Want to celebrate the Year of the Ox in the best, most fun way possible? Lucky for you we've been finding all the best things to do in Singapore to celebrate Chinese New Year with kids...
Chinese New Year is edging closer and closer, and you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll be here quicker than you can say ‘Year of the Ox’! Whether you’ve booked the restaurant for your family reunion dinner or prefer to order your CNY takeaway instead, there’s no denying food will feature heavily in your celebrations. But festive snacks aside, you’re going to need to keep the famalam entertained if you decide to venture out. Luckily, we know exactly where all the CNY fun is at. Here’s our list of all the best ways to celebrate Chinese New Year with kids in Singapore, and enjoy the best things to do with the family over the holiday. Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Things to do with kids for Chinese New Year 2021
1. Shenanigans at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
So much is going on at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall for Chinese New Year that you won’t be short of things to do with the kids! If they want to get crafty then there’s the Zodiac Animal Coaster and Clay Painting to keep them busy. Registration is free (yay!), you just need to reserve tickets online. There’s also a Children’s Lion Dance Workshop, where they can learn some of the basic dance moves and try on costumes! If your kids like to make a noise (whose doesn’t?) then head straight for the Festive Chinese Drum Workshop. Parents can get in on the action too! Don’t forget to visit the outdoor “Double Prosperity” installation of two ‘Foo Dou’ Guardian Lions either, perfect for a family snap! If that wasn’t enough, there’s also plenty to keep the kiddos busy online, with lots of interactive activities and cool CNY facts to impress their mates with.
When: Children’s Lion Workshop, 20 – 21 February 2021 at 11am – 12pm, and Festive Chinese Drum Workshop, 20 – 21 February 2pm – 3pm. Both workshops are recommended for 5 years and older and cost $10 per pair. Booking must be made in advance. Craft station (free), 20 – 21 February, various times available (booking must also be made in advance). Double Prosperity installation from 5 January – 28 February 2021, 10am – 7pm daily.
Where: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, 12 Tai Gin Road, Singapore 327874
2. Dahlia Dreams at Gardens by the Bay
We always love the seasonal celebrations at Gardens by the Bay, and this time of year promises some spectacular treats for the senses. Take the fam along to explore the beautiful floral displays at the Flower Dome in the form of Dahlia Dreams. Stroll through a field of 1,400 dahlias, alongside a host of lunar floral favourites!
When: 15 Jan – 21 February 2021, 9am – 9pm
Where: Flower Dome
3. LEGO Festive Carnival
If you’ve got LEGO fans at home then they’re in for a treat with the festive carnival underway at selected CapitaLand Malls to welcome Chinese New Year. There’s a range of awesome displays to check out featuring prosperity oranges, Chinese couplets and the zodiac animal of 2021, the Ox.
When: From 10 January 2021 at selected CapitaLand Malls.
4. Street Light-Up in Chinatown
See Oxen – of the colourful lantern variety – over in Chinatown. The light displays stretch down Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and Garden Bridge, and the whole area is pretty darn spectacular! What’s even more awesome is the fact you can opt to adopt a lantern to adorn your home or office after the festivities – how cool?! Chinatown Festivals’ adoption campaign is now in its seventh year and we love the sustainable effort of it all. Applications start on 22 February, so if you can give an illuminated ox a good home, get your paperwork ready! Psst – this year’s opening ceremony will be virtual, so you can join the festivities from the comfort of your own home!
When: From 23 January to 12 March 2021, from 7pm daily
Where: Street light-up at Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and Garden Bridge
5. Augmented Reality at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre brings you the artistic Moo Moo Park to explore with the fam. In collaboration with the MeshMinds Foundation and eight local artists, the centre’s car park has been transformed into an immersive drive-through exhibition. The kids will love the chance to hop in an electric car to peruse the interactive art installations (there is the option to walk too!). These are not any old artworks either, it’s augmented reality inspired here – another big tick for the younger members of the family. Don’t fancy heading out? You can take a look at the displays using your smartphones at home, clever! Don’t miss out on the Cultural Centre’s highly anticipated red packets either, bringing extra wow factor by using Augmented Reality. Scan the QR code on the red packet to watch it come to life!
When: Moo Moo Park, 22 January – 28 March 2021, Walk-through ($5) Monday –Friday 12 – 5pm and Sunday 12noon – 10pm. Drive through ($10) Monday – Friday 6pm – 10pm and Saturday 12noon – 10pm. Tickets should be booked in advance.
Where: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore, 018906
6. Spring in the S.E.A. Aquarium
Our kids LOVE the aquarium at the best of times, and especially the humungous Open Ocean Habitat. And, this Chinese New Year, things are getting awesome with a sea dragon installation and an interactive sea dragon mural! There’s also a Trail of Fortune for the kids to find the hidden ingots and take pics of them to win prizes! Don’t forget to extend the fun by taking in all the other exhibits while you’re there, or checking out other Sentosa attractions.
When: Until 2 March 2021
Where: S.E.A. Aquarium, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa
Cost: Normal admission fees apply
7. Chingay Parade online
Are you really celebrating if you’re not watching the Chingay Parade? This annual occasion started in 1973 as a street parade to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Since then, it has evolved into an iconic yearly event. This year will be the first digital Chingay aired live on TV, online, and on social media channels. You can expect lots of interactive activities and games online in the run-up to the big day too!
When: 20 February 2021, 8pm – 9pm
8. Good times a-go-go at Universal Studios Singapore
It’s not just S.E.A. Aquarium that has got in on the CNY action this year, you should also swing by Universal Studios Singapore to ring in the Year of the Ox. Catch all your fave characters in their traditional Chinese get-up and grab all the selfies you can muster when the Majestic Dragon comes out for a lively performance!
When: Until 28 February 2021
Where: Universal Studios Singapore, Sentosa
Cost: Entry fee applies
9. Try your luck with the Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign!
The National Heritage Board are back with their Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign! There’s never been a better time to pop to your fave museum or gallery, or discover a new one! Visit one of the 32 participating museums and galleries and pick up limited edition red packets, each featuring unique designs. Each set of red packets includes a leaflet with a QR code, scan a lucky QR code and you might be in with a chance to win an anniversary box featuring all 32 red packet designs!
When: 22 January – 19 February 2021
Where: at participating museums and galleries across Singapore
10. Check out the CNY digital tree at Thomson Plaza
If you’re near Thomson Plaza and are on the hunt for CNY decorations, be sure to Swing By @ Thomson Plaza and check out their impressive 7-metre tall tree complete with 2,685 LED panels and eye-catching imagery. There are a whole host of competitions and activities to take part in too, from Red Packets redemptions, through to weekend festive crafts to take home. Get the kids to spot the roving garden fairies making a special appearance from 13 – 28 Feb and receive a surprise gift!
When: 8 January – 23 February 2021
Where: 301 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574408