15 Fun Chinese New Year Activities You Can Do In

Singapore This 2020

Chinese New Year is one of the most festive and joyous occasions of the year for all Chinese. Generations gather together to celebrate the coming of the new year over a plethora of sinful, mouth-watering goodies, as well as family-friendly gambling activities like mahjong and banluck. That being said, it can also be a stressful time, what with the endless questions from overly concerned relatives about your romantic life, appearance, and just about everything in between. 

Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up 15 fun and slightly different activities that you can do with your loved ones this Chinese New Year! These activities will hopefully offer a little twist to your usual routine of visiting and yusheng throwing (I mean mixing), and help you survive this equal parts anticipated and dreaded holiday.

1. Art Jamming @ Streaks n Strokes

Art Jamming on Chinese New Year? Yes, you heard us right! Art jamming is a fun way for you to unwind, unleash your creativity, and bond with your loved ones. So why not be a little creative and create your very own Chinese New Year art this year? Streaks ‘n’ Strokes offers limited edition Chinese New Year designer stencils for those with 0 art background to do just that.
While most other places conduct art jamming sessions on canvases, Streaks n Strokes also lets you “art jam” on t-shirts, tote bags, and more! Gather a group of 6 or more and enjoy 2 hours worth of fun painting together for just $25 per person. The best part is that you get to take home your awesome, one-of-a-kind creations!
Address: 29 Tai Seng Avenue, #06-09, Natural Cool Lifestyle Hub, Singapore 534119

Contact No.: 8587 8884

Website: https://www.streaksnstrokes.com/#

Price: $29.90 per pax ($25 per pax for 6 or more pax)

2. Chinese Brush and Calligraphy Painting

Get in touch with your traditional side this Chinese New Year by going for a chinese calligraphy class. Similar to art jamming, this activity is sure to inspire you and maybe even spark your interest in this new hobby. What’s more, you get to take home your own calligraphy art and hang it up proudly. 

Many places offer beginner calligraphy lessons, from your neighbourhood community centre to professional art studios. Studio Miu Art is one such place, where you have the opportunity to learn under skilled instructors who are masters of their craft. 

Address: Studio Miu Art, 176 Orchard Road, The Centrepoint, #03-35, Singapore 238843

Contact No.: 6733 0917

Website: https://www.studiomiu.com.sg/

Price: $70 per session (non-member); $55 per session and $200 per 4 sessions (member)

3. Mahjong

Remember that scene in Crazy Rich Asians where Rachel and Nick’s mum play an epic game of Mahjong? That can be you this Chinese New Year (minus the dramatic showdown of course). 

You could always play at home with the same creaky mahjong table and set you pull out of the storeroom every year. Alternatively, many country clubs have mahjong room facilities that you can book for hours on end. 

So, if you are a country club member or know someone who is, gather your friends and family and head down to one of such country clubs for a change of scenery. The best part is that country clubs typically have an array of other facilities like bowling alleys, arcades, and swimming pools for you to have fun at if you aren’t the mahjong type. Listed below is one of our recommendations for a country club that offers mahjong room booking for a reasonable price.

Address: Serangoon Gardens Country Club, 22 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557271

Contact No.: 6286 8888

Website: http://sgcc.com.sg/social-recreation/recreation/mahjong

Price: Single Room (Manual Table): $1.07 per pax per hour (member), $1.93 per pax per hour (guest)

4. Karaoke

A classic all-time favourite activity beloved by generations – Karaoke. If belting out your favourite Chinese New Year songs doesn’t sound fun, I don’t know what will. Let Grandma and Grandpa take over the microphone and really own the spotlight with their rendition of the golden age classics. 

Hold onto your hats, because we’ve found a karaoke place that offers rates starting from as low as $8 per two hours! Sing to your heart’s content at Grandlink KTV, where you can even book an entire party room complete with a buffet, karaoke, billard, mahjong and XBox/PS4 for a whole day’s worth of fun! 

