Lunar New Year celebration at the L.A. Zoo

Lunar New Year at the L.A. Zoo 

February 17–18 
10 a.m.–4 p.m.

The Los Angeles Zoo is thrilled to welcome members of our AAPI community and all Angelenos to enjoy special activities and performances honoring the Lunar New Year (February 10) and the Year of the Dragon. In Chinese astrology, the dragon symbolizes strength, power, wisdom, nobility, good fortune, and success. 

Special Programming at the L.A. Zoo 

A young Komodo dragon stands in its sandy, rocky habitat at the L.A. Zoo.
In the lunar calendar, 2024 is the Year of the Dragon. During the Zoo’s Lunar New Year celebration, we’re spotlighting the Komodo dragon (pictured) and other animals of the Chinese zodiac.
  • Performances and demonstrations by Wushu Shaolin Entertainment (in Treetops Terrace)
    • 11 a.m.—Lunar New Year traditional lion dance show with drum, cymbals, and gong
    • 12 p.m.—Traditional dragon dance with live percussion
    • 1 p.m.—Chinese long silk fan dance with lions and audience participation
    • 2 p.m.—Wushu Warriors martial arts live showcase with audience participation and lessons
    • 3 p.m.—Chinese fan dancers and traditional Lunar New Year dragon dance with live percussion and music
    • 4 p.m.—LED dragon dance—”Legend of the Dragon”—with soundtrack finale
      Most performances will be followed by photo opportunities.
  • Wall of Well Wishes (10 a.m.–4 p.m. in Treetops Terrace)—Share your hopes and dreams for the New Year by adding them to the Wall of Well Wishes. Volunteers will be on hand during designated hours to provide cards and pens. 
  • Education Stations (10 a.m.–4 p.m.)
    • “Slithering Snakes”: Snakes move, eat, grow, and hunt in completely unique ways. It’s what makes the LAIR one of the most popular places in the L.A. Zoo! At this station, guests will explore how snakes find and capture their prey, how they swallow their food, and how a growing snake sheds its skin. Learn more about the curious world of snakes and the unique adaptations that allow these legless critters to inhabit almost every corner of the globe.
    • “Birds & Beaks”: What makes birds special? Birds have feathers, wings, and best of all… beaks! Lucky for us, there are many examples of different beaks at the L.A. Zoo. From the thick hooked beaks of owls to the long delicate beaks of our local hummingbirds—each is uniquely adapted to the specific needs of the bird and its environment. At this station, guests match birds to their meals and discover how different beak shapes work to catch different kinds of food. Later, become a bird engineer and use simple tools to try building a nest.
  • Zoo-diac Tour (Zoo-wide)—Many animals of the 12-year Chinese zodiac can be found at the Zoo! View the Zoo-diac Tour map on your mobile device to find them all.  
  • Special Animal Feedings
    • Komodo dragon at 11 a.m.
    • Takin at 2 p.m.

Upper-Level Member Early Morning

February 17 (Saturday) 
8–10 a.m. 

A child demonstrates a kung fu kick at the Lunar New Year event at the L.A. Zoo.
Weekend activities include kung fu demonstrations with Wushu Shaolin Entertainment.

GLAZA members at the Family Deluxe level and higher are invited to an exclusive early morning of fun in celebration of the Year of the Dragon! Early morning activities include:

  • Free rides on the Conservation Carousel (until 10 a.m.)
  • Special animal feedings—François’ langur at 9 a.m. and red river hog at 9:30 a.m.
  • “Slithering Snakes” and “Birds & Beaks” education stations
  • Wall of Well Wishes for guests to add to Self-guided Zoo-diac tour
  • The LAIR open at 8:30 a.m.

Registration is required. If you are a Family Deluxe level or higher, please register. To upgrade your support in order to attend, please email membership@lazoo.org. Not a Member? Join today!

About Lunar New Year 

Handwritten notes on cards hang along a trellis wall.
Add your hopes and intensions for the new year to the Wall of Well Wishes in Treetops Terrace during the Zoo’s Lunar New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year is a festival rich in tradition that occurs on the first day of a new year in the lunisolar calendar, a calendar that is based on the cycles of the moon’s phases and the sun’s position. Depending on the position of the moon, Lunar New Year falls on a different day in January or February. This year, it’s on February 10. 

Lunar New Year is celebrated in many east Asian countries, including China, Singapore, South Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam. Typical festivities last for multiple days, sometimes as long as 15 days depending on the culture. It is traditionally a time for food, festivities, and family gatherings. 

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