Alternative Ways To Spend The Chinese New Year Holiday If You Are Not Into Visiting

Skip out on the nosey relatives, binge-eating and ang pow-giving this year.
29 January 2019

Have one too many aunties asking you when you are getting hitched/having a baby/(insert inappropriate question here)?

Or do you just need a break from the Lunar New Year visiting and gorging on the usual treats?  If you’ve left booking that CNY getaway too late (let’s face it: Flights are beyond exorbitant by now) this Year of the Pig, here are our choices of things to do over the two-day holiday on February 5 and 6.

#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 Electric Blue ($21++) and Sugar Caddy ($19++), which will almost make you forget those pineapple tarts.

Mini-golf sessions start from $20 per head for nine holes.

Holey Moley
3B River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, 179024. Sessions can be booked athttps://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 even get those CNY #feels if you choose to put up at the Pan Pacific Singapore, which is offering a staycation package specifically so you can catch the Lunar New Year fireworks – from the comfort of your hotel room, of course.

Valid until Feb 10, the package extends to selected room categories, and includes breakfast for two, wifi, local calls, parking, among other amenities. A quick check for a two-night stay starting Feb 4 showed rates starting from $570++ per night. Talk about starting the New Year on an indulgent note.

Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard, 039595.
Visit 
https://www.panpacific.com/en/hotels-and-resorts/pp-marina/offers/lunar-new-year-fireworks-package.htmlto book.  

 

#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 selection rooms in the Istana building are also available at a nominal charge. Stay tuned to the Istana website for more details.

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

 

#4 Get your laugh on


It will be easy to put the CNY festivities out of your mind when you get cosy at intimate full-time comedy club The Merry Lion, which will have some hilarious shows on Feb 7 and 8.

On their line-up is none other than UK comedian and writer Dave Thompson, more famously known as purple teletubby Tinky Winky. Thompson made headlines in 1997 after being removed from the role as his “interpretation of the role was not acceptable”, the BBC said in a letter at the time, so you can bet the dude has epic stories to tell!

Bonus: Ticket and drink prices won’t burn a hole in your pocket — unlike those ang pows you’d have to prepare otherwise.

The Merry Lion
8B Circular Road, Level 3, 049364. For more information and to book tickets ($35 each), visit www.themerrylion.sg  

 

#5 Look at the lights


And we’re not talking about the traditional Chinatown light-up, which is often overcrowded, as spectacularly colourful and exciting as the whole thing may be.

Instead, check out this year’s edition of i Light Singapore, Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival, which will be held in conjunction with the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration. It runs from Jan 28 to Feb 24 and will see 32 artworks illuminating key areas including Marina Bay, the Civic district and the Singapore River.

Highlights include Lighthouse of Time, which transforms the ArtScience Museum into a lighthouse with dancing lights, and The Rainbow Connection, which incorporates upcycling and solar light modules to create a fantastical dreamscape.

i Light Singapore – Bicentennial Edition will be held from Jan 28 to Feb 24 from 7.30pm to 11pm daily with extended hours to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays. General admission is free. Visit www.ilightsingapore.sg for more information.

 

#6 Go boardwalk shopping


Never mind that the local malls turn into veritable ghost towns over the CNY public holiday. Head over to the Sentosa Boardwalk for a stroll and some shopping instead, where a holiday bazaar organised by TGIF Bazaars will be taking places from Feb 5 to 7.

Expect a diverse range of goods and services from party novelties, artisan crafts, fashion and accessories to titbits and caricature artists, among others – all up against the relaxing harbour views.

Sentosa Boardwalk, 10am to 10pm from Feb 5 to 7. Visit https://www.tgifbazaars.com/ for more information.

 

By Victoria Barker, 8 January 2019

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