Address: Grandlink KTV, 511 Guillemard Road, #B1-02 Grandlink Square, Singapore 399849 

Contact No.: 6844 8557 / 8114 1885

Website: https://www.facebook.com/fiftycentskaraoke/

Price: $12 per pax per hour

5. CNY Buffet @ Lime Restaurant

No need to slave over the kitchen stove preparing dish after dish for your insatiable family. This year, head down to one of the many hotels that offer up a Lunar New Year feast! One such place you may consider is Park Royal Hotel, where they will be serving up a Lunar New Year festive buffet by LIME Restaurant! The buffet offers a myriad of decadent, gourmet dishes that put a modern twist on the usual Chinese food we know and love. What are you waiting for? Gather your family and friends for a scrumptious feast in the heart of Chinatown!

Address: 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289

Contact No.: 6809 8899

Website: https://www.panpacific.com/en/hotels-and-resorts/pr-pickering/offers/a-royal-reunion-at-lime.html

Price: $52 per pax (Mon-Fri Lunch), $58 per pax (Sat Lunch), $88 per pax (Sun Lunch); $68 per pax (Sun-Thurs Dinner), $78 per pax (Fri-Sat Dinner)

6. Bake Your Own Pineapple Tarts

We all love to indulge in those sinful Chinese New Year goodies during this time of year. A popular favourite among many would be the pineapple tart with its golden pineapple jam and crumbly, buttery crust that just melts in your mouth. What if I told you that you could learn how to bake these delightful creations all on your own? 

Many cooking studios offer pineapple tart baking workshops with absolutely no experience required on your part! Grá Baking Academy offers a 3-hour class for just $110 per pax. But if you feel like challenging yourself, Palate Sensations Culinary School has a special 4-hour festive class where you will learn how to make traditional chinese walnut cookies and pineapple tarts using a variety of techniques. You can’t go wrong with either – after all, you’ll be taking home a jar of your yummy creations!

Address: Grá Baking Academy, #01-06 Choon Kim House, 780 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534649

Contact No.: 9186 7640 / 6522 6224

Website: http://grabakingacademy.com/

Price: $110 per pax

7. The Chinatown Heritage Centre

Located within three beautifully-restored shophouses on Pagoda Street, the Chinatown Heritage Centre is a time capsule that holds stories of Singapore’s past. Dedicated to documenting and recreating the lives of Chinatown’s earliest residents, the space consists of galleries, conserved living spaces, multisensory exhibits, and interactive narratives. Here you’ll be able to take a step back in time, and into the shoes of iconic Chinatown characters from the 1950s. The Centre also holds various workshops and story-telling sessions for a truly immersive experience.

Address: Chinatown Heritage Centre, 48 Pagoda Street, Singapore 059207 

Contact No.: 6224 3928

Website: https://www.chinatownheritagecentre.com.sg/

Price: $18 per pax (adult)

8. The Chinese Heritage Centre

For our Chinese friends, have you ever wondered what it means to be Chinese? Even if you haven’t, this cultural attraction is sure to get you thinking more deeply about this question and take away new insights on the Chinese identity. At the Chinese Heritage Centre, explore a permanent exhibition entitled “Called Chinese More or Less: An Exhibition on Overseas Chinese Identity”, where these questions of ethnic identity are explored. Don’t forget to give the idyllic surroundings around the centre a leisurely stroll as well.

Address: Nanyang Technological University, Chinese Heritage Centre, 46 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639817

Contact No.: 6513 8157

Website: http://chc.ntu.edu.sg/Pages/Home.aspx

Price: Free for all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents!

9. REMIX Festival @ Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

For those of you who don’t know, the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre is a cultural hub dedicated to promoting and developing local Chinese culture. Located in the heart of the city, the centre holds exciting exhibitions, fairs, performances, seminars, talks, workshops and other cultural activities throughout the year. 

From 10-12 January 2020, they are going to be holding the “REMIX Festival”, a cultural festival targeted at youths. Events at the festival include “REMIX Getai”, which will feature live performances by Singapore’s favourite Ah Boys to Men cast and local getai royalty, as well as “TGIF REMIX Music Station”, “REMIX Urban Art Exhibition”, “Hooray REMIX Market!”, and many more! This 3 day cultural festival is sure to widen your eyes to what the Chinese culture has to offer, and allow you to see how you can embrace the traditional Chinese culture in today’s fast-paced, modern world. Best of all? This entire event is absolutely free for all to attend! Head on over to their website for more details on the exciting events they have lined up.

