Chinese New Year 2020: 5 Family-friendly Celebrations to Usher in the Year of the Rat


Written by: Marissa Saini

As Lunar New Year looms closer and closer, and with so many preparations underway from spring cleaning to decorating your home, we know the pressure’s on to ring in a new season of prosperity and good fortune with your family. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of rat-tastic events this year that will surely bring the whole family together for a day of fireworks, activities and good ol’ family bonding.

Here are the best family-friendly CNY events in town

1. Chingay Parade

Prepare to be mesmerised at the annual Chingay Parade where onlookers get to partake in a stunning display of spectacular floats, laser lights, pyrotechnics, multi-cultural performers, fireworks – and the list goes on! This year’s theme, ‘Colours in Harmony’, promises to be a captivating parade that will make for a memorable CNY celebration to look back on.

  • Date and time: 31 January to 1 February, from 8 pm to 9:45 pm
  • Admission: Price of tickets start from $28.50 for Category 3
  • How to get there: Parade starts at the F1 Pit Building.

2. Spring Surprise at Gardens By The Bay

If you love to participate in activities with the kids instead of simply watching a performance, you’ll appreciate the wide range of hands-on events in celebration of the Year of the Rat happening down at Gardens By The Bay. Flanked by the iconic Supertrees, you and the little ones can check out a festive bazaar filled with mouth-watering CNY snacks, take selfies with the God of Fortune and catch the Golden Pyro Dragon Dance.

  • Date and time: 27 January to 9 February, timing varies
  • Admission: $20 (Programmes are free. Admission charge to Flower Domes apply)
  • How to get there: Walk across the overhead bridge (Lions Bridge) located at Marina Bay Sands Hotel (open daily from 8.00 am to 11.00 pm), or take the underground linkway via Bayfront MRT Station (Exit B).

3. River Hongbao 2020

Giving the Marina Bay Countdown a run for its money, get ready to be blown away at River Hongbao 2020, an enormous event packed to the brim with exciting things to see and do. Held at The Float @ Marina Bay, feast on delicious street food and enjoy thrilling carnival rides and games with the kids, catch performances and more. That’s not all, be sure to stick around long enough for the expertly-choreographed fireworks plus a unique crossover with the Chingay performers!

  • Date and time: 23 January to 1 February 2020, from 2 pm to 11 pm
  • How to get there: Alight at Bayfront MRT. Then, cross Bayfront Avenue to Marina Bay Sands and walk along Helix Bridge towards Ritz Carlton Hotel. Turn left along Raffles Avenue to reach The Float @ Marina Bay.

4. Chinese New Year at Universal Studios Singapore

What’s better than ringing in Chinese New Year at everyone’s favourite theme park? Swing by Universal Studios Singapore to take photos with all your favourite characters – picture Elmo, King Julien and Shrek all dressed in their finest Lunar New Year garb – and catch a showstopping dragon dance at the super auspicious parade!

  • Date and time: 25 January to 19 February 2020
  • Admission: $41 (for seniors), $56 (for children), $75 (for adults)
  • How to get there: Take North-East line or Circle line to HarbourFront station. Take Exit E to VivoCity and proceed to level 3 to board the Sentosa Express. Alight 1 stop later at Resorts World Station. Walk straight till you see Twelve Cupcakes on your right. Turn right and head towards the Universal Studios Globe.

5. Underwater Lion Dance at S.E.A. Aquarium

Feel like you’ve watched one too many lion dance performances on dry land? Why not spice things up this Lunar New Year by catching an underwater lion dance? That’s right, make a trip down to the S.E.A. Aquarium to witness the graceful, aquatic version of this beloved New Year staple surrounded by beautiful marine life.

  • Date and time: 11 January to 9 February 2020
  • Admission: $30 (for seniors), $30 (for children), $41 (for adults)
  • How to get there: Take North-East line or Circle line to HarbourFront station. Take Exit E to VivoCity and proceed to level 3 to board the Sentosa Express. Alight 1 stop later at Resorts World Station. Head towards the Merlion statuette. Walk straight past Candylicious store on the left. Keep left and cross a small bridge to arrive at the Maritime Experiential Museum. S.E.A. Aquarium is located inside The Maritime Experiential Museum.

All theatrics and fireworks aside, the annual Lunar New Year serves as an important reminder for us to usher in a properous decade with our loved ones by our side – be it Marina Bay or at an intimate gathering at home. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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