After a freezing-cold start to the weekend, I'm ready for the weekend. And, it's shaping up to be a good one with milder temperatures in the forecast and Chinese New Year celebrations starting up this Friday.
Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five events for families in Chicago this weekend - Friday, January 31, Saturday, February 1, and Sunday, February 2.
1. Argyle Street Chinese New Year Parade
Parade starts at Argyle St. and Broadway Ave. (Uptown)
Saturday, February 1 at 1 pm
The first of two Chicago Chinese New Year parades kicks off along Argyle Street on the city's north side. The parade will feature traditional dragon and lion dances, elaborate floats, martial arts teams, and a marching band. The route takes a square path with the parade stepping off on Argyle St. at Broadway Ave. and then going east to Sheridan Rd, south to Lawrence Ave., west to Broadway Ave., and then north on Argyle St. While you're near Argyle St., be sure to grab lunch at one of the many restaurants that line the intersection of Broadway Ave. and Argyle St.
2. Japan Fest 2014
Oak Park River Forest High School, South Cafe
201 N. Scoville Ave., Oak Park
Saturday, Feb. 1 from noon - 4 pm
You can take part in a festival of Japanese cultural this weekend at Oak Park River Forest High School in west suburban Oak Park. At the event, you can immerse yourself in Japanese language and culture, with arts and crafts activities, games, a tea ceremony, sumo wrestling, and more. The schedule also boasts performances every half hour, inviting you to hear Japanese music and song and see traditional dances and Aikido demonstrations.
3. Year of the Horse Chinese New Year Celebration
Chinese-American Museum of Chicago
238 W. 23rd St. (Chinatown)
Saturday, February 1 from 2 - 4 pm
$12 for non-members, $10 for members, $5 for children (12 and under)
The Chinese-American Museum of Chicago invites families to come celebrate the Chinese New Year in true Chicago style. The celebration will explain and showcase many of the traditions of the New Year. Families can enjoy traditional Chinese tea, sweet dumplings, sweet and savory sesame balls, and New Year cakes. You can make a reservation by calling 312.949.1000.
4. Chinese Lunar New Year Parade
Parade starts at Wentworth Ave. and 24th St., Chicago (Chinatown)
Sunday, February 2, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
The popular Chinese Lunar New Year Parade will take to the streets of Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood on Sunday, February 2, 2014. It steps off at Wentworth Ave. from 24th St. and continue south on Wentworth Ave. towards Cermak Rd. From there, it will then go west on Cermak Rd. towards Princeton Ave. The colorful, vibrant parade will feature dancing dragons, marching bands, decorative floats, and more. If you get there early, you can usually catch a glimpse of the dancing dragon teams practicing together. If the temperatures dip down, you can easily stay warm by popping into the stores, tea shops, and bakeries that line Wentworth Ave., or grabbing lunch at a Chinatown restaurant before or after the parade.
5. Chinese New Year with Redmoon Theater
Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom, 600 E. Grand Ave.
Sunday, February 1, 6 - 7:30 pm
Families can come to Navy Pier to see a new Chinese New Year "spectacle" from Redmoon Theater. The performance includes masked performers, interactive creation stations, and spectacle devices. Plus, the night sky will be lit up with a fireworks display featuring mostly red fireworks in honor of the Chinese New Year.
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