Not your ordinary costumed dog parade! Photo: Krewe of Barkus Parade – McKinney

The Krewe of Barkus Parade and Festival has nothing to do with Chinese New Year (it’s a Mardi Gras thing),  but it’s so much fun we just have to give it a shout out.  The parade features more than 250 costumed pooches and their human pals in a spectacle of canines and creativity. The theme for this year’s parade is “Barkus Does Books – A Salute To Your Favorite Characters in Literature” which is bound to produce some fun entries. I’m picturing lots of furry Mr. Darcys. After the parade enjoy the vendor booths and interactive activities. The fun all begins at 12:30 p.m. this Sunday at Mitchell Park in historic Downtown McKinney.