Address: The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906 

Contact No.: 6812 7222

Website: https://www.singaporeccc.org.sg/

Price: Free for all!

10. Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations 2020

It’s hard to think about Chinese New Year without considering Chinatown, the heart of the festive celebrations. From 4 to 22 January 2020, enjoy an array of activities lined up that are sure to be fun for all generations alike. 

Themed “Ushering in a Great Year’, this year’s celebrations will enthrall you and allow you to be immersed in the wonder and beauty of the Chinese culture. The Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony on 4 January marks the start of the celebrations, after which there are activities happening everyday that will ensure your Chinese New Year celebration never has a dull moment.

Address: Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng CCC, 28A Kreta Ayer Road, Singapore 088995

Contact No.: 6222 3597

Website: https://chinatownfestivals.sg/

Price: $15 per show (International Lion Dance Competition), $15 per pax (Heritage & Food Trail), Free for all other events!

11. River Hongbao 2020

What better way to celebrate Chinese New Year than to be a part of the largest Chinese New Year event of the year? River Hongbao 2020 will be held from 23 January to 1 February 2020, and will feature firework shows, interactive exhibitions, lantern displays, an outdoor Food Street, nightly Main Stage shows, and other carnival activities. Don’t forget to head down early on 31 January and 1 February 2020 to catch the Chingay performance up close and personal! 

Address: The Float @ Marina Bay, 20 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039805

Website: http://riverhongbao.sg/

Price: Free for all!

12. Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2020

From 31 January to 9 February 2020, Esplanade is back with Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2020. From theatre productions and music shows, to parent-child workshops and dance performances, every day offers something new and exciting for you to enjoy with your loved ones. Download the festival guide off their website for quick and easy referral to the activities that are lined up every day. 

Address: Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981

Contact No.: 6828 8377

Website: https://www.esplanade.com/festivals-and-series/huayi-chinese-festival-of-arts/2020

Price: $50 a year for Esplanade&Me White Card (Applicable across all Huayi 2020 shows except Gullinkambi – Puppetry Theatre for Children and workshops)

13. Volunteer

Do something meaningful this Chinese New Year by volunteering for a worthy cause. The choices of where to volunteer at are endless, and we suggest checking out https://www.giving.sg/ for a whole list of volunteering opportunities ready and waiting for you. Together with your family and friends, brighten someone else’s new year by offering your time, energy, and heart to those who need it. What are you waiting for? Make this Chinese New Year a memorable and meaningful one! 

 14. Secret 財神爺 (Cai Shen Ye, God of Wealth)

We’ve all heard of Secret Santa, but what about Secret 财神爷? Embrace the giving spirit by rounding up your closest friends and family, putting your names in a hat, and drawing the lucky person that you will be Secret 财神爷 to! 

Over the course of the 15 days of Chinese New Year, your job is to shower this person with all the “fortune” that you can muster. This can be through gift giving, secret letters with auspicious blessings, or however else you think fits the actions of a God of Wealth! When you all gather for a final reunion dinner on the last day of Chinese New Year, reveal who each other’s secret 财神爷s are and swap hearty stories about what you’ve all been up to.

15. Mandarin Orange Hunt

Our last fun Chinese New Year activity recommendation is a Mandarin Orange hunt! Much like an Easter Egg hunt, plan your own fun adventure by hiding mandarin oranges around your house/neighbourhood and organising a mini treasure hunt with the kids (or adults) in your family! You can be really creative with this and add little Chinese New Year related games, riddles and forfeits to spice things up. Let your imagination run wild!

And there you have it! 15 fun Chinese New Year activities you can do in Singapore this 2020. After reading this article, we hope we’ve opened your eyes to the abundance of programmes and events that can help you usher in the new lunar year with your loved ones.