Eight places to visit to soak in the Chinese New Year festivities

There are still plenty of amazing places to go in Singapore this CNY!

Ruth Chan

Enjoys solitude. Finds comfort in watching the sunset and drinking milo.

Published: 5 February 2021, 1:20 PM

Borders are closed for the first time during Chinese New Year, which means that many of us are unable to go overseas – whether for a short getaway or to bai nian.

But this doesn’t mean that the festive season will be boring. Here are eight places you can visit this new year.  

1. Chinatown Street

To get into the heart of the action, don’t miss out on visiting Chinatown! Prior to the start of the Chinese New Year, the iconic street light-up along New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street and South Bridge Road is the key highlight in the district.

Expect vendors selling an assortment of snacks and traditional goodies both online and offline. Head to the Chinatown Festivals social media page for virtual games, contests and online workshops.


Although the celebrations this year are more subdued, there is still a myriad of activities for you to soak in the festive mood. PHOTO CREDIT: VISIT SINGAPORE


Date: Jan 23 to Mar 12 (not including CNY eve)
Time: 7pm to 12am
Venue: Along New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street and South Bridge Road

2. Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2021

Usher in the Year of the Ox at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall with lion dance displays, festive drum workshops, heritage walking trails and craft activities for kids.

You can also capture this special day with a photograph by the memorial hall’s outdoor installation Double Prosperity.

There are online programmes where you can learn how to huat your homes to prepare for the new year, the dos and don’ts when it comes to watching a lion dance performance, and a step-by-step demonstration on how to make fried nian gao.


Learn more about the story of the Ox and the characteristics of the zodiac. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/WAN QING YUAN – SUN YAT SEN NANYANG MEMORIAL HALL


Date: Jan 5 to Feb 28
Time: 10am to 7pm
Venue: 12 Tai Gin Rd, Singapore 327874

3. Dahlia Dreams 2021 at Gardens by the Bay

Surrounded by various festive plants commonly associated with the season, this Chinese New Year will be unforgettable with a trip to Gardens by the Bay’s Dahlia Dreams!

Stroll through a field of about 1,400 dahlias of mixed varieties, which are all grown in-house for the first time, bringing in new beginnings filled with good luck and positivity.


The dahlias are showcased alongside a host of Chinese New Year floral favourites such as azaleas, chrysanthemums and cymbidiums. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@GARDENSBYTHEBAY


While you’re there, keep your eyes peeled for other highlights such as the Lantern Globe and the Chinese Pavilion!

Date: Jan 15 to Feb 21
Time: 9am to 9pm
Venue: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

4. River Hongbao 2021 at Gardens by the Bay

Landing at Gardens by the Bay for the first time is the River Hongbao 2021, which showcases life-sized lanterns and a large god of fortune exhibition. There is also an exhibition on the history of lion dance in Singapore.


The exhibition will highlight the origins of lion dance in Chinese culture, the different variants as well as the history and evolution of lion dance troupes in Singapore. PHOTO CREDIT: RIVER HONGBAO 2021


Visitors also get to release flower lanterns at the Dragonfly Lake and receive blessings in return!

To prevent crowding, visitors need to pre-register by booking slots online.

Date: Feb 10 to Feb 16
Time: 6pm to 10.30pm (Feb 10)
5pm to 12.15am (Feb 11)
2pm to 10.30pm (Feb 12 to Feb 16)
Venue: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

5. Moo Moo PARK at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

Participate in Moo Moo PARK, Asia’s first drive-through exhibition, organised by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.

In collaboration with The MeshMinds Foundation and eight local artists, the exhibition allows you to enjoy artworks inspired by the Year of the Ox by foot or in an electric car.


Moo Moo PARK breaks new ground by using interactive and immersive technologies to feature artworks that transform digital drawings to 3D installation art, selfie filters and augmented reality murals. PHOTO CREDIT: SINGAPORE CHINESE CULTURAL CENTRE


Blending art and technology, celebrate the new year with a special focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Tickets are priced at $5 for walk-throughs and $10 for drive-throughs, which you can purchase here.

Date: Jan 22 to March 28
Time: 12pm to 10pm
Venue: Level 6 Carpark at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906

6. Usher in the Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Meet Po from Kung Fu Panda, the Minions from Despicable Me, Optimus Prime from Transformers and many more at Universal Studios Singapore’s Usher in the Fun event for an exciting start to the new year!


Po is back only this festive season after a five-year hiatus, so don’t miss out on meeting him! PHOTO CREDIT: RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA


What’s more, the new year surprises extend to food and retail outlets as well! If you can recite a tongue twister in Mandarin to the cashiers of these stalls, you can win a prize!

You can click here for more information.

Date: Jan 7 to Feb 28
Time: 2pm to 9pm
Venue: 8 Sentosa Gateway, 098269

7. Spring In The Sea at S.E.A. Aquarium

Expect bountiful blessings at S.E.A. Aquarium’s Spring In The Sea this Chinese New Year! You can follow the Trail of Fortune to hunt for hidden gold ingots in the various animal habitats within the aquarium to win a prize.


Look out for seahorses, vase and scroll corals as well as slingjaw wrasse, which are living symbols of happiness, wealth and luck. PHOTO CREDIT: RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA


Alternatively, if you’re looking to take a nice OOTD, photo opportunities await at the mythical sea dragon installation.

To add on to the huat, every purchase of a one-day admission ticket comes with a delectable treat, such as corn dogs, popcorn, red bean pandan chiffon or manta ray cut-out cookies (for Singapore Residents only).

Date: Jan 9 to Mar 2
Time: 10am to 5pm (Off-peak days)
9am to 5pm (Peak days)
Venue: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, 098269

8. Hua Yi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2021

The Esplanade’s annual Chinese Festival of Arts is back with the 19th edition of Huayi in 2021.

With a line-up of theatre, dance and music programmes, the whole family can spend time together this Chinese New Year participating in the plethora of activities available both online and offline.

The Esplanade has commissioned six new works to be presented, including Toy Factory Productions’ All the World is One’s Stage, Reflections by contemporary Chinese music group MUSA and The Universe According to Niu by Paper Monkey Theatre.


Many of these works were developed during the pandemic, which has enabled deep introspection for many of us. PHOTO CREDIT: ESPLANADE


Date: Feb 19 to Mar 14
Venue: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

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