6 Things To Do During CNY If You’re Not Visiting Relatives
Chinese New Year visiting definitely has its pros: you get to see relatives you wouldn’t know existed otherwise, and the food is fabulous. But are you becoming unable to handle that one auntie asking you when you are getting hitched? Or if you’re ever having a baby? Or (insert inappropriate question here)? Sometimes you just need a break—whether it’s from the Lunar New Year visiting or gorging on the usual treats, but if you’ve left booking that CNY getaway too late (let’s face it: Flights are beyond exorbitant by now), don’t fret!
Here are our choices of things to do in Singapore over the Chinese New Year long weekend this year.
Text: Victoria Barker
Additional text: Zoe Zeng, Valerie Toh
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1. Play Mini-Golf
Putt your best foot forward at this newly-opened, two-storey Clarke Quay mini-golf club where you can imbibe while trying your hand at 27 differently-themed holes, with smile-inducing pop culture references ranging from Game of Thrones (said throne made of golf clubs, no less!) to The Simpsons, across three courses.
Besides Instagram-worthy backdrops at every turn, there’s also a whimsical food and drink menu – check out their OTT candy-heavy cocktails like Sugar Caddy ($19++), which will almost make you forget those pineapple tarts.
Mini-golf sessions start from $16 per head for nine holes.
Where: Holey Moley is at 3B River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, Singapore 179024. Sessions can be booked at https://www.holeymoley.com.sg/booking
2. Staycation in style
Missed out on that long weekend getaway this year? A great staycay will just have to suffice. You may still get those CNY #feels if you choose to put up at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, which is offering a Lunar New Year Escape package right in the heart of Chinatown.
The package is valid for bookings made from now till Jan 31 for stays between Jan 18 and Feb 8. Perks include one-night accommodation in a room of your choice, wifi, COLLECTION CLUB access, daily champagne breakfast at the COLLECTION Club Lounge and buffet dinner at Lime restaurant for two persons. A quick check for a stay starting Jan 25 showed rates starting from $618++ per night. Talk about starting the New Year on an indulgent note.
Where: PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering is at 3 Pickering Street, Singapore 058289.
Visit https://www.panpacific.com/en/hotels-and-resorts/pr-pickering.html to book your stay.
Image: PARKROYAL on Pickering / Patrick Bingham Hall
3. Visit the Istana
If you’ve never stepped into the grounds of the regal Istana, the official residence and office of the president of Singapore, now’s your chance to poke your nose in. The place typically holds an open house on selected public holidays and will be open on the second day of CNY.
Marvel at the flora and fauna adorning the vast grounds and look out for special performances which are often scheduled during Open House days. General admission is free for Singaporeans and permanent residents, but other visitors will be required to pay a $2 entrance fee. And if you’re feeling truly curious, tours of selected rooms in the Istana building are also available at a nominal charge. Stay tuned to the Istana website for more details.
Where: Entry to the Istana is via the main gate on Orchard Road. More information is available here: https://www.istana.gov.sg/Visit-And-Explore/Istana-Open-House
Image: ST Photo / Lim Yaohui
4. Go for a thrilling experience
Love an adrenaline rush? Check out the AJ Hackett bungy tower located at Sentosa. It is the only bungy tower in Singapore and is perfect for those who love the thrill of freefalling as you leap off at a height of 47m.
If you don’t feel up to bungy-jumping by yourself, you can also get on the Giant Swing with up to two friends and swing towards the horizon at speeds of up to 120km/h. If you go in the evening time, you get to enjoy a spectacular view of the sunset at Siloso Beach which will definitely be a sight to remember for a long time.
For those who don’t do well with heights, you can go for a walk on the Skybridge which is 47m above around and connects the two towers. It has a length of 40m with see-through sections, and even a Glass Cube where you can step inside to feel as if you are walking on air.
Bungy jumps start from $159 per pax, the Giant Swing from $69 per pax and Skybridge access from $10 per pax.
Where: AJ Hackett Sentosa is located at Siloso Beach, Sentosa, their opening hours on public holidays are from 10am to 9pm.
Visit https://www.sentosa.com.sg/en/things-to-do/attractions/aj-hackett-sentosa/ to book tickets.
Image: ST Photo / Iqbal Faizal
5. Take photos for social media
The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre has decorated their rooftop garden with sparkly larger-than-size pineapple installations and super cute colourful mah-jong tiles that can be shuffled around. Aptly named Huat Huat Land, entry is free and the installations will be lit up at night providing the perfect background for awesome-looking photo ops. A series of murals designed by award-winning local illustrator Lee Xin Li that portray Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore will also liven up the atmosphere.
Don’t miss the chance to get specially designed Augmented Reality (AR) red packets which feature local traditions such as lohei and lion dance performances coming to life. These limited-edition red packets are redeemable when you post a photo of yourself at Huat Huat Land with the hashtag #HuatHuatLand on Facebook, Instagram or Wechat.
Where: Huat Huat Land is located at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre Roof Garden, Rooftop, 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906. It will run from now till Feb 8 and their opening hours are from 9am to 11pm every day including public holidays.
Visit https://www.singaporeccc.org.sg for more information.
Image: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
6. Go eat steamboat
Even if you are not visiting friends or relatives, it doesn’t mean that you should miss out on good food. Selected branches of Haidilao will be open on the first day of Chinese New Year and all branches will be open for business Jan 26 onwards. If you are keen on indulging in a sumptuous meal with friends who also won’t be doing much visiting, the branches that will be open on Jan 25 are at Clarke Quay, 313 Somerset, Vivocity and Marina Square.
Where: Multiple locations.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/HaidilaoSingapore/ for more information.