Things to Do During Chinese New Year with Kids

Chinese New Year
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Chinese New Year is usually a time for visiting family, catching up with old friends, snacking and eating. After you’ve finished running around from house to house and counting the ang pows, what else is there to do if you don’t feel like watching old Jackie Chan movies on TV?

Traditionally, this is the time when many businesses take a break to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This leaves many parents scratching their heads about what to do with restless children.

Here are some ideas of things you can do with the kids in Singapore this Chinese New Year:

1. River Hongbao

Sail on down to the Float @ Marina Bay to see lanterns and performances by troupes from China at River Hongbao 2013. There are also rides and amusements for children to enjoy themselves by the bay.

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Open throughout the Chinese New Year holidays, 12.00 pm to 11.30 pm

2. Museums Open House

It is the Chinese New Year Open House at the National Heritage Board’s museums during the first and second days of Chinese New Year. Entry to their museums is free and it’s a great time to find out more about Singapore’s heritage. Also, see our review of the new, kid-friendly Snakes and Ladders exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum.

Open throughout the Chinese New Year holidays, 9.30 am to 7.00 pm

3. Istana Open House

Normally, there are five days in a year when the Istana is open to the public. In 2013, there are only four as the open house for Hari Raya Puasa and National Day have been combined. The second day of Chinese New Year is one of them. Visit the sprawling grounds of the Istana where there will be exhibits and performances to entertain the public.

Open on the second day of Chinese New Year, Monday, 11 February 2013, 8.30 am to 6.00 pm.

4. Sentosa Flowers

Walk alongside a Glittering Snake Trail and amongst a Giant Floral Carpet of over 30,000 real flowers. The Joys of Spring is the theme of Sentosa Flowers 2013 at the Palawan Beach.

Open throughout the Chinese New Year holidays, 10.00 am to 7.00 pm.

5. Singapore Zoo

What better way to welcome in the Year of the Snake than by being surrounded by animals. The Singapore Zoo is open throughout the Chinese New Year and has a host of activities lined up including an acrobatic lion dance on high poles, snake photography, hand painting sessions, as well as a special Lunar New Year buffet.

Open throughout the Chinese New Year holidays.

6. Indoor Playgrounds

Wondering which indoor playgrounds are open on the first and second days of the Chinese New Year? We were too. These are the indoor playgrounds that are open this Chinese New Year. See also our review of the newest indoor playgrounds in Singapore.

Indoor Playgrounds that are Open During Chinese New Year Holidays (10 and 11 February 2013)

Peek-A-Boo 10.00 am to 8.30 pm
Polliwogs @ East Coast and Polliwogs @ Robertson Walk 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Happy Willow 9.30 am to 6.30 pm
Amazonia 10.00 am to 7.30 pm
Fidgets 12.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Jumperzillas 10.00 am to 10.00 pm
eXplorerKid Downtown East* 10.00 am to 10.00 pm
Hokey Pokey 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

*eXplorerKid Ang Mo Kio branch only opens on Monday, 11 February 2013.

7. Toy Shopping

Just in case your kids are clamouring to spend their new ang pow money, don’t despair. During the Chinese New Year holidays, there are two Toys “R” Us stores that are open. Only two. These are at VivoCity and City Square.

Operating times for Toys “R” Us VivoCity and City Square are from 1.00 pm to 8.00 pm on 10 February 2013, and 1.00 pm to 10.00 pm on 11 February 2013.

8. Free Performances at the Esplanade

Head down to the Esplanade to catch music with a Chinese theme at the Concourse in the earlier part of evening, followed by performances at the Outdoor Theatre slightly later.

Performances on 10 and 11 February 2013 from 5.15 pm onwards.

9. Go Bowling

Feel like doing something active but yet in air-conditioned comfort? Why not try bowling? Orchid Bowl has multiple locations at Orchid Country Club, SAFRA Yishun Country Club, SAFRA Tampines, The Chevrons and E!Hub at Downtown East.

Open throughout the Chinese New Year holidays.


10. Little Day Out’s Chinese New Year Activity Pack

If none of the above appealed to you and you prefer to stay indoors, keep the kids busy with our special set of free Chinese New Year themed activity sheets!

Enjoy the long weekend!

READ: Tips for Managing Your Child's Myopia

READ: Little India lights up for Deepavali