What to Do in Singapore This Chinese New Year if You're Not Celebrating

Things to Do in Singapore During Chinese New Year

A huat-tastic guide for a fun-filled Chinese New Year!

Singapore somewhat transforms into a deserted town every Chinese New Year. This comes as no surprise considering the fact that the Chinese make up 75.9% of the resident population and the majority of them observe the festival marking the beginning of a new year in the lunar calendar. 

For those celebrating, it is an exuberant time to catch up with family and friends and chow down on festive treats. For the rest, turning into a couch potato and binge-watching Netflix seems like the only possibility to while away time during the public holiday. Fret not, you don’t have to turn into a sluggard and miss out on all the fun (unless you have no qualms about it) this Chinese New Year.

We have rounded up a few fun things you can do to make the most out of your well-deserved festive break right here on our sunny island.

1. Hit one of the perfect picnic spots

Image credit: Tamal Mukhopadhyay

Wondering where the best spots to enjoy a delightful picnic with your loved ones are this Chinese New Year? We have got you covered.

From East and West Coast Park and Pasir Ris Park, to Jurong Lake Gardens, Marina Barrage, and Singapore Botanic Gardens, click here for our complete guide to picnic spots in Singapore.

Gather your friends and family (not more than five people) for a whale of a time under the glorious sun, surrounded not by the usual crowds you’ll find in these places, but by just the picturesque scenery. Play a game of freeze tag and sing along to famous hits together. Pack up delicious picnic grubs for a fun outdoor meal. Remember to slather on some sunscreen to protect yourself from prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays. 

You will have an indelible Chinese New Year for sure!

2. Stroll around Gardens by the Bay

In what’s known as the Dahlia Dreams event, feast your eyes upon a stunning display of dahlias, chrysanthemums, azaleas, and auspicious elements amongst other visual treats at the Flower Dome!

The arresting horticulture makes for a great way to usher in a roaring new year. Not to mention, this event, happening till 20 Feb 2022, will make for a perfect backdrop for those Instagram shots. Find out more here.

3. Unleash the kid in you at Universal Studios Singapore

Image credit: Resorts World Sentosa (圣淘沙名胜世界)

Head down to Universal Studios Singapore to celebrate the auspicious festivities with an exciting lineup of activities from now till 13 Feb 2022!

Snap photos in a meet-and-greet session featuring Master Tigress and Po from DreamWork’s Kung Fu Panda, or participate in a Tang Yuan workshop for a sweet bonding family activity. While you’re there, don’t forget to enjoy adrenaline-pumping rides and bright displays all around!

Sounds like so much fun, doesn’t it? Book your tickets here!

Also read: Reignite Your Wanderlust at Resorts World Sentosa With These Unique Experiences Fit for Every Traveller!

4. Spot the Tiger Shark for a Roaring Tiger Year

Head to the marine realm of S.E.A. Aquarium from now till 15 Feb 2022 to celebrate the Spring in the Sea event. Here, you’ll meet not only the 100,000 marine fish, but you’ll even get the chance to join a meet-and-greet session with adorable manta mascots, a Chunlian workshop where you’ll learn to write festive couplets, and the Sand Tiger Shark Wall Mural to snap some festive shots against.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to walk through the Shark Tunnel and see if you can spot the tiger sharks swimming by! 

Find out more here.

5. Shop at Mustafa Centre

Image credit: Fabio Achilli

You will be glad to know that the 24-hour department store located along Syed Alwi Road in Little India will be opened on Chinese New Year! Spread over two buildings and six storeys, you can get your hands on practically anything.

Run out of groceries or fresh produce and the supermarket located near you is not operating? Fret not — stop by Mustafa Centre at any time of the day and stock up on everything that you need (and anything that you might not really need). Just remember to adhere to the safe distancing measures to enjoy a fuss-free shopping experience!

Also read: A Shopping Paradise: The Best Malls in Singapore to Shop Till You Drop

6. Dine in at a hipster eatery at Haji Lane

Image credit: Bna Ignacio

HajI Lane is a food lover’s paradise. From Japanese and Mediterranean to cupcakes and ice cream, you are bound to find something to satiate your taste buds. Chill out if you feel peckish this Chinese New Year and head to these restaurants to keep you satisfied. Be sure to call in before making your way down to find out if the diner you have in mind is open on the gazetted public holiday and ascertain the opening hours. 

While you are at Haji Lane, take in the sights of the stunning, vibrant graffiti art on the walls of the shophouses. Step up your Instagram game by posting a photo of yourself against the colourful walls.

Also read: 22 Photoshoot Locations in Singapore That You Never Thought Of

7. Have a staycation

Image credit: Callous Gee

Everyone craves a vacation — a respite from the humdrum of everyday life especially at a time when travel restrictions are in place.

Let’s face it though, it takes hours of planning and a fortune to have the perfect holiday, especially during the festive season when flights may incur serious peak prices. Why not transport yourself to a different time and place all without stepping foot out of Singapore this Chinese New Year? Yes, as insane as it sounds, it is possible.

Have a staycation at one of the many renowned hotels in Singapore. Unwind and rejuvenate without burning a hole in your pocket, and be sure to utilise the hotel’s amenities to your heart’s content!

8. Spruce up your home with furniture from IKEA

what to do in Singapore this Chinese New Year

Image credit: tommao wang

Spring cleaning is an unmissable tradition observed every Chinese New Year.  It is often carried out days prior to the celebration to make room for better things to come. While it is forbidden to sweep and clean on the most auspicious day of the lunar calendar (beliefs are that you’ll be sweeping good luck away), you can visit IKEA to get furnishing inspirations and a slew of decor to beautify your home. 

There is something ethereal about visiting IKEA; doing so on Chinese New Year (when it may possibly not be crowded) can really enliven the experience!

9. Join in the festivities at River Hongbao

A quintessential event that’s held annually, River Hongbao has become a deep-rooted tradition of ushering in the Chinese New Year in Singapore since 1987. 

Our favourite parts of the event are the myriad of activities that everyone can enjoy, as well as the spread of authentic local street food that will surely tantalise your taste buds.

The larger-than-life lanterns embodying Chinese mythical figures will take your breath away and make for the perfect backdrop for your photos. Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the pre-recorded dance performances that will be screened on a stage.

This event will take place from 30 Jan to 6 Feb 2022. Book your time slot here to bask in the CNY festivities!

10. Take part in festive activities

Make your way to Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall with your ‘lil ones this CNY. There, the latest special exhibition, “Nian Hua: Of Deities, Guardians and Auspicious Art” will unfold from 21 Jan to 25 Sep 2022.

Expect a showcase of artwork featuring Lunar New Year prints, also known as nian hua from different parts of China. In addition, the memorial hall will be decked out in festive decorations. So, remember to bring along your camera to snap some family photos for the ‘gram!

And there, now you can have just as exciting and prosperous a Chinese New Year as those who are out and about visiting relatives. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

About Authors

Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.


Cassandra Nerva
Cassandra Nerva

Cassandra seeks comfort in warm blankets, period dramas, and all things hazelnut. If she's not getting carried away with a wartime novel or decorating her house with plants & fairy lights, she's uncovering hidden gems around her as she continues to embrace her keen sense of adventure.